While behind the Imaam.

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*WHILE BEHIND THE IMAAM.* 

1. First of all know that if a lady or a young girl-following the imaam`s salaah-come to stand closely to the level of the imaam, then she nullify the salaah of the imaam and hence all the salaah of the persons behind the imaam will be nullified-Hashiyatul Tahtawi.حاشية الطحطاوي على مراقي الفلاح –  ( لما يلزم من الفساد بالمحاذاة ) أي له أو لمقتد مثله ولا يلزم الفساد بدون التزامه وهو بنيته ولا تصير المرأة داخلة في صلاة الإمام إلا أن ينوي إمامتها 2. The females should stand one saff behind the male imaam. 3. Know that the imaam/husband/father should make niyyah of imaamat for females in case there are his female family members behind him. In case only men behind him, then no specific intention needed for imaamat. In case an imaam did not make intention for leading women, then the salaah of women behind him will NOT be valid-Shami.حاشية رد المحتار على الدر المختار (حاشية ابن عابدين) وتكملته -)وَظَاهِرُهُ أَنَّ قَوْلَهُ الْأَخِيرَ اشْتِرَاطُ النِّيَّةِ مُطْلَقًا وَالْعَمَلُ عَلَى الْمُتَأَخِّرِ كَمَا لَا يَخْفَى ، وَلِهَذَا أَطْلَقَ فِي مَتْنِ الْمُخْتَارِ تَرْكَهُ ؛ وَلَا تَدْخُلُ الْمَرْأَةُ فِي صَلَاةِ الرِّجَالِ إلَّا أَنْ يَنْوِيَهَا الْإِمَامُ 4. While leading salaah of Fajr, Maghrib and Esha, the imaam should read loudly. And Zohr and Assr, the imaam will read quietly. But his lips should move while reading the ayahs. That is he can`t read in his heart or mind. To read Qur-aan/Qira-ah means that the tongue and lips should move in the pronunciation. This is for the imaam. Reported in Bukhari shareef that the beards of Rasouloullah Swalallahou `Alaihi Wasallam was noticeably moving during Zohr and Assr salaah proving that he was actually reading silently and not remaining silent:صحيح البخاري -عن عمارة بن عمير عن أبي معمر قال قلنا لخبابأكان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقرأ في الظهر والعصر قال نعم قلنا بم كنتم تعرفون ذاك قال باضطراب لحيته
5. When following the imaam, you should not read, because the reading of the imaam is sufficient for you.
صحيح مسلم -عَنْ قَتَادَةَ عَنْ زُرَارَةَ بْنِ أَوْفَى عَنْ عِمْرَانَ بْنِ حُصَيْنٍ قَالَصَلَّى بِنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ صَلَاةَ الظُّهْرِ أَوْ الْعَصْرِ فَقَالَ أَيُّكُمْ قَرَأَ خَلْفِي بِسَبِّحِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ الْأَعْلَى فَقَالَ رَجُلٌ أَنَا وَلَمْ أُرِدْ بِهَا إِلَّا الْخَيْرَ قَالَ قَدْ عَلِمْتُ أَنَّ بَعْضَكُمْ خَالَجَنِيهَا         Reported in Muslim shareef that Rasouloullah Swalallahou `Alaihi Wasallam reprimanded a sahabah that was reading behind him. And that no one should read behind the imaam.Reported in Abu Dawood that after hazrat Abu Hureirah r.a. highlighted the importance of Surah Fatihah in salaah, Hishaam bin Zuhrah asked him about the issue of reading behind the imaam. Hazrat Abu Hureirah r.a. answered that when behind the imaam, we should read Surah Fatihah in our heart/mind(without moving the lips).سنن أبى داود -حَدَّثَنَا الْقَعْنَبِيُّ عَنْ مَالِكٍ عَنْ الْعَلَاءِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ أَبَا السَّائِبِ مَوْلَى هِشَامِ بْنِ زَهْرَةَ يَقُولُ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ يَقُولُقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَنْ صَلَّى صَلَاةً لَمْ يَقْرَأْ فِيهَا بِأُمِّ الْقُرْآنِ فَهِيَ خِدَاجٌ فَهِيَ خِدَاجٌ فَهِيَ خِدَاجٌ غَيْرُ تَمَامٍقَالَ فَقُلْتُ يَا أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ إِنِّي أَكُونُ أَحْيَانًا وَرَاءَ الْإِمَامِ قَالَ فَغَمَزَ ذِرَاعِي وَقَالَ اقْرَأْ بِهَا يَا فَارِسِيُّ فِي نَفْسِكَHence while reading salaah behind the imaam, one should not read anything except Thana. The imaam will do all the reading of the Qur-aan. 6. The imaam should be in front of his muqtadis/followers. He should be in a stronger position or equal to his followers. Hence a person reading salaah on a chair cannot lead standing followers. Yes, if he can sit on the ground and do sajdah normally, then permissible. Yes, if all followers are on a chair, then permissible for a sickly chairman to make imaamat on a chair to all chairmen. 7. The imaam cannot lead if he suffers sicknesses relating to wouzu. 8. Finally a female cannot lead salaah for males. Because Allah Ta`ala has blessed man with qualities of leadership, physical strength and guardianship over women. This is to protect and lead his whole family including his female subordinates.   9. A non baaligh child who knows how to give azaan, can give azaan if necessary. Else better a deeni educated male baaligh. A woman will not give azaan. 10. When only one male following the imaam, then he will stand one step behind the imaam on the right hand side, even a child. But if 2 sons, then the 2 sons will make a saff behind the imaam. And female folk in a separate saff behind the male children. If only one female behind the imaam, then she will stand in another saff behind the imaam. The saff/s behind the imaam will stand such that the imaam is in their middle:11. سنن أبى داود – 12. عَنْ يَحْيَى بْنِ بَشِيرِ بْنِ خَلَّادٍ عَنْ أُمِّهِ أَنَّهَا دَخَلَتْ عَلَى مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ كَعْبٍ الْقُرَظِيِّ فَسَمِعَتْهُ يَقُولُ حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ13. قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَسِّطُوا الْإِمَامَ وَسُدُّوا الْخَلَلَ 11. Try to stand close to your fellow muqtadi in the same saff. Shoulders to shoulders. It is not sunnah to stretch out the feet to touch the other muqtadi`s feet. Sunnah to leave space between the feet as indicated by Rasouloullah Swalallahou `Alaihi Wasallam that there should have been space to keep sandals on your right or on your left. But rather put it in between your feet.(Ibn Majah) As such, it is against sunnah to touch the feet of the other musalli in the same saff:سنن ابن ماجه – ()حَدَّثَنَا إِسْحَقُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ بْنِ حَبِيبٍ وَمُحَمَّدُ بْنُ إِسْمَعِيلَ قَالَا حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ الْمُحَارِبِيُّ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ سَعِيدِ بْنِ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَلْزِمْ نَعْلَيْكَ قَدَمَيْكَ فَإِنْ خَلَعْتَهُمَا فَاجْعَلْهُمَا بَيْنَ رِجْلَيْكَ وَلَا تَجْعَلْهُمَا عَنْ يَمِينِكَ وَلَا عَنْ يَمِينِ صَاحِبِكَ وَلَا وَرَاءَكَ فَتُؤْذِيَ مَنْ خَلْفَكَ Those ahadiths that mentioned ankle, feet, shoulder, etc means these has to be in line with other musallis. Not touching them.   12. Ulamas have preferred that we leave only the space of 4 fingers between our own feet-Shami:

