Congregational Prayers | Islamic Laws by The Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei
Q 549: What should a congregational prayer imam say in his intention? Should he perform it with the intention of a congregational or individual prayer?
A: If he wants to acquire the benefits and reward of a congregational prayer, then he should have the intention to lead the prayers. However, if he enters the prayers without the intention of leading, then his prayer is correct and there is no problem for others to read their prayers behind him.
Q 550: Because of the work they have at hand, some people do not attend the prayer which is held during working hours at the bases of the armed forces. Knowing that they can do that work later on or even the following day, can this action of them be classified as belittling the prayer?
A: To acquire the merit of offering prayer early at its time and that of the congregational prayer, it is preferable to make a proper arrangement of office hours so that this divine duty could be performed in the form of congregational prayer in the shortest necessary period of time.
Q 551: What is your opinion as regards performing the mustaHabb actions such as nafilah prayers, Dua Tawassul and other supplications in governmental offices before, after and during prayers? These acts usually take longer time than the actual congregational prayer itself.
A: Any mustaHabb action which is performed with the congregational prayer would be considered problematic if it becomes a cause for wasting time and delay in the performance of official duties there.
Q 552: Is it permissible to start a second congregational prayer in an area near to another congregational prayer in which a lot of people participate and the sound of its adhan and iqamah is quite clearly heard?
A: There is no problem in starting a second congregational prayer in such a situation, although it is preferable that the believers come together and attend a single congregational prayer so that the greatness of the congregation can be expressed.
Q 553: What is your rule regarding a person or people who come to a masjid to offer the prayers individually while prayer is being held in congregation?
A: If this act is seen as something which weakens the congregational prayer or leads to disrespect towards its imam or is insulting to him who is considered just the by people, it will not be permissible.
Q 554: There are several masjids in our area and congregational prayer takes place in all of them. There is a house between two masjids. On one side between the house and the masjid there are ten other houses while in the direction of the other masjid, the distance is of only two houses. A congregational prayer takes place in this house also. What is your ruling regarding this congregational prayer?
A: congregational prayer is offered to create unity and closeness not to cause disunity and division. Anyhow the neighboring houses are permitted to start a congregational prayer as long as it does not become a cause of division and conflict.
Q 555: Is an individual allowed to lead congregational prayer without the permission of the appointed Congregational prayer imam who has been appointed by the center which runs the affairs of the masjids?
A: Holding congregational prayer is not dependent on the permission of the permanent congregational prayer imam. However, it is preferable that no one would prevent the imam from leading the prayer at the time of his presence in the masjid. If he is obstructed then that action could be defined as Haram if it becomes a cause of division and ignites conflict.
Q 556: Does the justice of the congregational prayer imam become void if he says or makes a joke that is not appropriate for a scholar of Islam?
A: If what he has said does not contravene Islamic law, then it has no effect on his justice.
Q 557: Is one allowed to start to pray behind a congregational prayer imam about whom one has no information and does not know?
A: If he knows — through any shari means — that the Imam is adil, it is permissible to pray behind him and the congregational prayer is correct.
Q 558: A person considers another one as just and pious and at the same time considers him as an oppressor because on certain occasion he has oppressed him. So can this person consider the other as adil in the common sense of the word?
A: Until it is not clear that the person, whom he has considered an oppressor, has done that action knowingly, by choice and without any religious excuse, it is not permissible to label him unjust.
Q 559: Can one pray behind a person who has the ability to enjoin the good and forbid evil but does not?
A: The mere abstention from enjoining people to do good and forbidding them from evil, which in itself could be due to some reasons acceptable for the person who has this duty to perform, neither becomes a cause for invalidating the persons justice nor does it become an obstacle for others to perform prayer behind that person.
Q 560: What is the meaning of justice in your opinion?
A: It is a psychological state due to which a person always enjoys piety which prevents him from neglecting obligatory duties or doing things forbidden according to Islamic law. To recognize the state of justice, it is sufficient that one sees the apparent goodness of the person.
Q 561: We are a group of youngsters who gather in some religious places and whenever it is time for prayers, we appoint one among ourselves who is adil and perform prayers behind him. There are some people who confront us and say that according to Imam Khomeinis ruling, one should not perform his prayer behind a person who is not an Islamic scholar? What is our duty?
A: Whenever an Islamic scholar is available, one should not pray behind one who is not an Islamic scholar.
Q 562: Can a congregational prayer be conducted by two individuals?
A: If you mean that one is the imam and the other is the follower, there is no objection to it.
Q 563: Although it is not obligatory for him, a follower recites the FatiHah and another chapter in congregational noon and afternoon prayers so as to better concentrate on his prayers. What is the ruling regarding his prayers?
A: In the prayers which should be said quietly, e.g. the noon and the afternoon prayers, he is not permitted to recite the FatiHah and another chapter even if it is to protect oneself from losing his concentration on the prayers.
Q 564: Although he complies with all the regulations of traffic, a congregational prayer imam rides a bicycle to the place of congregational prayer. What is your ruling in this regard?
A: This action harms neither justice nor correctness of leading the congregation.
Q 565: There are times when we attend the congregational prayer and the imam is reciting the tashahhud of the last rakah. Here to get its reward, we can say takbirah al-iHram, sit, recite tashahhud with the imam and stand up when the imam finishes his salam, to start the first rakah. Can we do the same thing in the tashahhud of the second rakah of a four-rakah prayer?
A: The above mentioned procedure is specific to the final rakah of the congregational prayer so that one may acquire the reward of the congregation.
Q 566: Is it permissible for the imam of congregational prayer to receive money for doing preliminaries of congregational prayer?
A: It is no problem.
Q 567: Can an imam say a single prayer — whether an id or a daily prayer — twice in congregation?
A: As far as the five daily prayers are concerned, he is permitted to perform the same prayer again in congregation but with another group of followers. In fact this is mustaHabb. However, regarding an id prayer, there is a problem in doing so.
Q 568: Does a person have to read the FatiHah and another chapter loudly when he is doing his second rakah while the imam is in his third or fourth rakah of isha prayer?
A: It is obligatory for him to read them quietly.
Q 569: After the completion of a congregational prayer, the verse which declares ṣalawat on the Holy Prophet (s.) is recited. After that, the praying persons recite ṣalawat upon the Holy Prophet (s.) and his Household (a.) three times. After that they say Allahu Akbar three times and then chant political slogans (in form of supplications) loudly. Is there any problem in this?
A: There is no objection to reading the verse, and saying ṣalawat for the Noble Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Household (a), rather, it is desirable and yields rewards. Also it is desirable to chant Islamic slogans and that of the Islamic Revolution (i.e. Allahu-Akbar, etc) which remind all of the messages and aims of the Islamic Revolution.
Q 570: An individual arrives at a masjid when the congregational prayer is in its second rakah. Due to his ignorance of Islamic rules, he does not perform the tashahhud obligatory for him in the following rakah. Is his prayer correct or not?
A: The prayer is correct but he should, by obligatory caution, perform the qada of tashahhud. He should also perform the two prostrations of inadvertence as he failed to perform the tashahhud.
Q 571: Does one need to acquire the permission of the person behind whom one wants to pray? Can one perform or start his prayer behind a follower — i.e. a person who is himself being led in the prayer?
A: One does not need the permission of the prayer imam to follow him in the prayer. It is not correct to start ones prayer behind a follower, while he continues to be a follower.
Q 572: There are two people and between them they select one as the imam and the other follows him in the prayer. A third person enters and starts his prayers behind the one who is following thinking that he is the imam. As soon as the prayer finishes, the third person realizes that the person was not the imam but in fact he was following the imam. What is the rule regarding the prayer of the third person?
A: To start ones prayer behind someone who is himself following an imam is not correct. However, if one starts his prayer behind such a person due to ignorance but regarding ruku and prostration he fulfills all requirements of one who prays individually, i.e. without increasing or decreasing a rukn intentionally or unintentionally, the prayer is considered correct and valid.
Q 573: Is it correct to perform ones isha prayer behind one who is performing the maghrib prayer?
A: There is no objection to doing so.
Q 574: Do the prayers of the followers become void when the imam is at a higher position than them?
A: If the place where the imam is standing is so high that it is not permissible in Islamic law, this would invalidate the congregational prayer.
Q 575: One of the lines of congregational prayer was made up completely of people who were travelers (saying shortened prayers) and behind them was a line of people who were saying complete prayers. The former, having finished their prayers after two rakahs, stood up to offer the next prayer, did the prayers of the line behind them remain as congregational prayer or not?
A: In the above situation that they join the congregation immediately, the status of congregational prayer remains intact.
Q 576: Is it permissible for one who is joining at one of the ends of the first line to enter the congregational prayers prior to those between him and the imam?
A: When the followers between that person and the imam are completely ready to enter the prayer after the imam has started his prayer, then that person is permitted to start his congregational prayer.
Q 577: A person joins a congregational prayer in the third rakah. However, he does not read anything, thinking that the imam is in the first. Does this person have to repeat the prayer?
A: If he realizes this before ruku, then it will be obligatory for him to recite FatiHah and another chapter. If he happens to realize it in ruku or later, then the prayer is correct and there is no need to do anything. Even though, according to the mustaHabb caution, he may perform two prostrations of inadvertence for missing out the recitation unintentionally.
Q 578: There is a great need for congregational prayer imams to hold congregational prayer in governmental offices, schools, etc. Other than me, there is no scholar in this area. That is why I perform one obligatory prayer several times at different places. All marjis have permitted the imam to lead two congregational prayers. Can one lead more congregations with the intention of performing qada of possibly missed prayers for caution?
A: It is not correct to lead congregational prayer with the intention of performing of possibly missed qada of prayers for caution.