Pausing to Allow the Musallees to Recite Faatihah
Q. I would like to request the Jamiatul Ulama to look into the possibility of requesting all Imaams in South Africa to give the opportunity to musallees who follow other math-habs to recite Surah Faatihah after the Imaam finishes the audible Surah Faatihah which would entail pausing for about 10 seconds. I am aware that it is not compulsory, but I do think it will be a good gesture from all the Imaams throughout South Africa since all our communities are now becoming diverse. I also don’t think Imaam Ahmed bin Hambal will mind if it is done, and will probably be happy as it is bound to accommodate all musallees.
A. Your concern and request for the Imaams of the Masaajid to take into consideration the diverse congregation, at first glance looks meritorious and altruistic. However, you have overlooked something very grave and the determinant in this matter of Salaat, and in fact in all our actions. While you have presented your opinion, Salaat is not the product of personal opinion and self-conceived benefits. We perform Salaat in the manner taught and practised by Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). There is no evidence in the Hadeeth of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) for this lengthy pause which you advocate to enable the muqtadis to recite Surah Faatihah. In fact the Hadeeth is explicit that Rasoolullah’s pause after Surah Faatihah was very short. There is no scope, therefore, to alter and abrogate the Sunnah of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) and the Mashroo’ method of reciting Salaat for the ill-conceived idea of accommodating the “diversity” of the community.