Can I Take the Position of an Imam in a School?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum.

Can I take the position of an Imam in a school? What hadiths pertain to going for leadership?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

Yes, you can. The obligation of earning a livelihood takes precedence over avoiding positions of leadership. However, with the proviso that you are actually fit for the role.

Otherwise, the general course of action is to avoid such positions when reasonably possible, and when you are not the only suitable candidate, or when others won’t sufficiently fulfil the particular role– attested to by other than yourself, and preferably a righteous scholar.

Abu Dharr said, “I said, ‘Messenger of Allah, why do you not appoint me?’ He clapped me on the shoulder with his hand and then said, ‘Abu Dharr, you are weak. It is a trust, and on the Day of Rising it will be disgrace and regret except for the man who takes it as it should be taken and fulfils what is demanded of him in respect of it.'” [Muslim]

Please also see: Seeking a Community Leadership Position and Showing Off

And Allah alone knows best.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani