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Praying Behind Someone of Another School of Thought (Madhab)

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org
Question: What is the ruling of praying behind someone of another school of thought (madhab) if one sees from them that which would invalidate the prayer in one’s own school?
Answer:
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

It is highly unlikely that the Imam’s prayer would be invalid according to the Hanafi school. If his prayer fulfills the basic integrals and conditions of the prayer, the prayer is valid and not in any way disliked.

If however, one has reasonable doubt that (a) the integrals and conditions were not fulfilled or (b) one is sure that the Imam’s wudu is not valid according to the Hanafi school – then one should resort to the secondary position in the Hanafi school.

The Secondary Position Regarding Following an Imam of Another Legal School

The secondary position is that the validity of the follower’s prayer depends on the validity of the Imam’s prayer in accordance with the Imam’s legal school of thought [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar].

Moving Forward

If one is at work and has the choice between praying behind a follower of another school or praying alone, it would be advisable to take the secondary opinion and pray in the congregation.
Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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