1408. It is Mustahab that obligatory prayers, especially the daily
prayers, are performed in congregation, and more emphasis has been laid on
congregational prayers for Fajr, Maghrib and Isha, and also for those who live
in the neighbourhood of a mosque, and are able to hear its Adhan.
1409. It has been reported in authentic traditions, that the
congregational prayers are twenty five times better than the prayers offered
1410. It is not permissible to absent oneself from the congregational
prayers unduly, and it is not proper to abandon congregational prayers without a
1411. It is Mustahab to defer prayers with an intention to participate
in congregational prayers, because a short congregational prayer is better than
a prolonged prayer offered alone. It is also better than the individual prayer
offered at its prime time. But it is not known whether a congregational prayer
offered after the Fadhilat time could be better than the prayer offered alone,
within the time of Fadhilat.
1412. When congregational prayers are being offered, it is Mustahab
for a person, who has already offered his prayers alone, to repeat the prayers
in congregation. And if he learns later that his first prayer was void, the
second prayer will suffice.
1413. If the Imam (leader) or the Ma'mum (follower) wishes to join a
congregation prayer again, after having already prayed in congregation once,
there is no objection if it is done with the niyyat of Raja', since its being
Mustahab is not established.
1414. If a person is so obsessed with doubts and anxiety during
prayers, that it leads to its invalidity, and if he finds peace only in
congregational prayers, he must offer prayers in congregation.
1415. If a father or a mother orders his/her son to offer prayers in
congregation, as a recommended precaution, he should obey. And if this order is
based on parental love, and if disobedience would cause injury to their
feelings, it is haraam for the son to disobey, even if it does not incur the
1416. Mustahab prayers as a precaution cannot be offered in
congregation in any situation, except Istisqa prayers (invoked for the rain) or
prayers which were obligatory at one time, but became Mustahab later, like, Eid
ul Fitr and Eid ul Azha prayers, which are obligatory during the presence of
Ma'soom Imam (A.S.) and are Mustahab during his occultation.
1417. When an Imam is leading a congregation for the daily prayers,
one can follow him for any of the daily prayers.
1418. If Imam of the congregation is offering his own qadha, or on
behalf of another person whose qadha is certain, he can be followed. However, if
he is offering the qadha, his own or on behalf of the other, as a precaution, it
is not permissible to follow him, unless the prayers being offered by the
follower is also based on a precaution similar to that of Imam. However, it is
not necessary that the follower may not have another reason for precaution.
1419. If a person does not know whether the prayers of Imam is an
obligatory daily prayer or Mustahab prayer, he cannot follow him.
1420. For the validity of congregation, it is a condition that there
should be no obstruction between the Imam and the follower, nor between one
follower and the other follower, who is a link between him and the Imam. An
obstruction means something which separates them, regardless of whether it
prevents seeing each other, like in the case of a curtain, or a wall, or does
not prevent, like in the case of a glass wall.
Therefore, if there is an obstruction, at any time of the prayers, between Imam and the follower or between the followers themselves, thus breaking the link, congregation will be void. But women are exempted from this rule, as will be explained in due course.
1421. If the persons standing at the end of the first row, cannot see
the Imam because the line is very long, they can still follow him; similarly if
the following rows are very long, and persons standing at the far end cannot see
the line before, they can follow the congregation.
1422. If the rows of the congregation extend to the gate of the
mosque, the prayers of a person standing in front of the gate behind the line
will be in order, and the prayers of those followers who stand behind him will
also be valid. In fact, the prayers of those who are standing on either sides,
and are linked with the congregation by means of another follower, will also be
1423. If a person who is standing behind a pillar is not linked with
the Imam by another follower from either side, he cannot follow the Imam.
1424. The place where Imam stands should not be higher than the place
of the follower, unless the height is negligible. And, if the ground has a
slope, the Imam should stand at the higher end. But if the slope is so small
that people ordinarily consider the ground as flat, there will be no objection.
1425. In the congregational prayers, there is no objection if the
place where followers stand is higher than that of the Imam. But if it is so
high, that it cannot be considered that they have assembled together, then the
congregation is not in order.
1426. If a discerning child, one who is able to distinguish good from
evil, stands between two persons in one line, thus causing a distance, their
prayers in congregation will be valid as long as they do not have knowledge
about that child's namaz having become void.
1427. If after the takbir of the Imam, the persons in the front row
are ready for prayers and are about to say takbir, a person standing in the back
row can say takbir. However, the recommended precaution is that he should wait,
till the takbir of the front row has been pronounced.
