السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
1) Could you please advise me on how we go about correcting/ assisting the imaam during fardh salaah – and, what the sin is, if there’s a sin attached to not correcting yet knowing the mistake – under the following conditions :
a) the imaam changes a letter, ie, reading a ت (taa) as a ط (taw) or reading a ك (kaaf) as a ق (qawf)
b) the imaam misses a couple of ayaat, eg, if a surah has 10 ayaat, he read the first five, misses the following three and goes on to the last two
c) the imaam gets stuck while reading but does not go into ruku’ – stands, hoping to remember the next ayah
d) the imaam sits for qa’dah in the third rakaat of a four-rakaat salaah (dhuhr, ‘asr, ‘esha) instead of standing up for the last rakaat
2) I’ve noticed that imaams usually turn and face the muqtadis after fajr and ‘asr salaah… however, I heard that hanafi imaams should turn towards the muqtadis after every salaah… is this true?
3) Do the muqtadis have the right to refuse to be lead by an imaam who shaves or even trims his beard?
4) How important is it for the imaam to ensure that the muqtadis are ready for salaah in the sense that their rows are straight and their pants are above their ankles, at the least?
جزاك الله خير
1. The Imaam leading the Salaat should be fully qualified in the Art of Qiraat. A person who distorts the pronunciation of the huroof is not competent to lead the Fardh Prayer. It devolves upon the trustees of the Masjid to appoint as the Imaam of the five daily Fardh Salaats a fully qualified reciter of the Qur’aan Shareef who furthermore upholds the Sunnah and is obviously acquainted with the masaail of Tahaarat and Salaat.
(a) If the mistake corrupts the meaning of the Qur’aan to such a degree that holding such a belief, as in the corrupted recital, is kufr then the Salaat will break. The Salaat will have to be repeated. If, however, the mistake was not of such a grave nature – a kufr meaning is not produced – then the Salaat will nevertheless be valid. Understanding the Tafseer of the Qur’aan is imperative in determining which mistakes invalidate the Salaat and which mistakes do not.
(b) If the imaam made a waqf (stop in recital) and then read from a few Aayaat further on then this does not invalidate the Salaat in any case. If, however, he joined two Aayaat, the joining of which gives off a corrupt meaning, then the Salaat will become faasid. It is not permissible to unnecessarily skip Aayaat when reciting the Qiraat in Salaat.
(c) The Imaam should not coerce the muqtadis to correct him. He should not stand still and constrain the musallis to recite the Aayat or place he is stuck at. He should either recite from elsewhere or go into Ruku’ if the Sunnah length of Qiraat has been discharged.
(d) The muqtadis should simply say, “Subhaanallah” upon which the Imaam will realize that his sitting was an error.
2. The Hanafi Imaam should turn to the congregation and make du’aa only after the Fajr and Asr Fardh Salaats. The du’aa after the Fardh of Zuhr, Maghrib and Isha should be short, the duration of an Aayat or two. It is not proper to engage in lengthy du’aas after these Salaats.
3. If the refusal to be led by such an imaam does not lead to fighting and commotion in the Masjid then the musallis can refuse. It is the incumbent duty of the Trustees of the Masjid to ensure that a faasiq does not lead the Fardh Salaat.
4. It is very important for the Imaam to ensure that the suffoof are straight and that the trousers of the musallis are above their ankles. He should draw their attention to these aspects of their Salaat. He should not initiate an argument with newcomers and the ignorant.
The book, Kitaabus Salaat prepared by the Mujlisul Ulama of South Africa covers these and wide range of Salaat Masaail. Write for a copy to: email@example.com.