The ruling on individual prayers without an Iqama

Sheikh Dr Hussam Al deen Musa Afana – a teacher of jurisprudence and its principles in the University of Al Quds Palestine- says: The Iqamat is one of the confirmed sunnah which are set by the Prophet ﷺ . It is applicable on the congregation prayers, and whoever prays alone from men. As for women, there is no need for a call to prayer or Iqama. 

It has been narrated in the saying of the prophet ﷺ (If the Prayer is prepared, then one of you should make the call to prayer- Adhan- and the oldest should lead you in the prayer) agreed upon by the scholars.

Uqba bin Amir reported that the Prophet ﷺ said (Your Lord is pleased with a shepherd high in the mountains who calls the Adhan for the prayer and prays. Allah says: ‘Look at this slave of Mine; he calls the Adhan and Iqamah for the prayer and fears Me. I have forgiven My slave and admitted him to Paradise.)

However, if a person is alone and he prays without an Iqama, then his prayer is correct and there is no sin on him. Imam Al- Nawawi said: ( Among the schools of the scholars regarding the call to prayer and the Iqama: our reliable thought is that they are both sunnah for all the prayers, in the homes, when travelling, for congregations or individuals. They are not obligatory on a single situation, so if you leave them then the prayer of the congregation and the individual is still valid. It was said by Abu Hanifah and his companions and Ishaq bin Rahwiya, and it transmitted by Al Sarkhasi from the majority of the scholars) [al-Majmou’ 3/82].

Al Kharqi, a scholar from Hanbali school said: Whoever prays without an adhann or an iqama then we dislike this, but he should not repeat his prayer. 

Ibn Qudama al Maqdisi mentioned in his explanation to the saying of Al Kharqi, that he does not know of any other opinion on this matter apart from very few, and then he said: And the best is the opinion of the majority which we have mentioned, as the Iqama is one of the two Adhans, so the prayer is not nullified by leaving it like the other. [Al Maghni 303-1/302].

Evidence about this was brought in the narration of Ibrahim Al Nakhi’, who reported from Al Aswad and ‘Alqama that they said: (We came to the house of ‘Abdullah b. Mas’ud. He said: Have these people said prayer behind you? We said: No. He said: Then stand up and say prayer. He neither ordered us to say Adhan nor Iqama) Narrated by Muslim.

To sum up the matter, whoever prays alone without an iqama then his prayer is valid, but it is preferred that he says the iqama, in order to avoid the clash of opinion with the scholars of knowledge who believe it is compulsory.