Q. My question is in regards to salaah. On a regular basis I begin to have doubts as the local masjid that I have prayed almost most my salaah’s in for the past 6-7 years has an imam who unfortunately has weak makhrij. This is especially the case with letters that need to be pronounced from the throat such as ‘ain and qaaf. Therefore, I always think to myself that, such prayers that I have been reading for quite a while, have not been accepted. I’ve thought of going to other masjid’s but they are further away and thus attending all the jama’ats is not so easy, and also the muqtadi’s in my local mosque who I have a good relationship with are likely to question me as to why I have decided to go to another masjid to offer my salaah. Am I wrong to have such doubts? If not, what would you recommend I do? Lastly, who will be responsible if the salaah is invalid on the last day?
A. The salaah you have read in the past are all valid. If the Imam pronounces the letters properly, then this much is sufficient even if he cannot fulfill the accurate makhraj of ‘Ain’ and ‘Qaaf’. If his recitation is so bad that he changes a ‘Saad’ to a ‘Seen’ or changes the actual letters of the Quran through his ignorance of basic Tajweed, then this is an area of great concern and in this case, you should look to perform Salaah in another masjid behind an Imam who recites with better Tajweed.
If for some reason, the manner of recitation was done in a manner that it changed the meaning of the Quran in the past, then the Salaah will be invalid, and it is the Imam who will be responsible and accountable.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan