Matters which the Imam takes responsibility for on behalf of the Ma'mums

Q 1: What are the matters which the Imam takes responsibility for on behalf of the ma'mums (persons being led by an Imam in Salah)?

A: Scholars mentioned that an Imam takes the responsibility of the following on behalf of the Ma'mums:1. The recitation: for Allah says, So, when the Qur’ân is recited, listen to it, and be silent that you may receive mercy. Imam Ahmad (may (Part No. 6; Page No. 280) Allah have mercy on him) said, "Scholars unanimously agreed that this Ayah was revealed concerning recitation in Salah." The Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said, Whoever is praying behind an Imam, the recitation of the Imam is enough for him. (Related by Imam Ahmad in the book called, "Al-Masa'il" which contains reports that were narrated by his son `Abdullah). It is Wajib (obligatory) upon the Ma'mum to recite Surah Al-Fatihah in Sirri Salah (Prayer with subvocal recitation) and when the Imam pauses in Jahri Salah (Prayer recited out loud). According to the Hadith Sahih and in order to reconcile the scholars' differences over this issue, if the Imam does not pause, the Ma'mum must recite Surah Al-Fatihah and then listen to him.2. Sujud-ul-Sahw (Prostration of Forgetfulness): According to the majority of scholars, when the Ma'mum is offering Salah behind the Imam from the beginning. When being led by the Prophet (peace be upon him), sometimes the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) used to be distracted, but they did not perform Sujud-ul-Sahw which they would have had to offer had they been praying individually. It was not transmitted that anyone of them offered Sujud-ul-Sahw after the Prophet (peace be upon him) pronounced Taslim (salutation of peace ending the Prayer). If this were permissible, they would have done so and it would have been transmitted.3. Sujud-ul-Tilawah (Prostration of Recitation): If the Imam does not perform Sujud-ul-Tilawah when reciting an Ayah, the Ma'mum should not do so. This is because if the Ma'mum performs Sujud-ul-Tilawah, he would be contradicting the Imam and therefore, his Salah becomes invalid.4. Sutrah (barrier placed in front of a person praying): The Sutrah which is placed in front of the Imam is the Sutrah for those who are praying behind him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to lead the Sahabah in Salah while placing a Sutrah in front of him, but he did not order them to place a Sutrah in front of them. This is recorded in the Two Sahih (authentic) Books of Hadith (i.e. Al-Bukhari and Muslim). Al-Bukhari (may Allah be merciful to him) (Part No. 6; Page No. 281) has a chapter in his "Sahih (Book of Authentic Hadith)" dedicated to "Sutrat-ul-Imam Sutrah li man khalfahu (the Sutrah of the Imam is enough for those who are behind him)."5. Qunut (supplication recited while standing after bowing in the last unit of Prayer): When the Imam says Du`a' Al-Qunut, the Ma'mum should say, "Amen" only.6. The first part of the Tashahhud (a recitation in the sitting position in the second unit of Prayer): This is in case the Imam precedes the Ma'mum with a Rak`ah (unit of prayer) in a four-Rak`ah Salah (Prayer consisting of four units).7. Saying, "Sami`a Allahu liman hamidah [Allah listens to him who praises Him]": For the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, When he (the Imam) says, "Sami`a Allahu liman hamidah", you should say, "Allahumma Rabbana wa laka Al-Hamd [Our Lord! All praise is due to You Alone]", so that Allah listens to you. (Related by Muslim on the authority of Abu Musa Al-Ash`ary (may Allah be pleased with him). In addition, there are other Hadith to the same effect.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.