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Warning against preceding the imam

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by HadithAnswers.com

Whoever goes before the imam in any posture of salaah his face will change to a donkey.

Is this a Hadith? and if yes what is the explanation?



Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu’anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) said:

‘Doesn’t the one among you who raises his head before the Imam fear, that Allah could turn his head into that of a donkey’s?!.’

(Sahih Bukhari, hadith: 691)



1. The Hadith commentators mention that this could apply literally for some people.

‘Allamah ‘Ayni (rahimahullah) has warned that if it doesn’t happen immediately one should not be deceived. Since several people receive their punishment later in life.

He has cited sources stating that certain sinners had their faces disfigured prior to their death. This could also be the case with some perpetrators of the above sin.

(‘Umdatul Qari, hadith: 691)


2. It could also be in its figurative meaning, which would be: that such a person will become foolish and dumb minded, like a donkey is.

(‘Umdatul Qari & Fathul Bari, hadith: 691)

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.

Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar


Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar

This answer was collected from HadithAnswers.com. The answers were either answered or checked by Moulana Haroon Abasoomar (rahimahullah) who was a Shaykhul Hadith in South Africa, or by his son, Moulana Muhammad Abasoomer (hafizahullah), who is a Hadith specialist. 

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