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Imams in a Masjid

Imams in a Masjid

In the time of Mohammed (s.a.w) the five times prayers were conducted by Mohammed (s.a.w) and then as Islam grew and people from different places accepted Islam Rasool (s.a.w) appointed Imams to conduct the prayers, he said:

Let those who know most of Quran lead the prayers, if there are many equal who know the Quran, then let those who know most of the Sunnah lead people in Prayer; and if there are many equal who know the Sunnah, then let those who were the first to make Hijrath lead the people in prayers, if there are many equal in making the Hijrath; then let those who are the eldest among them lead the prayers, and let not anyone hamper with others leadership....
Narrated By: Abu Masoodh (r.a) - Books: Muslim; Tirmithi

So being the case, everyone in the Masjid should be able to lead the people in Prayer, if the best amongst them is absent then the next best should lead the people in prayer, and if that person too is absent then the next ... and so on till everyone in the Masjid should be able to lead people in prayer. In so doing everyone become well versed in conducting the prayer, and they make sure they know the Quran and Hadees so as not to make mistakes, and one would feel really ashamed to say that he does not know to lead the people in prayer.

But what a pity – today people hire imams to conduct prayers in a Masjid, will not Allah ask these hired imams “ you took money for your prayers so what do you expect from me???”. Allah says in the Quran:

So ( Muslims ) fear not mankind, but fear Me. And Sell not My revelations (Quran) for a miserable price. Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are disbelievers. Quran – ( 5 : 44 )

Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w) has said in a hadees:
Read the Quran, Understand it, and do not ever seek material wealth, or eat out of it.
Books: Ahmed; & Tafrani.
In another Hadees:
When Imran came upon a story-teller who was reciting the Qur'an and then asking for payment he first uttered the words, "We belong to Allah and to Him do we return" and then told that he had heard Allah's Messenger say, "When anyone recites the Qur'an, let him ask a reward for it from Allah, for people will arise who will recite the Qur'an and ask a reward for it from men."
Al-Tirmidhi Hadees No: 2216 - Narrated By – Imran ibn Husayn

I taught some persons of the people of Suffah writing and the Qur'an. A man of them presented to me a bow. I said: It cannot be reckoned property; may I shoot with it in Allah's path? I must come to the Apostle of of Allah (peace be upon him) and ask him (about it). So I came to him and said : Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him), one of those whom I have been teaching writing and the Qur'an has presented me a bow, and as it cannot be reckoned property, may I shoot with it in Allah's path? He said: If you want to have a necklace of fire on you, accept it.
Sunan Abu-Dawood Hadith 3409 Narrated by – Ubaydah ibn as Samit.

When Allah says do not sell My Revelations ( Quran) he does not mean selling the bound copies of the printed Quran, He means reading the Quran and taking a price for it, so also Rasool (s.a.w) has said read the Quran and understand and follow it, but do not use it to make a living by reciting it and taking money for it; or for teaching it and taking a salary for it. Arabic is different, its a language and you can teach Arabic and take what ever salary you want for it, but for reading the Quran or teaching it, it is HARAM to take money for it. Allah and His Rasool have made it so. Quran and Hadees (Religion) should be taught to people only in the name of Allah and not for worldly gains. Every one of the Alims who take money for this know it but they do not reveal it to the common people. Who can conduct five times prayer without reciting the Quran in it, and if for this they want money then they are committing a Haram and those who knowingly follow this Imam in prayer are also contributing to his sins, and those who are paying him the salary are also incurring an equal sin. Mohammed (s.a.w) has said : when you see a wrong (sin) try to stop it with your hands, and if you can’t then atleast tell the person it is a sin to do such a thing, and if you cannot do even this, then you have only an atom of eeman left in you and if you want to save this, think of the wrong as a sin and abstain from it; (i.e) do not become a partner to it, do not join in the person’s sinful act. Also remember that he is a stupid fool who makes HALAL of what Allah and His Messenger have made as HARAM. For some of the Alims and Ulamas try to rationalize this Sinful act of theirs and convince people that it is HALAL.
It is not a very difficult task for the people of a Muhalla (area) to collectively select their Imams from their area, they can choose as to which of them is to lead the people in Prayer, and in his absence who else could lead the prayer and in his absence who else and so on so that everyone gets a chance to lead the Prayer and everyone takes an interest in the knowledge of the Quran and Hadees and becomes well versed in it. ( Amr bin Salama was only a lad of six to seven years old, when Prophet Mohamed (s.a.w) appointed him as Imam to lead his people in prayer, for he was the one who knew the most of the Quran – Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith No: 5.595 )

Oh Muslims! unless and untill we unite as Muslims, we will not be able to abolish this sinful Practice, don’t only think that contributing help to a person drinking liquor, or gambling, or Prostitution is Haram, but also contributing to this evil practice of keeping hired Imams in Masjids is also equally HARAM. Please understand that there is no difference between one Haram and another Haram; all HARAMS are acts prohibited by Allah and His Rasool, and equally sinful.

May Allah Guide us and Help us to follow and keep Allah’s religion in the PURE state it was revealed; And may Allah bring forward People who would TEACH HIS RELIGION for Allah’s sake alone, without accepting any worldly gain for it ( ameen )

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