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Following the Imam in the Prayer) a chapter regarding the conditions of following. PDF Print Email
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Saturday, 11 July 2015 05:36

Following the Imam in the Prayer) a chapter regarding the conditions of following.

(Everyone who follows an imam while performing the prayer) i.e. who prays while following another, (–the Jumu^ah Prayer or other prayers– must fulfill the following obligations:) they are seven matters:

(1.) One of the obligations on the follower is that (The follower (ma’mun) must not be ahead of his imam in the standing position) i.e. in the place in which the imam stands; however, standing adjacent to him does not invalidate the prayer, but it is disliked; (or) the follower must not precede his imam (in saying the opening Allahu akbar.) It is an obligation for the follower to delay his complete opening Allahu akbar to follow the imam’s uttering of the complete opening Allahu akbar. (The prayer of the follower is invalid) i.e. the act of his entering into the prayer is not instituted, (if he says his opening Allahu akbar during that of the imam. Simultaneity with the imam in other parts of the prayer is disliked (makruh),) i.e. in acts other than the opening Allahu akbar. However, disliked simultaneity abolishes the virtue of praying in congregation, (with the exception of saying: “Amin”;) i.e. saying “Amin” after the reciting of the Fatihah, is sunnah-recommended for the follower to say it simultaneously with the imam.

(The follower is prohibited to precede the imam by one) complete (integral of action.) like if the follower bowed -ruku^ then returned to the upright- ‘i^tidal position and the imam did not bow-ruku^ yet. One’s prayer is not invalidated by that.


However, (One’s prayer is invalidated by inexcusably being ahead of the imam by two consecutive integrals of action, which are both long or one is long the other is short.) like if the follower bowed -ruku^, then returned to the upright- ‘i^tidal position, then began going down to prostration -sujud, all while the imam is still standing in the upright position before bowing.


(Similarly, the follower (ma’mum) invalidates his prayer if he lags behind the imam by two) consecutive (integrals of action) which are both long or one is long and the other is short, if the lagging was (without an excuse,) like if the imam lifted his head from the bowing-ruku^, returned to the standing upright- ‘i^tidal position, then began to go to the first prostration-sujud, all while the follower is still standing/in the standing position before bowing, without an excuse; in such a case the follower’s prayer is invalidated; (and) the follower’s prayer is also invalidated by him lagging behind the imam (by more than three long integrals of action) like the bow-ruku^ and the two prostrations-sujud, (despite) the lagging being with (an excuse.) like if he was slow in reciting the Fatihah. (If the follower (ma’mum) stays behind) lags behind the imam, (to finish) reciting (the Fatihah) for example (and during this time the imam has finished his ruku^ and two prostrations, and has sat for the tashahhud or stood up for another rak^ah, then the follower (ma’mum) must stop reciting the Fatihah) the follower leaves his personal order immediately, (and be in unison with his imam.) he coincides with the imam in the action the imam has reached. (In addition to this, the follower (ma’mum) must perform a rak^ah after the closing salam of the imam.) because he missed the rak^ah he was performing before leaving his order and joining the imam. On the other hand, if the follower did not leave his personal order and follow the imam, his prayer is invalidated. (However, if the follower (ma’mum) finishes reciting the Fatihah before the imam has sat for the tashahhud or stood up for another rak^ah,) i.e. before the imam precedes him by more than three long action integrals, i.e. before the imam begins performing the fourth integral he has preceded the follower by, (then the follower (ma’mum) follows his own order until he catches up with the imam.)

(2.) Secondly, (The follower must know the movements of his imam;) by seeing the imam, or some of the followers that see the imam, or by hearing the voice of the imam or the voice of his conveyer.


(3.) Thirdly, (The follower must be with his imam) i.e. the follower and the imam must gather, (in a mosque (masjid),) even if the distance between them exceeded 300 cubits, (or else) if they did not gather in a mosque, they must be (within) about (300 cubits;) of each other. If the follower was part of a row of followers behind the imam, it is a condition that the distance between the follower and the row in front of him not exceed 300 cubits, even if in reality there were many farsakhs between the imam and the follower.

(4.) Fourthly, (The follower must not have any barrier) if the follower and the imam were not in a mosque, (between him and the imam which prevents him from reaching the imam;) i.e. from walking to the imam, like a wall, a closed door, or a barrier like a partly closed door, that prevents the follower from seeing the imam, then the follower’s prayer is not valid.


(5.) Fifthly, (The format of the follower’s prayer must agree with the format of the imam’s prayer.) i.e. the prayers must congruent in the apparent actions even if they differed in the number of rak^ahs and intentions. (For example, it is invalid for the performer of the daily obligatory prayer) like Dhuhr, (to follow the performer of the Funeral Prayer (salatul-Janazah);) due to the lack of congruency in format between the two prayers.


(6.) Sixthly, (The follower must not disagree enormously with his imam in a recommended- sunnah act,), and that is ,( like the sitting for the first tashahhud) when the imam had left it out, then the follower disagrees with him and performs it; by that the follower’s prayer is invalidated; (or by not performing it, like leaving out sujud as-sahw.) when the imam performed it and the follower did not. The two cases mentioned above are contrary to when the disagreement between the imam and the follower is not enormous, like briefly sitting to rest after the second prostration-sujud before standing for the next rak^ah, for if they disagree in that recommended act, it does not invalidate the follower’s prayer.

(7.) Seventhly, (In the Friday (Jumu^ah) Prayer,) as well as the prayer repeated in congregation, the combined prayer due to rain, and the prayer vowed to be prayed in congregation (the follower must have the intention to follow the imam) or the intention of being a follower or the intention to pray in congregation, (while saying the opening Allahu akbar.  If the follower (ma’mum) was performing the Friday (Jumu^ah) Prayer without having the intention to follow the imam within the opening Allahu akbar, his prayer would be invalid).( In other prayers,) i.e. other than the prayers mentioned above, the prayer repeated in congregation, the prayer combined due to rain, and the prayer vowed to be prayed in congregation, (the follower must make that intention before following the imam or waiting a long time.) for the imam; even if the follower’s intention of following was made after the opening “Allahu akbar”. So if the follower followed the imam after waiting a long time, without having the intention of following, his prayer is invalidated. However, if he waited for the imam and did not follow him, or he follow him coincidentally and unintentionally, or intentionally without waiting long, his prayer is not invalidated/is valid.


(In the Friday (Jumu^ah) Prayer and the repeated prayer, it is obligatory upon the imam to intend to lead the prayer,) during the opening Allahu akbar, (but this is recommended -sunnah)) the imam’s intention to lead the prayer is recommended-sunnah (in other prayers.) i.e. in the Friday prayer and the prayer repeated in congregation; so that the imam can gain the virtue of praying in congregation.


(The repeated prayer is the prayer one performs after having prayed it alone because one found a person to pray congregation (jama^ah) with oneself, or one has already prayed congregation (jama^ah) but wants another person to earn the reward of congregation (jama^ah).)