Monday, 29 August 2011

Permissibility of following the imaam from behind the door of the mosque


The nature of the place in which we pray is such that when it gets full, we close the door, and some people pray outside the prayer-place, following the imaam by hearing his voice on the loudspeakers. Is their prayer valid even though they are outside the mosque?

Praise be to Allaah. 

was narrated that Zayd ibn Thaabit (may Allaah be pleased with him)
said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was staying in a hut made of palm
leaves. He prayed in that hut and some men followed him, they came and
prayed with him. And in the hadeeth in which this incident is described,
it says: “The best prayer of a man is prayers offered in his house,
except for the obligatory prayers.” (Agreed upon)

hadeeth indicates that it is permissible to follow the imaam even if
he is in a room where the person following him cannot see him, or if
one of them is on the roof and the other is in a lower place. The point
is that if it is possible to follow the imaam if they are all inside
the mosque, there is no dispute among the scholars that it is permissible
for him to do so.

hadeeth also indicates that the presence of a barrier between the imaam
and the members of the congregation does not mean that the prayer and
their following the imaam are invalid. Al-Nawawi said: “For their following
to be valid, the person following has to know when the imaam moves,
whether they are praying in the mosque or elsewhere, or one of them
is in the mosque and the other is outside – this is according to scholarly

one of them is outside the mosque and he can see the imaam or other
members of the congregation, even if the rows are interrupted, the prayer
is valid because there is nothing to make it invalid and there is something
to make it valid – which is that he can see either the imaam or some
of the people behind him, and he is able to follow the prayer.

al-Insaaf it says: with
regard to the continuity of the rows, reference should be made to al-‘urf
(local custom, i.e., what is traditionally regarded as being complete),
according to the correct view.

says in al-Mughni: interruptions
(in the rows) do not matter. This is the view of Maalik and al-Shaafa'i,
because there is no limit in that, since it does not prevent following
the imaam. What matters here is what would prevent a person from seeing
or hearing the imaam. Al-Nawawi made it a condition that there should
not be big gaps outside the mosque, which is the view of the majority
of scholars. And Allaah knows best.

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