Fiqh-us-Sunnah Volume 2, Supererogatory Prayer, Fiqh 2.137A.

Section : The greeting of the imam.

The imam should greet the people when he comes upon the pulpit, followed by the azhan which is to be made when he sits. The imam should face the people during the azhan.

Jabir reports that when the Prophet mounted the pulpit, he would greet the people. This is related by Ibn Majah and in its chain is Ibn Lahiya, and al-Athram has recorded it in his Sunnan from ash-Sha’biy, on the authority of the Prophet, in mursal form. Ata’ and others also reported in mursal form that when the Prophet walked to the top of the pulpit, he would turn to the people and say: “Peace be upon you.” According to ashSha’biy: “Abu Bakr and ‘Umar used to do that [also].”

As-Sa’ib ibn Yazid informs: “The first azhan to salah made on the day of Jumu’ah was made when the imam sat upon the pulpit during the time of the Prophet, Abu Bakr, and ‘Umar. Then, during the time of ‘Uthman, since there were many people, he instituted a third azhan outside the mosque. The Prophet only had one mu’azhzhin.” This is related by alBukhari, an-Nasa’i, and Abu Dawud. In another narration, it is stated: “During the time of ‘Uthman, there were many people, so ‘Uthman ordered the people to make a third call to salah on the day of Jumu’ah, outside of the mosque, and that practice has continued.”

Ahmad and an-Nasa’i record: “Bilal would make the azhan to salah when the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam sat upon the pulpit, and he would make the iqamah when the Prophet came down from the pulpit.”

‘Adi ibn-Thabit relates from his father on the authority of his grandfather who said: “When the Prophet ascended the pulpit, he would face his companions.” This is related by Ibn Majah. Concerning this latter hadith, although there is some doubt about it, at-Tirmizhi says: “The people of knowledge from among the companions and others follow that and they prefer that the imam face the people when delivering the khutbah. “

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