OPINIONS OF THE ULAMA WITH REGARD TO THE IMPORTANCE OF JAMA’AT
We have quoted a few sayings of the Sahabah, which in reality portray the words of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. Now let us look at the ulama and mujtahideen and see what they have to say in regard to jama’at and how they understood these Ahadith.
1. The Zaahiriyyah and a few followers of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal rahmatullahi alayh say that jama’at is a prerequisite in order for the salaat to be valid. Without jama’at, the salaat is not valid.2. The correct opinion of Imam Ahmad is that jama’at is fard-e-ayn even though it is not a prerequisite for salaat. This is also the opinion of a few followers of Imam Shafi’i rahmatullahi alayh.
3. Some of the followers of Imam Shafi’i are of the opinion that jama’at is fard-e-kifaayah. This is also the opinion of Imam Tahaawi rahamatullahi alayhi, a high ranking jurist and muhaddith of the Hanafis.
4. Most of the Hanafi scholars are of the opinion that jama’at is wajib. Ibn Humaam, Halabi, the author of Bahrur Raa’iq, and others are also of this opinion.
5. Some Hanafi scholars say that jama’at is sunnat-e-rnu’akkadah but it falls under wajib. So, in reality, there is no contradiction between these two opinions of the Hanafis.
6. Our jurists have written that if the people of a city abandon jarna’at and do not establish this noble institution even after instructing them to do so, it will be permissible to wage war against them.
7. It is written in Quniyah and other books that it is wajib on the imam of the time to punish the person who leaves out jarna’at without any valid excuse, and that his neighbour will be sinful if he does not reprimand him on this action of his.
8. If a person delays his going to the musjid until the commencement of the iqaamah, he will be committing a sin. This is so because if he is going to go to the musjid only after hearing the iqaamah, there is the danger of him missing a few rakaats if not the entire salaat. It has been reported from Imam Muhammad rahamutallahi alayh that it is permissible to rush to the musjid in order to get the jumu’ah salaat and the jama’at. This is on condition that he will not be overburdened.
9. The one who leaves out the jama’at is most certainly committing a sin and his testimony (in an Islamic court) will not be accepted. This is on condition that he left it out without any valid excuse, and due to sheer laziness.
10. If a person is fully occupied in learning or teaching matters of the Deen and does not attend the jama’at, this will not be regarded as a valid excuse and his testimony (in an Islamic court) will not be accepted.
Source: Behishti Zewar