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Imaam’s Forgotten Sunnah (Ahadith 806-808)


There’s something Prophet (SAW) used to do after finishing his prayer, which I don’t see many Imaams doing today. And it makes me sad. :(

Volume 1, Book 12, Number 806:

Narrated Samura bin Jundab:

The Prophet used to face us on completion of the prayer.

Volume 1, Book 12, Number 807:

Narrated Zaid bin Khalid Al-Juhani:

The Prophet led us in the Fajr prayer at Hudaibiya after a rainy night. On completion of the prayer, he faced the people and said, “Do you know what your Lord has said (revealed)?” The people replied, “Allah and His Apostle know better.” He said, “Allah has said, ‘In this morning some of my slaves remained as true believers and some became non-believers; whoever said that the rain was due to the Blessings and the Mercy of Allah had belief in Me and he disbelieves in the stars, and whoever said that it rained because of a particular star had no belief in Me but believes in that star.'”

This particular image shows the imaam addressing the congregation while standing. Hadith does not say anything about standing, so Imaam may face the congregation in sitting position as well.

Volume 1, Book 12, Number 808:

Narrated Anas bin Malik:

Once the Prophet delayed the ‘Isha’ prayer until midnight and then came to us. Having prayed he faced us and said, “The people had prayed and slept but you were in the prayer as long as you were waiting for it.”

Facing congregation after the prayer is a Sunnah for the Imaam. It’s easier to address people that way as well.



The ‘Silent’ Prayers (Hadith No. 713)


Volume 1, Book 12, Number 713:

Narrated Abu Ma’mar:

We asked Khabbab whether Allah’s Apostle used to recite (the Qur’an) in the Zuhr and the ‘Asr prayers. He replied in the affirmative. We said, “How did you come to know about it?” He said, “By the movement of his beard.”

  1. Dhuhr and `Asr are the sirri (silent/in which we whisper) prayers. Imaam does not recite aloud in congregation. Everyone recites their own surahs.
  2. How to know if someone is reciting something in the prayer or not? Check the movement of their beard (or lips). Which means, one should lip sync in Salah. Whisper to your Lord, per se. Don’t just go about it in your heart/mind.


Switching Imaams During Salah (Hadith No. 652)


Hadith no. 650 and 651 are repeats. Read them here.

Volume 1, Book 11, Number 652:

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.


Between Iqaamah and Jama’ah (Hadith No. 632)


Volume 1, Book 11, Number 632:

Narrated Malik Ibn Buhaina:

Allah’s Apostle passed by a man praying two Rakat after the Iqama (had been pronounced). When Allah’s Apostle completed the prayer, the people gathered around him (the Prophet) or that man and Allah’s Apostle said to him (protesting), Are there four Rakat in Fajr prayer? Are there four Rakat in Fajr prayer?”

Prophet (SAW) was harsh about it because he wanted to make this clear: no Salah is to be offered except the compulsory Salah after the Iqaamah has been pronounced for that compulsory Salah.
Simply, if you’re praying in the masjid/with Jama’ah, you can’t pray any Salah in between the Iqaamah and the Jama’ah (congregation).
Remember, Adhaan and Iqaamah are different.


By Him In Whose Hands My Soul Is.. [Importance of Prayer in Congregation] (Hadith No. 617)


Volume 1, Book 11, Number 617:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah’s Apostle said, “By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, I was about to order for collecting fire-wood (fuel) and then order someone to pronounce the Adhan for the prayer and then order someone to lead the prayer, then I would go from behind and burn the houses of men who did not present themselves for the (compulsory congregational) prayer. By Him, in Whose Hands my soul is, if anyone of them had known that he would get a bone covered with good meat or two (small) pieces of meat present in between two ribs, he would have turned up for the ‘Isha’ prayer.’

Photo Credit: Yumna Arif

This Hadith clearly shows that prayer (fardh) WITH congregation is compulsory for men. There’s no denying that.
And then, we get to know how important it is for men to come out to the masjid to pray. The way Prophet (SAW) expressed his anger towards those who sit home and do not attend the congregational prayer is just heart-wrenching. Such anger. Such hatred. Not personal, of course. All for Allah’s sake.
Brothers, if you’re not so motivated to go to the masjid to pray, remind yourself of this Hadith. Imagine Prophet (SAW) coming to BURN DOWN YOUR PLACE! Just pray in the masjid, dude!
Sisters, feel for your brothers, your fathers, your husbands. Do whatever you need to do in order to send them to the masjid. Otherwise, you’ll be with them when the house is being burnt down.


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