I would like to get the Fatwa of the following as:
1- Leading the prayer (Imam) without beard is allowable? If, not then how many schools of thoughts (Hanafi, Shafi, Malaki, Hambli) disqualify it?
2- Also, what if the Imam is a Hafiz (without beard) then is he allowed leading the prayer while the people behind him have beards but no Hafiz?
3- Also, is the Imam required to cover his head while praying?
الجواب وبالله التوفيق
- Keeping a Shar‘ai beard is mandatory according the rulings of all four righteous aimma kiram. A person who keeps a beard which does not fulfill the Shar‘ai requirements of a beard is considered a fasiq(open transgressor) according to the Islamic Shari‘ah. Appointing a fasiqas imam for leading salah is considered makrooh-tehrimi(close to haram). Reading salah in such an imam’s lead will also be considered asmakrooh-tehrimi. (فتاوی محمودیہ، ص93، ج10)
- A person who acts upon the Sunnahof Rasulullah Sallallaho Alyhi Wasallam and knows the fundamental masail of salah and imam at and can read as much Quran correctly as needed to complete ones salahcorrectly, should be appointed as the imamfor leadingsalah. On the other hand if a person who is a hafiz, knows the fundamental masailof salahand imamat, but openly transgresses against the teachings of Islam and does not act upon the Sunnah of Rasulullah Sallallaho Alyhi Wasallam, then such a person should not be appointed as imamfor leading salah. (فتاوی محمودیہ، ص33، ج10)
- It is considered makrooh to read or lead salah without covering one’s head especially when an amamaor topee is available. One should wear modest (according to the Islamic teachings) and the best of the clothes they have to read or lead salah. (فتاوی محمودیہ، ص57، ج10)
واللہ اعلم بالصواب