Praying behind an Imaam who ate camel meat and did not repeat his Wudhoo’
Fatwa No: 250645

Question

Assalaam 'Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh. May Allah bless you. Please assist me with the following issue that has caused me some concern and left me unsure of what to do. The situation is as follows: Person X follows the opinion that camel meat nullifies wudhu, while Person Y follow the opinion that camel meat doesn't nullify wudhu. Person Y eats camel meat and then leads the prayer without renewing his wudhu as he believes that this is permissible. Person X witnesses this. How should Person X deal with this issue considering that he believes that the actions of Person Y is an incorrect act that would make prayer unacceptable? How should we deal with issues of this nature that occur due to differences in opinion? Should we succumb to the opinion of the other person for cases like this (i.e. Person X follows Person Y in this case, ignoring his own opinion in the example above) or do something else? JazakAllah khair. I greatly appreciate your help in this regard. Wassalaam

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

This is an issue of Ijtihaad (i.e. the juristic opinion on matters which are not specified in the Quran and the Sunnah), so if a person follows the opinion of a scholar whom he trusts on account of his religiosity and piety, then he is not sinful and his prayer is valid. Hence, the person who is of the view that eating camel meat nullifies Wudhoo’ should pray behind the other person [who is of the opposite opinion] and his prayer is valid as he is led in prayer by someone whose prayer is valid. The prayer of his Imaam is ruled to be valid as he followed the opinion of trustworthy scholars.

Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “The prayer of the followers of different Schools of Fiqh behind each other is valid, as the Companions and the Taabi’is, used to do, as well as those who came after them from the four Schools of Fiqh, who used to pray behind each other while they had different opinions regarding the validity of Wudhoo’ of someone who vomited or touched his penis and the like, or someone who did not say the Tashahhud or did not say the Tasleem, and the like, while the person led in prayer believes in its obligation. There was no one among the righteous predecessors who said that he did not pray behind someone else [due to differences of opinion] and whoever denies this is an innovator and he is contradicting the Quran and the Sunnah and the consensus of the scholars of the Salaf (the righteous predecessors).” [End of quote – excerpted from Haashiyat Ar-Rawdh]

Therefore, it is clear that the matter is easy and that each person follows the opinion which he believes to be correct according to his Ijtihaad or imitation of a trusted scholar.

Allaah Knows best.

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