1428. If a person knows that the prayers of one of the rows in front
is void, he cannot follow the Imam in the back rows, but if he does not know
whether the prayers of those persons are in order or not, he may follow.
1429. If a person knows that the prayers of the Imam is void - like,
if he knows that the Imam is without Wudhu, though the Imam himself may not be
mindful of the fact, he cannot follow that Imam.
1430. If the follower learns after the prayers, that the Imam was not
a just person ('Adil), or was a disbeliever, or his namaz was void for any other
reason, like, having no Wudhu, his own namaz will be valid.
1431. If a person doubts during namaz whether he has followed the Imam
or not, he will rely upon the signs which satisfactorily lead him to believing
that he has been following. For example, if he finds himself listening silently
to the Qir'at of Imam, he should complete the prayers with the congregation. But
if he is in a situation where no such decision can be made, he should complete
his prayers as one offered individually (i.e.Furada).
1432. If a person decides to separate himself during congregational
namaz into the niyyat of Furada without any excuse, his congregational prayers
will be incorrect, but his namaz will be valid. Except when he has not acted
according to the rules related to Furada prayers, or if he has committed an act
which invalidates Furada prayers, like having performed an extra Ruku.
In fact, in certain situation, his prayers will be valid even if he has not followed the rules of Furada. For example, if he did not have the intention from the beginning to separate himself, and therefore did not recite Qira't, and decided in Ruku, his prayer will be valid when converted to Furada.
1433. If the follower makes an intention of Furada after the Imam has
recited Surah al-Hamd and the other Surah, because of some good excuse, it will
not be necessary for him to recite Surah al-Hamd and the other Surah. But if he
makes the intention of Furada before Imam has completed Surah al-Hamd and the
other Surah, it will be necessary for him to recite the part recited by the
1434. If a person makes the intention of Furada during the
congregation prayers, he cannot revert back to congregational prayers again.
But, if he is undecided whether he should make the intention of Furada or not,
and eventually decides to end the prayers with congregation, his prayers with
the congregation will be in order.
1435. If a person doubts whether he had made an intention of Furada
during the congregational prayers, he should consider that he had not made the
1436. If a person joins the Imam at the time of Ruku, and participates
in Ruku of the Imam, his prayer is in order, even if the Zikr by the Imam may
have come to an end. It will be treated as one Rak'at. However, if he goes to
Ruku and misses Imam's Ruku, he can complete his prayers as Furada.
1437. If a person joins the Imam when he is in Ruku, and as he bows,
he doubts whether or not he reached the Ruku of the Imam, his congregational
prayer will be valid if that doubt occurs after the Ruku was over. Otherwise, he
can complete his prayers with the niyyat of Furada.
1438. If a person joins the Imam when he is in Ruku, but before he
bows to Ruku, the Imam raises his head from his Ruku, that person has a choice
either to complete his prayers as Furada, or to continue with the Imam upto
Sajdah, with the niyyat of Qurbat. Then when he stands, he can do takbir other
than Takbiratul Ihram, as a general Zikr, and continue with the congregation.
1439. If a person joins the Imam from the beginning of the prayers or
during the time ofSurah al-Hamd and the other Surah, and if it so happens that,
before he goes into Ruku, Imam raises his head from Ruku, his prayers will be in
1440. If a person arrives for prayers when the Imam is reciting the
last tashahhud, and if he wishes to earn 'thawab' of congregational prayers, he
should sit down after making niyyat, and pronouncing takbiratul ehram, and may
recite tashahhud with the Imam, but not the Salam, and then wait till the Imam
says Salam of the prayers. Then he should stand up, and without making niyyat
and takbir, begin to recite Surah al-Hamd and the other Surah treating it as the
first Rak'at of his prayers.
1441. The followers should not stand in front of the Imam, and, as an
obligatory precaution, when the followers are many, they should not stand in
line with Imam. But if there is only one male follower, he may stand in line
1442. If the Imam is a male and the follower is a female, and if there
is a curtain or something similar between that woman and the Imam, or between
that woman and another male follower, and the woman is linked to the Imam
through that male, there is no harm in it.
1443. If after the commencement of the prayers, a curtain or something
similar intervenes between the follower and the Imam, or between one follower
and the other, through whom the follower is linked to the Imam, the congregation
will be invalidated, and it will be necessary for the follower to act according
to Furada obligation.
1444. As an obligatory precaution, the distance between the place
where the follower performs Sajdah, and where the Imam stands, should not be
more than a foot, and the same rule applies to a person who is linked with the
Imam through another follower standing in front. And the recommended precaution
is that the distance between the rows should be just enough to allow a person to
1445. If a follower is linked to the Imam by means of a person, on his
either side, and is not linked to the Imam in front, the obligatory precaution
is that he should not be at a distance of more than a foot from his companions
on either side.
