Chanting Allah’s Name

Question

Through the recent Book Fair being held in Expo Centre, Karachi, I came to know about you and the books you wrote on Islam. I read two books of yours and found very much correct. I not only appreciate but also admire your works. I have a question which I want to ask from you and I know you will answer it in the light of Quran and the sunnah.

First of all, I want to tell you something which is related to my question. The Imam of the Masjid where I go for salah does "the vird (chanting) of ALLAHU" all the time. He does this while shaking his head from the neck and also asks his followers to do the same. According to my knowledge about my religion, this is not proved through the whole life of our beloved Holy Prophet (sws), the four Caliphs and then the companions. Further, our Holy Prophet (sws) said: He who innovates something in this matter of ours that is not of it, will have it rejected." (Transmitted by Al Bukhari & Muslim).

Now, my question is: Can I perform salah behind this Imam? Is it allowed to follow the Imam? What shall I do?


Answer

As long as a person is considered to be a Muslim and he prays the way Muslims pray and is not famous for leading a life of sins, one can follow him in the prayers. Wrong beliefs and wrong practices do not disqualify a person from being Imam in prayers unless the wrong belief is so extreme that takes the person out of the fold of Islam or the practice is so wrong that totally changes the way the person prays.

The practice you mentioned, as you said, has no basis in Islam and should not be followed as a religious practice.

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