Congregation: When imam missed ablution

Q119 :After completing the congregational prayer one evening, the imam stood up and announced that he had just remembered that he did not do his ablution. He told the congregation to repeat their prayers. This led to much confusion with some people arguing that their prayer was correct and valid. About half of the congregation repeated their prayer while the other half left. Who was right?

A119 : The imam need not have mentioned anything about his earlier forgetfulness. The prayer of the congregation is correct. Those who left the mosque without repeating it were correct, because their prayer was valid. Those who repeated the prayer, will, Allah willing, be rewarded for it as a voluntary prayer. It is needless to say that the imam himself must repeat his prayer. It is reported that Umar ibn Al Khattab once lead the dawn prayer. After he left, he discovered the traces of a wet dream on his clothes. He took a shower and repeated his prayer, without ordering any one in the congregation to repeat their prayers. This incident is also reported of Uthman ibn Affan. When he discovered the traces, he said: "I have indeed grown old. I have indeed grown old." He meant that in his old age, he could not remember having had a wet dream. He repeated his prayer ordering no one to repeat theirs.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )