The imaam leading the prayer from a raised platform

Reference: al-Muntaqaa min Fataawa Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan – Volume 5, Page 58, Fatwa No.87

Question: Is there any effect on the validity of the prayer whereby the imaam is praying [leading] the prayer from a raised platform to the congregation of followers?

Response: There is [some] detail [to this issue]; If the imaam was on his own, then it is permissible for him to be slightly raised such as the [height of the] stairs on the pulpit, [as] the Prophet ﷺ ascended the pulpit and prayed (led the prayer) and then descended, so there is no harm in a slight raise so long as the imaam is on his own.

However, if there was a considerable raise then it is not permissible for the imaam to be singled out [like this] from the congregation of followers.

If however, the imaam was with [some of] the congregation of followers, then there is no harm in them being considerably raised [from the rest of the congregation of followers], so it is permissible for example that the imaam [and some of the congregation of followers] is on a higher level/floor and the rest of the congregation of followers are on lower levels/floors below him.

He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004. He currently resides in Birmingham, UK.

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