If the Imaam’s prayer is invalidated, will this effect the Ma’moom’s prayer?

بســـم اللــه الرحــمــن الـرحـــيــم

▪️If the Imaam’s prayer is invalidated, will this effect the Ma’moom’s prayer?▪️

Our Shaykh, Muhammad ibn Hizaam -may Allaah preserve him- was asked the following question:

? Question:

If the Imaam does something which nullifies his prayer, will that effect the prayer of the Ma’moom (those praying behind him)?

? Answer:

If the Imaam does something that invalidates his prayer deliberately, with knowledge that this matter invalidates the prayer, his prayer becomes invalidated and it is not permissible for the Ma’moom to follow him in this case.

But if he was unaware of that and the Ma’moom too was unaware, then the ruling varies depending on what exactly the Imaam did. So if he left off a pillar (of the prayer) then it is incumbent upon him to make up for what he missed, and if does something prohibited unknowingly, such as praying with unclean clothes or the likes, this won’t invalidate the prayer. In fact, every prohibited matter which one has been ordered to avoid in prayer, if one is unaware of it and does not come to know except after the prayer is complete then this will not invalidate his prayer.

If he misses a pillar (unintentionally), it’s incumbent for him to make it up; such as missing a Rak’ah or a Sajdah (prostation) or the likes; he must make up for it.

As far as the Ma’moom is concerned, then he should not follow the Imaam if he leaves off a pillar, rather he must alert the Imaam by saying, ‘subhaanAllaah’ if he makes a mistake.

In the case, where the Imaam leaves out reciting Suratul Faatihah, the Ma’moom is not going to be aware of that if it happens during the quiet prayers. In this case, this won’t have any effect on the Ma’moom’s prayer, but it’s upon the Imaam to increase an extra Rak’ah (at the end).

Therefore, each case requires a specific Fatwaa (legal verdict), but this question is very general.


Translated by:

Abu Hudhayfah Saami Al-Hindi

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