I would like to know if it is possible for an Imam in congregation to interrupt the prayer for some reasons. For example some of the praying believers have been attacked or a he's hearing murmur or something behind him or some part of then mosque (pillar/wall...) is collapsing.

It would be nice if you could quote an evidence.

One reason which seems clear is if the imam loses his purity, but i have never heard of an evidence for that and would know how this would be handled. While for the ma'mums there's a clear hadith.

And if this is possible acceptable i would like to know if there where other reasons beside the one mentioned above it would be acceptable and how it was/will be handled!

  • uh, what you inquired looks interesting. Although to the best of my knowledge, it would be possible in the necessity, but what is necessity is the important point. We'll be wait for an appropriate answer for your interesting question. Although the answer below looks nice, but there is lack of the reference for that. Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 15:40

3 Answers 3


I'm quoting the procedure for handling Imam's Hadath (to flatulate) from a well-known and official book of Hanafi Jursiprudence - Heavenly Ornaments. This is meant for laymen therefore does not delve into references etc.

  1. If the imam experiences hadath, he should immediately go to make his wudu even if he is in the last qa'dah. It is preferable for him to choose the one whom he feels to be most suitable for imamat from among the muqtadis. It is better to make the mudrik his deputy. It is also permissible to make the masbuq his deputy. He should indicate to the masbuq as to the number of rakaats he still has to perform. He should do this by means of his fingers: if he has one rakaat left, he should lift one finger, and if two rakaats, two fingers. If he has to make a ruku, he should place his hand on his knees. If he has to make a sajdah, he should place his hand on his forehead. If it is qira'at, he should place his hand on his mouth. If it is sajdah-e-tilaawat, he should place his hand on his forehead and mouth. If it 124 is sajdah-e-sahw, then on his chest. All this is if the masbuq understands. If he does not understand, he should not make him his deputy. Once the imam has repeated his wudu, he should join the jama'at and become a follower of his deputy, that is if the jama'at is still in progress. If he did not go and join the jama'at, but instead stood and followed his deputy from the very place where he made his wudu, then this will only be permissible if there is no barrier between them, or if he is not very far away from the jama'at. If this is not the case, it will not be permissible to follow his deputy from the place of wudu. However, if the jama'at is already over, he can complete his salaat wherever he wishes; either at the place of wudu or at his original place.
  2. If water is available inside the actual musjid, then it is not necessary to appoint anyone as his deputy. He has the choice to either appoint or not to appoint. If he does not appoint a deputy, he should go and make his wudu and come back and lead the jama'at. In the meantime, the muqtadis should wait for him.

As for what requires interrupting the Salat, page 165 of Takmeel Ul Eizah, which is taught to elementary grade students of Hanafi Jurisprudence, details when its Wajib to break Salat. It is unclear whether one can resume it, though from the language (the word Qat') appears to imply breakage. I'm translating for those who don't read Arabic or Urdu.

  1. The cry of a Mazloum requesting assistance.
  2. When an asset valuing more than a Dirham is stolen, even if it belongs to someone else.
  3. In the fear of, a wolf attaching a sheep.
  4. In the fear of, a blind man falling into a well.
  5. Any other act in the spirit of aforementioned.

However, there is no mention of anything specific to an Imam in congregation or the possibility of resuming it. I do however recall reading somewhere that you can save a blind man from falling into a well and then resume your prayers from where you've left.

  • 1
    I don't think they are implausible, for example, in contemporary times, saving a child from electrocution is very much plausible. My personal favorite is preventing your kid from pouring a glass of water over your laptop!! The underlying principle is to save lives or great hurt physical or financial.
    – user549
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 10:27
  • hm... i mean you could do some movements while praying so you won't need to interrupt your prayer totally (at least according some madhabs). And most of the quoted situation may happen far away from a mosque which means how would the imam know/hear of it and handle?
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 10:30
  • People pray in congregation in all sort of places, even inside homes. Even mosques have hazards like electricity, repairs, water-ponds, stairs, shoe-lifters and pick-pockets, but yes the position of the Imam limits his vision and therefore the likelihood of interruption. But, not so in Kaaba, where people have been injured by pick-pockets in the midst of circumambulation.
    – user549
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 10:41

yes, of course, the simplest reason is when the imam loses his 'purity', in this case, the imam has to interrupt his prayer and take by the hand, one of the first row followers (ma'amoum), to be imam in his place otherwise, security and safety of imam and ma'amoum prevails the prayer, that can be interrupted and repeated

  • 2
    Well i heard that before but is their any evidence, reference or proof about it?
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Oct 1, 2015 at 10:45

Can someone interrupt Salah if they fear danger?

Yes, as a matter of fact it becomes mandatory to do so. This comes out of the necessity rule in Islam. In Islam you can commit pronounced shirk, eat pork, drink wine, etc, let alone breaking your salah. This is clearly stated in the Quran when Allah says to:

Do not kill yourself as Allah is merciful on you [4:29]

Those who disbelieve after they believe except those who forced to pronounce disbelieve and his heart is satisfied with believe [16:106]

There are numerous evidence from Sunnah and Quran that always says your life tops EVERYTHING else. This also comes from the way Jihad used to be done where half would pray and half keep a watch for the enemy to warn those who are praying case they come.

Can someone interrupt Salah if they remember they can't lead anymore?

This includes reasons like getting the period, remembering that they don't have wudu or losing wudu during salah, etc..

This part there are two opinions by scholars, one is that it is allowed to substitute, aka استخلاف Istiklaf. Those who said it was OK are companions and followers like:

  • Omar Ibn Alkhatab
  • Ali Bin Abi Talib
  • Elqama
  • Atta
  • Alhassan Albasri
  • Ibrahim Alnakhi
  • Althori
  • Abu Hanifa and all of his students
  • Malik and all of his students
  • Alshafai NEW madhab and all of his student
  • Ahmed and the majority of his students

Which is the majority. Those who said it is not allowed, meaning that Salah needs to be repeated are:

  • Alshafai Old madhab
  • Some of the students of Ahmed in accordance to him mentioning it once to them

The majority take the opinion from the hadith, when Omar ibn Alkhatab was stabbed he stopped and pushed Abdulrahaman ibn Awf in his place to complete the prayer.

  • Well this answers and helps me out for my istikhlaf problem, but now i have two answers that seem very helpful!
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Oct 26, 2015 at 14:55

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