Pray behind impious imam.

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Dear brother Burhan

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh!


Hope you are fine. I just wanted a clarification of an issue in the light of Quran and Hadeeth.


We in office are Alhamdulillah all Muslims and all the times pray in the office mosque. However, one of our brothers makes advances for being the imam, while I know he takes interests of his money from the bank, involves himself in insurance policies which work on the principles of simple or compound interest.

I know of a hadith wherein it is stated taking interest is Haram to the extent that it is equal to performing zina with one's own mother! This makes me to think that I should not pray with him being the imam. However I maintain that as far as his Aqeedah is concerned, he is not involved in shirk or bidah to the best of my knowledge. I have one more colleague of mine who sticks to prayers in time, does not take interests, is a non-smoker (unlike me, as I smoke; a reason I don't boast to go for being imam); but he is not interested in leading prayers because he feels that the former is more interested in leading the prayers.


Should I continue praying after the person who is taking interest from the banks? Or it is better for me to pray alone? Please advice in the light of quran and hadith.


(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)




Pray behind impious imam

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 5.595         Narrated by Amr bin Salama

That he heard the Prophet (saws) say: “Offer such-and-such prayer at such-and-such time, and when the time for the prayer becomes due, then one of you should pronounce the Adhan (for the prayer),  and let the one amongst you who knows Qur'an most to lead the prayer."


Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 1.653         Narrated by Malik bin Huwairth

We went to the Prophet (saws) and we were all young men and stayed with him for about twenty nights. The Prophet (saws) was very merciful. He (saws) said, "When you return home, impart religious teachings to your families and tell them to offer perfectly such and such a prayer at such and such a time and such and such a prayer at such and such a time. And at the time of the prayer one of you should pronounce the Adhan, and the oldest of you should lead the prayer."


When the believers gather to offer their congregational prayers at a place of worship or the masjid, they should offer their prayers behind the ‘imaam’ chosen and appointed by those in authority.  But when the believers happen to assemble and pray amongst themselves, the criteria for choosing the ‘imaam’ amongst them should be the one who either knows the Quran more or is the oldest amongst them in age. 


Your Question: ….Should I continue praying after the person who is taking interest from the banks? Or it is better for me to pray alone? Please advice in the light of quran and hadith.

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 2527  Narrated by Abu Hurayrah

The Prophet (saws) said: ‘Striving in the path of Allah (jihad) is incumbent on you along with every ruler, whether he is pious or impious; the prayer is obligatory on you behind every believer, pious or impious, even if he commits grave sins; the (funeral) prayer is incumbent upon every Muslim, pious and impious, even if he commits major sins.’


Beloved brother, regardless of the amount, severity, or number of evil deeds of the brother who has been chosen or appointed to lead the prayer as the ‘imam’, it is absolutely incumbent upon the believers to offer their prayers behind that person.


Regardless of the condition of the ‘imam’, the believers who pray behind him will have their reward in full from the Lord of the Worlds for their prayer.  Under no circumstances is it permitted in Islam that the believers intentionally break off from the congregation only because of the deeds of the chosen ‘imam’.  


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your brother and well wisher in Islam,






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