Is a Musafir considered to be more worthy of leading the prayer than a resident Imam

CategoriesSalaah [704]

Fatwa ID: 01845

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Question:

When it is time for prayer in a group of Muslims, I have noticed that, if there is a musafir amongst them, they usually send him forward to be the imam. Is there any basis for this, i.e. is a musaafir in any way more/less suitable to be an imam?

Answer:

Bismillah

The most deserving of Imamat (leading prayer) is

  1. The believer who is the most knowledgeable of the rules regarding prayers and purification (cleanliness) provided that he has memorized such a quantity of the Holy Qur’an that he could do the "Sunnah Qiraat" with and also recite correctly. He should not have wrong beliefs and should keep himself away from shameful and immoral acts.
  2. Thereafter the one who can recite the Qur’an correctly.
  3. Then he who is most pious.
  4. Then the most aged.
  5. Then the one who possesses best manners. (Raddul Muhtar p.294 v.2)

However, if there is an appointed Imam in any mosque or at any place then this Imam is most deserving of leading prayer notwithstanding the fact that others are more versed in Islamic knowledge and "Tajweed" than him. (Raddul Muhtar p.413 v.1)

Regarding your question, as long as the place where the congregation is taking place is not in a Masjid where there is an appointed Imam and the Musafir Imam has the one of the aforementioned criteria’s, then it is permissible to make him an Imam. (Fatawa Hindiyyah p.85 v.1)

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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