Q. Can an Imaam stand alone in the Mihraab and lead the Salaah?
A. In normal circumstances, it is disliked (Makrooh Tanzeehi) for an Imaam to lead a congregation whilst performing the complete Salaah inside the Mihraab.
If there are two or three followers performing the complete Salaah with the Imaam inside the Mihraab or if the Imaam performs Sajdah in the Mihraab whilst his feet is outside the Mihraab, it would be permissible.
If the masjid is filled to capacity or due to the lack of space, the Imaam performs the complete Salaah inside the Mihraab, it would be permissible. (Shaami 1/645 – Fataawa Mahmoodiyyah 6/504/506 – Ahsanul Fataawa 3/310)
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa