Fatwa ID: 04785
Answered by: Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
As-salamu ‘alaykum dear Mufti sahib.
I live in a city with various mosques, but I am unsure where I should pray because of the following issues:
- The largest mosque is an Arab one and the Imams are Salafis/Ikhwanis, who are Wahhabi in their ‘aqida and say they follow “the strongest proof” (i.e. mix between madhhabs according to their own judgment) and only some of them have a fist-length beard. The visitors are a mix of Salafis, Ikhwanis, a few Arab/Kurdish Tablighis and people with madhhabs.
- The second-largest mosque is a Turkish one (government-connected). The imam there is clean-shaven. The visitors are mostly Turkish Hanafis, although others pray there too.
- The third largest mosque has a Barelwi (Dawat-e-Islami) imam and the board is made up of Barelwis and Shi’a. The visitors are Pakistani Barelwis and Shi’a.
- Fourth largest mosque (not sure if it qualifies as a mosque or only a musalla) is a Bosnian centre. No regular imam. The centre is owned by an Arab Ikhwani/Salafi, who sometimes leads the prayer there. Most visitors are Bosnian Hanafis.
- The fifth-largest mosque is run by Idara Minhaj-ul-Quran (Barelwi-like followers of Dr Tahir ul-Qadri).
- Sixth largest place is a centre/musalla run by the Ahbash movement (Arab Shafi’is). No one there has a fist-length beard.
- Lastly, there are two Somali musallas. The imams are mostly Salafis. Followers a mix of Shafi’is and Salafis.
So which of these places would be best to go for prayers?
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
To shave or to trim ones beard less than a fist is unlawful and a very big sin.
The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam has said:
“Oppose the idol worshippers, lengthen your beards and cut your moustache.” (Sahih Bukhari P.875 V.2)
Such a person will be considered a faasiq (transgressor) according to the Shariah and it will be Makruh Tahrimi to read salah behind him. (Raddul Muhtar P.298 v.2)
One should read their salah in such a mosque where the imam does not shave or trims his beard. However, because of some necessity if a person reads his salah behind such an imam then it will be permissible and more preferable to read behind him than reading it by himself. (Raddul Muhtar P.299 V.2)
An additional point to remember is that if a person did read behind such an Imam who shaves or trims his beard it will not be necessary to repeat the salah.
Mufti Habibur Rahman, a senior mufti of Darul Uloom Deoband gives the following reasons why a person would not need to repeat his salah:
1. The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam has said: “Read salah behind every pious person and transgressor.” (Surah Abu Dawud P.95 V.1)
2. When the insurgents (Baghee’s) surrounded Saaiduna Uthman Radiallahu Anhu’s house. The sahabas continued to read their salah behind them.
3. There is a possibility that by not reading behind such an imam it might cause fitnah or differences in the community and Islam has prohibited from creating fitnah.
4. It is not mentioned in any hadith, that such a salah that has been performed with severe detestability (Makruh Tahrimi) has to be repeated. The ruling was written by Allamah Ibn Abedeen Shami (RA) “Every salah which is performed with detestability has to be repeated.” (Raddul Muhtar p.147 v.2) Applies where the salah has become Makruh by missing one of the obligatory (wajib) actions of salah. (Masaail Imamat P.141)
The conclusion we can come to is that you should try and pray your salah at a Masjid where the Imam has a fist length beard. As mentioned above, if that is not possible then you can pray your salah behind those Imams whose beard is less than a fist.
Only Allah Knows Best
Written by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham