Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: As salam ‘alaykum,
1) If someone is praying alone with the intention of being his own imam, should he recite aloud for Fajr, Magrib and isha?
2) Can a man join someone in congregation who has started on his own with the intention of being his own imam?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
(1) Yes, reciting aloud during the Fajr prayer, and the first two cycles (rak`ats) of the Maghrib and `Isha prayers, would be superior, yet it is not a requirement, because the basis is that the men’s prayer is prayed in congregation and reciting aloud here bears a stronger resemblance to the congregational prayer.
(2) Yes, because the basis for the men’s prayer, as before, is that it is prayed in congregation, and here, he is the imam of himself. Thus the man does not need a specific intention to lead other men. However, the same is not true for leading congregations that include women. In this situation, the imam does have to make a separate intention.
[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah, with Tahtawi’s Gloss (1.346)]
Please also see: Reciting Aloud in Quiet Prayers
And Allah Most High alone knows best.
قال في الطحطاوي على مراقي الفلاح: ((قوله : والمنفرد بفرض مخير فيما يجهر فإن شاء جهر لأنه إمام نفسه لكن لا يبالغ في الجهر مثل الإمام لأنه لا يسمع غيره وجهره هكذا أفضل ليكون الأداء على هيئة الجماعة)) اهـ.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani