Praying Behind the People of Innovation | 9 | A Question from Holland: Brothers who Boycotted the Mosques Because the Imaams Oppose the Sunnah in Some Issues
by The Albaani Blog
Questioner: … when I said to you that a group of our brothers in a city in Holland boycott the mosques and that they were waiting for a fatwa from you such that if you said to them that it was permissible they, inshaa Allaah, would be totally ready to go to any mosque, and the reason they don’t go is because, as I mentioned to you, there are people of innovation there and that some of the Imaams there shave their beards and wear their thawbs below their ankles and other such things.
Al-Albaani: Ya’ni, this question is not connected to the Jamaa’ah of Takfeer and Hijrah?
Questioner: It’s as though they have left some of that thinking but other remnants from it still remain, from which is boycotting the mosques and not praying in them, and not establishing the Friday prayer.
Al-Albaani: If these people who have boycotted the mosques are from the Jamaa’ah of takfeer then the answer has preceded, but if they are from another group who have not been affected with their ideology then such people are very widespread in the Islamic world, such that they hold that it is not correct to pray behind people who oppose [the Sunnah] or innovate or things such as that.
So according to what we believe, this [stance of theirs] is taking the legislation to extremes and has no basis.
I don’t know if I mentioned some of the legislative texts in that [previous] gathering or a different one, from which is his saying عليه الصلاة والسلام about the Imaams, “If they lead the prayer correctly then they and you will receive the rewards, but if they make a mistake, then you will receive the reward for the prayer and the sin will be theirs.” [Bukhaari, no. 694]. Do you remember if we mentioned this hadith?
Questioner: No, you didn’t mention it …
Al-Albaani: We didn’t mention it …
Questioner: I went over the tape [and you never mentioned it].
Al-Albaani: Ok, it is the answer, i.e., it is not allowed for any Muslim to keep away from praying in a mosque as long as a Muslim Imaam is leading the prayer [there], even if in that Imaam’s ideology, aqidah, behaviour and manners, there is some deviation from the [correct] legislated rulings [in those areas].
So as we all know, Islaam always and forever orders unity, oneness, and being distant from the causes of disunity, such that the issue reached the level where the Prophet عليه الصلاة والسلام said a hadith like this which is express in showing the correctness of the prayer of someone who prays behind an Imaam even if that Imaam has shortcomings in some areas, so he صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم said, as occurs in Sahih Bukhari, reported by Abu Hurairah, may Allaah the Most High be pleased with him, that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم said, ‘They will lead you in prayer. If they do so correctly then they and you will receive the rewards, but if they make a mistake, then you will receive the reward for the prayer and the sin will be theirs.”
So if I had an opinion, or order, or piece of advice to direct to these people who you mentioned [in the question], then we order them with the Prophet’s order صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم who said what you just heard about the Imaams, “They will lead you in prayer. If they do so correctly then they and you will receive the rewards, but if they make a mistake, then you will receive the reward for the prayer and the sin will be theirs.”
This is the answer.
Questioner: May Allaah reward you with good.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 523.