Sunday, December 9, 2012

Makmums Correcting the Imam

Bab: Salat al-Jama‘ah (مسائل تتعلق بالمأموم – التأمين و الفتح على الإمام ): Matters pertaining to Ma’mum (Saying Amien and Helping the Imam in his Recitation).

Saying the Amien (at-Ta’mien) for the Imam and Followers@Ma’mums:

It has been narrated that when the Prophet finished reciting al-Fatihah, he would say: “Amien - آمين loudly, prolonging his voice.[1]

He also used to order the congregation to say “Amien”, at the point when the imam finished reciting:     { غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوْبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَ لاَ الضّآلِّيْنَ} meaning: "Not of those who receive (Your) anger, nor of those who go astray", say “Amien” [for the angels say “Amien” and the imaam says “Amien”] (in another narration: when the imaam says “Amien”, say “Amien”), so he whose “Amien” coincides with the “Amien” of the angels (in another narration: when one of you says “Amien” in prayer and the angels in the sky say “Amien”, and they coincide), his past sins are forgiven. [2]  In another hadeets: “... then say Amien; Allah will answer you.” [3]   

He also said: “The Jews do not envy you over anything as much as they envy you over the salutation and Amien [behind the imaam]. ” [4]

From these narrations, some scholars clarified that the Ta’mien of the ma’mums is to be said aloud together, in a synchronized manner, with the Ta’mien of the imam.[5]

The Imam should be considerate to his ma’mums in his recitation after al-Fatihah.

Next, he would recite another soorah after al-Fatihah, making it long sometimes, and on other occasions making it short because of travel, cough, illness or the crying of infants.

Anas ibn Malikt said: "He made it [i.e. the recitation] short one day in the dawn prayer." (In another hadeets: he prayed the morning prayer and recited the two shortest surahs in the Qur'an.) So it was said: "O Messenger of Allah, why did you make it short?" He said: I heard the crying of a child, and I supposed that his mother was praying with us, so I wanted to free his mother for him. [6]

He also said: I enter into prayer intending to lengthen it, but I hear the crying of a child so I shorten my prayer because I know how deeply his mother feels about his crying. [7]

Shaykh al-Albaniy said: This hadeets and some other of the same meaning, is a valid proof that bringing a child to the masjid and for them (on their own) to attend the congregational prayer in the masjid are permissible. As for the popular hadeets: “Keep your children away from the masjid…” then it is a weak hadeets and a weak hadeets doesn’t stand as a source of justification, a matter that the scholars unanimously agreed. Among the scholars who graded it weak were Ibn al-Jauzi, al-Mundziriy, al-Haitsami, al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar and al-Busairiy. Whereas ‘Abdul Haq stated in his al-Isybiliy: This hadeets has no origin, fabricated.   

He used to start from the beginnning of a soorah, completing it most of the time. [8]  

Sometimes he would divide the soorah into two rak'ahs[9]  and sometimes he would repeat the same soorah in the second rak'ah[10].

Sometimes he would combine two or more soorahs in one rak'ah. [11]

Therefore,  the recitation after al-Fatihah in the first 2 raka‘ahs is based on the situation and one has the freedom to choose whichever Surah to recite. However, the best would be a tranquil (tartiel) recitation, soothing to the ears and touches the heart, such that the one who recites and the one listening concentrate in remembrance of Allah, hoping for His Blessings and fear of His Punishment. Apart from that, if one has the capacity to prolong his prayer, especially the standing while reciting the Surah, that is very highly recommended as the Prophet himself did so, if the situation permits.

Another point worthy to be mentioned is that, the majority of scholars stated that the recitation should follow the sequence of the chapters in the order of the Qur’an, as this was the practice of the Prophet, most of the time in his Salat, although this is not a must or compulsory. As an example, one should recite al-Baqarah first then al-Kafirun, whether in the same raka‘ah or in 2 separate raka‘ahs. Wallahu a’lam.[12]

Correcting the Imam or Helping him in his recitation and the manner of doing so

It is from the teaching of the Sunnah to correct the imam if he makes a mistake and to assist him in his recitation when he becomes confused or uncertain in his recitation as well to correct him in his recitation if he recited wrongly.  

