Iqamah: Is it obligatory before a
Q297 :We were about to offer prayers in congregation
at the office, when the telephone rang. The imam answered it while
iqamah was being said. When he had finished, he asked for the iqamah to
be said again. Should he have done that, considering that we were only
three persons joining the prayer?
A297 : The iqamah, or a shortened call to prayer,
is said immediately before an individual or a congregation start their
prayer. It serves to put the worshipper in a frame of mind most
suitable for his worship. It is recommended or encouraged, i.e. sunnah,
not obligatory. If a person does not say it, or if the congregation
start without any one of them saying it, that does not detract in any
way from the validity of the prayer. If one has said iqamah and then
something took place to delay him from starting his prayer, it is open
to him to decide whether he wants to say the iqamah again or not.
However, if the distraction is short, then the iqamah need not be said
again. Suppose that when the imam answered the telephone, he explained
to his caller that he was just about to pray and he would return the
call after he had finished, then it would have been more appropriate if
he started the prayer without repeating the iqamah. On the other hand,
if the caller was his boss and he wanted to ask him about a certain
matter and the telephone conversation took a few minutes, then
repeating the iqamah is perhaps more preferable.
Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )