We come across some Islamic scholars deterring people from being imams and muazzins and being guarantors and guardians. What do they mean with those utterances?

Islamic scholars, especially people of Sufism have always taken into consideration the taqwa (piety, fear of Allah) aspect of deeds and wished to be away from duties requiring responsibilities and burden for man as much as possible. On the other hand, those Islamic scholars gave some advice to make sure that many important tasks and duties requiring responsibility are not handled by unqualified people, and keep them away from those important tasks.

Being an imam and a muazzin is a job requiring responsibility. A muazzin informs people about the time of the prayer every day. In the past, when watches and clocks were not common, it was a more difficult job and the responsibility was heavier. If a muazzin calls adhan before its time, he will cause people to perform their prayers before its time. If we take into consideration the announcement of the times of imsak (beginning of fasting) and iftar (end of fasting), the responsibility will be heavier.

Similar things are valid for the duties of an imam. An imam has the responsibility of all people following in the prayer. A mistake in the wudu (ablution) or in the prayer will risk his prayer and the prayers of the entire congregation.

It is important to say that it is wrong for a person who is qualified to be an imam or a muazzin to stay away from those duties. When there is a need for an imam and a muezzin, if a person who can perform the duties better than the other people present there stays away just for the fear of the responsibility and let the unqualified people do it, it will be worse and bring more responsibility.

Similar things are valid for being a guardian and a guarantor. Being a guarantor or guardian means accepting some duties requiring responsibility. For example, a person who is a guarantor for a person in debt is in responsibility when the debt is not paid, since he has said yes I will pay the money before. When a Muslim says that he will do something, it means he has promised so he must do his best to keep his promise. Therefore, by taking into consideration that the responsibility of being a guardian cannot be carried out by everybody, Islamic scholars wanted people to be away from being a guarantor. However, people who are aware of their responsibility should not refrain from being a guarantor, which is a necessity of Islamic brotherhood.

A guardian is a person who undertakes a responsibility. A Muslim, before his death, assigns a friend or one of his relatives as a guardian for his children, his property or other things. He says I want you to look after my children and my property after my death. Then, the guardian looks after the children until they grow up and protect them till they can stand on their own feet.

It is rare to find that kind of people who carry out that duty properly and work self-sacrificingly and observe the rights of the children. So, the utterances of those Islamic scholars which sound like prohibiting being a guardian and guarantor are expressed to deter people who cannot do it properly and to keep them away. We should not regard those words as never be a guardian or a guarantor

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