Praise be to Allaah.
In the answer to question
no. 103694 we stated that
what is required is to wash the arms from the tips of the fingers to the
elbows, and that if they ware washed from the wrists then wudoo’ is not
valid. This is the view of the majority of scholars, except the Hanafis who
say that the wudoo’ of one who does that is still valid.
It is valid to pray behind
a Hanafi who only washed the hands at first and did not wash them again with
the forearms, because it is an issue concerning which the scholars differed,
and the ordinary Muslim is excused for following whichever scholar he
It is valid to pray behind
one whose situation you do not know, and you do not know whether he washed
his hands in the correct manner or not. It is not appropriate to doubt the
worship of a Muslim, rather you should assume that he is doing it
You should explain this
issue to your brothers with wisdom and beautiful preaching, but if they
insist on the view and cling to the Hanafi madhhab or the view of the one
who issued a fatwa to them, then do not argue with them, and do not feel any
reservations about praying behind them. The imams continued to pray behind
one another even though they differed concerning minor issues. Hence they
regarded it as valid to pray behind one who thought that wudoo’ was
invalidated by eating camel meat or touching the penis and other matters
concerning which the scholars differed.
Ibn Qudaamah said in
al-Mughni (2/11): As for those who differ concerning minor issues such
as the companions of Abu Haneefah, Maalik and al-Shaafa’i, praying behind
them is valid and is not makrooh. This was stated by Ahmad. That is because
the Sahaabah and Taabi’een and those who came after them continued to lead
one another in prayer, even though they differed concerning minor issues, so
their action is equivalent to scholarly consensus. And because the one who
held a different view is either correct in his ijtihaad, so he will have two
rewards, one for his ijtihaad and one for getting it right, or he is
mistaken, so he will be rewarded for his ijtihaad and there is no sin on him
for his mistake, because it is forgiven (as stated in the hadeeth). If he
knows that he has omitted an obligatory part or condition that the person
praying behind him believes in but the imam does not, then according to the
apparent meaning of Ahmad’s words it is valid for him to lead him in prayer.
Al-Athram said: I heard Abu ‘Abd-Allaah when he was asked about a man who
led some people in prayer, and he was wearing a fox-skin. He said: If he is
wearing it on the basis of his understanding of the hadeeth, “Any skin that
had been tanned is purified,” then he may pray behind him. It was said to
him: Do you think that it is permissible? He said: No, we do not think that
it is permissible, but if he thinks that then there is nothing wrong with
praying behind him. End quote.
And Allaah knows best.