Recently i was asked by my cousin about the validity of her dads taraweeh prayer behind a bid’ati (brealwi) imaam. He goes to the brelwi mosque rather than the shaafi sri lankan mosque. Apparently the sri lankan imaam read sometimes by looking in the qur’aan. As far as I know this is against our mazhaband would break the salaah immeditely. The question I ask is, according to the shhafi mazhab is it ok to look in the quraan while praying salaaah? and would it be better for him to pray behind bidati mosque, as they are followers of the same mazhab? Or would it be beta to pray behind the shaafiee imaam? I am not sure that the shafiee imaam actually looks in the quraan when he gets stuck. This is the statement made by the uncle. But if it were to be the case what would the ruling be?
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful.
It is stated in Durrul Mukhtar that amongst those things that invalidate prayer is to recite from a Mushaf (anything upon which the text of the Qur’an is inscribed) … Imam Shafi’i considers it to be permitted without dislike (Vol 1, P461)
It is clear from the above that according to the Hanafi School of thought it is not permitted to recite from the Qur’an during Salah and by doing so the prayer of the hanafi follower will become invalid. Therefore one should avoid praying behind such an Imam who does not take precaution and consider the validity of other schools of thought. (See Raddul Muhtar, Vol 1, P494)
The ruling in regards to praying behind a bidati is that it is not permissible to perform Salah behind an Imaam who possess beliefs of shirk (associating partners with Allah). However, if his beliefs do not amount to shirk, then it is permissible to follow him in Salah.
In conclusion if it is certain that the shafiee imam is reciting from the Quran then in that situation a person should find a suitable alternative mosque where he can perform his prayers. If there is no suitable alternative then one may go to the bidati mosque as long as the imam does not hold views that amount to shirk.
And Allah knows best.
Darul Ifta Birmingham