If you can’t hear it, does it still break it?
– “Silent But Deadly” Samir
You pose an interesting question. It’s an issue that has perplexed scholars and educators for ages.
Think about it: what is an Imam supposed to do if he passes gas while he’s leading the prayers? Technically he’s supposed to finish prayer, redo his wudu afterward, and lead another makeup prayer in his newly-cleansed state.
What if he stopped in the middle, though? Could you imagine the chaos that would ensue?
Is someone supposed to boldly leap into the Imam’s vacant, odoriferous spot and lead the jamaat? And what if no one steps up to the challenge? Does everyone just pause and wait for the Imam to return from performing wudu? And what if no one catches on to the fact that the Imam broke wind once he stops and leaves?
Confusion would pollute the jamaat as everyone would think that the Imam simply quit and left. Utter chaos. Never have we witnessed or even heard about an Imam leaving the prayer to re-execute his wudu.
We sought the advice of a local Imam regarding this issue. With a half smile, he stated, “If nobody can smell it or hear it, you just keep going. You just have to watch what you eat before you lead the prayers.”
No wonder we never see him at Taco Bell.