Masʹalah of Standing Behind the Imám and Equal Saffs
Except from Majlis by Hadhrat Maseehul Ummat رحمه الله
What is the masʹalah, Muftísáhib? It is that the person standing behind the imám should be a sáhibe‐’ilm – one who possesses knowledge of Dín. Nowadays the ignorant rush forward to stand behind the imám. What can one say? Now it is the jáhil who sits behind the imám before anybody else.
Is the masʹalah not as stated above? Of course it definitely is! However, this is an age of fitnah. It is an age of weakness. Nothing can be said. Do not say anything. Yes, he is a jáhil and he will show he has a stature above that of the ʹálim.
There is also the masʹalah that the saff on either side of the imám should be of equal lengths. If it is slightly longer on the right it is of no consequence. The left side should not be longer than the right. However, in these times one cannot say anything.
Why is this? The reason is because of this incident:
Hadhratwálá (Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi رحمه الله was making imámat. The saff on the left was a bit longer than that on the right. Hadhratwálá told someone on the left to come over to the right.
Understand that imámat is an official position. The imám should look to the right and the left. He should rectify any irregularities.
That is why the Imám should be an awe‐inspiring person – not a ʺtuppenny haʹ‐pennyʺ imám.
This is the ulúm of the sharíʹat. This is the principle.
So, Hadhratwálá told this one person on the left side, ʺCome over to the right side.ʺ This person did not move from his spot. He did not obey the command. He was stubborn. Hadhratwálá then saw another person who was an acquaintance, and told him, ʺThis person does not want to move. You come over.ʺ This person humbly went over.
Remaining silent for fear of fitnah
Do you understand? This is an incident from the time of Hadhratwálá. Now, this age is an age of greater fitnah.
Nowadays a jáhil considers himself to be superior to an ʹAlim. He arrives at the masjid before anybody else – this is commendable. The ʹálim does not have the opportunity to be in the masjid before everybody. He is occupied with some Díní work. He is busy serving the people – khidmate‐khalq.
One cannot say anything to that jáhil. It is an age of fitnah.
Just try and say something and then see how you are disgraced.
Therefore, keep silent.
Remember that it is also a principle of the sharíʹat that when there is even a chance of the slightest fitnah then do not say anything. Do not speak. Remain silent. Otherwise you will be humiliated.
[One can imagine what the situation is now with enforcing haraam masks and social distancing! ‐Translator and admin.]
Source: For Friends Vol 23