It is makrooh for a man to lead people in prayer when most of them dislike him for a justifiable reason.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“If they dislike this imam for a reason that has to do with his religious commitment, such as lying, wrongdoing, ignorance, bid’ah (innovation) and so on, and they like another because his religious commitment is better, such as if he is more honest, more knowledgeable or more religiously committed, then the imam whom they like should be appointed to lead them, and that imam whom they dislike should not lead them in prayer.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are three whose prayers will not go any further than their ears: a man who leads people in prayer when they dislike him, a man who does not come to pray until the time for the prayer is over, and a man who enslaves a man who has been set free.”

” And Shaykh Al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

“If there is some enmity between the imam and the members of the congregation such as enmity based on whims and desires or differences of opinion, he should not lead them in a congregational prayer because it cannot be perfected unless there is harmony between them. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“Do not make your lines ragged lest that create disharmony among your hearts.”

End quote. [al-Mulakhkhas al-Fiqhi, 1/155-156]

Translated by

Majid Jawed Al-Afghanee
Abu Layl

السؤال: لدينا إمام، والجماعة لا يحبونه، ويكرهونه كراهة ليست شرعية؛ فما حكم إمامته لهم؟

الإجابة: والله بالحديث في الثلاثة الذين لا تجاوز صلاتهم آذانهم، ذكر رجلاً أم قوماً وهم له كارهون، لكن هذه الكراهة ينظر فيها: إن كان كرهه لدينه، نقص في إيمانه، قصور في أخلاقه، تساهلاً بواجباته، إهماله للمسجد، مشاغبته للمأمومين، عدم انضباطه في وقته كونه يسعى بالتفرقة بين الجماعة، هذا شيء، يبلغونا به الجهات المختصة في وزارة الأوقاف، وهناك يتصرفون على حسب الواقع وينتهي الموضوع. أما إن كان لغير أمر مستقيم، منضبط في أخلاقه وسلوكه، منضبط في إتيانه للمسجد، لا غبار عليه، وإنما هوى لينقلوه عن وظيفته إلى غيره، فلا يجوز له ذلك.

“Over here Mufti Shaykh Abdul Azeez Aal Ash-Shaykh hafidaho-Allah states in his fatwa that the reason they may dislike an Imam has to be for a legitimate reason or else the Imam should not give it any attention. This is the case if it doesn’t lead to a greater conflict.” End summary. [Reference]

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And Allaah knows best.

Mentioned by

AbdulFattaah Bin Uthman
Abu Fajr