Rules Pertaining to Jama’at
(From Beheshti Zewar)
Conditions which make Jama’at Wajib
1. To be a male – jama’at is not wajib on women.
2. To be mature – jama’at is not wajib on children who have not reached the age of puberty.
3. To be a free person – jama’at is not wajib on a slave.
4. One must be in one’s senses – jama’at is not wajib on a person who is intoxicated, unconscious, or a lunatic.
5. To be free from all excuses – in the presence of these excuses, jama’at is not wajib. However, it will be better if he offers his salaat with jama’at despite having an excuse. If he does not offer with jama’at, he will be deprived of the reward. The excuses for leaving out jama’at are fourteen:
a) The absence of sufficient clothing with which one could cover one’s aurah (private area).
b) An abundance of mud on the road leading to the musjid which would make walking extremely difficult.. Once Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alayh asked Imam Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alayh on his view regarding attending jama’at if there is a lot of mud, etc. on the road. He replied that he does not like the idea of abandoning the jama’at.
c) At the time of a heavy downpour. Imam Muhammad rahmatullahi alayh has written in his Muwatta that although it is permissible not to attend the jama’at in such a case, it will be preferable to go and offer the salaat with jama’at.
d) When it is extremely cold and one fears that by going out towards the musjid, one will fall ill or that the sickness will worsen.
e) There is a fear of his wealth and possessions getting stolen by going to the musjid.
f) There is a fear of meeting an enemy by going to the musjid.
g) By going to the musjid there is a fear of meeting his creditor and he fears some harm from him. This is on the condition that he is unable to fulfil his debt. If he is able to fulfil his debt, he will be regarded as an oppressor and it will not be permissible for him to discard the jama’at.
h) The night is very dark and the road cannot be seen. However, if Allah Ta’ala has blessed him with those things with which he could see the road, he should not leave out the jama’at.
i) It is the time of night and there is a very severe sand-storm.
j) He is taking care of a sick person and fears that if he goes for the jama’at, some harm may befall the sick person or that he might feel uneasy.
k) The food has been prepared or is on the verge of being prepared and he is so hungry that he fears that he will not be able to concentrate in his salaat.
l) He has an urgent need to go and relieve himself.
m) He intends to embark on a journey and fears that if he goes to offer his salaat with jama’at, he will get delayed and that the caravan will leave him. Travelling by train can also be based on this mas’ala with the exception that when one caravan departs, the following one leaves after many days. While several trains depart in one day – if a person misses one train he can always take the next one. However, if there is an urgency, then there will be no harm in taking the first train. Urgency or any other valid reason is excusable in our Shariah.
n) He is afflicted with such a sickness whereby he cannot walk, or he is blind, crippled or one of his legs have been amputated. However, the blind person who can walk to the musjid without any difficulty should not leave out the jama’at.
Prerequisites for the Validity of Jama’at
1. Islam – the jama’at of a kaafir is not valid.
2. To be in one’s senses – the jama’at of an intoxicated, unconscious or lunatic person is not valid.
3. In addition to making the intention of salaat, the muqtadi must also make the intention of following the imam. In other words, he must have this intention in his heart that he is offering a particular salaat behind thisimam. The masaa’il related to intention have already been mentioned.
4. The place of the imam and the muqtadi must be the same. This is irrespective of whether being in one place is in reality, such as offering salaat together in one musjid or in one house; or in principle. For example, the imam stands on one end of a bridge over a river and the muqtadis stand behind him with the saffs reaching the opposite end going beyond the bridge. Although there is a river intervening between the muqtadis of the opposite end and the imam, resulting in the place not being the same in reality, but because the saffs inbetween are continuous, therefore their (the imam’s and the muqtadis of the opposite end) places will therefor be regarded as the same in principle and the jama’at will be valid.
Masaa’il related to number 4:
a) If the muqtadi is standing on the roof of the musjid and the imam is standing inside the musjid, this will be permissible. This is because the roof of the musjid is considered to be part of the musjid and both places will be regarded as one. Similarly, if someone’s roof is attached to the musjid and there is no barrier between the two, then that place will also be regarded as being part of the musjid. It will be permissible to stand on that roof and follow the imam who is in that musjid.
b) If a musjid or house is extremely large or one is in a jungle and there is such an open space between the imam and muqtadi wherein two saffs could stand – then both these places, i.e. where the imam is and where the muqtadi is standing, will be regarded as two separate places and it will not be permissible to follow the imam.
c) Similarly, if there is a river between the imam and the muqtadi and it is so large that a ship can sail on it, or there is such a large pond which the Shariah has ruled as being pure (in other words, the pond measures approximately ten square feet), or there is a public road on which an ox-wagon could pass – and there are no saffs in between, then these places will not be regarded as one and it will not be permissible to follow the imam.
d) Similarly, if there is such a river or such a road between two saffs, it will not be permissible for that saff which is on the other side to follow the imam.
e) It is not permissible for the one who is on foot to follow the person who is mounted. Nor is it permissible for a mounted person to follow another mounted person. This is so because both their places are not the same. However, if both of them are mounted on one animal, jama’at will be permissible.
5. The salaat of the imam and the muqtadi must be the same. If the salaat of the muqtadi is different from the salaat of the imam, it will not be permissible for him to follow the imam. For example, the imam is performing zuhr salaat and the muqtadi makes intention for asr salaat. Alternatively, the imam is performing qada for the zuhr of yesterday and the muqtadi makes intention for the zuhr of today. However, it will be permissible if both make the intention of qada for the zuhr of yesterday or both make the intention of qada for the zuhr of today. If the imam is performing a fard salaat and the muqtadi makes intention for nafl salaat, his following the imam will be valid because the salaat of the imam is “stronger”. If the muqtadi wishes to offer taraweeh salaat and the imam is offering nafl salaat, it will not be permissible to follow him because the imam’s salaat is “weaker”.
6. The salaat of the imam has to be valid. If the salaat of the imam becomes invalid, the salaat of all the muqtadis will also become invalid. This is irrespective of whether the invalidity becomes known while in salaat or after the completion of the salaat. An example of this is that there was najaasat-e-ghaleezah on the imam’s clothing which was in excess of a fifty-cent coin and he came to know of this after completing his salaat or while he was in salaat. Another example is that the imam did not have wudu and he only realized this after completing his salaat or while he was in salaat.
If the salaat of the imam becomes invalid due to some reason and the muqtadis do not come to know of this, it is necessary on the imam that as far as possible he should inform the muqtadis so that they could repeat their salaat. This is irrespective of whether he informs them by sending a message to them or by writing letters to them.
7. The muqtadi should not stand in front of the imam. He could stand in line with the imam or behind him. If the muqtadi stands in front of the imam, his following the imam will not be correct. Standing in front of the imam will be considered when the heels of the muqtadi are ahead of the heels of the imam. If the heels are not ahead, but the toes are ahead due to the muqtadi’s feet being bigger or his toes being longer, then this will not be regarded as being in front of the imam. In this case, his following the imam will be correct.
8. The muqtadi must have a knowledge of the movements of the imam. Movements such as the bowing, standing, prostrating and sitting postures. This knowledge could either be based on looking at the imam, listening to his voice, the voice of a mukabbir (person who conveys the takbirs of the imam when the congregation is generally very large and there is no mike system) or by looking at another muqtadi. If themuqtadi does not have knowledge of the movements of the imam, either because of a barrier between them or for some other reason, then his following the imam will not be correct. However, if there is a barrier such as a curtain or wall, but the muqtadi has knowledge of the movements of the imam, then following the imam will be correct.
If it is not known as to whether the imam is a musafir or not, but due to certain indications the muqtadi feels that he is not a musafir – on condition that he is in the city or town and he offers his salaat as a musafir, i.e. if it is a four rakaat salaat, he makes salaam after two rakaats, and the muqtadi suspects that this salaam of the imam is for sahw – then in this case, this muqtadi must complete his four rakaats and thereafter it will be wajib on him to find out about the state of the imam as to whether he made salaam because of sahw or because he was a musafir. If after finding out, he learnt that he was a musafir, his salaat will be valid. But if it was for sahw, the muqtadi will have to repeat his salaat. If the muqtadi did not make any inquiries but offered his salaat in that doubt and went away, then even in this case he will have to repeat his salaat.
If the muqtadi feels that the imam is not a musafir, and he is not performing his salaat in the city or town but out of it, and he performs the four rakaat salaat as a musafir – and the muqtadi suspects that the imammade salaam for sahw, then even in this case he should offer his full four rakaats and it will be better for him to inquire about the state of the imam. If he does not make any inquiries, his salaat will not become invalid. This is because the fact that the imam is outside the city or town shows that he is obviously a musafir. As for the muqtadi’s suspicion that he made salaam for sahw, this is not something that is obvious or apparent. Therefore, in this case it will not be necessary to make any inquiries.
Similarly, if the imam performs a four rakaat salaat in the city, town or in any jungle, etc. and the muqtadi suspects that he is a musafir – but the imam performs the full four rakaats, it will not be wajib on themuqtadi to make any inquiries. As for the fajr and maghrib salaats, under no circumstances will it be necessary to inquire as to whether the imam is a musafir or not. This is because the musafir and the muqeem are equal for these two salaats.
To put it briefly, it will only be necessary to make inquiries in one instance. That is, when the imam is in the city, town or some other place, and performs only two rakaats for a four rakaat salaat and the muqtadisuspects that he made salaam for sahw.
9. The muqtadi has to be with the imam in all the postures except the qira’at. This is irrespective of whether he carries them out with the imam, after the imam or before the imam – as long as the imam is with him till the end of that posture. Example of the first instance: he makes ruku, sajdah, etc. with the imam. Example of the second instance: the imam makes ruku and stands up. Thereafter the muqtadi makes ruku. Example of the third instance: he goes into ruku before the imam, but stays for so long in ruku that he even gets the ruku of the imam.
If the muqtadi is not with the imam in any particular posture, for example, the imam makes ruku and the muqtadi does not make, or the imam makes two sajdahs and the muqtadi only makes one, or he goes into a particular posture before the imam and does not get the imam till the end of that posture – for example, he goes into ruku before the imam and stands up before the imam can even go into ruku – then in all these cases, his following the imam will not be valid.