1446. If during the prayers, a distance of one foot occurs between the
follower and the Imam, or between the follower and the person through whom he is
linked to the Imam, he (the follower) will be isolated and can, therefore,
continue as Furada.
1447. If the prayers of all the persons who are in the front row comes
to an end, and if they do not resume congregational prayers, the congregational
prayers of the person in the back rows will be void. In fact, even if they
resume, the validity of congregational prayers of the people in the back rows is
1448. If a person joins the Imam in the second Rak'at, it is not
necessary for him to recite Surah al-Hamd and Surah, but he may recite qunut and
tashahhud with the Imam, and the precaution is that, at the time of reciting
tashahhud, he should keep the fingers of his hands and the inner part of his
feet on the ground and raise his knees.
And after the tashahhud, he should stand up with the Imam and should recite Surah al-Hamd and Surah. And if he does not have time for the other Surah, he should complete Surah al-Hamd, and join the Imam in Ruku, and if he cannot join the Imam in Ruku, he can discontinue Sura al-Hamd and join. But in this case, the recommended precaution is that he should complete his prayers as Furada.
1449. If a person joins the Imam when he is in the second Rak'at of
the namaz having four Rak'ats, he should sit after the two Sajdah in the second
Rak'at, which will be the third of the Imam, and recite Wajib parts of
tashahhud, and should then stand up. And if he does not have time to recite the
Tasbihat Arba'ah thrice, he should recite it once, and then join the Imam in
1450. If Imam is in the third or fourth Rak'at, and one knows that if
he joins him and recite Surah al-Hamd he will not be able to reach him in Ruku,
as an obligatory precaution, he should wait till Imam goes to Ruku and then
1451. If a person joins the Imam when he is in the state of qiyam of
third or fourth Rak'at, he should recite Surah al-Hamd and the other Surah, and
if he does not have time for the other Surah, he should complete Surah al-Hamd
and join the Imam in Ruku. But if he has no time even for Surah al-Hamd, he may
leave it incomplete and join Imam in Ruku. But in this case, the recommended
precaution is that he should change to Furada.
1452. If a person who knows that if he completes Surah or qunut, he
will not be able to join the Imam in his Ruku, yet he purposely recites Surah or
qunut, and misses the Imam in Ruku, his congregational prayer will be void, and
should act accordingly to the rules of Furada prayers.
1453. If a person is satisfied that if he commences a Surah or
completes it, he will be able to join the Imam in his Ruku, provided that the
Surah does not take very long, it is better for him to commence the Surah or to
complete it, if he has already started. But if the Surah will take too long,
till no semblance of congregation exists, he should not commence it, and if he
has commenced it, he should not complete it.
1454. If a person is sure that if he recites the other Surah, he will
be able to join the Imam in Ruku, and then if he recites the Surah and misses
the Imam in Ruku, his congregational prayers are in order.
1455. If Imam is standing, and the follower does not know in which
Rak'at he is, he can join him, but he should recite Surah al-Hamd and the other
Surah with the niyyat of Qurbat though he may come to know later that the Imam
was in the first or second Rak'at.
1456. If a person does not recite Surah al-Hamd and Surah, under the
impression that the Imam is in the first or second Rak'at, and realises after
Ruku that he was in the third or fourth, his prayers are in order. However, if
he realises this before Ruku, he should recite Surah al-Hamd and the other
Surah, and if he does not have sufficient time for this, he should act according
to rule no. 1451.
1457. If a person recites Surah al-Hamd and Surah under the impression
that the Imam is in the third or fourth Rak'at, and realises before or after
Ruku that he was in the first or second, his (i.e. the followers') prayers are
in order, and if he realises this while reciting Surah al-Hamd and the other
Surah, it will not be necessary for him to complete them.
1458. If a congregational prayer begins while a person is offering a
Mustahab prayers, and if he is not sure that if he completes his Mustahab
prayers, he will be able to join the congregational prayers, it is Mustahab to
abandon the Mustahab prayers, and join the congregational prayers. In fact, if
he is not certain that he will be able to join the first Rak'at, he should
follow this rule.
1459. If a congregational prayer begins while a person is offering a
prayer of three or four Rak'ats, and if he has not gone into Ruku of the third
Rak'at, and is not sure whether upon completion, he will be able to join the
congregational prayers, it is Mustahab to end the prayers with the niyyat of
Mustahab prayers of two Raka'ts, and join the congregational prayers.
