How Do I Follow an Imam In the Shafi’i School?

Question: Should a Shafi’i repeat every takbir of the Imam loudly? Should he reply to the Imam’s ‘Sami` Allahu liman hamidah or just repeat it? Should he say the final Salam? Are there book recommendations about learning what to do as an imam and follower?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. You can learn all of your basics by taking a free course here at Seekers on your personally obligatory knowledge of worship. We have a series of fiqh courses so that you can develop your knowledge and learn in more detail with each course. See the link here:
https://seekersguidance.org/courses/absolute-essentials-of-islam-shafii-habshis-encompassing-epistle-explained-getting-started-with-your-belief-and-practice/

1) It is sunna for the follower to repeat every takbir of the prayer, not loudly, but audible enough to hear oneself.

2) It says in the Reliance of the Traveller, “f12.14 It is obligatory for one to follow the imam’s leadership in prayer actions, such that each of one’s movements begins after the imam begins it and before he finishes (N: the following integral). (0: It is highly desirable that) one follows the imam’s spoken integrals in the same way, with the sole exception of saying” Ameen” (def:f8.19), which should be simultaneous with his. It invalidates one’s prayer to say one’s opening Allahu Akbar simultaneously with the imam or to be uncertain as to whether one did so or not. It is offensive to perform some other part of the prayer simultaneously with the imam, and one thereby loses the merit of group prayer.“

As such, it is sunna for you to say “Sami`Allahu liman hamidah” after the imam and then reply to it. Although, not saying them or only saying one of them will not invalidate the prayer.

3) Your answer is found here:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/saying-final-salams-prayer-behind-imam/

4) I recommend that you take the course mentioned above and that you try to obtain a copy of these two books for reference:
https://www.meccabooks.com/50-reliance-of-the-traveler-a-classic-manual-of-islamic-sacred-law-9789159577281.html

https://www.meccabooks.com/43-al-maqasid-imam-nawawi-s-manual-of-islam-9781590080115.html?search_query=Maqasid&results=7

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.