1. The congregation is led by an Imam from among the present worshippers. He must be chosen on his merits of religious knowledge and piety.
2. After the announcement of the Iqamah, the Imam of the congregation stands in the front by himself while the followers stand behind him in straight lines, all facing the Qiblah. A congregation can be made up even with two persons: the Imam and one follower.
3. After declaring the intention of prayer and after beginning the prayer (i.e., saying takberatul-Ihram and du'a Thana) the Imam recites the Fatihah and the complementary passage of the Qur’an in an audible voice in the Early Morning Prayer and in the first two units of the Sunset and Evening Prayers. When the Imam is reciting the Qur’an aloud, the followers listen to him in meditation and humility. They do not recite the Fatihah nor the other passage after the Imam.
4. When the Imam concludes the Fatihah the followers say ‘Ameen’. (this means: "O God accept our invocation") After the Imam stands from bowing posture he says: “Sami’a-l-lahu liman Hamidah” (this means: "God accepts any who are thankful to Him"), and the followers respond in these words: “Rabbana laka-l-Hamd” (this means: "our Lord praise be to You").
5. The followers should follow the Imam is his movements without anticipating him in any act. Should any follower supercede the Imam in any movement, this person’s prayer will become void.
6. The congregational prayer is not valid unless the Imam declares his intention that he is acting in the service in the capacity of Imam. The followers also must declare their intention that they are following that particular Imam in the same particular prayer he is offering. All intentions, be it by the Imam or by the followers must be done by heart.
7. When a person comes after the start of prayer, he should pronounce the Takbeeratul-Ihram (standing) and then, join the congregation. He should follow the Imam / congregation whatever be the stage of their prayer. However, after the Imam has completed the service by uttering the final peace greetings, if this late comer has missed one unit or more, he must take standing position to make up the earlier unit / units he has missed until he completes his prayer. When a person joins the congregation in the bowing position, before rising, he is considered as having joined from the start of this particular unit. But if he joins the congregation in any position after bowing, he has missed the unit and must make up for it individually right after the Imam has concluded the prayer.
8. Whenever there is an opportunity for praying in congregation, a Muslim should not miss it. Prayer in congregation is a handsome demonstration of unity in purpose and action, of plural piety and humility before God, of effective solidarity among Muslims, of public order and mutual response.
Also, if a person forgets or oversleeps which has caused him to miss the prayer, he should perform it immediately when he remembers.
The Islamic congregation is a positive answer to the acutest problems of humanity rising from racial discrimination, social castes and human prejudices. In the congregational service of Islam, there is no king or subject, rich or poor, white or colored, first or second class, back or front benches, reserved or public pews. All worshippers stand and act shoulder to shoulder in the most disciplinary manner regardless of any worldly considerations.
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