Who should lead the prayer? The most deserving of Imamah (leading the prayer) is the one who is most knowledgeable of the matters and rulings of prayers and purification. He also should have a considerable knowledge regarding the rulings of the recitation of the Qur’an.
Therefore, the most knowledgeable of the people in the rulings of prayer has the right to lead them in the congregation. After him, the most knowledgeable in the rulings of recitation and tajweed (rulings of recitation).
Today’s episode of “40 Hadith pertaining to the Virtues & Rulings of the Qur’an” sheds some light on the following hadith (Prophetic tradition):
Abu Mas`ud `Uqbah ibn `Amr Al-Badri Al-Ansari (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The person who is best versed in the recitation of the Book of Allah, should lead the prayer; but if all those present are equally versed in it, then the one who has most knowledge of the Sunnah; if they are equal in that respect too, then the one who has emigrated (to Al-Madinah) first, if they are equal in this respect also, then the oldest of them.” (Muslim)
Allah, the Most High, has honored the people of the Qur’an by making them the most deserved to lead the prayer. The scholars explain that the ones “most versed” in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) were the most knowledgeable of them. However, the imam of the mosque has the full right to lead the prayer than the most knowledgeable or the best reciter from amongst the people at the mosque, because he is assigned to do so.
Enjoy watching this interesting talk with Sheikh Almogir Ali to know who should lead the prayer, the rulings of leading the prayer and the qualifications of the one who deserve to lead the congregation of prayer.
Source: MRDF Youtube Channel.