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 How to follow the imaam in prayer

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ummUthaymeen As-Somaliyah

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How to follow the imaam in prayer Empty
InläggRubrik: How to follow the imaam in prayer   How to follow the imaam in prayer Emptyons nov 26, 2008 1:27 pm

Från: Umm_Amatillaah (Ursprungligt meddelande) Skickat: 2006-04-19 16:23
As Salaam Alaykum Wa Rahmatuallah Wa Barakaatuh

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From: "Abu Zakariya |" <>
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 10:41:46 +0100
Subject: [] How to Follow the Imaam in Prayer

How to Follow the Imaam in Prayer

Shaykh Muhammad ibn al-‘Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah) said in ash-Sharh al-Mumti’:

When a person prays behind an imaam, four scenarios may apply:

1 – Anticipation (doing a movement before the imaam)

2 – Delay

3 – Doing an action simultaneously with the imaam

4 – Following


1 – Anticipation

This refers to the person doing one of the essential parts of prayer before the imaam, such as prostrating or rising before the imaam, or bowing or rising from bowing before him. This is haraam, and the evidence for that is the words of the Prophet (sall-Allaahu 'alayhi wa sallam): “Do not bow until he bows, do not prostrate until he prostrates.” The basic principle is that the words “do not” indicate that the action is haraam, and if someone were to say that it is a major sin, that would not be farfetched, because the Prophet (sall-Allaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “Does the one who raises his head before the imaam not fear that Allaah may turn his head into the head of a donkey, or make his form like that of a donkey?” This is a warning, and a warning is one of the signs that a sin is a major sin.

Ruling on the prayer of one who anticipates the imaam:

If a person anticipates the imaam knowingly, aware of the ruling and of what he is doing, then his prayer is invalid. But if he is ignorant or forgot, then his prayer is valid, unless that excuse ceased to exist before the imaam did that action, in which case he has to go back and repeat what he did before the imaam, after the imaam. If he does not do that, knowing the ruling and aware of what he is doing, then his prayer is invalid, otherwise it is not.

2 – Delay

There are two kinds of delay in following the imaam:

(i) Delay for a reason

(ii) Delay without any excuse

The first kind is where there is a reason or excuse. He has to make up what he delayed, then he should follow the imaam, and there will be no blame on him, even if it is one or two essential parts of the prayer. So if a person is distracted or loses focus, or did not hear the imaam until the imaam has done one or two essential parts of the prayer before him, then he should do the things that he delayed in and then follow the imaam, unless the imaam reaches the point where he is [in the rak’ah], in which case he should not make up the missing parts and he should stay with the imaam. Then one rak’ah will be valid for him which is formed from two rak’ahs of the imaam, the rak’ah in which he delayed and the rak’ah which the imaam reached the same point as him. An example of that is:

A man was praying with the imaam and the imaam bowed, rose, prostrated, sat up, prostrated a second time and stood up, but the person praying behind him did not hear the loudspeaker except in the second rak’ah, because the electricity cut out for example. Let us assume that this was during Jumu’ah prayer, so he heard the imaam reciting al-Faatihah, then the electricity cut out, and the imaam completed the first rak’ah, but the person remained standing thinking that the imaam had not yet bowed in the first rak’ah, then he heard him reciting “Has there come to you the narration of the overwhelming (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)?” [al-Ghaashiyah 88:1 – interpretation of the meaning].

We say: you should stay with the imaam, so the second rak’ah for the imaam will be the rest of the first rak’ah for you. Then when the imaam says the tasleem, you should make up the second rak’ah. The scholars said: so the person praying behind the imaam will have one rak’ah that is formed from the two rak’ahs of his imaam, because followed the imaam in part of the first and part of the second.

If he realizes that he has lagged behind before the imaam reaches the same point [in the second rak’ah], he should make it up and follow the imaam. For example:

A man is standing with the imaam, and the imaam bows but he does not hear that he is bowing. When the imaam says “Sami’a Allaahu liman hamida” [Allaah hears those who praise Him – said when rising from bowing], when the person praying behind him hears that, we say to him: Bow and rise, and follow your imaam, and you will have caught up with the rak’ah, because the delay here was for a reason.

The second type is delaying with no excuse.

Delaying with regard to an essential part of the prayer means lagging behind in following the imaam, but catching up with him in the next essential part of the prayer. For example, the imaam bows when you still have a verse or two left of the soorah you are reciting, so you remain standing to complete what you still have to recite, but then you bow and catch up with the imaam in rukoo’. In this case the rak’ah is valid, but your action goes against the Sunnah, because what is prescribed is to start bowing when the imaam reaches the bowing posture and not to lag behind, because the Prophet (sall-Allaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “When he bows, then bow.”

Lagging behind in an essential part of the prayer means that the imaam is one step ahead of you in the prayer, i.e., he bows and rises before you bow. The fuqaha’ (rahimahumullaah) said: if you lag behind in rukoo’ then your prayer is invalid, just as if you did rukoo’ before the imaam. If you lag behind in sujood (prostration) then according to what the fuqaha’ say your prayer is valid, because it is lagging behind in an essential part of the prayer other than rukoo’.

But the correct view is that if a person lags behind the imaam in any essential part of the prayer with no excuse, then his prayer is invalid, whether that is in rukoo’ or any other part of the prayer. Based on this, if the imaam rises from the first prostration and this person who is praying behind him is making du’aa’ in sujood and continues to make du’aa’ until the imaam prostrates for the second time, then his prayer is invalid, because he has lagged behind in an essential part of the prayer. If the imaam is one step ahead of him, how can he then be following him?

3 – Doing an action simultaneously with the imaam

This refers either to word or actions, and falls into two categories:

The first category is say words simultaneously. This does not matter, except in the case of the takbeerat al-ihraam (saying “Allaahu akbar” to start the prayer) and the salaam (at the end of the prayer).

With regard to the first takbeer, if you say takbeer before the imaam has completed his takbeerat al-ihraam, you have not entered prayer in the first place, because it is essential to say the takbeerat al-ihraam after the imaam has finished saying it completely.

With regard to the salaam, the scholars said that it is makrooh to say the first and second salaam at the same time as your imaam, but if you say the first salaam after he has said the first salaam and the second salaam after he has said the second salaam, there is nothing wrong with this, but it is better not to say the salaam until the imaam has said both.

With regard to all other words of the prayer, it does not matter if you say them simultaneously with the imaam, or before him, or after him. If we assume that you hear the imaam reciting the tashahhud, and you have already recited it, this does not matter, because anticipating the imaam in the words of prayer, apart from the first takbeer and the salaam, does not affect the prayer. Similarly it does not matter if you recite al-Faatihah before him and say Wa laa’l-daalleen “nor of those who went astray” [al-Faatihaah 1:7 – interpretation of the meaning], whilst he is still reciting Iyyaaka na’abudu wa iyyaaka nasta’een “You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything)” [al-Faatihaah 1:7 – interpretation of the meaning], in Zuhr prayer, for example, because it is prescribed in Zuhr and ‘Asr prayer for the imaam to let the people hear the verse he is reciting sometimes, as the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to do.

The second category is to do the actions of prayer simultaneously with the imaam, and this is makrooh.

For example, when the imaam says “Allaahu akbar” for rukoo’, and starts to bend forward, and you start to bow simultaneously with the imaam, this is makrooh, because the Messenger (sall-Allaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, “When he bows, then bow, and do not bow until he bows.” And in sujood when he says takbeer for sujood, if you prostrate and reach the floor at the same time as him, this is makrooh, because the Messenger (sall-Allaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) disallowed that and said, “Do nor prostrate until he prostrates.”

4 – Following

Following is the Sunnah, and what it means is that a person starts to do the actions of prayer immediately after the imaam starts them, but without doing them at the same time.

For example, when he bows, you bow, even if you have not completed the recitation that is mustahabb [recommended, encouraged], and even if you have a verse still to go, because that would mean that you are lagging behind, so you do not complete it. In sujood, when the imaam rises from his prostration, you follow the imaam, and your following him is better than your remaining in prostration making du’aa’ to Allaah, because your prayer is connected to the imaam, and you are now enjoined to follow your imaam.

Source: Adaption of ash-Sharh al-Mumti’, 4/275


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