The Office of the Supreme Leader

Practical Laws of Islam

  • Rules of Taqlīd
  • Rules on Purity
  • Prayer
    • Importance and Conditions of Prayer
    • Prayer Times
    • Qiblah
    • The Place of Praying
    • Rules of a Masjid
    • Rules Regarding Other Religious Places
    • Clothes of the Praying Person
    • Wearing and Using Gold and Silver
    • Adhān and Iqāmah
    • Recitation [of the Fātiḥah and the Other Chapter] and its Rules
    • Dhikr of Prayer
    • Rules of Prostration
    • Things that Invalidate Prayer
    • Rules of Greeting in Prayers
    • Doubt in Prayers
    • Qaḍā’ Prayer
    • Qaḍā’ Prayers of the Parents
    • Congregational Prayers
      Print  ;  PDF
      Congregational Prayers
      Q 549: What should a congregational prayer imam say in his intention? Should he perform it with the intention of a congregational or individual prayer?
      A: If he wants to acquire the benefits and reward of a congregational prayer, then he should have the intention to lead the prayers. However, if he enters the prayers without the intention of leading, then his prayer is correct and there is no problem for others to read their prayers behind him.
      Q 550: Because of the work they have at hand, some people do not attend the prayer which is held during working hours at the bases of the armed forces. Knowing that they can do that work later on or even the following day, can this action of them be classified as belittling the prayer?
      A: To acquire the merit of offering prayer early at its time and that of the congregational prayer, it is preferable to make a proper arrangement of office hours so that this divine duty could be performed in the form of congregational prayer in the shortest necessary period of time.
      Q 551: What is your opinion as regards performing the mustaḥabb actions such as nāfilah prayers, Du‘ā’ Tawassul and other supplications in governmental offices before, after and during prayers? These acts usually take longer time than the actual congregational prayer itself.
      A: Any mustaḥabb action which is performed with the congregational prayer would be considered problematic if it becomes a cause for wasting time and delay in the performance of official duties there.


      Q 552: Is it permissible to start a second congregational prayer in an area near to another congregational prayer in which a lot of people participate and the sound of its adhān and iqāmah is quite clearly heard?
      A: There is no problem in starting a second congregational prayer in such a situation, although it is preferable that the believers come together and attend a single congregational prayer so that the greatness of the congregation can be expressed.
      Q 553: What is your rule regarding a person or people who come to a masjid to offer the prayers individually while prayer is being held in congregation?
      A: If this act is seen as something which weakens the congregational prayer or leads to disrespect towards its imam or is insulting to him who is considered just the by people, it will not be permissible.
      Q 554: There are several masjids in our area and congregational prayer takes place in all of them. There is a house between two masjids. On one side between the house and the masjid there are ten other houses while in the direction of the other masjid, the distance is of only two houses. A congregational prayer takes place in this house also. What is your ruling regarding this congregational prayer?
      A: congregational prayer is offered to create unity and closeness not to cause disunity and division. Anyhow the neighboring houses are permitted to start a congregational prayer as long as it does not become a cause of division and conflict.
      Q 555: Is an individual allowed to lead congregational prayer without the permission of the appointed Congregational prayer imam who has been appointed by the center which runs the affairs of the masjids?
      A: Holding congregational prayer is not dependent on the permission of the permanent congregational prayer imam. However, it is preferable that no one would prevent the imam from leading the prayer at the time of his presence in the masjid. If he is obstructed then that action could be defined as ḥarām if it becomes a cause of division and ignites conflict.
      Q 556: Does the justice of the congregational prayer imam become void if he says or makes a joke that is not appropriate for a scholar of Islam?
      A: If what he has said does not contravene Islamic law, then it has no effect on his justice.
      Q 557: Is one allowed to start to pray behind a congregational prayer imam about whom one has no information and does not know?
      A: If he knows — through any shar‘ī means — that the Imam is ‘ādil, it is permissible to pray behind him and the congregational prayer is correct.
