As Salaamu Alaikum,
I want to know if in my local masjid there is an Imam appointed but his interpretation of the Islamic Creed is that of a deviant, establishing limits and boundaries and actual body parts to Allah ta’ala contradicting the consensus of this Ummah as we can learn from Imam tahawy r.a in His well-known and by consensus accepted Creed, ‘Aqidatu Tahawya. Is my salat valid behind him? I am very concerned about it because I know that in issues of far lesser importance than the Creed our salat may be compromised as in the case of Imam doing masah over normal letter socks, so it’s for me a matter of great concern now.
Wa Alaikum As Salaam,
If the Imam establishes limits and boundaries and actual body parts to Allah, then Salaah behind him is not permissible. Such beliefs are totally against the creed of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaat and is that of the deviated and misguided sect known as the Karramiyya, who are also referred to as Mujassima (anthropomorphists), since some of them claimed that Allah is a body.
While writing about them, the great scholar, Al Baghdadi, states, ‘As for the Mujassima (anthropomophists, those who say that Allah (God) is a physical body) of Khurasan among the Karramiyya, they must be classified as Unbelievers due to their saying that Allah (God) has a bodily limit and boundary from beneath, from where He is in contact with his throne’. (Minah Ar Rawdh Al Azhar – Sharh of Fiqh Al Akbar by Mulla Ali Qaari).
The deviated sect known as the Karraamiyya is one which is traced to Muhammad ibn Karram (died 256 A.H). Regarding them, the great sixth century scholar and historian, Muhammad ibn Abdul Kareem Al Shahrastani (died 548 A.H) writes, ‘They believed that many contingent things exists in the essence of Allah. They are anthropomorphists (Mujassima), for Muhammad ibn Karram declared that his god rests on the Throne; that He is substantive, and that there are physical movement, displacement, and dissension for Him, Some Karramiyya also claimed that Allah is a body (Jism). (Al Milal Wan Nihal – Al Shahrastani Vol. 1 pgs 99-105 Dar Al Kitab Al Ilmiya Beirut 2007).
With respect to performing Salaah behind such a person who holds the belief that there are actual body parts for Allah, the great Jurists have clearly mentioned that it is not permissible to perform Salaah behind that person.
In this regard, the following is written, ‘If a person says that Allah is a body like other bodies, then following him in Salaah is not permissible’. (Radd Al Muhtar Vol 1 pg 561 H.M Saeed Karachi 1406 A.H); Al Fiqh Al Islami Wa Adilatihi Vol. 2 pg 1206 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan).
And Allah Knows best
Mufti Waseem Khan