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[Sharh Muwatta Imam Malik – Shaikh Zubair Ali Zai] – Hadith No.1 –:– The Imam Should be Followed

Itihaf ul-Basim Fi Tahqiq Muwatta al-Imam Malik [Talkhis al-Qabisi] Riwayah Abdur Rahman ibn al-Qasim

Tahqiq, Takhrij, Sharh

Muhadith Zubair Ali Zai

Translated Abu Ubaydah
Translated, Checked & Additional Notes
Abu Hibban & Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari


The Imaam Should be Followed. If the Imaam Sits Down and Prays Then The Congregation Should Do The Same.

Mentioning the five hadeeth of Abee Bakr Muhammad ibn Muslim ibn Ubaydillah ibn Abdillah ibn Shihaab az-Zuhree from Anas.


[1]     From Malik from Ibn Shihaab from Anas ibn Malik (RadhiAllaahu Anhu) that, “The Messenger of Allah, (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam), fell off his horse when riding, resulting in his right side being scraped. So he did one of the prayers sitting down and we prayed (that same prayer) behind him sitting. When he (finished and came towards us) left, he said, “The reason why the Imaam is appointed is because he is to be followed. When he prays standing, then you should pray standing, and when he goes into bowing (ruku), then you should go into bowing (ruku), and when he rises (from bowing (ruku)), then you should rise (from bowing (ruku)), and when he says, ‘Allah hears whoever praises Him,’ then you should say, ‘Our Rabb, praise belongs to You,’ and when he prays sitting, then all of you should pray sitting.”


A hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim (77/411) states, “From az-Zuhree who said, “I heard Anas ibn Malik (RadhiAllaahu Anhu) saying…”

Imaam Maalik is not a mudallis, refer to my book al-Fath ul-Mubeen (1/22 pg.27).

Secondly, there is clarification that Imaam Maalik heard directly from Imaam Zuhree (at-Tamheed (6/132) and its chain is [Hasan] good, al-Awsath of Ibn al-Mundhir (4/188) and its chain is [Saheeh] Authentic)  


al-Muwatta (Yahya ibn Yahya’s narration (1/135 hadeeth no.302, book 8, chapter 5, hadeeth 12), at-Tamheed (6/129) and al-Istidhkaar (no.273)

Transmitted by Bukharee (no.689) and Muslim (79/411) from the hadeeth of Malik.


  1. It is obligatory to pray whilst standing unless there is a valid excuse legislated in the Sharee’ah.
  2. The Imam should be followed in the bowing (ruku), prostration (sujood) and in the general actions of the prayer unless there is a clear proof for the difference. For example it is not obligatory for the person who comes late to follow the Imams salutation at the end of the prayer.
  3. The Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) did not have knowledge of the unseen, otherwise why would he have mounted a horse he was destined to fall from?
  4. The Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) was not the remover of difficulties because if he was, he would never have fallen into difficulty himself by falling of the horse.
  5. It is Sunnah to teach the Qur’aan and Sunnah (hadeeth) after the prayer.
  6. Whenever the imam has to sit and pray due to a valid reason then the congregation should also sit and pray. Some scholars consider this hadeeth to be abrogated however other scholars do not. Jabir ibn Abdullah (RadhiAllaahu Anhu) is the narrator of the hadeeth which states when the Imaam sits and prays then you should also sit and pray. (Saheeh Muslim (no. 413), Dar us-Salam (numbering) (no.928). Once Jabir (RadhiAllaahu Anhu) sat down and prayed due to an illness and the congregation also sat and prayed behind him. (Mussanaf Ibn Abee Shaybah (4/326 no.7137) and its chain is [Sahih] authentic. Ibn Hajr also authenticated it in Fath ul-Bari (2/176) under hadeeth (no.689). From this we find the claim of abrogation is incorrect. Usayd Ibn Hudhayr (RadhiAllaahu Anhu) during his illness led the prayer whilst sitting down and he also instructed the congregation to pray whilst sitting, so they sat and prayed. (al-Awsath of Ibn al-Mundhir (4/206 [Athar] no.2045) and its chain is [Saheeh] authentic. Hafidh Ibn Hajr authenticated it in Fath ul-Bari (2/176).  Abdur Razzaq Ibn Hummam as-Sana’ani said this is what I found the people practising that when the Imaam would sit they would also sit and pray. (Mussanaf Abdur Razzaq (2/463 hadeeth no.4089). According to the opinion of Ahmad bin Hanbal and Ishaaq ibn Rahawaihah if the Imaam sits and leads the prayer then the congregation should also sit and pray behind him. (Masaa’il al-Imaam Ahmad and Ishaaq Ibn Rahawaihah via Ishaaq Ibn Mansur al-Kawsaj (no.348), Sunan at-Tirmidhee (no.361). This is also the opinion of one group from amongst the Ahlul Hadeeth. (al-Eitibaar Fee Bayan an-Nasikh Wal-Mansukh Minal Aathar of al-Hazimi (pg.111).
  7. It is established from the hadeeth which mentions the illness whereby the Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-sallam) passed away with, that if an Imaam leads the prayer and the people are standing and praying and then the first Imaam comes and prays whilst sitting down then the people will continue to stand and pray. This specific incident does not abrogate the hadeeth of Anas (RadhiAllaahu Anhu).
  8. The precedent opinion is that the Imaam, the congregation and the one praying alone should all say (Allah hears the one who praises him Our Rabb to you is all praise). Muhammad Ibn Sireen’s opinion was that the follower should also say Allah hears the one who praises him. (Mussanaf Ibn Abee Shaybah (1/253 no.2600) Its chain is [Saheeh] Imaam Ibn Sireen’s statement is further endorsed and supported by the narration of Abu Hurairah (RadhiAllaahu Anhu) that the Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-sallam) said, “When the Imaam says samiAllaahu Li man Hamdah, the followers should also say SamiAllaahu Li man Hamidah.” (Sunan ad-Daraqutnee (2/339 no.1270) and its chain is Hasan li-Dhatihi i.e. good in itself.)
  9. This book ‘al-ittihaaf ul-Baasim Fee Tahqeeq Muwatta al-Imaam Malik [Talkhees al-Qaabisi] Riwaayah Abdur Rahman bin al-Qaasim’ has been presented with an understanding in conjunction with scholastic and benefits of academic research so that this understanding of the Qur’aan and hadeeth opens up the mean and path to research and actions. Wal Hamdullilah.


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  1. salam alaykum, jazakumullahukhairan.
    the arabic text is in the opposite arrangement please check.

  2. Thomas Jafer Brown

    ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ ٱللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ
    Is it possible to have these arranged in order? Like from the beginning to where ever it ends currently, because it jumps all around. Possibly at the end of each hadeeth a click to the next one in order to save time and increase desire to read and retain without being scattered. This is a highly beneficial site and everything I have read over the years has been truly phenomenal!!! So much I have never heard or never knew where it came from, مَا شَاءَ اللهُ تَبَارَكُ الله please keep up this…this…idk…just grateful for you time, seriously, this is a wonderful breath of fresh air and wind in my sail upon this ocean. A hearty and meaningful جَزَاك اللهُ خيرًا

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