      Q 558: A person considers another one as just and pious and at the same time considers him as an oppressor because on certain occasion he has oppressed him. So can this person consider the other as ‘ādil in the common sense of the word?
      A: Until it is not clear that the person, whom he has considered an oppressor, has done that action knowingly, by choice and without any religious excuse, it is not permissible to label him unjust.
      Q 559: Can one pray behind a person who has the ability to enjoin the good and forbid evil but does not?
      A: The mere abstention from enjoining people to do good and forbidding them from evil, which in itself could be due to some reasons acceptable for the person who has this duty to perform, neither becomes a cause for invalidating the person’s justice nor does it become an obstacle for others to perform prayer behind that person.
      Q 560: What is the meaning of justice in your opinion?
      A: It is a psychological state due to which a person always enjoys piety which prevents him from neglecting obligatory duties or doing things forbidden according to Islamic law. To recognize the state of justice, it is sufficient that one sees the apparent goodness of the person.
      Q 561: We are a group of youngsters who gather in some religious places and whenever it is time for prayers, we appoint one among ourselves who is ‘ādil and perform prayers behind him. There are some people who confront us and say that according to Imam Khomeini’s ruling, one should not perform his prayer behind a person who is not an Islamic scholar? What is our duty?
      A: Whenever an Islamic scholar is available, one should not pray behind one who is not an Islamic scholar.
      Q 562: Can a congregational prayer be conducted by two individuals?
      A: If you mean that one is the imam and the other is the follower, there is no objection to it.
      Q 563: Although it is not obligatory for him, a follower recites the Fātiḥah and another chapter in congregational noon and afternoon prayers so as to better concentrate on his prayers. What is the ruling regarding his prayers?
      A: In the prayers which should be said quietly, e.g. the noon and the afternoon prayers, he, by obligatory caution, is not permitted to recite the Fātiḥah and another chapter even if it is to protect oneself from losing his concentration on the prayer. It is mustaḥabb, instead, to say dhikr.
      Q 564: Although he complies with all the regulations of traffic, a congregational prayer imam rides a bicycle to the place of congregational prayer. What is your ruling in this regard?
      A: This action harms neither justice nor correctness of leading the congregation.
      Q 565: There are times when we attend the congregational prayer and the imam is reciting the tashahhud of the last rak‘ah. Here to get its reward, we can say takbīrah al-iḥrām, sit, recite tashahhud with the imam and stand up when the imam finishes his salām, to start the first rak‘ah. Can we do the same thing in the tashahhud of the second rak‘ah of a four-rak‘ah prayer?
      A: The above mentioned procedure is specific to the final rak‘ah of the congregational prayer so that one may acquire the reward of the congregation.
      Q 566: Is it permissible for the imam of congregational prayer to receive money for doing preliminaries of congregational prayer?
      A: It is no problem.
      Q 567: Can an imam say a single prayer — whether an ‘īd or a daily prayer — twice in congregation?
      A: As far as the five daily prayers are concerned, he is permitted to perform the same prayer again in congregation but with another group of followers. In fact this is mustaḥabb. However, regarding an ‘īd prayer, there is a problem in doing so.
      Q 568: Does a person have to read the Fātiḥah and another chapter loudly when he is doing his second rak‘ah while the imam is in his third or fourth rak‘ah of ‘ishā’ prayer?
      A: It is obligatory for him to read them quietly.
      Q 569: After the completion of a congregational prayer, the verse which declares ṣalawāt on the Holy Prophet (s.) is recited. After that, the praying persons recite ṣalawāt upon the Holy Prophet (s.) and his Household (a.) three times. After that they say Allāhu Akbar three times and then chant political slogans (in form of supplications) loudly. Is there any problem in this?
      A: There is no objection to reading the verse, and saying ṣalawāt for the Noble Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Household (a), rather, it is desirable and yields rewards. Also it is desirable to chant Islamic slogans and that of the Islamic Revolution (i.e. Allāhu-Akbar, etc) which remind all of the messages and aims of the Islamic Revolution.
