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Sunan Abi Dawood 589
Malik b. al-Huwairith said that the Prophet( may peace be upon him) told him or some of his companions:

When the time of prayer comes, call the Adhan, then call the iqamah, then the one who is oldest of you should act as your imam.

The version narrated by Maslamah goes : He said: On that day we were almost equal in knowledge.

The version narrated by Isma’il says: Khalid said: I said to Abu Qilabah: where is the Qur’an(i.e. why did the Prophetﷺ not say: The one who knows the Qur’an most should act as imam)? He replied: Both of them were equal in the knowledge of the Qur’an.
حَدَّثَنَا مُسَدَّدٌ، حَدَّثَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ، ح وَحَدَّثَنَا مُسَدَّدٌ، حَدَّثَنَا مَسْلَمَةُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، - الْمَعْنَى وَاحِدٌ - عَنْ خَالِدٍ، عَنْ أَبِي قِلاَبَةَ، عَنْ مَالِكِ بْنِ الْحُوَيْرِثِ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ لَهُ أَوْ لِصَاحِبٍ لَهُ ‏
"‏ إِذَا حَضَرَتِ الصَّلاَةُ فَأَذِّنَا ثُمَّ أَقِيمَا ثُمَّ لْيَؤُمَّكُمَا أَكْبَرُكُمَا ‏"‏ ‏.‏ وَفِي حَدِيثِ مَسْلَمَةَ قَالَ وَكُنَّا يَوْمَئِذٍ مُتَقَارِبَيْنِ فِي الْعِلْمِ ‏.‏ وَقَالَ فِي حَدِيثِ إِسْمَاعِيلَ قَالَ خَالِدٌ قُلْتُ لأَبِي قِلاَبَةَ فَأَيْنَ الْقُرْآنُ قَالَ إِنَّهُمَا كَانَا مُتَقَارِبَيْنِ ‏.‏

Classification

Sahih (Authentic)

References

• Sunan Abi Dawood 589
• Sunan Abi Dawood Vol. 1, Book of Prayer (Kitab Al-Salat), Hadith 589
• Sunan Abi Dawood, Book of Prayer (Kitab Al-Salat), Hadith 589