The Most Entitled Person to Become Imam in Prayer

Person who is most entitled to become Imam in Prayer ~ Hi all readers! In a number of previous articles, I have explained a number of things about Jamaah prayer. I also explained a little about imam. In this article I will explain about the person who is most entitled to become imam in prayer.

As always, before I explain the person who is most entitled to become, I will quote one hadith that is specifically related to our discussion. Pay attention!

Hadith About Imam in Prayer (Salat)

عَنْ أَبِيْ مَسْعُوْدٍ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ ؛ قَالَ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ؛ يَؤُمُّ الْقَوْمَ أَقْرَؤُهُمْ لِكِتَابِ اللهِ ، فَإِنْ كَانُوْا فِيْ الْقِرَاءَةِ سَوَاءً فَأَعْلَمُهُمْ بِالسُّنَّةِ ، فَإِنْ كَانُوْا فِيْ السُّنَّةِ سَوَاءً فَأَقْدَمُهُمْ هِجْرَةً ، فَإِنْ كَانُوْا فِيْ الْهِجْرَةِ سَوَاءً فَأَقْدَمُهُمْ سِلْمًا — وَفِيْ رِوَايَةٍ ؛ سِنًّا ، وَلَا يَؤُمَّنَّ الرَّجُلُ الرَّجُلَ فِيْ سُلْطَانِهِ وَلَا يَقْعُدُ فِيْ بَيْتِهِ عَلَى تَكْرِمَتِهِ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ . رَوَاهُ مُسْلِمٌ

From Abu Mas’ud radliyallaahu anhu, he said, “Allah’s Messenger sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam said, “People who become priests of people are the ones who can read the Quran the most. If in their reading the same, then the person who understands the most about the sunnah (hadith). If in the sunnah they are the same, then the person who first migrated (did the hijrah). If in their hijrah the same, then the person who first converted to Islam – in a history explained, “The oldest person. A person may not be the priest of another person in that person’s power. The person may not sit in someone else’s house except with his permission.” The hadith is narrated by Muslim.

There are some important things related to the hadith above that we need to know;

One; The hadith explains, that prayer is very important in Islam. Because of that the Prophet Muhammad explained who is the most entitled to become imam.

Two; The hadith explains, that homeowners, owners of an assembly, and leaders of mosques, they are more entitled to become imam than others. Thus, if you become a guest in someone’s house, that person is more entitled to be imam than us, and so on.

Three; The hadith explains, that if we become guests in someone’s house, then we may not sit in a chair before the homeowner allows us to sit.

Four; The hadith explains the criteria of the person most entitled to become imam at that time.

Five; In the current context, the person most entitled to become imam is the person who can read the Quran the most, who understands the sunnah (hadith), the oldest. We must also pay attention to the information in the second point to determine who is most entitled to it.

Six; The hadith explains, that a good Muslim should not pray behind a Muslim who is not good (fasiq). That is, Muslim who are not good may not be imam. But there are differences of opinion among Islamic law experts about that. The majority of Islamic law experts say that it is permissible, but it is better not to do it. The Hanabilah sect said that if a good Muslim is worried that something bad will happen to him if he does not pray behind a bad Muslim (Muslim fasiq), then he may do it but he must repeat his prayer, except Friday prayer and Eid prayer.

That is a brief explanation of the person who is most entitled to become Imam in prayer. Do you understand? If you want to ask, please ask!

I think that is enough for this article. May be useful! Amen!

See you again in the next article!


Hasan Sulaiman an-Nuri and Alawi Abbas al-Maliki, Ibaanatu al-Ahkaam Syarhu Buluughi al-Maraam, Vol. II, Dar al-Fikr Publishing, Beirut, 2004, p. 20-21.


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