      Q 570: An individual arrives at a masjid when the congregational prayer is in its second rak‘ah. Due to his ignorance of Islamic rules, he does not perform the tashahhud obligatory for him in the following rak‘ah. Is his prayer correct or not?
      A: The prayer is correct but he should, by obligatory caution, perform the qaḍā’ of tashahhud. He should also perform the two prostrations of inadvertence as he failed to perform the tashahhud.  However, it is an obligatory caution that he makes the qaḍā’ of the forgotten tashahhud before performing the two prostrations of inadvertence.
      Q 571: Does one need to acquire the permission of the person behind whom one wants to pray? Can one perform or start his prayer behind a follower — i.e. a person who is himself being led in the prayer?
      A: One does not need the permission of the prayer imam to follow him in the prayer. It is not correct to start one’s prayer behind a follower, while he continues to be a follower.
      Q 572: There are two people and between them they select one as the imam and the other follows him in the prayer. A third person enters and starts his prayers behind the one who is following thinking that he is the imam. As soon as the prayer finishes, the third person realizes that the person was not the imam but in fact he was following the imam. What is the rule regarding the prayer of the third person?
      A: To start one’s prayer behind someone who is himself following an imam is not correct. However, if one starts his prayer behind such a person due to ignorance but regarding rukū‘ and prostration he fulfills all requirements of one who prays individually, i.e. without increasing or decreasing a rukn intentionally or unintentionally, the prayer is considered correct and valid.
      Q 573: Is it correct to perform one’s ‘ishā’ prayer behind one who is performing the maghrib prayer?
      A: There is no objection to doing so.
      Q 574: Do the prayers of the followers become void when the imam is at a higher position than them?
      A: If the place where the imam is standing is too higher than that of the congregants to be permissible in Islamic law (i.e. by one span or more), this would invalidate the congregational prayer.
      Q 575: One of the lines of congregational prayer was made up completely of people who were travelers (saying shortened prayers) and behind them was a line of people who were saying complete prayers. The former, having finished their prayers after two rak‘ahs, stood up to offer the next prayer, did the prayers of the line behind them remain as congregational prayer or not?
      A: In the above situation that they join the congregation immediately, the status of congregational prayer remains intact.
      Q 576: Is it permissible for one who is joining at one of the ends of the first line to enter the congregational prayers prior to those between him and the imam?
      A: When the followers standing between that person and the imam are completely ready to enter the prayer after the imam has started his prayer and are about to say takbīr, that person is permitted to start his congregational prayer.
      Q 577: A person joins a congregational prayer in the third rak‘ah. However, he does not read anything, thinking that the imam is in the first. Does this person have to repeat the prayer?
      A: If he realizes this before rukū‘, then it is obligatory for him to recite the Fātiḥah and another chapter. However, if there is no time for both, he should recite the Fātiḥah only and join the imam in his rukū. If he happens to realize it in rukū‘ or later, then the prayer is correct and there is no need to do anything. Even though, according to the mustaḥabb caution, he may perform two prostrations of inadvertence for missing out the recitation unintentionally.
      Q 578: There is a great need for congregational prayer imams to hold congregational prayer in governmental offices, schools, etc. Other than me, there is no scholar in this area. That is why I perform one obligatory prayer several times at different places. All marji‘s have permitted the imam to lead two congregational prayers. Can one lead more congregations with the intention of performing qaḍā’ of possibly missed prayers for caution?
      A: As for the given assumption, it is not correct to lead congregational prayer with the intention of performing of possibly missed prayers for caution.


      Q 579: A college arranges a congregational prayer for its staff in a building within the complex of the college. It is located next to the town’s masjid and they are fully aware that at the same time there is a congregational prayer held in the masjid. What would the rule be regarding one’s participation in the congregational prayer being conducted in the college?
      A: When one maintains that a congregational prayer enjoys the conditions required for following and congregation; he can participate in it, even though it is close to a masjid in which a congregational prayer is held simultaneously.
      Q 580: Is it permissible to offer one’s prayer behind a person who is a judge but has not reached the stage of ijtihād?
      A: When his performance as a judge is based on an appointment by the person who has the authority to appoint, then there is no objection to saying prayer behind him.
      Q 581: What is your rule about a person who follows Imam Khomeini in taqlīd concerning traveling prayer, if he prays, especially Friday prayer, behind an imam who follows another marji‘?
      A: The difference in taqlīd does not prevent one from correctly starting his prayer behind someone else. However, it is not correct to offer one’s prayer behind an imam in a prayer which should be offered as shortened according to the follower’s marji‘ while it should be offered completely according to that of the imam or vice versa.
      Q 582: What should the follower do if the imam accidentally goes to rukū‘ immediately after saying takbīrah al-iḥrām?
      A: If the follower realizes this after entering the congregational prayer, and before going to rukū‘, he should do the intention of offering the prayers individually and then read the Fātiḥah and another chapter.
      Q 583: What is the rule regarding congregational prayer of the adult persons who stand after the children standing in the third and fourth lines?
      A: If they know that the children's prayer is correct, they may pray behind them offering their prayer in congregation.
      Q 584: A congregational prayer imam performs tayammum in place of janābah ghusl due to an excuse. Is it sufficient for the purpose performing congregational prayer?
      A: If his inability is justifiable by Islamic law, then he can perform prayer as imam of congregation with tayammum instead of ghusl. It would also be permissible to start one’s prayer behind such a person.
    • Rule of Incorrect Recitation by a Congregational Prayer Imam
    • Congregational Prayer Led by a Person Lacking a Body Part
    • Women’s Attendance in Congregational Prayer
    • Performing Congregational Prayer behind Sunnīs
    • Friday Prayer
    • The Two ‘Īd Prayers
    • A Traveler’s Prayer
    • Someone for Whom Traveling Is a Job or a Preliminary for the Job
    • Rule of Students
    • Intent of Traveling the Shar‘ī Distance and Staying for Ten Days
    • Tarakhkhuṣ Limit
    • A Travel for the Purposes of Committing a Sin
    • Rules Regarding the Watan
    • Wife’s and Children’s Following as far as Watan Is Concerned
    • Rules of Large Cities
    • Prayer Performed by Hiring
    • Āyāt Prayer
    • Nāfilahs
    • Miscellaneous Issues of Prayers
  • Fasting
  • Khums
  • Jihad
  • Enjoining the Good and Forbidding Evil
  • Ḥarām Gains
  • Chess and Gambling Instruments
  • Music and Ghinā’
  • Dancing
  • Clapping
  • Non-maḥrams’ Pictures and Films
  • Satellite Television Equipment
  • Theatre and Cinema
  • Painting and Sculpture
  • Magic, Conjuring, and Evocation of Spirits and Jinn
  • Hypnosis
  • Lottery
  • Bribery
  • Medical Issues
  • Teaching, Learning and Their Proprieties
  • Copyrights
  • Dealing with non-Muslims
  • Working for Oppressive States
  • Rules on Clothing and Conspicuous ones
  • Treating the West
  • Smoking and Narcotics
  • Shaving the Beard
  • Attending Gatherings of Debauchery
  • Writing Supplications and Istikhārah
  • Religious Events
  • Hoarding and Extravagance
  • Buying and Selling
  • Miscellaneous Issues in Business
  • Rules Concerning Ribā
  • Right of Pre-emption
  • Hiring, Renting, and Lease
  • Surety
  • Pawning and Mortgaging
  • Partnership
  • Presents and Gifts
  • Debt and Loan
  • Ṣulḥ
  • Power of Attorney
  • Mustaḥabb Alms
  • Deposits and Loaned Properties
  • Leaving a Will
  • Usurpation
  • Placement under Guardianship and Signs of Maturity
  • Silent Partnership
  • Banking
  • State Property
  • Endowments
  • Rules Concerning Graveyards
  • Glossary
700 /