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The Imam facing the Qiblah or congregation after Salah

Question

Why do some Imam’s turn around after every Salah and do adkhar whilst others don’t? Or some only after Fajr and ‘Asr.

Is there a Sunnah to this?

 

Answer

The ‘Ulama have mentioned that the qiblah (direction) of du’a is the sky. (That’s why the hands face the sky). However, it is among the etiquettes of du’a that the person making du’a should face the Ka’bah. (Silah al-Mumin pg.101, Al-Hisn al-Hasin pg.57)

If one leaves it out, he will not be sinful just like it is etiquette to be in the state of wudu whilst making du’a. If this too left out (as is the case in many a situation), the du’a will still be correct.

 

Should the Imam remain facing the qiblah or turn to the congregation?

Sayyidatuna Ummu Salamah (radiyallahu’anha) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) would remain in his spot [i.e, facing the qiblah] after the Fard Salah for a short while.

(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 849)

Sayyidah ‘Aishah (radiyallahu’anha) reported that Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) would only remain in that spot for the duration it takes to recite: Allahumma Antas Salam, wa minkas Salam, Tabarakta Ya Dhal Jalali wal Ikram.

(Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1334-1336)

 

The above is recommended when there are Sunnah Salahs that follow the Fard Salah. The Imam may remain facing the qiblah for a short duration to recite the few masnun dhikrs, and move away from the spot of Imamat, to read his Sunnah Salah.

 

As for the practice of the Imams of turning away from the direction of the qiblah after the Fajr and Asr Salahs. The Fuqaha (Jurists) have stated that if the Imam intends to remain seated in his place after those Fard Salahs which are not followed by any Sunnah Salah, then he (the Imam) should turn away from the direction of the qiblah. (It is Mustahab to do so). He could turn towards the direction of the people or towards the right or left.

It is Makruh Tanzihi for the Imam to remain seated in the direction of the qiblah. (Rad al-Muhtar vol.1 pg.531)

 

If he has to perform the Sunnah Salah after the Fard, he should stand up immediately and not perform the Sunnah on the same spot.

(Rad Al-Muhtar vol.1 pg.531. Also see Fathul Bari vol.2 pg.431, Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah vol.1 pg. 336,337.)

 

This has been recorded as the practice of Rasulullah and various Sahabah (radiyallahu ‘anhum) as well.

Narrations that support the above

1. Sayyiduna Samurah ibn Jundub (radiyallahu ‘anhu) is reported to have said: ‘Rasulullah used to turn around after completing the (Fard) salah and He would face us.’

(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 845).

This was in the case when Rasulullah wanted to sit for a while (Fathul Bari) and if not then Rasulullah would stand up immediately.

(Musannaf-Abdur- Razzaq vol.2 pg.246).

2. Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu’anhu) is reported to have said: ‘When the Imam completes the salam, he should immediately stand up, and if not then he should at least turn away. He was asked as whether it would suffice for the Imam to move from his spot and face the qiblah? He replied; ‘He should face the east or west.’ (i.e. He should face a direction other than the qiblah.)

(Musannaf Abdur-Razzaq vol.2 pg.242,243).

3. In fact, it is reported about Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radiyallahu’anhu) that as soon as he would complete the Fard Salah (as an Imam), he would immediately stand up. The narrator states, “He would do it, so quickly as though he was on burning coal.” (Musannaf Abdur-Razzaq vol.2 pg.242,246).

 

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,

 

Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar