Tuesday 11 July 2023

Who should lead the prayer - As Salat (Hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ)

The five daily prayers (As Salat) are obligatory on every sane man and woman as ordained by our Lord, the One and Only God, master of the entire universe and creations therein. Therefore, efforts must be made to attend to our daily prayers unless compelled by some extraordinary circumstances, but not excuses. 

It is the duty of the elders nor only to ensure that those younger to them attend the prayers, but also it is the duty of the eldest in a group or those present in a masjid to lead the prayer as directed by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. 

This directive is mentioned in a hadith in This Hadith is mentioned in Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī  (Book 95 - Accepting Information Given by a Truthful Person /  كتاب أخبار الآحاد / Chapter 1: Acceptance of the information given by one truthful person in about all matters / بَابُ مَا جَاءَ فِي إِجَازَةِ خَبَرِ الْوَاحِدِ الصَّدُوقِ فِي الأَذَانِ وَالصَّلاَةِ وَالصَّوْمِ وَالْفَرَائِضِ وَالأَحْكَامِ) as Hadith 7246, given herein under:

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الْمُثَنَّى، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْوَهَّابِ، حَدَّثَنَا أَيُّوبُ، عَنْ أَبِي قِلاَبَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا مَالِكٌ، قَالَ أَتَيْنَا النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَنَحْنُ شَبَبَةٌ مُتَقَارِبُونَ، فَأَقَمْنَا عِنْدَهُ عِشْرِينَ لَيْلَةً، وَكَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم رَفِيقًا، فَلَمَّا ظَنَّ أَنَّا قَدِ اشْتَهَيْنَا أَهْلَنَا أَوْ قَدِ اشْتَقْنَا سَأَلَنَا عَمَّنْ تَرَكْنَا بَعْدَنَا فَأَخْبَرْنَاهُ قَالَ ‏ "‏ ارْجِعُوا إِلَى أَهْلِيكُمْ، فَأَقِيمُوا فِيهِمْ، وَعَلِّمُوهُمْ، وَمُرُوهُمْ ـ وَذَكَرَ أَشْيَاءَ أَحْفَظُهَا أَوْ لاَ أَحْفَظُهَا ـ وَصَلُّوا كَمَا رَأَيْتُمُونِي أُصَلِّي، فَإِذَا حَضَرَتِ الصَّلاَةُ فَلْيُؤَذِّنْ لَكُمْ أَحَدُكُمْ، وَلْيَؤُمَّكُمْ أَكْبَرُكُمْ ‏"‏‏.‏

Narrated by Malik:
We came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and we were young men nearly of equal ages and we stayed with him for twenty nights. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) was a very kind man and when he realized our longing for our families, he asked us about those whom we had left behind. When we informed him, he said, "Go back to your families and stay with them and teach them (religion) and order them (to do good deeds). The Prophet (ﷺ) mentioned things some of which I remembered and some I did not. Then he said, "Pray as you have seen me praying, and when it is the time of prayer, one of you should pronounce the call (Adhan) for the prayer and the eldest of you should lead the prayer. "
The above quoted Hadith while emphasizes the youth to teach the religion as they have understood by listening to the elders or scholars and Imams in the schools and masjid and order them to do good, it also teaches how the prayers are offered and led. The Prophet (ﷺ) emphasized on three things:
  • Pray as you have seen me praying, 
  • When it is the time of prayer, one of you should pronounce the call (Adhan) for the prayer, and
  • The eldest of you should lead the prayer.
Why are we sharing this Hadith is to counter a practice generally seen in the masjid. Instead of leading the prayer, the older and the eldest are seen offering their prayers led by men far younger than their age. This happens for most of us are not laced with adequate knowledge of Qur'an, nor we strive to do so and leave such matter like leading the prayers and spreading knowledge of Islam to professionals. In fact, the elderly should have had gained more knowledge about Deen, Qur'an and Sunnah than those younger to them. And by leading the prayer, they are in fact ensuring the practical manifestation of their faith and knowledge of the Deen.

Let us all strive to muster as much knowledge about Deen so that when we get old, we are in a position to lead prayers and share what our religious knowledge with our youngsters. And who knows while leading the prayer the angel of death begets us - how blessed would be that time, dont you think so my brothers and sisters in Islam.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

Please refer to our reference page: Sunnah and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to know more about sunnah of Prophet of Allah. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references as given below. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on social media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Qur'ān - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More