Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel
I am from Palestine and live in the UK. I pray in a masjid that follows the Hanafi Fiqh. Alhamdulillah I am a hafiz and hold a Sanad in 5 Qira’at. I wear normal tops and trousers as it’s not our culture to wear Thoub.
Sometimes, the Imam doesn’t come to prayer, and although the person in charge knows that I am a hafiz, he will never ask me to lead because I am not wearing a Thoub. He makes someone else lead, and some people who lead make clear mistakes in Fatiha.
Is the person in charge following the correct ruling of the Hanafi Fiqh in this situation? What should be the right course of action in this situation?
Please benefit us with the answer.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
I pray you are in good faith and health. Thank you for your question and for asking an Islamic answer.
The individual in charge may need to be better informed about the significance and expertise of Tajwid and its sciences for an Imam. Additionally, they may have yet to have the opportunity to hear your recitation. Furthermore, some mosques prioritize the selection of imams who wear specific types of clothing.
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The one most versed in the Book of Allah should lead. If equal, then the most knowledgeable of the Sunna should lead.” [Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nasa’i, and Ibn Maja, with the wording being Muslims]
It is best that the one more learned in the rulings of prayer lead than the one whose recitation is better. This is the proper understanding of “most versed in the Book of Allah,” as the scholars explain.
I recommend you speak to the Imam about yourself, saying that sometimes people who lead need their Fatiha to improve, and then you can mention your memorization of the Quran and studies.
I pray the community comes to realize your worth, and may Allah Most High spread abundance through you and benefit the community, Amin.
I would like you to go through the valuable answers and links below. You will receive guidance and direction, in sha’ Allah.
- Who Has the Most Right To Lead Prayer (Salat)? (Hanafi)
- Praying Behind an Improperly Dressed, Beardless Imam
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I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.