Fatwa: # 16978
Category: Prayer (Salaat)
Country: Pakistan
Date: 29th July 2008


I am puzzled why they didnt choose to lead Salaah


i faced a situation relating prayer by jamaat. there was a group of 7-8 people  and among them i was the only person with ba shara beard. however the namaz was led by a person who had a beard but was not bashara, and had been like this for the past 3 years.
i felt puzzled at that moment as no one asked me to lead the prayer. please tell me if a prayer like this is valid for everyone praying behind him. what would be case if the bearded guy is not me but someone else. and also tell in general if the prayer will be accepted by a non bearded man when there are bearded men present. secondly kindly advice me as to what i should have done in such a situation like oppose or protest etc. and if what i did, quietly prayed behind him, an acceptable action.i was 20 at that time and am a hanafi follower. also tell if such a situation is acceptable in other 3 imam followers.


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful  

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

At the outset, one should note that the appointed imam of the mosque has the right to lead salaat in his mosque even if someone more deserving than him may be present among the followers. Similarly, at someone’s house, the owner of the house is most deserving to lead the salaat. In other places, when choosing an imam to lead the salaat, one should give preference to the one who has more knowledge regarding the injunctions of salaat, then to the one who is more competent in reciting the Quran – with the condition that the person avoids committing open immoralities (such as shaving the beard or trimming it shorter than one fist length), otherwise one who is more righteous will be given preference, then the oldest in age, then the one with the best character.

If the people neglect one who is more deserving of leading the salaat, and choose someone else, they will be guilty of commiting a sin; however, the prayer will be valid. Therefore, if a person who does not have a shar’ee beard, leads others in salaat who do have shar’ee beard, their salaat will be valid and they will obtain the reward of praying in a congregation, although less than that of performing the salaat behind a righteous person. If in your case, you believe that you were the most deserving person and they did not choose you, you are not guilty of any sin. If there was someone else more deserving, you should have voiced your opinion of giving him preference. If however, he was still not chosen, you will not be guilty.


( الفصل الثاني في بيان من هو أحق بالإمامة ) الأولى بالإمامة أعلمهم بأحكام الصلاة هكذا في المضمرات وهو الظاهر هكذا في البحر الرائق هذا إذا علم من القراءة قدر ما تقوم به سنة القراءة هكذا في التبيين ولم يطعن في دينه كذا في الكفاية وهكذا في النهاية ويجتنب الفواحش الظاهرة وإن كان غيره أورع منه كذا في المحيط وهكذا في الزاهدي وإن كان متبحرا في علم الصلاة لكن لم يكن له حظ في غيره من العلوم فهو أولى كذا في الخلاصة فإن تساووا فأقرؤهم أي أعلمهم بعلم القراءة يقف في موضع الوقف ويصل في موضع الوصل ونحو ذلك من التشديد والتخفيف وغيرهما كذا في الكفاية فإن تساووا فأورعهم فإن تساووا فأسنهم كذا في الهداية فإن كانوا سواء في السن فأحسنهم خلقا فإن كانوا سواء فأحسبهم فإن كانوا سواء فأصبحهم وجها كذا في فتح القدير أي أكثرهم صلاة بالليل كذا في الكافي فإن استووا في الحسن فأشرفهم نسبا كذا في فتح القدير فكل من كان أكمل فهو أفضل ؛ لأن المقصود كثرة الجماعة ورغبة الناس فيه أكثر كذا في التبيين فإن اجتمعت هذه الخصال في رجلين يقرع بينهما أو الخيار إلى القوم كذا في الخلاصة – الفتاوى الهندية ، كتاب الصلاة (الفصل الثاني في بيان من هو أحق بالإمامة)


رجلان في الفقه والصلاح سواء إلا أن أحدهما أقرأ فقدم أهل المسجد غير الأقرأ فقد أساءوا وإن اختار بعضهم الأقرأ واختار بعضهم غيره فالعبرة للأكثر كذا في السراج الوهاج - الفتاوى الهندية ، كتاب الصلاة (الفصل الثاني في بيان من هو أحق بالإمامة)


ليس في المحلة إلا واحد يصلح للإمامة لا تلزمه ولا يأثم بتركها كذا في القنية - الفتاوى الهندية ، كتاب الصلاة (الفصل الثاني في بيان من هو أحق بالإمامة)


ولو صلى خلف مبتدع أو فاسق فهو محرز ثواب الجماعة لكن لا ينال مثل ما ينال خلف تقي كذا في الخلاصة - الفتاوى الهندية ، كتاب الصلاة (الفصل الثالث في بيان من يصلح إماما لغيره)

And Allah knows best


Mufti Ebrahim Desai 
Darul Iftaa

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