1460. If the prayers of the Imam comes to an end, but the follower is
still reciting tashahhud or the first Salam, it is not necessary for him to make
the intention of Furada.
1461. If a person is behind the Imam by one Rak'at, it is better that
when the Imam is reciting tashahhud of the last Rak'at, he (the follower) should
place the fingers of his hands and the inner part of his feet on the ground, and
raise his knees, and wait till the Imam says Salam of the prayers and then stand
up. And if he makes niyyat of Furada at that very moment, there is no harm in
Qualification of an Imam of congregational
1462. The Imam of the congregational prayers should be:
Ithna 'Ashari Shi'ah
Of legitimate birth
Being able to offer the prayers correctly
Furthermore, if the follower is a male, the Imam also should be a male. To
follow a boy of ten years of age is a matter of Ishkal.
1463. If a person who once considered an Imam to be 'Adil, doubts
whether he continues to be 'Adil, he can follow him.
1464. A person who offers prayers standing, cannot follow a person who
offers his prayers while sitting or lying, and a person who offers his prayers
while sitting, cannot follow a person who offers his prayers while lying.
1465. A person who offers prayers sitting, can follow another person
who offers his prayers while sitting. But if a person offers prayers while
lying, for him to follow a person who offers prayers in sitting or lying
position is a matter of Ishkal.
1466. If Imam, because of some justified excuse, leads the prayers in
a najis dress, or with tayammum, or jabira Wudhu, it is permissible to follow
1467. If Imam is suffering from incontinence, whereby he cannot
control his urine or excretion, it is permissible to follow him. Moreover, a
woman, who is not mustahaza can follow a woman who is mustahaza.
1468. It is better that a person who suffers from blotches or leprosy
does not lead the congregational prayers, and, on the basis of obligatory
precaution, a person who has been subjected to Islamic punishment should not be
Rules of congregational prayers
1469. When a follower makes his niyyat, it is necessary for him to
specify the Imam. But, it is not necessary for him to know his name. If he makes
niyyat that he is following the Imam of the present congregation, his prayer is
1470. It is necessary for the follower to recite all the things of the
prayers himself, except Surah al-Hamd and the other Surah. However, if his first
or second Rak'at coincides with third or fourth Rak'at of the Imam, he should
recite Surah al-Hamd and Surah.
1471. If the follower hears Surah al-Hamd and Surah of Imam in the
first and second Rak'at of the Fajr, Maghrib and Isha prayers, he should not
recite them, even if he may not be able to distinguish the words. And if he does
not hear the voice of the Imam, it is Mustahab that he should recite Surah
al-Hamd and Surah silently. But if he recites them loudly by mistake, there is
1472. If the follower hears some words of Surah al-Hamd and the other
Surah recited by Imam, he may recite as much as he cannot hear.
1473. If the follower recites Surah al-Hamd and the other Surah by
mistake, or recites Surah al-Hamd and Surah thinking that the voice he heard was
not the voice of Imam, and if he later realises that it was the voice of Imam,
his prayers are in order.
1474. If a follower doubts whether he is hearing the voice of Imam, or
if he does not know whether the voice he hears is that of Imam or someone else,
he can recite Surah al-Hamd and the other Surah.
1475. The follower should not recite Surah al-Hamd and Surah in the
first and second Rak'ats of Zuhr and Asr prayers and it is Mustahab that instead
of them he should recite Zikr.
1476. The follower should not say Takbiratul ehram before the Imam. As
an obligatory precaution, he should not say the takbir until the takbir of the
Imam is completed.
1477. If the follower says the Salam by mistake, before the Imam does
it, his prayer is in order, and it is not necessary that he should say Salam
again along with the Imam. And even if he says Salam before the Imam
intentionally, there is no objection.
1478. If a follower recites other parts of prayers other than
Takbiratul ehram before the Imam, there is no objection. But, if he hears them
being recited by the Imam, or if he knows when Imam is going to recite them, the
recommended precaution is that he should not recite them before the Imam.
1479. It is necessary for the follower that, besides that which is
recited in the prayers, he should perform all acts like Ruku and Sajdah with the
Imam or a little after him, and if he performs them before the Imam, or after a
considerable delay, intentionally, his congregational prayers becomes void.
However, if he converts to Furada, his prayers will be in order.
1480. If a follower raises his head from Ruku before the Imam by
mistake, and if the Imam is still in Ruku, he (the follower) should return to
Ruku, and then raise his head with the Imam. In this case, the extra Ruku, which
is a Rukn, will not invalidate the prayers. However, if Imam raises his head
before the follower reaches him, as a precaution, the prayer of the follower
will be void.
