Can you please state a few qualities of an Imam?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
The position of an Imam is that of a lofty one. The Imam of a masjid is like the CEO of a company. In fact, the respect, honour and status an Imam holds are far greater. The Imam is the link between the people and Allah Ta’ala. The Imam is the delegated one to converse to Almighty Allah on behalf of the crowd.
The attendees of the masjid should respect the Imam, seek his counsel, guidance and support in their lives. Equally, the Imam should be ever ready to serve his people. Just like Prophets were sent to specific tribes and nations, the Imam is chosen by Allah to serve a community. The Imam should take comfort and solace in this. His life must be patterned on the life of the Messenger of Allah. The Imam has to sacrifice himself for the welfare of mankind. His nights and days must be spent crying to Allah for the guidance of the people entrusted to him.
The reality of taking the post of an Imam is that a scholar is entrusted with the Iman and spiritual welfare of all the hundreds in his vicinity. He is responsible for their Iman and education. He is responsible for their spiritual welfare. This is the weight placed on the shoulders of an Imam.
An imam should be one possessing the following qualities:
- Authentic and genuine knowledge of the Sharī’ah.
- Well versed in the recitation of the Qur’ān.
- Allah consciousness.
- Praiseworthy manners, morals and ethics.
The committee of the masjid and the attendees need to support the Imam as much as they can. They play the role of the Sahabah radiallahu anhum. The Sahabah gave themselves to serve their Imam to spread guidance.
If the committee and attendees understood the above, then every masjid and locality has the potential to mirror the city of Madinah in the time of the Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam.
That is the ultimate goal: to have a locality like the Prophetic times. The masjid would then be a launch pad to spread the deen of Allah in the four corners of the world.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mawlana Faraz ibn Adam,