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I have read on a site that the beard is of immense importance and that an Imam should have one.

4846 who should lead congregation

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:

I have read on a site that the beard is of immense importance and that an Imam should have one. I would like to ask in the case of a handful of people praying jamat at a home or work for example, and nobody has the required beard (more than a fists length), is it OK to do a Jamat?

In the case of a father and son, and they both have beards, but not the required fists lengths, (just a trimmed shaped beard), and the son knows more of the Quran than the father, should the son lead the prayer?

 

Does it matter who leads a prayer in a jamat in a home for example, where nobody has the required length beard and people have different levels of knowledge. I heard that there is various criteria e.g. the one with most Quranic knowledge should lead, then there is other criteria such as whose house it is, age perhaps etc and that it is not recommended for the sinner to lead. If all are sinners, then is it OK for one to lead, the one with the most Quranic knowledge?

 

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Answer:

 

Who should lead congregation

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 no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Your Question: I have read on a site that the beard is of immense importance and that an Imam should have one. I would like to ask in the case of a handful of people praying jamat at a home or work for example, and nobody has the required beard (more than a fists length), is it OK to do a Jamat?

As important the Sunnah of adorning a beard might be for the believing men in Islam, the having of a beard or its length has absolutely nothing to do with ones ability or eligibility to lead the believers in congregational prayers!


 

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.

 

The adorning of the beard or its length has absolutely nothing to do with the choosing of an imaam to lead the believers in prayer.

 

Your Question: In the case of a father and son, and they both have beards, but not the required fists lengths, (just a trimmed shaped beard), and the son knows more of the Quran than the father, should the son lead the prayer?

We reiterate again, that the beard or its length has absolutely nothing to do with ones ability or eligibility to lead the prayers.

 

In the above specific case, because both are eligible, it would be closer to piety and righteousness that the son encourage his father to lead their prayers because of the fathers position of being the imam (leader) of the family and because of his age.but if the father, of his own will, permits the son to lead their prayers, there is absolutely no harm.

 

Your Question: Does it matter who leads a prayer in a jamat in a home for example, where nobody has the required length beard and people have different levels of knowledge. I heard that there is various criteria e.g. the one with most Quranic knowledge should lead, then there is other criteria such as whose house it is, age perhaps etc and that it is not recommended for the sinner to lead. If all are sinners, then is it OK for one to lead, the one with the most Quranic knowledge?

We reiterate again, that the beard or its length has absolutely nothing to do with ones ability or eligibility to lead the prayers.

 

The Messenger of Allah (saws) gave the following criteria in choosing an imam to lead the prayers:

  1. When offering prayers in a public place, the one who is the oldest amongst them and has the most knowledge of the Quran should lead the prayers.
  2. When offering the prayers in someones house, the host or the owner of the house has a bigger right to lead the prayers, or appoint anyone he chooses to lead the prayers.for the owner of the house is the appointed imam or leader of each household.

 

Your Question: and that it is not recommended for the sinner to lead. If all are sinners, then is it OK for one to lead, the one with the most Quranic knowledge?

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: All the children of Adam are sinners, and the best of the sinners are those who constantly turn back to Allah in repentance.

 

Every son of Adam is prone to sin, and none save the All-Knowing, All-Wise Lord Knows who amongst mankind is most constant is turning back to Him seeking His Forgiveness! Man does not carry or display his virtue or even his sins on his sleeve.thus righteousness and piety dictates that even if one who is a known sinner is appointed as the imaam to lead the prayers, it is incumbent on the believers to offer their prayers behind this appointed imam.

 

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.

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs 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,

 

Burhan


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