Volume 4, Book 52, Number 101 :
Narrated by Malik bin Al-Huwairith (radiallaahu `anhu)
On my departure from the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) he said to me and to a friend of mine, “You two, pronounce the Adhan and the Iqama for the prayer and let the elder of you lead the prayer.”
We’ve established previously that the minimum number of people required for a congregational prayer is two. This hadith further proves the importance of the adhaan and iqaamah regardless of the number of people in congregation and the place. Adhaan and iqaamah are NOT limited to the mosque, they should be established wherever the congregation is being held – even while traveling.
While looking up the importance of adhaan and iqaamah, I came across this absolutely beautiful hadeeth of ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir, who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
‘Your Lord likes it when a shepherd at the top of a mountain pass calls the Adhaan for prayer and then prays. Then Allaah says, “Look at this slave of mine, saying the Adhaan and the Iqaamah for prayer and fearing Me. I ask you to bear witness that I have forgiven My slave and will admit him to Paradise.”’” (Narrated by al-Nisaa’i)
This is just too good to ignore. Such beautiful rewards for an easy act. It also proves the importance of adhaan and iqaamah for a person who’s praying alone (men only). Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said in reply to a related question:
The Sunnah is to give the adhaan and iqaamah. As to whether it is obligatory, there is a difference of opinion among the scholars. It is better and more on the safe side for you to give the adhaan then the iqaamah, because of the general meaning of the evidence. But you should pray in congregation whenever possible. If there is a congregation or you can hear the call to prayer from a mosque near you, then it is obligatory for you to respond to the muezzin and attend the prayer in congregation. If you cannot hear the call and there is no mosque near you, the Sunnah is for you to give the adhaan yourself, then the iqaamah. End quote.
Al-Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
“If a man neglects to say the Adhaan and Iqaamah when he is praying alone or in congregation, I regard that as makrooh, but he does not have to repeat the prayers he did without the Adhaan or Iqaamah.”
Volume 1, Book 11, Number 668:
Narrated Mu’adh bin Jabal:
I used to pray the ‘Isha prayer with the Prophet and then go to lead my people in the prayer.
Volume 1, Book 11, Number 669:
Jabir bin ‘Abdullah said, “Mu’adh bin Jabal used to pray with the Prophet and then go to lead his people in prayer Once he led the ‘Isha’ prayer and recited Surat “Al-Baqarah.” Somebody left the prayer and Mu’adh criticized him. The news reached the Prophet and he said to Mu’adh, ‘You are putting the people to trial,’ and repeated it thrice (or said something similar) and ordered him to recite two medium Suras of al-Mufassal*.” (‘Amr said that he had forgotten the names of those Suras).
* Al-Mufassalaat or the Surahs of al-Mufassal are the surahs starting from Surah no. 50 till the end of the Qur’an, i.e. Surah no. 114.
Prophet (SAW) always kept the congregational prayer short, and ordered others to do so as well. Everyone does not have the time and circumstances to enjoy such long qiyaams everyday. But when you’re praying alone, you may lengthen your prayer as much as you want.
Reciting relevantly shorter Surahs in `Ishaa’ prayer is a Sunnah. The Surahs towards the end of the Qur’an (al-Mufassalaat) are easy to memorize as well. :)
Narrated Al-Bara’ (and he was not a liar):
When Allah’s Apostle said, “Sami`a-llahu liman hamidah ” none of us bent his back (for prostrations) till the Prophet prostrated and then we would prostrate after him.
Narrated Abu Ishaq:
If you can see the Imaam in front of you, wait for him to change his position fully, and then change yours. Don’t just follow the takbeers.
This Salah discipline teaches you life discipline as well. Always wait for your leader’s signal before going about an action. It’s called ‘following’.
Hadith no. 650 and 651 are repeats. Read them here.
Narrated Sahl bin Sa’d As-Sa’idi:
Allah’s Apostle went to establish peace among Bani ‘Amr bin ‘Auf. In the meantime the time of prayer was due and the Mu’adh-dhin went to Abu Bakr and said, “Will you lead the prayer, so that I may pronounce the Iqama?” Abu Bakr replied in the affirmative and led the prayer. Allah’s Apostle came while the people were still praying and he entered the rows of the praying people till he stood in the (first row). The people clapped their hands. Abu Bakr never glanced sideways in his prayer but when the people continued clapping, Abu Bakr looked and saw Allah’s Apostle. Allah’s Apostle beckoned him to stay at his place. Abu Bakr raised his hands and thanked Allah for that order of Allah’s Apostle and then he retreated till he reached the first row. Allah’s Apostle went forward and led the prayer. When Allah’s Apostle finished the prayer, he said, “O Abu Bakr! What prevented you from staying when I ordered you to do so?”
Abu Bakr replied, “How can Ibn Abi Quhafa (Abu Bakr) dare to lead the prayer in the presence of Allah’s Apostle?” Then Allah’s Apostle said, “Why did you clap so much? If something happens to anyone during his prayer he should say Subhan Allah. If he says so he will be attended to, for clapping is for women.”
- If the Imaam has to be switched during Salah, the method is pretty clear in the Hadith. The Imaam who has to take over should enter the rows from the back and come to the front.
- If anything happens during Salah, men are to say SubhanAllah. They will be attended to (as the Prophet (SAW) said). Clapping is for women.
- When Prophet (SAW) beckoned Abu Bakr (RA) to stay at his place and keep leading the prayer, he thanked Allah right there for the honor. But he refused to do so, as he explains in the last part: “how can Abu Quhafa dare to lead the prayer in the presence of Allah’s Apostle (SAW)?”
If you’re being offered a position/rank and you know someone who’s more worthy of it, don’t hesitate to step back.
- If something unusual happens during Salah, the Imaam can inquire about it afterwards and make amendments accordingly, as the Prophet (SAW) did.