Hazrat Amr Ibnu Salamah (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ)

Amr bin Salamah RA – A Young Imam in Solah.

Amr bin Salamah RA says: “We lived with our father at a place on the caravan road to Madinah Munawwarah. When a caravan from Madinah Munawwarah passed our village, we asked those people about Muhammad SAW. They would tell us that he claimed to be receiving messages from Allah, and they would also read a few verses of the Qur’aan to us to give us an idea about his claim.
I would immediately learn those ayat. In this way, I remembered a good portion of the Qur’aan even before I accepted Islam. All the desert tribes were waiting for Makkah Mukarramah to come into the control of Nabi SAW before they accepted Islam. On his victorious entry into Makkah Mukarramah, people from all the tribes began to come to Nabi SAW in order to accept Islam.
My father was incharge of the group who went to Nabi SAW to pledge allegiance to him on behalf of our tribe. Nabi SAW taught them the basic rules about Salah and other Islamic practices. He said to them, ‘The person who knows more Qur’aan should lead (be the Imam) in Salah.’ It so happened that none in my tribe knew so much Quran as I did. They searched for an Imam, but they could not find a person who knew more Quran than me. I was, therefore, made Imam. At that time, I was only seven. I led the jamaat Salah and funeral service if any.”
It was his natural liking and attraction towards Islam that made him remember so much of the Qur’an when he was only a boy and he had not even accepted Islam.

A boy leading a woman in prayer and vice versa

A small child  leading as imam for  solah

It is OK for a boy who understands the prayer to lead others in prayer, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “People should be led in prayer by the one who knows the most Qur’aan among them.” (Narrated by Muslim,al-Masaajid wa Mawaadi’ al-Salaah, 1078). And it was narrated in Saheeh al-Bukhaari that ‘Amr ibn Salamah al-Jarami said: “My father came from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said that he had heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, ‘When the time for prayer comes, let the one among you who knows the most Qur’aan lead you in prayer.’ They looked and they did not find anyone who knew more Qur’aan than me, so they made me lead them in prayer, and I was a boy of six or seven years.” (al-Maghaazi, 3963. SeeFataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 7/389-390)

The evidence to be found in the hadeeth is that these Sahaabah asked ‘Amr ibn Salamah to lead them in prayer when he was six or seven years old. This indicates that a boy who has reached the age of discernment can lead the prayers. If that were not permitted, there would have been Revelation to say that it was not allowed. (Ahkaam al-Imaamah wa’l-I’timaam fi’l-Salaah by ‘Abd al-Muhsin al-Muneef).
If your son fulfils all the conditions and obligations of the prayer, then there is nothing wrong with him leading you.
With regard to a woman leading a boy in prayer, this is not permissible, because he comes under the same rulings as a man. What is permitted is for a woman to lead other women in prayer, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) commanded Umm Waraqah bint ‘Abd-Allah ibn Nawfal to lead the members of her household – i.e., the women – in prayer. (Narrated by Abu Dawood,al-Salaahmaamat al-Nisaa’, 500, Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood, 553).
Enlightenment and wisdom from Amr ibn Salamah RA
An awesome, enlightening, and cute narration by companion Amr ibn Salamah.

From here we learn that:
– most quraysh were ‘bystanders’, waiting on the sidelines until the Prophet was victorious, only then made the choice to follow him. Don’t be a side liner.
– when hearing good advice (i.e. Quran), listen to it & remember it, even if you don’t know how to use it yet it will come in handy later!
– the righteous companions found no issue in a six year old being their imam. today six year old’s not even allowed in first saf.. instead they get a special VIP grand stand marked as “Saf for children.. So they group up behind and make noise instead of keeping quiet with their daddies and uncles. Someone lost the plot.
– the little boy was the happiest boy in the world for getting a new shirt! How thankless are we for all the abundant blessings we have Allahul musta’an

Hadith: Narrated ‘Amr bin Salamah RA
We were at a place which was a thoroughfare for the people, and the caravans (of people teaching and spreading da’wah of Islam) used to pass by us; and we would ask them, “What is wrong with the people? What is wrong with the people? Who is that man?”.

They would say, “That man claims that Allah has sent him (as a Messenger), that he has been divinely inspired, that Allah has revealed to him such-and-such (and they would recite Qur’an)”

I used to memorize that (Divine) Talk (i.e. portions of the Qur’an), and feel as if it was inculcated in my chest.

And the ‘Arabs (other than Quraish) delayed their conversion to Islam till the conquest (of Mecca). They used to say.” “Leave him (i.e. Muhammad) and his people Quraish: if he overpowers them then he is a true Prophet.” So, when Mecca was conquered (in the 8th year After Hijrah), then every tribe rushed to embrace Islam, and my father hurried to embrace Islam before (the other members of) my tribe.

When my father returned (from the Prophet) to his tribe, he said, “By Allah, I have come to you from the Prophet for sure!” The Prophet afterward said to them, ‘Offer such-and-such prayer at such-and-such time, and when the time for the prayer becomes due, then one of you should pronounce the Adhan (for the prayer), and let the one amongst you who knows Qur’an most should, lead the prayer.”

So they looked for such a person and found none who knew more Qur’an than I because of the Quranic material which I used to learn from the caravans.

They therefore made me their Imam ((to lead the prayer) and at that time I was a boy of six or seven years, wearing a Burda (i.e. a black square garment) proved to be very short for me (and my body became partly naked).

A lady from the tribe said, “Won’t you cover the anus of your reciter for us?” So they bought (a piece of cloth) and made a shirt for me. I had never been so happy with anything before, as I was with that shirt.

Narrated: Amr bin Salamah From Sunan An-Nasai

Found in: The Book of the Qiblah
Hadith no: 768
Narrated: Amr bin Salamah
“When my people came back from the Prophet (saw) they said that he had said: ‘Let the one who recites the Quran most lead you in prayer.’ So they called me and taught me how to bow and prostrate, and I used to lead them in prayer, wearing a torn cloak, and they used to say to my father: ‘Will you not conceal your son’s backside from us?’” (Sahih)