How should Imam be?

Continued from the previous…

*   In addition to delivering Dars and Bayan on Friday, an Imam should keep delivering them from time to time especially on the topics of Taharah[1] and Salah and deliver Dars containing information and beliefs according to different occasions.

*   If Sajdah-e-Sahw becomes Wajib, its reason and ruling should be explained after Salaam in an easy way. Moreover, should Luqmah be given or not due to the reason for which Sajdah Sahw becomes Wajib should also be explained.

*   In the month of Rabi’-ul-Awwal, the Imam should deliver Dars and speeches on the blessed Seerah and the glory of the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰـە عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, in the month of Rabi’-us-Saani, the Imam should deliver Dars and speeches on the greatness of Sayyiduna Ghaus-ul-A’zam رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْـهُ and other noble saints, in the blessed month of Ramadan, rulings on fasting should be mentioned and close to Eids, rulings on Eid should be mentioned. In short, speeches should be delivered according to the days.

*   Vast knowledge and detailed information are very necessary and beneficial for the great and important post of Imamat. Therefore, besides knowledge of the Faraid [obligatory acts] of Salah, Wajibs, Sunnahs, Makruhaat, and acts that invalidate Salah, deep knowledge of Taharah, ethics, Seerah, pious predecessors, the Holy Quran and blessed Ahadees and jurisprudential rulings as per need (for example, when does Sajdah-e-Sahw become Wajib?, Important rulings on Luqmah, in what cases does one’s Salah become invalid?), are the actual requirements for the post of Imamat. Therefore, Imams must form the habit of studying books on a regular basis. In fact, they should make studying books a compulsory part of their everyday activities.

اَلْـحَمْـدُ لـِلّٰـه, along with the other books of Maktaba-tul-Madinah, the monthly magazine ‘Faizan-e-Madinah’ is an excellent source of reading about different topics at one place. It contains over forty important articles on knowledge-related articles, religious, worldly, social, ethical and reformatory topics every month. It includes commentary, explanation of Hadees, beliefs, Fatawa[2], rulings on modern trade, the blessed Seerah of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰـە عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, Seerah and introduction of blessed companions and pious predecessors, introduction of pious women, articles on the upbringing of children, very useful articles for women, as well as many other topics.

*   Dear Imams! Always remember that Muqtadis[3] ask you questions with high hopes. You should reply to their questions in an appropriate manner. Make it neither compulsory for you to reply to every question, nor make ‘لاادری, i.e. I don’t know’ your habit in reply to every question. You should reply to their questions according to the knowledge you have in an appropriate manner. If you do not know about anything, learn about it, find it out, study it and then reply to it later on. This approach will not only increase your knowledge, but it will also save you from replying by guessing and will also increase your respect in the sight of people. Always remember that when an Imam replies to every question using sentences like, ‘I don’t know’, ‘I have no idea’, it shatters people’s hopes. If possible, do not leave anyone in dark about a question. Give them some sort of clear answer and show them some kind of way. Try to understand this from an example:

Someone asks an Imam, ‘What is the total number of scribes of Divine revelation[4] and what are their names?’ Now, there can be four types of answers to this question.

1.   I don’t know.

2.   I don’t remember the detail, but you can check in the books of Seerah, Madarij-un-Nubuwwah (translated) or Seerat-e-Mustafa. It is written there.   

3.   I don’t remember it right now. I will tell you in the evening or tomorrow after looking it up in a book.

4.   Give the answer in detail.

Although the fourth answer is ideal, it is very difficult whereas, second and third answers are very clear. Every Imam should at least have this approach.

*   Some people are in the habit of asking Imams tricky questions so that they can object to their opponents, get their consent to their stance or achieve any evil goal. In such cases, the Imam should be present-minded and be somewhat aware of the differences which are there in the country or his area so that he can carefully express his opinion. Avoid replying to questions asked about political figures. Do not agree to a Salah-offering person if he objects to another Salah-offering person. Do not become part of any objection or conspiracy against the previous Imam or committee, or the present one. If someone makes an objection, then reply to his objection with affection instead of telling him off. If it is an unnecessary objection, ignore it wisely. Do not become part of any conspiracy against the Muazzin, caretaker or any other staff member of the Masjid either.        

*   If someone mentions a false ruling with reference to any Sunni scholar, previous Imam or any Mufti, etc., then instead of objecting to anyone just mention the correct ruling and say to him: You must have misheard him. This is not the correct ruling. The correct ruling is like this. Do not include yourself amongst those who object and criticise any Sunni Mufti, scholar or previous Imam.

(To be continued in the next edition)

[1] Purity.

[2] Islamic verdicts.

[3] The one offering Salah behind an Imam.

[4] Revelation




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