Q: Please elaborate in detail. If the employment of a Prayer-Imam, one leading salatul mafrudhah in a madrasah/ musallah is similar to working in a factory/office or is it very different? If it is different, what are the differences?
1. Can you claim full pay if you lead only 4 Salats while your contract covers all five?
2. Are you entitled to full salary when you are on a 4 weeks umrah journey and also when on a 5 weeks family trip holiday, regularly every year?
3. Are you entitled to severance pay when your duties are not required, eg if your prayer place (jamat khanah) is shutdown by the government? Is 10 weeks pay in consideration of 10 years past service reasonable?
4. Some people think that imam is like a Caliph (Khalifah), once you employ him, the community has to support him for life, even when he is not assigned anything to do. If this is correct, does this liability cover full salary or just the kitchen expenditure etc.?
1. This is a breach of the contract.
2. You should ask the employers and the trustees of the organisation whether this is not a breach of the contract.
3. There is no such a thing like severance pay. When you are not in the employ then you cannot claim any remuneration.
4. The imaam is not a khaleefah. He is only appointed to lead the namaaz. His appointment does not have to be lifelong. If the imaam is doing his duties well then take good care of him.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)