Q 2: Is it permissible
to offer Salah (Prayer) behind an Imam who makes amulets for others?
Also, in times of drought, he tells people to buy a ram or a cow and slaughter it for the children to eat to make the rain fall. Is it permissible to offer Salah behind an Imam who makes vows and slaughters animals for the sake of other than Allah (Exalted be He)?
It is permissible to offer Salah behind an Imam who makes amulets containing Ayahs from the Qur'an and lawful supplications. However, they should not write them, because it is not permissible to wear them; if the amulets contain matters of Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship) it is not permissible to pray behind someone who writes this. It is obligatory for someone who is knowledgeable to clarify to them that this is Shirk.
Vowing and slaughtering for the sake of other than Allah is also Shirk, as Allah (Part No. 3; Page No. 95) (Glorified be He) says:
And whatever you spend for spendings (e.g., in Sadaqah - charity for Allâh’s Cause) or whatever vow you make, be sure Allâh knows it all.
Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): "Verily, my Salât (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allâh, the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists).
He has no partner.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
"Allah cursed anyone who slaughtered (a sacrificial animal) for other than Him."
And vowing is included in these Words of Allah:
It has not been confirmed that the Prophet (peace be upon him) told anyone to buy a ram or a cow and then to slaughter it for children to eat during times of drought to make the rain fall. It is permissible to perform Salat-ul-Istisqa' (Prayer for rain) and Du`a' (supplications), to seek Allah's Forgiveness, and to give Sadaqah (voluntary charity) to the poor. Therefore, these are acts of Bid`ah (rejected innovations in religion) that have no basis in the Shari`ah (Islamic law). It has been authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
"Anyone who introduces something in this matter of ours (the religion) that is not from it, it will be rejected."
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.