Prophet S.A.W says (to the nearest effect) “If he (imaam) prays while seated, all of you pray while seated”. I would like to know who should lead the salaah if all of the following circumstances are present : (a)If a person is unable to stand and pray (due to disabilities) but he knows more Qur-aan (in amount and Tajweed) than anyone in the congregation and adheres (at least attempts ) to most practices of Sunnah and has a full beard. (b) There is someone who knows more Qur-aan than the physically challenged person but he doesn’t have a beard and/or keeps his trousers below the ankles. (c) There is someone who adheres to the Sunnah Practices but may know less Qur-aan (in amount and Tajweed). Also if the physically challenged person should lead salaah, should the followers pray standing or seated? Please provide references (where tafseer of Hadeeth is quoted).
The person who knows more Qur’aan and Hadith, etc. is most rightful of leading the congregation.
If such a person sits and performs Salaat, the people following him should remain standing. The answer to the Hadith you have mentioned is that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said this when he hurt his leg and had to sit and perform Salaat. However, when Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) was in his last sickness and performed Salaat sitting, the Sahaaba (Radhiallaahu Anhum) remained standing. It shows that the earlier Hadith of sitting was abbrogated. (Mishkaat Tanzeemul Ashtaat vol.1 pg.396)
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai