Assamulaekum: I recently went to a local mosque to pray Isha. The set time for Isha Jamat arrived but the Imam of the Mosque told us that he was conducting lessons for women and that the Jamat would be delayed 30 minutes. Since I needed to get back home I asked him if I could pray with one of the brothers who was also waiting. He then talked to the women and decided to lead the Isha Jamat with us. After we were finished we saw some more brothers coming in and he mentioned that he will hold another jamat for the Isha prayers with them. When I mentioned to him that he should not lead the 2nd Jamat (since he already prayed Isha with us) and have some else lead the 2nd Jamat, he looked kind of bewildered (i.e. what was the problem of his leading the 2nd Jamat). When I mentioned this incident to another brother he told me that there was no problem for the Imam to lead another Jamat for the same prayer since he can change the niyat of the 1st Jamat as being nafl salat and then lead the 2nd Jamat with Niyat of Fard? Please give your opinion re: this?
According to the majority Madhaahib, it is permissible for a person
performing Fardh Salaat to perform Salaat behind an Imaam who is performing
That is not so according to the Hanafi Madhab. Since the Imaam in reference
already performed the Esha Salaat, he may have performed four Rakaats Nafl
Salaat thereafter while his congregation had made intention to perform Esha
Salaat behind him. That is correct according to the other Madhaahib.
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai