Fatwa: # 19067
Category: Daily
Country: Saudi Arabia
Date: 3rd November 2010

Title

Can a person with objectionable character lead prayer?

Question

Is it acceptable for a person (‘ālim) to lead the obligatory prayer if his wife has an objectionable character and he is fully aware?  She is involved in harām acts, such as relations with another man.  The husband and others have caught the wife in harām acts with the other man.  Yet, the husband is still forgiving his wife, even though her character is not changing.  The people are trying to explain to the husband that it is not good to give so much freedom to the wife if she is involved in such harām acts. 

In the above circumstances, is it permissible for this husband to lead prayer? 

Answer

In the Name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

No sane man, let alone an ‘ālim, would allow or accept that his wife involve herself in harām acts with another man.  The imam in question will also not approve of such acts and will do his best to change his wife’s character so that she does not repeat such acts in the future.  However, rarely does a person change overnight.  Reforming a person takes time and wisdom.  The imam is probably making mashwarah (consultation) with other seniors and ‘ulamā on the best steps to guide his wife and save their marriage, which is definitely a better alternative to simply separate from his wife and allow her to continue a life of sin. 

Since such matters are usually complicated, the community members should not judge the imam’s actions and jump to conclusions, as the imam would naturally not share all of his private details with them.  They should continue to make du‘ā for him and offer their support.  However, if it is somehow established that the imam does not place proper emphasis on the laws of hijab or that he is able to take adequate measures to prevent his wife from committing harām, yet chooses not to, then such an imam should be warned of the impermissibility of laxity in such matters.  Thereafter, if he still does not make amendments, he should be relieved of his post as it would be impermissible to allow him to lead prayers.

(أحسن الفتاوى، كتاب الصلاة، باب الإمامة والجماعة: 3/288؛ سعيد)

And Allāh knows best.


Muftī Abrar Mirza
Chicago, IL (USA)

 

Under the Supervision of Muftī Ebrahim Desai (South Africa)


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DISCLAIMER - AskImam.org questions
AskImam.org answers issues pertaining to Shar'ah. Thereafter, these questions and answers are placed for public view on www.askimam.org for educational purposes. However, many of these answers are unique to a particular scenario and cannot be taken as a basis to establish a ruling in another situation or another environment. Askimam.org bears no responsibility with regards to these questions being used out of their intended context.
  • The Shar's ruling herein given is based specifically on the question posed and should be read in conjunction with the question.
  • AskImam.org bears no responsibility to any party who may or may not act on this answer and is being hereby exempted from loss or damage howsoever caused.
  • This answer may not be used as evidence in any Court of Law without prior written consent of AskImam.org.
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