Offering congregational prayers behind a Sunni Imam

Question 237: Salam, wanna ask if I am praying behind a Sunni imam then do i need to recite all in my own words or its same like as behind a Shia imam, any other difference?

Answer 237: Congregational Prayers is one of the most important recommended acts, and it is one of the greatest Islamic rites. Great emphasis has been laid on it in the narrations. It is recommended that obligatory prayers, especially the daily prayers, are performed in congregation, and more emphasis has been laid on congregational prayers for Fajr, Maghrib and Isha, and also for those who live in the neighborhood of a mosque, and are able to hear its Adhan.[1] Read More


Qualification of an Imam of congregational prayers

Question 021: In our area we don’t have enough Mosques. The students make a Jamaat and among us, one leads the prayer. Usually one student from Saudi Arabia leads the prayer but recently we found out that he is involved in bad activities which is forbidden in Islam. He is the most knowledgeable among us, in terms of deen and he is also Hafiz in Quran. Should we still pray behind him after everything we know about him? What should we do now?

Answer 021:  Justice is one of the conditions that a person who leads the prayer should have. Justice meaning, the person is in a state of heartfelt God-fearing that keeps us from doing any capital (Kabirah) and venial (Saqirah) sin. The following are some conditions an Imam of Jamaat should have: Read More


Offering Tarawih prayer in Congregational is Bida’ah

Question 013: What is the Ahlulbayt’ (pbuth) point of view regarding Tarawih prayer, considering that it is prevalent among Ahlul Sunnah? Is Offering Tarawih prayer in Congregational a Bida’ah?

Answer 013: Tarawih prayers refers to Nafilah prayers performed at night in the Holy Month of Ramadan, after Salat of Isha. [1]

Tarawih prayer is offered by Ahlul Sunnah in congregation, ordered by their second caliphate.[2]  The prayers are offered in two or more raka‘āt. The Holy Prophet (saws) of Islam never offered such prayer in congregation, according to some traditions that have been narrated from Ahlulbayt (pbuth). Moreover, offering Nafila (mustahab) prayers in congregation are considered as bid’ah, that we are forbidden to do, according to the traditions.[3]

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Tarawih and Row in congregational Prayer, answer 008.

[1] . Sa`di Abu Habib, al-Qamus al-Fiqhi Loghatan wa Istilahan, Pg. 155.

[2] . In this regards please refer to: Ibn al-Sharaf al-Noori, Sharhul Arbaeen al-nawiyyah fi al-Ahadith al-Sahihat al-Nabaviyah, Pg. 25.

[3] . Refer to: Al-Hurr al-Aamili, Wasael al-Shia, Vol. 8, Pg. 44, Chapter “Adam e Jawazel Jamaat fi Salatel Nawafil fi Shahr –e- Ramadan wa la fi gheirehee”;  Ayatollah Jafar Sobhani, al-Insaf fi Masael e Dama fiha al-Khilaf, Pg. 381.


Tarawih and Row in congregational Prayer

Question 008: I am deeply concerned about some Muslimahs not forming a complete row in congregational prayers. They always stand isolated in 3 or 4 family groups. They do not come forward, however, we tell them every night during Taraweeh. Even if some come forward out of compulsion they quietly split the rows, thus they are invalidating our prayers. Can you please tell me if my prayers are valid if they do not form complete rows?

Answer 008: Tarawih prayer is a recommended (mustahab) prayer. Performing mustahab prayers with a congregation (jama’ah) is not valid, according to some Shia scholars. It should be offered individually (i.e. Furada).

Therefore, if you are a Shia Muslim, you shouldn’t perform it with jama’ah. Otherwise, if performed in congregations, whether or not the rows are connected to each other, your prayer is not valid.
It should be noted that if the distance between the follower and the Imam or between him and another follower, who maintains connection with the Imam, is less than the size one person (one dhera) in the state of prostration, there would be no objection. However, if the gap is more than that, the jurists have different fatwas. Some scholars of the view that others’ prayers turn into individual prayers (furada).

According to the author of Urwatul Wuthqa, if those individuals, who are standing in the first row and have finished their prayers, stand up immediately and offer another prayer, others’ congregational prayers would be in order.[i]

[i]. Tawzih al-Masail of Imam Khomeini (with connotation), vol.1, Pg.774, issue No.1417;  Al-Yazdi, al-Sayyid Muhammad Kazem, al-Urwatul Wuthqa (with annotation), vol.3, pg.148, issue No.15, Islamic Publications Institute, Qom, 1419 A.H.

– Related Link: Tarawih Prayer, answer 013.