Salaah behind an Imaam who denies the Sunnah and commits Bid`ahs

Question: People in our town do not say Isti`aathah (Seeking refuge with Allaah from Satan), Tasmiyah (saying, “Bismillaah [In the Name of Allaah]”), recite Du`aa’ Al-Istiftaah (opening supplication when starting the Prayer), or pause where the Messenger (peace be upon him) used to pause. Many of them, especially the Khateebs (preachers) shave their beards in addition to other Bid`ahs (innovations in religion) such as practicing soothsaying and issuing Baatil (null and void) Fatwas to please others. We have informed them of the Hadeeth authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) regarding Salaah (prayer) but they did not accept our advice and said: “This is what we found our fathers following”. Some Imams do not follow Allaah’s commands in bringing up their children. Their daughters go out without wearing Hijaab (veil) and without taking into consideration that their actions contradict Islaam. Khateebs do not forbid Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Islamic law and Muslims of sound intellect) committed by these people on Friday. They even narrate Hadeeth and recite Qur’aan before the Khutbah and before the Imaam enters the Masjid (mosque). They also say the Athaan (call to prayer) on Friday three times which is a prevailing phenomenon in our country. Those adhering to the Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet) have advised them.


These practices are some of the Bid`ahs that they commit, which contradict what the Prophet (peace be upon him) has been sent with.


1: Is it permissible for a Muslim to perform Salaah behind these Imaams who commit acts of Bid`ah?


2. Is it permissible to perform Salaah behind an Imaam who denies the Sunnah? Some of them say Thikr (Remembrance of Allaah) collectively after every Salaah in a loud voice and always recite a Hizb (a 60th portion of the Qur’aan) collectively after Fajr and Maghrib prayers. They recite Qur’aan in parties, weddings, graveyards, and funerals for money. They also escort the deceased to the graveyard while saying Thikr. We hope that you can explain the ruling on these matters so that we are fully aware of our religion.

Answer: First: It is recommended to say Isti`aathah when starting the recitation of the Qur’aan whether in Salaah or not, for Allaah says: So when you want to recite the Qur’aan, seek refuge with Allaah from Shaytaan (Satan), the outcast (the cursed one). But it should be said subvocally like Tasmiyah… read more here.

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