Fatwa ID: 04139
Answered by: Maulana Naieem Mohammad
Does the Imam receive more reward than the muqtadi when leading Salaat?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Muslims have been taught the best way of life. Allah has placed great blessings in unity and efforts to achieve unity. Following an Ameer or Imam is one of the established methods of cultivating unity amongst the Muslims. Salaat with Jamaat also binds the hearts together. An Imam is appointed to lead us in the affairs of our lives, the most important affair is Salaat.
The following Ahadith give us an idea of the importance of an Imam:
The Imam is a shield, the Muslims fight behind his leadership and protect themselves with him. If he commands with piety and expresses justice then he will be rewarded and if he orders contrary to that then he will be burdened with the sin.
Uqba bin Aamir Al-Juani narrates: I heard the following from the Prophet (s.a.w.):
"If a person who is leading a jamaah (congregation) performs the prayer properly, this will be perfect both for him and for them. If he does not perform his duty properly, the prayer of the jamaah will be valid; however, he becomes sinful." 
Another Hadith narrated from Abu Saeed Al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“If there are three people, let one of them lead the others in prayer, and the one who has the most right to lead them is the one who knows more Quraan.”
These narrations tell us that the post of Imamat is of greater honor and stature than that of being a follower due to prerequisites for qualifying for such an honor. Obviously, payment and rewards will also be greater.
It is well known that any person who is appointed or expected to reserve their time or skill for any duty is compensated, e.g. scholars for fatawaa, etc.The duly qualified Imams are appointed to lead the Muslims in prayer, even though they may be paid in some instances they still receive a greater reward from Allah than the muqtadees. This compensation from Allah is due to their efforts to become qualified, such as the efforts of learning the Quran, steadfastness upon punctuality for Salaat, studying the knowledge of Deen and all other such achievements which make them more deserving of leadership than others and financial compensation will never equate the value of it.
May Allah grant us such Imams who will be beacons of examples for the Muslim Ummah. Ameen.
Only Allah knows best
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Daru lIfta Birmingham