10. The state of the muqtadi must be inferior or equal to that of the imam. Examples are as follows:
a) The one who is able to stand can follow the person who is unable to stand and offer his salaat. In the Shariah, the sitting of one who is excused is equal to standing.
b) The one who has made wudu or ghusl can follow the one who has made tayammum irrespective of whether this tayammum was made for wudu or for ghusl. This is because the rule concerning tayammum, wudu, and ghusl is equal in tahaarat. One is not inferior or superior to the other.
c) The one who has washed his limbs can follow the one who has made masah irrespective of whether he made masah on his leather socks or on his bandage. This is because the one who washes and the one who makes masah are equal in purity. No one is higher than the other.
d) The one who is a ma’zur can follow another person who is also a ma’zur on the condition that both are ma’zur for the same reason. For example, both have the sickness of continuous dripping of urine or both have the sickness of continuous passing of wind.
e) An ummi can follow another person who is also an ummi on condition that there is no one who is a qari among the muqtadis.
f) Women and immature children can follow an imam who is mature and a male.
g) A woman can offer salaat behind another woman.
h) An immature male or immature female can follow an immature male.
i) A person who offers a nafl salaat can read behind one who is offering a wajib salaat. For example, a person has already offered his zuhr salaat and he goes and follows another person who is offering his zuhr salaat. Or, for example, a person has already offered his eid salaat and he goes and joins the jama’at again.
j) It is permissible for a person offering nafl salaat to follow another person who is also offering a nafl salaat.
k) A person who is offering a salaat of qasm (oath) can also follow one who is offering a nafl salaat. This is because the salaat of qasm is also regarded as a nafl salaat. For example, a person takes an oath that he will offer two rakaats of salaat and thereafter he goes and offers two rakaats of salaat behind a person who is offering a nafl salaat. His salaat will be valid and he would have fulfilled his oath.
l) It is permissible for the person who is offering the salaat of nazr (vow) to follow another person who is also offering the salaat of nazr on condition that the nazr of both is the same. For example, a person made anazr and another person says that he is making the same nazr that the other person made. But if this is not the case and one person made a separate nazr for two rakaats for example, and the other person made some other nazr, then none of them can follow the other.
In brief, if the muqtadi is “inferior” or equal to the imam, his following the imam will be valid. We will now mention those instances when the muqtadi is “superior” to the imam, either with certainty or on the possibility that he is “superior” – whereby his following the imam will not be valid.
a) It is not permissible to follow an immature person irrespective of whether the person following is a male or a female.
b) It is not permissible to follow a female irrespective of whether the person following is a mature or immature male.
c) A hermaphrodite cannot offer salaat behind another hermaphrodite. A hermaphrodite is one in whom the male and female characteristics are so conflicting that it is difficult to say with certainty whether he is a man or a woman. This type of creation is very rare and infrequent.
d) A woman who does not remember the period of her haid cannot follow another woman who is like her. In both these instances, there is the possibility that the muqtadi is “superior” to the imam. It will therefore not be permissible to follow them. In the first instance, it is possible that the imam who is a hermaphrodite could be a female; and the hermaphrodite who is the muqtadi could be a male. Similarly, in the second case, it is possible that the woman who is the imam is in her period of haid while the one who is the muqtadi could be in her period of purity.
e) A hermaphrodite cannot follow a woman because there is a possibility of the hermaphrodite being a man.
f) A person who is conscious and in his senses cannot follow the person who is a lunatic, intoxicated, unconscious or mentally deranged.
f) A person who is taahir cannot follow one who is a ma’zur, eg. the person who has the sickness of continuous dripping of urine, etc.
g) A person who is ma’zur on account of one sickness cannot follow the one who is ma’zur on account of two sicknesses. For example, a person who passes wind continuously cannot follow the person who passes wind continuously and who also has the sickness of continuous dripping of urine.
h) A person who is ma’zur because of a particular type of sickness cannot follow the one who is ma’zur because of another type of sickness. For example, a person who has the sickness of continuous dripping of urine cannot follow one who has the sickness of continuous bleeding of the nose.
i) A qari cannot follow an ummi. In this context, a qari refers to that person who can read a certain amount from the Quran whereby salaat will be regarded as valid, and an ummi is one who cannot even do this.
j) It is not permissible for an ummi to follow another person who is also an ummi while there is another muqtadi who is a qari. This is because the salaat of the ummi imam will become invalid, since it was possible to make that qari the imam and his recitation would have been sufficient for all the muqtadis. But now that the ummi imam’s salaat has become invalid, all the other muqtadis salaat will also become invalid and among them was that ummi muqtadi as well.
k) It is not permissible for an ummi to follow a person who is dumb. This is because although the ummi cannot recite, he can still get the opportunity to learn while the dumb person does not have the power to even do this.
l) A person who has covered the necessary portions of his body cannot follow one who is naked.
m) A person who is able to go into ruku and sajdah cannot follow one who cannot execute these postures. It is also not permissible to follow one who cannot go into sajdah only.
n) It is not permissible for the one who is offering a fard salaat to follow the person who is offering a nafl salaat.
o) A person who is offering a salaat of nazr cannot follow the person who is offering a nafl salaat. This is because the nazr salaat is wajib.
p) A person who is offering a salaat of nazr cannot follow the person who is offering a salaat of qasm. For example, if a person takes a qasm that he will offer four rakaats of salaat today and another person had made a nazr for four rakaats. If the person who made the nazr follows this person, his salaat will not be valid because the salaat of nazr is wajib while that of qasm is nafl. This is because it is not wajib to fulfil theqasm. It is also possible for him to give kaffarah and not offer the salaat.
q) A person who can pronounce the letters clearly and correctly cannot follow the person who cannot pronounce the letters clearly. For example, he pronounces the “seen” as “thaa” or the “raa” as “ghayn” or any other similar mispronunciation. However, if he mispronounces one or two words in the entire recitation, it will be permissible to follow him.
