What do the scholars of the noble Shariah say concerning this matter; along with keeping a beard, what other conditions are necessary for the one leading the prayer?
Questioner: A brother from UK
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
The conditions that validate the position of an Imām are as follows:
- To be a Muslim
- To be mature
- To be sane
- To be male
- Recitation i.e. being able to recite a sufficient amount that deems the prayer correct
- To not be excused by Shariah
It is mentioned in Nūr-ul-Īdāh:
صحة الإمامة للرجال الأصحاء ستةالإسلام والبلوغ والعقل والذكورة والقرءاة والسلامة من الأعذار
For men who are in good health, there are six conditions for one to be an Imām; being a Muslim, mature, sane, being a male, being able to recite correctly and to be free from excuses.
It is clear that a non-Muslim is incapable of being an Imām. Likewise, the prayer behind a badmad̄hab [deviant] who has been misled to the point of Kufr, is invalid. A non-adolescent male cannot lead mature men in prayer. Similarly, someone who is not sane is not capable of leading the prayer and a woman cannot lead men in prayer. A non-elocutionist i.e. someone who cannot read the Qur’an correctly at all, is not worthy of leading the prayer. One who is excused i.e. someone who cannot remain in in the state of wudu due to an illness etc, is not permitted to lead the prayer, as mentioned in various books.
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Dawud Hanif
Read the original answer in Urdu here – [Q-ID0369] What are the pre-conditions to lead the prayer as Imam?