Once, while leading the prayer and reciting a Surah in it, the Prophet was uncertain in his recitation. Upon completion of the Solah, he immediately turned to Ubaiy and asked him:

أ صليت معنا ؟ (قال : نعم) فما منعك [أن تفتح علي] ؟” meaning: “Did you pray with us?” Ubaiy replied: Yes! “Then what stopped you (from helping me)?[13]

There are some etiquette in correcting the imam, so that the order of the prayer will not be affected. Among others, those nearest to the imam have the priority and bear the responsibility to correct or remind the imam. Their rectification would be very clear to the imam. If none among those who are directly behind the imam corrects or reminds him, the next closest to him should do it, taking into account that priority is given to the nearest. Besides that, one should rectify only at the point where the imam made his mistake, reminding him of that specific segment which he missed or confused or went wrong. Unless the imam lost the point of rectification, then only, the ma’mum reminds him from the beginning of the verse that will make it easy for him to recall and rectify his mistake. Wallahu a‘lam.
Correcting the Imam if he forgets or makes a mistake relating to the actions of Solat

Apart from recitation, occasionally an imam forgets or makes a mistake in the actions (fi‘l) of the Solah. With the Grace of His Mercy and Eternal Wisdom, Allah made his Prophet who was the imam of his Companions, mistaken and forgotten in one or two of his prayers. 

He said: “إنما أنا بَشًرُ أَنْسَى كما تَنسَوْن ، فَإذا نَسيْتُ فَذَكِّرُوْنِي” “I am but an ordinary human being, I do forget as how you forget, so when I forget, you are to remind me.” [14]

With that, we get to learn from the example, how to correct our imam if he makes a mistake. The following are the evidences:
  1. من نابه شيء في صلاته فليقل سبحان الله ؛ إنما التصفيق للنساء ، و التسبيح للرجال”  meaning: “Whoever noticed something in his Solat, let him say {سبحان الله - SubhanalLah}, and clapping the hands is exclusively for women and saying the Tasbieh is for men. [15]
  2. “Once, he rose in the second raka‘ah (without sitting for the 1st Tashahhud), so the Companions said: { سبحان الله - SubhanalLah }, but he went on to complete his prayer and at the end of the Solat, he made 2 Sujud of Forgetfulness, then he gave salam. [16]
  3. He said: “إذا شك أحدكم في صلاته ...، يسجد إذا فرغ من صلاته و هو جالس قبل أن يسلم سجدتين” meaning: “If anyone of you become doubtful in his Solah….he should prostrate twice after he had completed his prayer, while still sitting, before he gives salam [17]

From these ahadeets, the first hadeets clarifies that if an imam forgets, doing a mistake in in the actions of Solat, the male ma’mums should remind or correct him by saying the “Tasbieh”, but the female ma’mums do it by clapping their hands.

The second hadeets is a proof, in it’s apparent meaning, that if the imam chooses to continue with his prayer, the ma’mums will have to follow him.

Al-Ustadz Sayyid Sabiq said: “the one who forgets to sit for the First Tashahhud, if he hasn’t already stood upright, should return and sit (for the Tashahhud). But if he had already stood upright, he should not sit, rather, he continues with his prayer. This is supported by the hadeets of al-Mughierah bin Shu‘bah narrated by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah; the Prophet said:

) إذا قام أحدكم من الركعتين فلم يستتم قائما فليجلس ، و إن استتم قائما فلا يجلس
و سجد سجدتي السهو (

“If one of you rise to stand from the second raka‘ah and he has not stood upright, then he should sit and if he has stood upright, he should not sit and (then) he should just prostrate 2 sujuds of forgetfulness.”

The Imam added a Raka‘ah

However, the ma’mums should not follow their imam when they are certain that the imam is adding a raka‘ah, to a complete prayer out of his forgetfulness. They should stay sitting (for the final tashahhud) and say the “Tasbieh” to alert the imam. If the imam persistently continue with the prayer, they should stay sitting and wait for the imam, until the imam joins them sitting for the tashahhud and they do the tashahhud together and end the prayer together with the imam, after the imam gives his salam. The reason for this is that they, the imam and the ma’mums are to act upon certainty and every soul will be rewarded and held responsible for whatever he/she does. WalLahu a‘lam.

Q: A number of us performed the Zuhr prayer behind an Imam and he made the Taslim after praying five Rak'ahs. After the prayer, some of worshippers informed him that he had prayed an extra Rak'ah and thus had prayed five Rak'ahs and he did not perform the prostration of forgetfulness. Was our prayer correct, or not? And what should be done in such circumstances?

A: When the Imam prays an extra Rak'ah in prayer, he must perform the prostration of forgetfulness if he is aware of it. As for those behind him, if they follow him, not knowing that it is an extra Rak'ah, their prayer is correct.

As for those who follow him and they know that he is praying extra and that it is not permissible to do, their prayer is invalid. And they should have informed the Imam of his mistake by saying: Subhan Allah.

If the Imam had insisted upon it, they should not have followed him; they should have remained sitting and waited for him to complete his prayer, then made the Taslim with him. Based upon this, due to the fact that they are ignorant of the ruling, the prayer of those people mentioned is correct, but they should have performed the prostration of forgetfulness if they knew. If they then did not perform the prostration of forgetfulness, their prayer is invalid and must be repeated due to the length of time which has since passed.

- Ibn Jibreen

Q: I prayed behind an Imam and I forgot to say the Tasbih while I was prostrating in the first prostration - what should I do? Should I prostrate after the Imam's Taslim (i.e. the prostration of forgetfulness) or what?

A: You are not required to make the prostration of forgetfulness, neither before the Imam's Taslim, nor after it. The Imam bears the burden of this forgetfulness and nothing is required of the worshipper behind him.

- Ibn Jibreen

The Imam Forgets to recite al-Fatihah

Likewise, at times, especially the Solat Sirriyah (Silent Prayers), if for example the imam forgets to recite al-Fatihah and he only realizes that in the second raka‘ah, this is one of the most complex situations. There are many opinions in addressing this situation.

One of the solutions to this: If the imam forgets it in the first rak’ah, and he does not remember until he stands up for the second rak'ah, then the second rak’ah becomes the first rak'ah for him. Based on this, he has to offer another rak’ah to make up for the first rak’ah in which he did not recite al-Fatihah. With regard to the people praying behind him, they should not follow him in this rak’ah, rather they should sit for the tashahhud, then wait and say the salam with the imam. 

With regard to a person praying behind an imam who forgot to recite al-Fatihah, for those who say that the person who prays behind an imam does not have to recite al-Fatihah the matter is straightforward: he does not have to do anything. For those who say that it is an essential part of the prayer for him, and he is like the imam, then if he did not recite it, he has to offer another rak‘ah after the imam says the salaam, unless he joined the prayer when the imam was bowing, or when the imam was standing but he bowed before he could finish reciting it. In that case he does not have to recite it in the first rak’ah.[18]

Another solution; the Imam continues praying as per normal because his ma’mums will be confused, if he changes the actions of Solat, such as the supposed 2nd Raka‘ah becomes the 1st Raka‘ah. He should rather continue with his Solat and after the Final Tashahhud, instead of giving salam, he stands up to perform another raka‘ah to replace the raka‘ah he missed reciting al-Fatihah. Then perform that single raka‘ah as if it is the Final Raka‘ah, after completing the Final Tashahhud (again) he performs the prostration of Forgetfulness and gives salam to conclude the prayer. When he rises for the “Final Raka‘ah”, most likely his ma’mums will try to correct him. In this case, he should just ignore them and let them wait sitting down. WalLahu a‘lam. 

Q: The Imam forgot to recite Al-Fatihah in the last Rak'ah, and he did not remember until after the second prostration - what should he do?

A: He must perform a Rak'ah in place of the Rak'ah in which he did not recite Al-Fatihah and prostrate twice for the prostration of forgetfulness before making the Taslim and those behind him should follow him. And through Allah is attained success.

- Ibn Baz

If for example, the imam makes sujud/prostration immediately after recitation of Surah, when there is no “sajdah tilawah”, and this tends to happen when the Imam makes qunut before ruku‘, instead of after ruku‘, the ma’mums should remind him by saying { سبحان الله - SubhanalLah }. If the imam is confused and uncertain of what he missed, some scholars opined that the ma’mum may say: “{ سبحان ربي العظيم Subhana rabbiyal ‘Aziem }” i.e. the dzikir for ruku‘ as a means to remind him and some other scholars mentioned that it is permissible to recite: { وَارْكَـعُوا مَعَ الرَّاكِـعِيْـن } the verse, meaning: and do prostrate with those who prostrate, as a way of reminding the imam. But if the imam persistently continue with the sujud, the ma’mum may choose to follow him and after the prayer, remind him of what he neglected and pray another 1 raka‘ah together in jama‘ah to replace that invalid raka‘ah and at the end of the prayer, perform the Prostration of Forgetfulness (Sujud as-Sahwi). Their prayer is valid although they only replace it with a raka‘ah, after getting themselves involved in an argument or discussion, in order to remind the imam.

But if the imam adamantly rejects to admit his negligence, then the ma’mums need to pray all over again, on their own, as the entire prayer is considered invalid. The imam should have no hard feelings against his ma’mums, those who repeated the prayer, as everyone of them is certain and is responsible for his own prayer. Wallahu a‘lam.
Yet, the ma’mums may choose to separate himself (mufaraqah) and stop following the imam from the very instance the imam continued with the sujud, after being reminded and complete the prayer individually. However, the first option is more preferred to the latter, as in the following narration.

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet prayed with the Companions, the Zohr or Asar prayer, then he gave salam (ending the prayer). So Dzul Yadayn asked him: “Is this Solat shortened (qasar) or you actually forgotten, O’ Messenger of Allah?” The Prophet replied: “I did not shorten nor did I forget.” Then Dzul Yadain responded: “Indeed, you must have forgotten O’ the Messenger of Allah.” The Prophet inquired: “Is it true what Dzul Yadain had said?”  The Companions replied: Yes. Immediately the Prophet added another 2 raka‘ahs and then made the prostration twice (the Prostration of Forgetfulness).
[NB Imam Al-Bukhaariy and Imam Muslim].

The 3rd hadeets clarifies that at times a ma’mum does not know what the imam is uncertain of during the prayer. So when the imam performs the Sujud of Forgetfulness, the ma’mum must follow him. Do remember that following the Imam in the prayer is compulsory, according to the majority of scholars, if there is no valid excuse. This is based on several hadeets. Among them:

) إنما جعل الإمام ليؤتم به ..(

“The Imam is there (appoited) to be followed…”
[NB Imam-imam Muslim, Abu ‘Awaanah, Ahmad and Abu Dawud]

Wallahu a’lam.


[1] NB al-Bukhariy in his “Juz Qira-ah” and Abu Dawud with a Sahih isnad.

[2] NB al-Bukhariy, Muslim, an-Nasa-i and ad-Darimi. Al-Hafiz (in Fath al-Bari) mistakenly mentioned it as Abu Dawud’s narration as well. This narration prooves that the imam should also say the Ta’mien as Al-Hafiz concluded.

[3] NB Muslim and Abu ‘Awanah.

[4] NB al-Bukhariy in al-Adab al-Mufrad, Ibn Majah, Ibn Khuzaimah and as well as as-Siraj via 2 Sahih sanads.

[5] See Silsilat al-Ahadiets ad-Da'iefah: 902

[6] NB Ahmad with a Sahih sanad and the other narration NB Ibn Abu Dawud in al-Masahif : 4/14/3.

[7] NB al-Bukhariy and Muslim.

[8] As reported in many Sahih hadeets.

[9] NB Ahmad and Abu Ya‘la from 2 routes of Sahih narrations.

[10] NB Abu Dawud and al-Baihaqiy with a Sahih isnad

[11]NB Muslim and at-Tahawi.

[12] al-Fiqh al-Islamiy: 1/695 - 700.

[13] NB Abu Dawud, Ibn Hibban, at-Tabaraniy, Ibn ‘Asakir (2/296/2) and ad-Diya’ in al-Mukhtarah with a Sahih isnad.

[14] NB Ustadz Sayyid Sabiq said that this hadiets is Sahih and Shaykh al-Albaniy did not comment, indicating his approval. This hadeets has a supportive narration of almost the same wording which is Sahih as in Sahih al-Jami‘ as-Saghier: 2339 NB and Ibn Majah from Ibn Mas‘ud.

[15] NB Abu Dawud, Ahmad and an-Nasa-i. Shaykh al-Albaniy said: Actually this hadeets is in as-Sahihayn (al-Bukhariy and Muslim).

[16] NB al-Jama‘ah on the authority of Ibn Buhainaht.

[17] NB Ahmad, Ibn Majah and at-Tirmidzi who declared it Sahih from ‘Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf.

[18] Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) ، Liqa’at al-Bab il-Maftuh, 51

[19] At-Tafl: to blow with a minimun amount of saliva as in an-Nihayah.

[20]NB Muslim and Ahmad. an-Nawawi said: This hadeets contains a recommendation to seek refuge from the devil when it disturbs, along with the spitting to the left 3 times.

[21] Fiqh as-Sunnah: 1/218. asy-Syeikh Al-Albaaniy did not comment on this, indicating his agreement to the conclusion of Sayyid Sabiq. This is similar to the explanation in al-Fiqh al-Islami: 2/234-240.

[22] NB Imam al-Bukhariy and Imam Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurayrah..

[23]al-Fiqh al-Islami : 2/208-209.
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