Date : 17-04-2017

Question :

What is the ruling on joining the congregation at a place separated from the Imam`s? Is following the Imam, although he is two stores above, valid?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah The Lord of the Worlds and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Muslim jurists have set special terms for the validity of following an Imam. For example, the person led in prayer is aware of the Imam's positions in order to be able to follow him, and this can be achieved by seeing or hearing. This is provided that both are in the same mosque, even if it is made of one or multiple storey`s.

Imam Nawawi said, " Awareness of an Imam`s positions is a condition for the validity of following him. This is whether the Imam and the person following him are in the same mosque or one is there while the other isn`t, according to the consensus of the scholars. Fellow scholars {Shafie} have said that this awareness can be achieved by hearing the Imam or those praying behind him or by seeing his positions or those of the persons following him." Since the women`s place of prayer is within the mosque and it is possible for the praying person to reach the Imam, then following him is valid, even if there is a long distance between the Imam and those following him. Imam An-Nawawi said, "If the Imam and the praying people are in the same mosque, then following him is valid, even if there is a distance or buildings separating them from the Imam."{Minhajj At-Talibeen, P.41}.

In conclusion, it is permissible for the praying women to follow the Imam so long as they are in the same mosque and under the condition that they are aware of his positions. And Allah knows best.