Praying behind Imam of doubtful Aqeedah
Fatwa No: 82654


The Jamaat Tableegh is very active at the mosque near my house in Bombay. However, their book, fazail-e-amal, contains several stories of saints and sufi's claiming that they are able to see Allah, that the Prophet (saw) comes to them in their dreams and feeds them when they are hungry or thirsty or that his (saw) hand emerges from his grave in Madina to shake their hands when they visit Madina and they are able to know what is going on in a person's mind or heart.On pointing out these stories to the Imam of the Masjid and informing him that such Aqeedah is Shirk and bordering on kufr, he labelled me as an agent of Ahl-e-Hadeeth, Wahabi, non-Muqallid etc. since, there are not many mosques around my house I don't know whether I should pray behind an Imam having such an Aqeedah, especially since I have informed him of the fallacy of such beliefs which are contrary to Qur'an and Sunnah.What should I do? Pray alone at home or continue to pray behind an Imam associated with the Jamaat Tableegh? Kindly provide a solution in light of Qur'an and Sunnah.


Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

No doubt that the book "Fazail-al-Amal" contains matters which contradict to Qur'an and Hadith. It is not permissible for those people to rely on it. The facts you mentioned in your question are innovations and deviations. The gravest matter is you mentioned that some pious people "are able to know what is going on in the minds or hearts of people". Believing so or claming it is a big sin it can even be considered Kufr if it is proven that the person believes or claims it. Only Allah knows the unseen. Praying behind any person who believes in such things is not permissible. The same rule applies to the one who supports these deviations or defends them.
Imam Ahmad said: 'Do not pray behind any one who preaches his innovations'. Imam Ibn Qudamah said: 'The saying of Imam Ahmad proves that everyone who prays, behind the one who publicly practices his innovation, preaches it or defends it should repeat his prayer. If the one believing in innovation does not show it to people then the prayers performed behind him do not need to be repeated. There is no excuse for the one who prays behind an innovator who shows his innovations to people. So, one who prays behind him should repeat his prayer whereas the innovator who hides his innovations from people the prayer performed behind him does not require to be performed again'. [al-Mughni 2/21]
Friday and feasts prayer should be performed behind any Muslim regardless of his being pious or not. Imam Ibn Qudamah said: 'Imam Ahmad and the scholars in his period used to pray those prayers behind al-Mutazilah (A group of innovators)'.
So, you should look for another mosque which is not dominated by innovators and whose Imam is not a follower of innovations. If there is no such mosque then join other followers of Sunnah and appoint an Imam who avoids innovations. If it is not possible then try to specify a place where all of you can perform prayers. We warn all of you of anything that could cause discord among Muslims. You should always keep in mind the benefits of the Sharia and that Sharia forbids anything that causes more harms than benefits.
If you suspect any discord among Muslim then pray in your house alone till Allah provides you with a mosque, which is free from innovations.
Allah knows best.

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