Refusing to lead my wife in prayer, because I’m sinful

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Can a husband refuse to lead prayer with his wife (or anyone) because he believes he is not fit to be an imam? Does one have to have a certain level of righteousness or piety, or not commit certain sins, in order to be an imam?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Islam is Allah’s guidance for every human being—whether saintly or sinful. Its commands apply to us all, in a simple, clear and practical way. Allah wants all of us to be in Heaven, and walking the straight path of Islam is the way there.

No level of piety is needed to lead others, though it is the sunna that the righteous and learned be chosen from among a group of believers gathered to pray, unless there is an appointment imam.

Not praying with your wife when you cannot make it to the mosque means that you are losing out on much reward, which all of us are in need of.


Regarding sins: to err is human; to repent is righteousness.



Faraz Rabbani


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