11. The imam must not be a munfarid as a compulsion (wajibul infiraad). In other words, it is not permissible to follow a person who has to be a munfarid at that particular time. For example, the person who misses one or two rakaats of the congregation has to stand up and complete the rakaats which he missed. It is necessary for him to do this alone. So if another person goes and follows this person, his following him will not be valid.
12. The imam must not be a muqtadi of another person. In other words, a person who is a muqtadi himself should not be made an imam. This is irrespective of whether he is a muqtadi in reality, such as a mudrik; or he is a muqtadi in principle, such as a laahiq. The laahiq is regarded as a muqtadi in those rakaats which he did not offer with the imam. Therefore, if anyone follows a mudrik or laahiq, his following will not be permissible. Similarly, it will not be permissible for a masbuq to follow a laahiq or vice versa.
If any of these twelve conditions are not found in a muqtadi, then his following will not be permissible. And when the muqtadi’s following is not valid, then the salaat in which he followed someone will also not be valid.
The Rules of Jama’at
1. Jama’at is a prerequisite for the salaats of jumu’ah and the two eids. In other words, these salaats are not valid when offered alone.
2. Jama’at is wajib for the five daily salaats as long as there is no valid excuse. It is sunnat-e-mu’akkadah for the taraweeh salaat even if one complete Quran has already been recited with jama’at. It is also sunnat-e-mu’akkadah for salaat-e-kusuf. It is mustahab for the witr salaat in Ramadaan. Apart from Ramadaan, witr salaat with jama’at is makruh-e-tanzihi at any other time. This is if it is offered regularly. If it is not offered regularly and occasionally a few persons get together and offer it with jama’at, then it will not be makruh. If salaat-e-kusuf and all the other nafl salaats are offered with the importance that is given to the jama’at of the fard salaats, i.e. by giving adhaan, iqaamah or by gathering the people through any other way – then it will be makruh-e-tahrimi. However, if a few people get together and offer a nafl salaat in jama’at without giving adhaan or iqaamah and without calling the people, then there will be no harm in this. But even then, this should not be done regularly.
3. In the same way, it is also makruh-e-tahrimi to make a second jama’at for the fard salaats with these four conditions:
i) The musjid is a mahalli musjid and it is not on the main road. A mahalli musjid is a musjid in which the imam and musallis are appointed.
ii) The first jama’at was offered with a loud adhaan and iqaamah.
iii) The first jama’at was offered by those people who stay in that residential area and who have some influence over the day to day affairs of that musjid.
iv) The second jama’at is offered in the same position and with the same care and attention as the first jama’at was offered.
This fourth condition is according to Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alayh. According to Imam Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alayh, it will remain makruh even if the position was changed.
If the second jama’at is not offered in the musjid but in a house, it will not be makruh. Similarly, if any of these four conditions are not found, it will not be makruh. For example, if the musjid is on the main road and not a mahalli musjid, as has been explained above, then not only a second jama’at, but even a third or fourth jama’at will not be makruh. Or, if the first jama’at was not offered after saying the adhaan and iqaamahwith a loud voice, the second jama’at will not be makruh. Or, if the first jama’at was not offered by those who live in that residential area, nor do they have any influence over the day to day affairs of that musjid, then the second jama’at will not be makruh. Or, according to Imam Abu Yusuf rahamatullahi alayh, if the position of the second jama’at was not the same as the first jama’at whereby that place where the imam of the first jama’at had stood, the imam of the second jama’at moved away from that place and performed the salaat on another spot, then the position will be regarded as being changed, and according to Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alayh, the jama’at will not be makruh. Note: Although the practice of the people is on the opinion of Imam Abu Yusuf rahamatullahi alayh, the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alayh is also based on a strong proof. The laxity and laziness in Deeni matters, especially in regards to the jama’at, also demands that a fatwa be passed making the second jama’at makruh even after changing the position of the second jama’at. If this is not done, people will intentionally miss out the first jama’at and say that they can always make a second jama’at.
Masa’il Connected to the Imam and Muqtadi
1. It is the duty of the muqtadis to choose the person who possesses the best characteristics from among all those who are present and to appoint him as the imam. If there are several people who are worthy ofimaamat and they are all equal, then they should act according to the decision of the majority. That is, they should choose the person whom the majority of the people prefer. If they choose someone who is less capable despite there being a person who is more capable, they will be guilty of abandoning the sunnah.
2. The person who is most worthy of imaamat is that person who has a thorough knowledge of the masa’il of salaat as long as he does not have any outward characteristics of fisq (immorality), he knows the specified number of verses for recitation, and recites the Quran correctly. After him, the person who recites the Quran according to the rules that have been laid down. Thereafter, the person who is the most pious. Thereafter, the person who is the most senior in age. Thereafter, the person who is most courteous. Thereafter, the person who is the most handsome. Thereafter, the person who is the most noble. Thereafer, the person who has the best voice. Thereafter, the person who is the most well-dressed. Thereafer, the person who has the largest head as long as it is in proportion to his body. Thereafter, preference is given to themuqeem over the musafir. Thereafter, the person who was born as a free person. Thereafter, the person who made tayammum for hadath-e-asghar is given preference over the person who made tayammum forhadath-e-akbar. But according to some, the person who made tayammum for hadath-e-akbar is given preference.
The person in whom two qualities are found is given preference over the person in whom only one quality is found. For example, the person who knows the masa’il of salaat and also recites the Quran correctly has preference over the person who only knows the masa’il of salaat and cannot read the Quran correctly.
3. If jama’at is made in a house, the person whose house it is has more right of imaamat over the others. Thereafter, the person whom he appoints as an imam. However, if the owner of the house is a jaahil, and the other persons have knowledge of the masa’il, they will have the right of imaamat.
4. If there is an imam who is appointed in a particular musjid, then in his presence no one else has the right of imaamat. However, if he appoints anyone else as the imam, there will be no harm in this.
5. In the presence of the Qadi, i.e. the ruler of the Islamic state, no one else has the right of imaamat.
6. It is makruh-e-tahrimi to make imaamat without the happiness of the people. However, if that person is the most qualified person for imaamat, i.e. no one else has the qualities of imaamat as he possesses, then it will not be makruh for him. Instead, whoever is unhappy with his imaamat will be in the wrong.
7. It is makruh-e-tahrimi to appoint a faasiq or a bid’atee as an imam. However, if (Allah forbid) there is no one else apart from these people, then it will not be makruh. In the same way, if the bid’atee or the faasiqis a powerful person and they are unable to remove him, or there is a fear of great discord or dissension, even then it will not be makruh on the muqtadis.
8. It is makruh-e-tanzihi to appoint the following persons as an imam: (a) a slave who is regarded as a slave in Islamic jurisprudence and not the one who is bought at the time of a famine,etc. even if he has been freed, (b) a villager, (c) a blind person who is not conscious of the laws of purity and impurity, (d) a person who cannot see well at night, (e) a waladuz zina, i.e. a person who was born out of an illicit relationship. However, if all these persons are possessors of knowledge and virtue, and people do not mind appointing them as imams, then it will not be makruh. It is also makruh-e-tanzihi to appoint a handsome youth whose beard has not appeared as yet, and also a person who has no intellect.
9. It is wajib on all the muqtadis to be in conformity with the imam in all the fara’id and wajibaat of salaat. However, it is not wajib to be in conformity with him in the sunnats. Based on this, if the imam is a follower of the Shafi’i school of thought and he raises his hands at the time of going into ruku and coming up from ruku, then it is not necessary for the Hanafee muqtadis to raise their hands. This is because the raising of the hands is sunnah even according to them. Similarly, if the Shafi’i imam reads the qunut in the fajr salaat, it is not necessary for the Hanafee muqtadis to do the same. However, since qunut is wajib inwitr salaat, and the Shafi’i imam will read it after standing up from ruku, the Hanafee muqtadis should also read it after the ruku.
10. It is makruh-e-tahrimi for the imam to recite very long Surahs which are more than the recommended amount, or to stay for very long periods in the ruku and sajdah postures. Instead, the imam should take into consideration the need, necessities, and weakness of the muqtadis. He should make his qira’ah after taking into consideration the condition of the person who is the weakest of all of them. In fact, if there is a great urgency, it will be preferable for him to make his recitation even shorter than the recommended amount. This is so that people do not find any difficulty which could be a cause for a decrease in the jama’at.
11. If there is only one muqtadi who is a male or an immature boy, he should stand in line with or slightly behind the imam to the right of the imam. It is makruh to stand on the left hand side of the imam (or directly behind him – in this case).
12. If there is more than one muqtadi, they should stand behind the imam. If there are two muqtadis, it would be makruh-e-tanzihi for them to stand on either side of the imam. And if there are more than two muqtadis, it would be makruh-e-tahrimi to do so. This is because when there are more than two muqtadis, it is wajib for the imam to stand in front.
13. At the time of commencing the jama’at there was only one muqtadi and he stood to the right of the imam. Thereafter, more muqtadis joined the jama’at. The first muqtadi should step back so that all the muqtadis could get together and stand behind the imam. If he does not move back, the other muqtadis should pull him back. But if the muqtadis unintentionally stand to the right and left of the imam and do not pull the first muqtadi back, then in this case the imam should step forward so that all the muqtadis could get together and stand behind him. Similarly, if there is no place to move backwards, it will be the duty of the imam to step forward. But if the muqtadi is unaware of the masa’il, as is generally the case today, then it will not be advisable to move him because it is possible that he may do something which may break his salaat.
14. If the muqtadi is a woman or an immature girl, she should stand behind the imam irrespective of whether there is only one woman or several women.
15. If there are different types of muqtadis, i.e. a few men, a few women and a few children, then it is the duty of the imam to arrange their saffs in the following order: firstly he should arrange the saffs of the men, thereafter the saffs of the immature boys, thereafter the saffs of the women, and lastly the saffs of the immature girls.
16. It is the duty of the imam to straighten the saffs. That is, he should stop the people from standing unevenly, and he should order them to stand straight. They should stand next to each other and should not leave any gaps within the saff itself.
17. It is makruh for a person to stand alone in a saff. Instead, in such a case, he should pull a person back who is standing in the saff in front of him and make him stand in line with him. But if there is the possibility that the person will disrupt his salaat or take this unkindly, then he should not do this.
18. It is makruh to stand in a new saff if there is place in the first saff. Once the saff is complete, then only should one stand in a new saff.
19. It is makruh-e-tahrimi for a man to make imamat of women in a place where there is no other man or where there is no mahram female such as his wife, mother, sister, etc. If there is another man or mahramfemale, it will not be makruh.
20. A person is offering the fard of fajr, maghrib or esha salaat alone and he is offering his salaat silently. If a person joins him and follows him while he is in this salaat, then there are two alternatives in this: (i) this person makes this intention in his heart that he is now becoming the imam so that his salaat may be offered with jama’at, (ii) he does not make this intention but continues thinking to himself that although this person has come and stood behind me, I am still offering my salaat alone. In the first case, the moment he makes his intention, it will be wajib for him to start reciting in a loud voice. If he had already recited a part ofSurah Faatihah or any other Surah silently, he should start reciting them aloud the moment he makes his intention. This is because it is wajib on the imam to make the qira’at in a loud voice for the fajr, maghrib andesha salaats. As for the second case, it is not wajib to make the qira’at in a loud voice and even the salaat of that muqtadi will remain valid. This is because it is not necessary for the imam to make an intention ofimamat in order for the salaat to be valid.
21. If the imam or the munfarid is offering his salaat at home or in an open field, it is mustahab for him to place an object which is equal to one arm or more in length and equal to one finger or more in thickness in front of him either on his right or left side. This object is called a sutra. However, if he is offering his salaat in a musjid or in a place where people will not pass in front of him, then there is no need to do this. Thesutra of the imam will suffice for all the muqtadis. Once the sutra has been placed, there is no sin in walking beyond the sutra. But if someone walks within the sutra, he will be committing a sin.
22. A laahiq is that muqtadi who misses a few or all his rakaats after having joined the jama’at, irrespective of whether he has an excuse or not. Example where he has an excuse: he falls asleep in his salaat and thereby misses a few rakaats, or he is unable to make ruku and sajdah because of the large number of people, or his wudu breaks and while he is gone to make his wudu he misses a few rakaats. (In salaatul khauf, the first group is regarded as the laahiq. Similarly, the muqeem who follows an imam who is a musafir and who is making qasr, is regarded as a laahiq after the completion of the salaat of the imam). Example where he has no excuse: he goes into ruku or sajdah before the imam and even comes up before him, on account of which his rakaat is not considered to be valid. With regard to that rakaat, he will be regarded as alaahiq. It is wajib on the laahiq to complete the rakaats which he had missed first. After completing them, he should join the jama’at if it is still in progress, if not, he should offer the balance of his salaat as well.
23. The laahiq will also be regarded as a muqtadi for the rakaats which he had missed. That is, just as a muqtadi does not make qira’at but merely stands silently, the laahiq will also do this. And just as the muqtadidoes not make sajdah-e-sahw when he makes any mistake, so is the case with the laahiq.
24. The masbuq, i.e. the one who has missed a few rakaats, should join the imam and offer whatever is left of his salaat with the jama’at. Once the imam completes his salaat, the masbuq should stand up and complete the rakaats which he had missed.
25. The masbuq has to offer his missed rakaats as a munfarid with qira’at. And if he makes any mistake in these rakaats, it is also necessary for him to make sajdah-e-sahw.
26. The masbuq should offer his missed rakaats in the following order: he should first offer those rakaats in which there is qira’at and then those which have no qira’at. As for the rakaats which he has offered with the imam, he should sit for them accordingly. That is, after counting the rakaats, he should make his first qa’dah after the one that is second. He should make his last qa’dah after his third rakaat if the salaat is a three rakaat salaat (such as maghrib). Examples: a person joined the jama’at for zuhr salaat when three rakaats had already been completed. When the imam makes salaam at the end of the salaat, this person should stand up and offer the three rakaats which he missed in the following manner: in the first rakaat he should recite Surah Faatihah, another Surah, make his ruku and sajdahs and then sit down for his first qa’dah. He has to sit down because this rakaat is regarded as his second rakaat after combining it with the rakaat that he had offered with the imam. Thereafter, he should offer his second rakaat and recite Surah Faatihah and another Surah in it as well. After this second rakaat he should not sit down because this rakaat is regarded as his third rakaat after joining it to the previous two. Thereafter, he should offer his third rakaat without reciting another Surah after having recited Surah Faatihah because this rakaat was not a rakaat of qira’at. After this rakaat, he should sit down because this is his last qa’dah.
27. A person is a laahiq and a masbuq as well. Example, he joined the jama’at after a few rakaats and after joining in, he also misses some rakaats. He should first offer those rakaats which he missed after joining, i.e. in which he was a laahiq. However, he should offer these as if he is following the imam, i.e. he should not make qira’at and he should offer his salaat in the same order as that of the imam. Thereafter, if the jama’at is still in progress, he should join it. If not, he should also offer the balance of his salaat after having read those rakaats in which he was a masbuq. Example: a person joined the asr salaat after one rakaat. Upon joining the jama’at, his wudu broke so he went to repeat his wudu. In the meantime, the salaat ended. He should first offer those three rakaats which he missed out after having joined the jama’at. Thereafter, he should offer the one rakaat which he had missed before joining the jama’at. He should offer those three rakaats as a muqtadi, i.e. he should not make qira’at and he should sit down after the first of those three rakaats. This is because this is the second rakaat of the imam and he (imam) had sat in this rakaat. Thereafter, he should not sit in the second rakaat because this is actually the third rakaat of the imam. Thereafter, he should sit down in the third rakaat because this is actually the fourth rakaat of the imam and he had sat in this rakaat. Thereafter, he should offer that rakaat which he had missed before joining the jama’at, and he should also sit in this rakaat because it is his fourth rakaat. He also has to make qira’at in this rakaat because he is a masbuq in this rakaat and a masbuq is regarded as a munfarid in the rakaats which he missed.
