Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 2 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439
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Is it permissible to pray behind an Imam from a different juristic school of law?

Is it permissible to pray behind an Imam from a different juristic school of law?

Answer

The issue of refusing to pray behind a fellow Muslim due to differences in jurisprudence or due to following different juristic schools of law is a reprehensible matter which Muslims ought to refrain from. It is historically noted that renowned scholars following different schools of jurisprudence did not show any sign of prejudice towards their own legal school of jurisprudence or a shred of discrimination against those who follow different schools of law.

It is reported that Imam al- Shafi’I did not perform qunut in morning prayer when he was praying in Iraq near the graveyard of Imam Abu Hanifa althgouh it is a confirmed sunnah in his legal school of jurisprudence. When he asked about it, he said, “how can I refrain from following him during his presence?”

Eminent Muslim scholars of the Prophet’s companions since the dawn of Islam did not cause enmity nor sow discord among them due to their juristic differences. The essential value of keeping unity and not to be divided by our pity differences is a vital message of Islam.

Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) said "Do not have estranged relations with one another. Do not nurse enmity and do not feel envy against one another. O Allah's worshippers! Be brothers!". It was also narrated by Abu Hurairah that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “The obligatory prayer is essential behind every Muslim, pious or impious, even if he has committed a sins.”

Based on the above, it is permissible to pray behind any Muslim regardless of his juristic affiliation.

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