We have an Imam here in the mosque … he shaves his beard partly … that is, he is not completely clean shaven but he keeps a thin beard on his face and he is a hafiz … the problem is that there are many people praying behind him who seem to b better to him in following the religion , even though they r not hafiz of the Qur’an … question is does his bidah of keeping a thin beard only, invalidate his prayers, and as a consequence, the prayers of those praying behind him …. and secondly, even his prays r valid, should we strive to replace him with sumone who is better in following the religion, for example, sumone who does not shave or trim his beard , even if he is not a hafiz …
please answer in detail with evidence from the Qur’an and Sunnah and please answer soon … we r having a lot of problems in our mosque because of this issue …some say that we must not pray behind him while others say that we must pray behind him.
Praise be to Allaah.Firstly:
Shaving the beard in whole or in part is a sin which is not permissible to do. The prayer of one who commits a sin such as shaving the beard and the like is valid if he does it as prescribed by Allaah, according to scholarly consensus. The prayers of those who pray behind him, if he leads the prayer, are also valid, according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions.
Tuhfat al-Ikhwaan, p. 114, by Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz.
The fact that his leading of the prayer is valid is indicated by the fact that the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) prayed behind unjust leaders and ruler. ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar and Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) prayed behind al-Hajjaaj al-Thaqafi. Al-Shaafa’i said: And he – meaning al-Hajjaaj – was bad enough (as an evildoer).
Once this is established, there is no point in saying, “I will not pray behind this imam.” Rather you should pray behind him if not doing so will lead to evil consequences, division or conflict, because conflict is worse.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: If by not praying behind him the worshipper will miss out on Jumu’ah and prayers in congregation, then no one does that except an innovator who is differing from the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them). Similarly, if the imam has been appointed by those in authority and there is no shar’i purpose to be served by not praying behind him, then you should not refuse to pray behind him, rather it is better to pray behind him.
Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 9/388.
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said – concerning one who leads people in prayer when they do not like him: Our companions said: His leading the prayer is makrooh if they dislike him because of something that is condemned in sharee’ah, such as an oppressive ruler or one who attains the position of imam by force and does not deserve it, or one who does not take precautions to avoid naajis (impure) things… If no such thing applies then it is not makrooh. … Then he said: When we say that it is makrooh, that is limited to the imam; as for the members of the congregation who do not like him, it is not makrooh for them to pray behind him.
Al-Majmoo’, 4/172-173 Continue reading