28. It is sunnah for the muqtadis to follow the imam in all the postures without any delay. The takbeer-e-tahreemah, ruku, standing after ruku, sajdahs – all have to be carried out with the imam. In other words, every act has to be carried out simultaneously with every act of the imam. However, if the imam stands up from the first qa’dah before the muqtadis could complete their at-tahiyyaat, the muqtadis should complete their at-tahiyyaat first and then stand up. Similarly, if the imam makes salaam in the last qa’dah before the muqtadis could complete their at-tahiyyaat, they should complete their at-tahiyyaat first and then makesalaam. However, if the muqtadis have not read their tasbeehs in the ruku and sajdahs, they should still stand up with the imam.
Masa’il Related to Joining and Not Joining the Jama’at
1. If a person reaches the musjid of his area or the musjid nearest to his home at a time when the jama’at is over, then it is mustahab for him to go to another musjid with the intention of getting the jama’at over there. He also has the choice of returning home, getting his house-folk together and making jama’at with them.
2. If a person has already offered his fard salaat alone at home and then sees that the same fard salaat is being offered with jama’at, he should go and join that jama’at. This is on condition that it is the time of zuhror esha. He should not join the jama’at if it is the time of fajr, asr or maghrib. This is because it is makruh to offer nafl salaat after fajr and asr salaat. And as for maghrib salaat, it is makruh because it will be considered to be a nafl salaat and we do not get a nafl salaat of three rakaats.
3. If a person has already commenced with offering his fard salaat and the jama’at also commences with the same fard salaat, then the following rules will apply: if that fard salaat is a two rakaat salaat, such asfajr salaat, then the rule is that he should break his salaat and join the jama’at if he has not made the sajdah for the first rakaat as yet. If he has made the sajdah for the first rakaat and has not made the sajdah for the second rakaat as yet, he should still break his salaat and join the jama’at. And if he has already made the sajdahs for the second rakaat, he should complete both the rakaats. If it is a three rakaat salaat, such asmaghrib salaat, then the rule is that if he has not made the sajdah for the second rakaat as yet, he should break his salaat. If he has already made the sajdah for the second rakaat, he should complete his salaat and should not join the jama’at because it is not permissible to offer a nafl salaat of three rakaats.
If it is a four rakaat salaat, such as zuhr, asr, and esha, then the rule is that if he has not made the sajdah for the first rakaat, he should break his salaat. If he has made the sajdah, he should sit down after the second rakaat, read the at-tahiyyaat, make salaam, and join the jama’at. And if he has commenced with his third rakaat, but has not made the sajdah for it as yet, he should break his salaat. If he has made the sajdah, he should complete his salaat.
In those instances where he completed his salaat, he should not join the jama’at if it is a fajr, asr or maghrib salaat. For zuhr and esha salaats he should join the jama’at. In those instances where he has to break the salaat, he should make one salaam while standing.
4. If a person has already commenced with a nafl salaat and the jama’at commences, he should not break his salaat. Instead, he should make salaam after the second rakaat even if he has made an intention for four rakaats.
5. If a person has already commenced with the sunnat-e-mu’akkadah of zuhr or jumu’ah, and the jama’at commences, then the zaahir-e-madh’hab is that he should make salaam after two rakaats and join the jama’at. But the majority of the jurists feel that it is better to complete the four rakaats. And if he has already commenced with the third rakaat, then it is necessary to complete the full four rakaats.
6. If the jama’at for fard salaat has already commenced, a person should not commence with any sunnah salaat provided that he fears that he will miss a rakaat. However, if he is certain or confident of not missing any rakaat, then he should offer the sunnah salaat. For example, the fard salaat of zuhr commences and he fears that if he had to occupy himself with the sunnah salaat he would miss a rakaat of the fard salaat. He should therefore leave out the sunnah-e-mu’akkadah before the fard salaat. After offering the fard of zuhr and jumu’ah, it will be better for him to offer the sunnah-e-mu’akkadah that is normally offered after these two salaats first, and then to offer those that are normally read before these two salaats.
As for the sunnahs of fajr salaat, since they are more important, the rule in regard to them is that even if the fard salaat has commenced, he should offer the sunnah salaat first. This is on condition that he has the hope of getting at least one rakaat of the fard salaat. But if he has no hope of getting at least one rakaat, he should not offer the sunnah salaat. If he wishes, he could offer it after sunrise.
7. A person offering the sunnah of fajr salaat fears that if he had to offer this salaat with full consideration of all the sunnahs and mustahabs of salaat, he will not get the jama’at, he should suffice with the fard andwajib acts of salaat and leave out the sunnahs and mustahabs.
8. The sunnah salaats that are being offered while the fard salaat is in progress should be offered at a place that is separate from the musjid (main jama’at area) irrespective of whether they are the sunnahs of fajr or of any other salaat,. This is because it is makruh-e-tahrimi to offer any other salaat at the place where a fard salaat is being offered. If there is no such place, it should be offered in the musjid but in some corner away from the saff.
9. If a person gets the last qa’dah of the jama’at and does not get any of the rakaats, he will still receive the reward of the jama’at.
10. If a person gets the ruku of any of the rakaats with the imam, it will be regarded as if he got that rakaat. And if he does not get that ruku, it will be regarded as though he did not get that rakaat.
Acts which Invalidate Salaat
1. To give luqmah to anyone other than the imam while one is in salaat makes that salaat invalid. To give luqmah means to correct someone who has made a mistake in reciting the Quran. Note: Since there is a difference of opinion among the jurists with regard to the masa’il of luqmah, some ulama have written special books on this subject. We are therefore mentioning a few details over here.
2. If the muqtadi gives a luqmah to his imam, his salaat will not become invalid. This is irrespective of whether the imam has recited the specified amount or not. The “specified amount” in this context refers to that amount of qira’at which is the recommended amount. But in this case, it will be better for the imam to go into ruku, as will be mentioned in the next mas’ala.
3. If the imam has recited the specified amount, he should go into ruku and should not force the muqtadis to give him luqmah. (To do so is makruh) The muqtadis should also note that as long as there is no genuine need, they should not give luqmah to the imam. (To do so is also makruh) Here “genuine need” means that the imam wishes to continue forward despite making a mistake, or that he does not go into ruku, or that he keeps silent and remains standing. Even if they correct him without any “genuine need”, the salaat will not become invalid – as has been mentioned in the previous mas’alas.
4. If a person gives luqmah to another person who is in salaat and the person who gave the luqmah was not his muqtadi – irrespective of whether he was offering any salaat or not – then if the person accepts theluqmah then his salaat will become invalid. However, if the person remembers on his own, either at the same time when the luqmah was given or prior to that, or he was not influenced by the luqmah from the back, but reads from his memory, then the salaat of the one to whom luqmah was given will not become invalid.
5. If a person who is offering salaat gives luqmah to someone who is not his imam, irrespective of whether the latter is offering salaat or not, then the former’s salaat will become invalid.
6. If the muqtadi gives luqmah to the imam by hearing the recitation of someone else or by looking into the Quran, his salaat will become invalid. And if the imam accepts this luqmah, his salaat will also become invalid. If after looking into the Quran or by hearing the recitation of someone else, the muqtadi remembers the verse and gives the luqmah based on his memory, then the salaat will not become invalid.
7. Similarly, if a person is offering his salaat and recites one verse after looking into the Quran, his salaat will still become invalid. And if he had known this verse before looking into the Quran, his salaat will not become invalid. Alternatively, he did not remember this verse previously, but looked at less than the complete verse, then too his salaat will not become invalid.
8. If a woman stands near a man in such a way that any part of her body comes in line with any part of the body of the man, then the salaat will become invalid. So much so that when she goes into sajdah and her head comes in line with his feet, even then the salaat will become invalid. However, for the salaat to become invalid, the following conditions have to be found:
i) The woman is mature (irrespective of whether she is young or old), or she is immature but old enough for sexual intercourse. If a very young immature girl is in line with a man in salaat, the salaat will not become invalid.
ii) Both, man and woman, have to be in salaat. If any one of them is not in salaat and they come in line, the salaat will not become invalid.
iii) There must be no barrier between the two. If there is a curtain between the two, a sutra, or there is such a gap between the two that one person can stand there without any difficulty, the salaat will not become invalid.
iv) All the prerequisites for the salaat to be valid have to be found in the woman. If a woman is a lunatic, in the state of menstruation or nifaas, then her coming in line with the man will not make the salaat invalid because she herself will not be considered to be in salaat.
v) The salaat must not be a janaazah salaat. Being in line with a man in janaazah salaat will not invalidate the salaat.
vi) Being in line has to be to the extent of one rukn of salaat. If it is any less, the salaat will not become invalid. For example, they stand in line for such a short period of time that the ruku or anything else cannot be made, and thereafter she goes away. This little while will not invalidate the salaat.
vii) The takbeer-e-tahreemah of both is the same. That is, this woman is a muqtadi of that man, or this man and woman are the muqtadis of a third person.
viii) At the time of commencing the salaat, the imam had made the intention of imamat for the woman or made this intention in the midst of his salaat when she joined the jama’at. If the imam did not make an intention of imamat for her, the salaat will not become invalid. Instead, only her salaat will not be valid.
9. If the imam’s wudu breaks and he leaves the musjid without appointing anyone as his deputy, the salaat of all the muqtadis will become invalid.
10. The imam appointed such a person as his deputy who does not possess the requirements to be an imam. For example, he appointed a lunatic, an immature child or a woman. In this case, everyone’s salaat will become invalid.
11. If a woman kisses her husband while he is in salaat then his salaat will not become invalid. However, if at the time of being kissed, the man is overtaken by passion, then his salaat will become invalid. If a woman is in her salaat and a man kisses her, then her salaat will become invalid irrespective of whether he kissed her with desire or not, and irrespective of whether she was overcome by passion or not.
12. If a person tries to pass in front of a musalli, it is permissible for the musalli to push him aside or to stop him from this act. This is on condition that this act of stopping him does not involve a lot of movement. If it involves a lot of movement, his salaat will become invalid.