Translated from Al-Hijawi’s Zad Al-Mustaqni`, with notes taken from Al-Buhuti’s commentary Al-Raud Al-Murbi` and other traditional sources. This is a work in progress, and has been sent out as part of a series of lessons concerning Hanbali `ibadat.


Please see end of document for full copyright notice.


(c6.11) Section. Where the Imam and the Followers Stand

فصل في موقف الإمام والمأمومين

يقف المأمومون خلف الإمام ويصح معه عن يمينه، أو عن جانبيه لا قدامه وإن صلى قاعداً ولا عن يساره فقط ولا الفذ خلفه أو خلف الصف إلا أن يكون امرأة وإمامة النساء تقف قي صفهن ويليه الرجال ثم الصبيان ثم النساء في جنائزهم ومن لم يقف معه إلا كافر أو امرأة أو من علم حدثه أحدهما أو صبي في فرض ففذ ومن وجد فرجة دخلها وإلا عن يمين الامام فإن لم يمكنه، فله أن ينبه من يقوم معه قان صلى ركعة فذاً، لم تصح وإن ركع فذاً ثم دخل في الصف أو وقف معه آخر قبل سجود الإمام، صحت


Followers (b: whether men or women, and whether two people or more) stand behind the imam. (b: Exceptions to this include that it is obligatory for the imam of people who are naked stands in the middle of the line, and that it is recommended for a woman who leads other women to stand in the middle.)

It is valid (b: for them to stand) with the imam on his right or on both sides of him.

But it is not valid to stand:

in front of the imam (b: What is of consideration here is the back of the heels otherwise it does not harm. If they pray sitting then what is considered is the back of the buttocks… If they encircle the Ka`bah, it is valid; and if the follower from his direction is closer to the Ka`bah than the imam in the imam’s direction then it is valid as long as they are not in the same direction and in that case the follower’s prayer is invalid. It is forgivable to be in front of the imam when it is possible to pray as a group in spite of intense peril)

only on the imam’s left (b: if there is space open on the right and if he prays one or more [complete] rak`at…

If a second person joins the prayer they both stand behind the imam, and if the second person joins the prayer on the imam’s left then the imam directs them with his hand to be behind him. If the imam has doubt about this or it unable to do so, the imam steps forward and prays between them or to the right of them both. It is valid for the person on the right to step back before the second person makes the opening takbir so that they both pray behind the imam. If the second person reaches the imam and his follower while they are sitting, he makes make the takbir and sits on the right of the other follower or on the left of the imam and he does not pray behind because of the difficulty.)

It is not valid for an individual (b: whether he intended it or forgot, and whether he know or did not) to pray behind the imam or behind the line unless a woman (b: praying behind a man, and her prayer is valid. If a woman stands next to the imam then she is as a man [in her ruling]. If she stands in the middle of men it does not invalidate the prayer of those on either side of her or behind her. And a complete row of women does not prevent men behind them from following the imam.)

A female imam stands (b: it being preferred) in their line. (b: If a female imam leads an individual woman, the follower stands on her right and it is not valid for the follower to stand behind her.)

Men stand behind the imam, then youths, then women (b: the free mature women first, then the slaves, then the free immature women, then the slaves…) just as (b: the order) in the burial prayer. (m: Most prints of Zad Al-Mustaqni` and Al-Raud Al-Murbi` do not include the phrase “just as”. This is a misprint.)

(c6.12) (Being alone in the line)

Someone standing in an obligatory prayer is alone if no one stands with him except for:

(1)   a non-Muslim

(2)   a woman (m: and the other person is a male)

(3)   someone known to have ritual impurity (b: or inexcusable filth)

(4)   or a youth in an obligatory prayer


Whoever finds a gap (b: in the line, even if far away) enters it (b: and likewise if he finds a line that is not packed together), otherwise (b: if he does not find a gap he stands) on the right of the imam, and if it is not possible (b: to find a gap in which to stand) then he may alert someone to stand with him (b: by coughing, speaking, or gesturing, and it is offensive to pull him. It is obligatory for whoever he alerted to follow him).

If a follower prays a (m: complete)  rak`a alone the prayer is not valid. But it it is valid if:

(1)   the follower bows alone and someone enters the row

(2)   or someone else stands with the follower

before the imam prostrates


(tn: Note that all of these rulings have to do with someone who intended to pray in the group, not someone who is praying alone.)

(c6.13) Section. Rules for Following the Imam

فصل في أحكام الاقتداء

يصح اقتداء المأموم بالإمام في المسجد، وإن لم يره ولا من وراءه إذا سمع التكبير خارجه إن رأى الإمام، أو المأمومين وتصح خلف إمام عال عنهم ويكره إذا كان العلو ذراعاً، فأكثر كإمامته في الطاق وتطوعه موضع المكتوبة إلا من حاجة وإطالة قعوده بعد الصلاة مستقبل القبلة فإن كان ثم نساء لبث قليلاً، لينصرفن ويكره وقوفهم بين السواري، إذا قطعن


It is valid for a follower to follow an imam (b: if they both are) in a mosque, even if he does not see him nor someone behind him, if he hears the Takbir. It is similarly valid (b: if one of them is) outside of the mosque provided he sees the imam or (b: some of) the followers.

(c6.14) (Things offensive for the imam and followers)

It is offensive:

(1)   for the imam to be elevated above them more than an arm-span (dhura`, 32cm) or more when there is no need, and the (b: follower’s) prayer is valid

(2)   for the imam to lead in the arch (b: the arch of the qibla, the prayer niches…because it prevents some from seeing the imam. If it does not prevent the imam from being seen, then it is not offensive)

(3)   to pray a voluntary prayer in the same place he prayed the obligatory prayer (m: if he does not wait for a while or do his dhikr first) unless there is need (b: such as not finding a place unoccupied by someone else)

(4)   (b: for the imam) to prolong sitting facing the qibla after the prayer (b: and it is desirable for the imam to stand or to turn away from the qiblah and towards the followers facing the direction where he will be going next and otherwise faces to the right of the followers). But if there are women there he waits (b: in his place) for a bit so they leave.

(b: It is desirable that the follower not to move before the imam…unless the imam departs from the sunnah by sitting for a long time facing the qiblah or does not turn away from it, and in that case there is no harm in this.)


It is offensive for the followers to stand in between pillars that break the lines (b: without need… But there is no harm if the line is short: the same amount as the distance between the two pillars).

(b: It is unlawful to build a mosque with the intention of harming a nearby mosque; the harmful mosque is destroyed.

It is lawful to use prayer niches [mihrab].

It is offensive for someone who has eaten onion to attend the prayer until the smell leaves.)



Translated from Al-Hijawi’s Zad Al-Mustaqni`, with notes taken from Al-Buhuti’s commentary Al-Raud Al-Murbi` and other traditional sources. This is a work in progress, and has been sent out as part of a series of lessons concerning Hanbali `ibadat. Recipients of this file have all agreed to the condition stipulated by the translator ( that it not be given out or reposted.


Translation and notes © Musa Furber 1422 AH / 2002 CE. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the Copyright owner