18th April 2014
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
Question: Is it permissible for the Imām to stand inside the Mihrāb when the congregation prayer grows and there is no space for them?
الجواب حامداً و مصلياً
In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Answer: The Fuqahā have stated that without a valid reason it is Makrooh (disliked) for the Imām to stand and lead the congregational Salāh whilst standing inside the Mihrāb (arch). However, due to congestion and limited space if the Imām stands inside the Mihrāb then it would not become Makrooh.
It is stated in Fatāwa Hindiyyah (an encyclopedia of Islamic jurisprudence based on the Hanafi School of Thought);
“It is Makrooh for the Imām to stand by himself in the Mihrāb, but it is not Makrooh prostrating in it when standing outside the Mihrāb …However ,if the Masjid is constraining for those (reading) behind the Imām then there nothing wrong for him (Imām) to stand inside the Mihrāb.” (Vol 1. p.120)
[Allãh Knows Best]
Written by (Mufti) Abdul Waheed
Answer Attested by Shaykh Mufti Saiful Islam
JKN Fatawa Department