1481. If a follower raises his head by mistake, and sees that the Imam
is in Sajdah, as a precaution, he should return to Sajdah, and if it happens in
both the Sajdah, the prayers will not be void, although a Rukn has been added.
1482. If a person raises his head from Sajdah before the Imam by
mistake, and as he returns to Sajdah he realises that the Imam has already
raised his head, his prayer is in order. But, if it happens in both the Sajdah,
as a precaution, his prayer is void.
1483. If a follower raises his head from Ruku or Sajdah before Imam by
mistake, and does not return to Ruku or Sajdah forgetfully, or thinking that he
will not reach the Imam, his congregational prayer is in order.
1484. If a follower raises his head from Sajdah and sees that the Imam
is still in Sajdah, he joins the Imam in Sajdah thinking that it is Imam's
first, and later realises that it was actually Imam's second, the follower
should consider his own Sajdah also as second. But if he goes into Sajdah
thinking that it is the second Sajdah of Imam, and later learns that it was
Imam's first, he should join Imam in that Sajdah, and also in the subsequent
one. In both the cases, however, it is better that he prays again, after
completing the congregational prayers.
1485. If a follower goes to Ruku before the Imam by mistake, and
realises that if he raises his head, he may reach some part of the Qir'at
(surah) of the Imam, and if he does so, then goes to Ruku again with the Imam,
his prayers are in order. And if he does not return intentionally, his prayers
1486. If a follower goes to Ruku before Imam by mistake, and realises
that if he returns to the state of Qiyam, he will not reach any part of the
Qir'at of Imam, if he raises his head just for the sake of offering prayers with
the Imam, and then goes to Ruku again with Imam, his congregational prayers are
in order. Also, if he does not return (to the state of Qiyam) intentionally, his
prayers will be in order, and will become Furada.
1487. If a follower goes to Sajdah before the Imam by mistake, and if
he raises his head with the intention of joining Imam, and doing Sajdah with the
Imam, his congregational prayers are in order. And if he does not return
intentionally, his prayers are in order, but it will turn into Furada.
1488. If Imam mistakenly recites qunut in a Rak'at which does not have
qunut, or recites tashahhud in a Rak'at which does not have tashahhud, the
follower should not recite qunut or tashahhud. But, he cannot go to Ruku before
the Imam or rise before the Imam rises. In fact, he should wait till the qunut
or tashahhud of Imam ends, and offer the remaining prayers with him.
Guidelines for Imam and the follower
1489. If there is only one male follower, it is Mustahab that he
stands at the right hand side of Imam, and if there is only one female follower,
she will stand in the same direction, but slightly behind so that when she goes
to Sajdah, her head is in line with Imam's knees.
If there is one male, and one or more females in the congregation, the male will position himself to the right of Imam, and the females will all stand behind Imam. When there are many men and one or many women in the congregation, men will stand behind Imam, and women will stand behind the male followers.
1490. If Imam and the followers are both women, the obligatory
precaution is that all of them should stand in a line, and the Imam should not
stand in front of others.
1491. It is Mustahab that the Imam positions himself in the middle of
the line, and the learned and pious persons occupy the first row.
1492. It is Mustahab that the rows of the congregation are properly
arranged, and that there be no gap between the persons standing in one row; all
standing shoulder to shoulder.
1493. It is Mustahab that after the Qadqa matis salah' has been
pronounced, the followers should rise.
1494. It is Mustahab that the Imam of the congregation should take
into account the condition of those followers who may be infirm or weaker, and
should not prolong qunut, Ruku and Sajdah, except when he knows that the people
following him are so inclined.
1495. It is Mustahab that while reciting Surah al-Hamd and the other
Surah, and the Zikr loudly, the Imam of the congregation makes his voice
audible. But care must be taken to see that the voice is not abnormally loud.
1496. If Imam realises in Ruku, that a person who has just arrived
wants to join him, it is Mustahab that he prolongs the Ruku twice over. He
should then stand up, even if he may realise that another person has also
arrived to join.
Things which are Makrooh in congregational prayers
1497. If there is vacant space in the rows of the congregation, it is
Makrooh for a person to stand alone.
1498. It is Makrooh for the follower to recite the Zikr in the prayers
in such a way that Imam hears them.
1499. It is Makrooh for a traveller, who offers Zuhr, Asr and Isha
prayers in shortened form (two Rak'ats), to follow a person who is not a
traveller. And it is Makrooh for a person who is not a traveller to follow a
traveller in those prayers.