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I recently went to a Mosque with a friend of mine and she told me that I have to follow the pace of the 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:

 

Assalamu Alaykum

I recently converted to Islam. I am just begining to memorize the prayers in arabic. I recently went to a Mosque with a friend of mine and she told me that I have to follow the pace of the Imam.

However, I found that the Imam was going threw prayers wayy to fast for me! He wouldsay allahu akbar before i`d be finished saying the surahs!

What do i do in this situation? Continue to go my own pace even though everyone else is following the imam? or do I follow the imam regardless of whether I finish saying the surahs? 

 

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Answer:

 

Follow pace of imam in prayer

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.

 

Fiqh-us-Sunnah Fiqh 2.52a

It is obligatory to follow the imam and forbidden to precede him

Abu Hurairah reports that the Prophet (saws) said: "The imam is selected to be followed; therefore, do not differ with him. When he makes the takbir, make the takbir; when he goes into ruku', make ruku' when he says 'Allah hears him who praises Him,' say 'O Allah, our Lord, to You belongs the Praise; when he goes into sajdah, make sajdah; if he prays sitting, then all should be sitting."


Related by Bukhari and Muslim.

 

Abu Hurairah reports that the Prophet (saws) said "the imam is to be followed. If he makes the takbir, make the takbir, and do not make the takbir until he does so; when he goes into ruku', make ruku', and do not perform ruku' until he does so; when he goes into sajdah, make sajdah, and do not make sajdah until he does so."

Related by Ahmad and Abu Dawud.

 

Anas reports that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: "O people, I am your imam, so do not precede me in ruku', or in sujud, or in qiyam, or in sitting or in finishing." Related by Ahmad and Muslim .

Al-Bara' ibn 'Azib says: "We prayed with the Messenger of Allah (saws) and when he (saws) said 'Allah hears him who praises Him,' none of us would bend his back until the Messenger of Allah (saws) had put his forehead upon the ground."

Related by Bukhari and Muslim.

 

Your Question: I recently went to a Mosque with a friend of mine and she told me that I have to follow the pace of the Imam.

Dear and beloved Sister in Islam, in light of the above quoted clear guidance of the Messenger of Allah (saws) it is absolutely incumbent and obligatory upon the believers to follow the actions of their chosen imam when praying behind him in a congregational prayer. It is an obligatory condition of praying in congregation that the believers never precede nor unnecessarily delay the actions of the imam who is leading the prayer.

 

Your Question: However, I found that the Imam was going threw prayers wayy to fast for me! He wouldsay allahu akbar before i`d be finished saying the surahs!

Beloved Sister, regardless of the pace of your own prayer, when praying in comgregation it is absolutely incumbent and obligatory upon the believers that they keep pace with the pace of their imam chosen to lead their congregational prayer. If one praying behind is for any reason unable to complete their recitations, and the imam declares Allah-o-Akbar and moves into the act of ruku.then without absolutely any hesitation whatsoever one should stop their recitation immediately, follow the action of their imam, and move into ruku after him.

 

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: the prayer of the imam is the prayer of the muktadi (one who prays behind him)

 

Dear and beloved Sister, rest absolutely assured that even if you were not able to complete your recitation of the Surahs you desired, as long as you follow the imam who is leading the prayer, your prayer and your worship shall be acceptable by your Lord Most Merciful, and your rewards for offering your prayers in congregation will not be diminished in the least whatsoever.

 

Your Question: What do i do in this situation? Continue to go my own pace even though everyone else is following the imam? or do I follow the imam regardless of whether I finish saying the surahs?

The pace of the muktadi or believers praying behind the imam in congregational prayer is absolutely irrelevant, and one who sincerely believes in Allah and the Last Day, must, and we repeat, must follow the pace of prayer of their chosen imam.

 

Just imagine the chaos, disharmony, disunity, and discord in the ranks if each person in congregational prayer offers his prayers in congregation at his own pace, regardless of the pace of the imam!!!

 

If one, regardless of how beautiful his pace or his rhythm in prayer, regardless of how slowly or how clearly he recites his Surahs or his supplications in prayer.if one does not follow the pace of the imam leading the congregational prayer and thus displays discord and disunity in prayer, his prayer will not be acceptable to Allah Subhanah.

 

One may pray at their chosen speed and pace when they offer their prayers by themselves; but when one is standing in the ranks and the rows in congregational prayers, it is absolutely incumbent and obligatory upon them to follow the pace of the imam who is leading the prayer.that would be akin to piety in the Sight of Allah Subhanah.

 

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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