Salat Behind Incompetent Imams

By Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Posted: 25 Ramadan 1423, 30 November 2002

Q.) I live in Chicago, USA, and most of the time run into a situation where the Imams are dressed in Suite and Tie with a very short beard or no beard at all.

Most common problem is during Jummah Prayers, because the speakers are invited from different places, who lead prayers after their speeches and khutba.

I would like to know that, if I have to repeat my prayers or not. [Majid Rashid]

A.) There are two aspects to your question

(a) Validity of the Salat, (b) Adherence to Shariah

Nabi Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam is reported to have said "Perform your salat behind every person, religious or irreligious". (Abu Dawood)

Therefore, the Salat behind the Imam who does not adhere to the Sunnah will be valid.

However the Musallees should urge the musjid administration to invite such imams who adhere to the shariah and Sunnah. And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

Albalagh Note: Your responsibility in this case depends upon your authority. For an administrator, it is not right to appoint an Imam that does not follow the Shariah or does not meet any requirements for holding that position. On the other hand, if you are simply a muqtadee, you will be excused and your salat will be valid if an incompetent imam had been appointed. However to the extent of your ability you should urge the administration to appoint a competent imam.