The prayer behind the innovator and who’s condition is not known


Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Hizam mentioned in his book Fath Al Allam (2/72) :

Issue : The prayer behind the innovator and who’s condition is not known

Shaykh ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah Rahimahullah said as in Majmoo Al Fatawa (23/351) :

It is permitted for a person to pray the five prayers, friday prayer and other than that behind a person who’s condition is not known if he have innovations or sins with agreement among the four Imams and other scholars of Islam. And it is not a condition that a person should know the Aqeedah of the Imam to pray behind him and also he doesn’t need to examine the Imam about his Aqeedah, but he pray’s behind any person who’s condition is not known. And if he prays behind a person who is known to be Faasiq (sinner) or Innovator then for correctness of his prayer there are two famous sayings in Madhab of Ahmad and Malik. And the prayer is correct as for the Madhhab of Shafiee and Abu Haneefah. End of Speech of Shaykh Al Islam.

I (Muhammad Ibn Hizam) say :

The correct opinion is the saying that the prayer is correct as long as the person doesn’t become Kafir because of the Bid’ah. And also the difference of opinion mentioned earlier was if it doesn’t lead to leaving of Jumuah and Salat-ul-Jama’ah.

Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said as in Majmoo Al Fatawa (23/353) :

For this they said in the beliefs : The person prays the Jumu’ ah and the Eed prayers behind every Imam, righteous or sinner and also if in the city/town there is no Imam except only one, then Salah-Al-Jamaa’ah is prayed behind him. Because the prayer in Jamaa’ah is better than praying alone even if the Imam is sinner. This is the Madhab of majority of the scholars : Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, As-Shafaee and other than them. And also the Salah-al-Jamaa’ah is Wajib upon the individuals as per the apparent Madhab of Ahmad. And whoever leaves the Jumu’ah and Salat-al-Jamaa’ah behind Imam who is sinner, then the person (who leaves the prayer behind the Imam) is Innovator in the opinion of Al Imam Ahmad and other than him from the Scholars of Sunnah. End of Speech of Shaykh Al Islam.

And also Shaykh ul Islam said as in (23/345) :

And if it is possible to pray the Jumu’ah and Jamaa’ah behind a righteous Imam then that is better than praying behind a sinner. Then if a person prays behind a sinner without having excuse for that then there is a difference opinion among scholars. End of Speech of Shaykh Al Islam.

I (Muhammad Ibn Hizam) say :

The difference of opinion upon this is preceded. The correct opinion is the correctness of prayer with dislikeness. And this difference of opinion is, when the bid’ah doesn’t reach the level of Kufr.

Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said as in Majmoo Al Fatawa (23/345) :

As for the prayer behind the one who practices Bid’ah that reaches the level of Kufr from the people of desires, then the scholars have argued on validity of praying Jumu’ah behind him. There are scholars who said The Imam has made Kufr and the prayer need to be repeated as the prayer was done behind a Kafir. But this matter is related to declaring the people of desires (who practice bid’ah that reaches the level of Kufr) to be Kuffar. And the people are confused about this matter and the reality of this matter is : A saying of person can be Kufr and causes the declaration of Kufr on the sayer but the particular person who said that, is not declared to be Kafir unless the proofs established upon him.

I (Muhammad Ibn Hizam) say :

Who becames Kafir because of his Bid’ah (that reaches the level of Kufr) and the conditions are met to be declared Kafir and there is nothing remains that prevents do be declared as Kafir then the prayer behind him is not valid. Allah knows best.