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Assalamu Alaikum all

I'm new here and I can't find any questions that is related to "How to be an Imam." Just would like to establish that my question is here for my own setting (and hopefully for other Muslims) and not trying to make it out as if I would be the appointed imam in a masjid "mosque".

Usually in my workplace, I have 3 other Muslim brothers who would pray together and occasionally, I am appointed to be the imam for our congregation of farz (thanks to my brothers who taught me what to do but I am still learning though). I roughly understand how to be an imam but I would just like to clear my doubts on this, therefore I post it here and would like to know if I am doing it the right way so as to please Allah (s.w.t.).

Fajr:

I've only done congregation here once and that was with my grandmother. I became the imam (for obvious reason).

  • Should I be doing Iqamat too since there's no other male around?
  • After which, I made the niat to be the imam and pray the salah fard of 2 raka'at followed by takbir, "Allahu Akhbar".
  • Then I did iftitah followed by Surah Al-Fatihah and Ayatul Kursi (Surah which I use most of the time because I am still having difficulty memorizing the rest...). For the first raka'at, do I read out Surah Al-Fatihah and other surah loudly (example: Al Ikhlas, An Naas, Al Kafiroon)?
  • Then I said the takbir and got into ruku' and said "Subhana rabbiyal adheemi wabihamdi" x3, I said this at the normal level of speaking, is this the right way or should it be spoken in my inner thoughts?
  • Rightly after I said "Sami Allahu liman hamidah" loudly followed by "rabbana wa lakal hamd". But do I say this loudly too or should I speak it normally or in my inner thoughts? Cause usually it's spoken aloud by the makmum.
  • I understand that every sujood ("Subhana rabbiyal ala wabihamdi" x3) and in-between-2-sujood (sitting, Rabbighfirli warhamni wajburni warfa'kni warzuqni wahdini wa'afini wa'kfu 'anni), it's spoken loudly for my own hearing only, is that right to say that or should it be spoken in my inner thoughts?

Dhuhr/Asr:

I've done congregation here plenty of times and occasionally chosen to lead the prayer. Some key things that I am having doubts are:

  • Is it right for me to just say the surah for myself for all the rakaats or also recite it for the makmum? I was told to just recite it for myself while the makmum will be reciting for themselves too.
  • I am led to believe that I have no other issues on the ruku', sujood, and all the takbir that is in between if the questions I posed during Fajr has been answered. Unless of course it is different from salah Fajr.

Maghrib/Isha':

I have only done Maghrib once and non during Isha'. Do guide me to the correct path.

  • Is it right for me to just say the surah for the makmum for the 1st and 2nd rakaats while reciting them for myself on the 3rd and 4th rakaats? I was told today by one of my fellow Muslim brother that he can't hear me reciting and I felt guilty for that hence the reason for me to seek the answers here in islam.stackexchange.com

I guess that's all of my questions for now. Thanks for taking the time to read. Best if you could answer fully and also provide sources on how to be a proper imam for every fardhu.

Jazakallahu khair.

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wailaikum salam

Fajr:

Should I be doing Iqamat too since there's no other male around?

Yes you can do the adhan and iqamah. It's not necessary to have someone else do it.

After which, I made the niat to be the imam and pray the salah fard of 2 raka'at followed by takbir, "Allahu Akhbar".

You don't have to have niyat to be an imam. But it's not wrong if you do. What's important is to have the intention of praying fajr or whatever prayer you're doing. You don't have to intend to do 2 rakat for fajr since fajr itself is only 2 rakat. So it's sufficient just to intend to pray fajr.

Then I did iftitah followed by Surah Al-Fatihah and Ayatul Kursi (Surah which I use most of the time because I am still having difficulty memorizing the rest...). For the first raka'at, do I read out Surah Al-Fatihah and other surah loudly (example: Al Ikhlas, An Naas, Al Kafiroon)?

Surah alfatiha is obligatory to recite. Ayatul kursi is part of surah al Baqara and it's okay to recite that and not a must to recite another entire surah. However, if you chose to recite any part of the quran after al fatiha, it's good.

Then I said the takbir and got into ruku' and said "Subhana rabbiyal adheemi wabihamdi" x3, I said this at the normal level of speaking, is this the right way or should it be spoken in my inner thoughts?

It's okay to speak it.

Rightly after I said "Sami Allahu liman hamidah" loudly followed by "rabbana wa lakal hamd". But do I say this loudly too or should I speak it normally or in my inner thoughts? Cause usually it's spoken aloud by the makmum.

"rabbana walakal hamd" can be said in normal voice or within yourself. You don't say it loudly.

I understand that every sujood ("Subhana rabbiyal ala wabihamdi" x3) and in-between-2-sujood (sitting, Rabbighfirli warhamni wajburni warfa'kni warzuqni wahdini wa'afini wa'kfu 'anni), it's spoken loudly for my own hearing only, is that right to say that or should it be spoken in my inner thoughts?

You don't say it loudly but you can say it in a low voice or within yourself.

Dhuhr/Asr:

Is it right for me to just say the surah for myself for all the rakaats or also recite it for the makmum? I was told to just recite it for myself while the makmum will be reciting for themselves too.

Everyone recites for themselves, especially surah al fatiha.

I am led to believe that I have no other issues on the ruku', sujood, and all the takbir that is in between if the questions I posed during Fajr has been answered. Unless of course it is different from salah Fajr.

It's the same as fajr.

Maghrib/Isha':

Is it right for me to just say the surah for the makmum for the 1st and 2nd rakaats while reciting them for myself on the 3rd and 4th rakaats? I was told today by one of my fellow Muslim brother that he can't hear me reciting and I felt guilty for that hence the reason for me to seek the answers here in islam.stackexchange.com

Keep in mind everyone has to recite surah al fatiha even if you're reciting it in a jama'ah. The Prophet is reported to have said =

"Whoever does not recite Al-Fatiha in his prayer, his prayer is invalid." Sahih al Bukhari

In the 3rd and 4th rakat, the tradition is to recite the quran in a low voice and it's not essential for anyone to hear you. Everyone has to recite for themselves.

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Brother @Sayyid has given you specific answers to your questions.

And i want to give you some general rules as an Imam:

If there is an other brother who can do Iqama or Adhan let him get the tawab, if not you need at least to do the iqama!

During a prayer you have only to say loudly:

  • All of the Takbirat (Allahu akbar) as an Imam and at maximum in normal voice as a Ma'mum.
  • Samia Allahu liman hamdidah as an Imam when standing up from the ruku
  • And at the end of a Prayer the Salam
  • Only in Salat (Prayer) Sobh (the farz of Fajr) -only- the two first rakaat of Maghrib and Isha' you have to recite al Fatiha and some Ayat or a Surah loudly and give the Ma'mums time to say "Amine" after you recite al Fatiha, as in some Madhabs (Mazhabs) it is sunna for them to say it loudly.

Abu Hurayra related that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "When the imam says 'Amin', say 'Amin', for the one whose 'Amin' coincides with the 'Amin' of the angels - his previous wrong actions are forgiven him." (Muwatta' - Al Imam Malik)

Abu Hurayra related that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "When one of you says 'Amin' and the angels in the sky say 'Amin' so that one coincides with the other, his previous wrong actions are forgiven him."

Ibn Shihab said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to say 'Aameen' (extending it)." (Muwatta' - Al Imam Malik)

Other parts of the Prayers:

  • What ever you say between two takbirat during Ruku or sujud or sitting is in low voice for yourself!

  • In any other farz Prayer or the later Rakaat of Maghrib and Isha you have to recite Quran for yourself!

  • If you recite some Surahs from the Koran it is better to recite at the 2nd rakaa a Surah which is smaller then the one you recite in the first rakaa and it should be after that Surah in the order of the Mushaf/Quran (this is a preference, but not a most in some Madhabs) for example you shouldn't recite in the first raka-a Surat An-Nas (114) as you only can therefore only recite it once again in the 2nd raka-a (which is no problem at all), or if you recite Surath al Ikhlass (112) you could only recite afterwards Surath An-Nas (114) or Surat al Falaq (113).

Some other advices:

  • The Ma'mum most/can say rabana walakal hamd in normal voice, when you are Imam and the only male (you lead a prayer for a group of women) it's ok to say it also in that level!
  • As an Imam you can say "Amine" after reading al fatiha at least in normal voice (there are differences in the Madahib)
  • Of course in the 3rd and 4th raka-a one only recites/reads surat al Fatiha!

Also there are some kind of rules/ranking of whom should be Imam, according to their fluency in Arabic, their knowledge of the fiqh of prayers, how much quran they can recite/recall. For example some -(old) fatwa- consider a congregation prayer as invalid if the Imam himself couldn't pronounce the words of al-fatiha right, when there was another man who could and didn't lead the prayer!

And Allah knows best!

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