حاشية رد المحتار على الدر المختار (حاشية ابن عابدين) وتكملته – )وَيُكْرَهُ الْقِيَامُ عَلَى أَحَدِ الْقَدَمَيْنِ فِي الصَّلَاةِ بِلَا عُذْرٍ ، وَيَنْبَغِي أَنْ يَكُونَ بَيْنَهُمَا مِقْدَارُ أَرْبَعِ أَصَابِعِ الْيَدِ لِأَنَّهُ أَقْرَبُ إلَى الْخُشُوعِ

 Hazrat U`yaynah Ibn Abdur Rahman r.a. mentioned that touching feet or stretching it is against the way that Sahabahs used to pray. Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar r.a. used to stand without stretching or closing the feet.(Al Mughni)
4 قال ابن قدامة: يكره أن يلصق إحدى قدميه بالأخرى في حال قيامه، لما روى الأثرم عن عينيه بن عبد الرحمن قال: (كنت مع أبي في المسجد فرأى رجلاً يصلي قد صف بين قدميه والزق إحداهما بالأخرى، فقال أبي: لقد أدركت في هذا المسجد ثمانية عشر رجلاً من أصحاب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ما رأيت أحداً منهم فعل هذا قط. وكان ابن عمر لا يفرج بين قدميه ولا يمس إحداهما بالأخرى، ولكن بين ذلك لا يقارب ولا يباعد). المغني 12. *Straightened the saffs by putting all heels on a straight line.  Stand shoulder to shoulder. Else ulamas have given permission to distance oneself with valid reasons as far as your place is considered ‘’same place as the congregation’’. So during this pandemic era, it is permissible to keep reasonable distance during salaah. Else always recommended to put shoulder to shoulder.*
 Mufti Mackoojee

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