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Congregational prayers » Duties of the imam and the follower in congregational prayers → ← Congregational prayers » Conditions of the imam of congregational prayers

Congregational prayers » Rules of congregational prayers

Ruling 1440. When a follower makes the intention [for performing a congregational prayer], he must specify the imam [whom he is following]; however, it is not necessary for him to know his name. If he makes the intention that he is following the imam of the present congregational prayer, his prayer is valid.

Ruling 1441. A follower must say everything in congregational prayers except the recitation of Sūrat al-Ḥamd and the other surah; however, if the first or second rakʿah of the follower is the third or fourth rakʿah of the imam, then he must recite Sūrat al-Ḥamd and the other surah.

Ruling 1442. If in the first and second rakʿah of the ṣubḥ, maghrib, and ʿishāʾ prayers a follower hears Sūrat al-Ḥamd and the other surah, then even though he is unable to distinguish the individual words, he must not recite Sūrat al-Ḥamd and the other surah. However, if he cannot hear the voice of the imam, it is recommended that he recites Sūrat al-Ḥamd and the other surah but he must recite them in a whisper; and in the event that he inadvertently recites them aloud, there is no problem.

Ruling 1443. If a follower hears some of the words of Sūrat al-Ḥamd and the other surah, he can recite the parts that he does not hear.

Ruling 1444. If a follower inadvertently recites Sūrat al-Ḥamd and the other surah, or he thinks that the voice he is hearing is not the voice of the imam and recites Sūrat al-Ḥamd and the other surah, and he later realises that it was the voice of imam, his prayer is valid.

Ruling 1445. If a person doubts whether or not he is hearing the voice of the imam, or, if he hears a voice but does not know if it is the imam’s voice or someone else’s, he can recite Sūrat al-Ḥamd and the other surah.

Ruling 1446. Based on obligatory precaution, in the first and second rakʿah of ẓuhr and ʿaṣr prayers, a follower must not recite Sūrat al-Ḥamd and the other surah, and it is recommended that he says dhikr instead.

Ruling 1447. A follower must not say takbīrat al-iḥrām before the imam. In fact, the recommended precaution is that he should not say takbīrat al-iḥrām until the imam has completed saying it.

Ruling 1448. If a follower inadvertently says the salām of the prayer before the imam, his prayer is valid and it is not necessary that he says the salām again along with the imam. In fact, there is no problem even if he intentionally says the salām before the imam.

Ruling 1449. Apart from takbīrat al-iḥrām, there is no problem if a follower says other parts of the prayer before the imam. However, if he can hear those other parts or he knows when the imam will say them, the recommended precaution is that he should not say them before the imam.

Ruling 1450. Except for those things that are recited in prayers, a follower must perform all other acts of the prayer – such as the rukūʿs and sajdahs – either with the imam or a little after him. If he intentionally performs them before the imam or delays them after the imam to such an extent that it cannot be said he is following the imam, his congregational prayer is invalid. However, if he acts according to the duty of one who performs the prayer on his own, his prayer is valid as per the details that were mentioned in Ruling 1403.

Ruling 1451. If a follower inadvertently raises his head from rukūʿ before the imam, then based on obligatory precaution, in the event that the imam is in rukūʿ, he must go back into rukūʿ and raise his head with the imam; in this case, performing the additional rukūʿ, which is a rukn, does not invalidate the prayer. If he intentionally does not go back into rukūʿ, then based on obligatory precaution his congregational prayer becomes invalid although his prayer [performed on his own] is valid as per the details mentioned in Ruling 1403. However, if he goes back into rukūʿ but before he joins the imam in rukūʿ the imam raises his head, then based on obligatory precaution his prayer is invalid.

Ruling 1452. If a follower inadvertently raises his head and sees that the imam is in sajdah, then based on obligatory precaution he must go back into sajdah. In the event that this happens in both sajdahs, then performing the two additional sajdahs, which constitute a rukn, does not invalidate the prayer.

Ruling 1453. If someone inadvertently raises his head from sajdah before the imam and goes back into sajdah, and then he realises that the imam had raised his head before he went into sajdah, his prayer is valid. However, if this happens in both sajdahs, then based on obligatory precaution his prayer is invalid.

Ruling 1454. If a person mistakenly raises his head from rukūʿ or sajdah and inadvertently or thinking that he will not be able to join the imam does not go back into rukūʿ or sajdah, his congregational prayer is valid.

Ruling 1455. If a person raises his head from sajdah and sees that the imam is in sajdah, in the event that he thinks it is the imam’s first sajdah and he goes into sajdah with the intention of performing it with the imam, but then he realises that actually it was the imam’s second sajdah, in such a case, it will be counted as his second sajdah. And if he thinks it is the imam’s second sajdah and he goes into sajdah, but then he realises that actually it was the imam’s first sajdah, in this case, he must complete the sajdah with the intention of performing it with the imam and then go into sajdah again with the imam. In each case, it is better that he completes the prayer in congregation and performs it again.

Ruling 1456. If a person inadvertently goes into rukūʿ before the imam, in the event that after saying the obligatory dhikr of rukūʿ he can go back and join part of the imam’s rukūʿ, he must say the dhikr and then, based on obligatory precaution, he must go back into rukūʿ. And the recommended precaution is that he says dhikr in the second rukūʿ as well. If he intentionally does not back into rukūʿ, the validity of his congregational prayer is problematic [i.e. based on obligatory precaution, it is not valid]. However, his prayer [performed on his own] is valid as per the details mentioned in Ruling 1403. And if he cannot go back to say the obligatory dhikr and join the rukūʿ of the imam, he must say the dhikr and then go into sajdah with the imam; if he does this, his congregational prayer is valid.

Ruling 1457. If a person inadvertently goes into sajdah before the imam, in the event that after saying the obligatory dhikr of sajdah he can go back and perform the sajdah with the imam, then based on obligatory precaution he must say the dhikr and then go back. And the recommended precaution is that he should say the dhikr in the second sajdah which he performed in order to follow the imam. If he intentionally does not go back, the validity of his congregational prayer is problematic [i.e. based on obligatory precaution, it is not valid]. However, his [individual] prayer is valid as per the details mentioned in Ruling 1403. And if he cannot go back to say the obligatory dhikr and join the imam in sajdah, he must say the dhikr and then continue with the imam; if he does this, his congregational prayer is valid.

Ruling 1458. If the imam mistakenly performs qunūt in a rakʿah that does not have qunūt, or if he mistakenly starts saying tashahhud in a rakʿah that does not have tashahhud, then the follower must not perform qunūt or say tashahhud. However, he cannot go into rukūʿ before the imam or stand up before the imam; rather, he must wait until the qunūt and tashahhud of the imam finishes and then complete the rest of the prayer with him.
Congregational prayers » Duties of the imam and the follower in congregational prayers → ← Congregational prayers » Conditions of the imam of congregational prayers
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