Answered by Shaykh Abul ‘Ataa Ahmad Banaja (may Allah preserve him)
What if the imam fell down unconscious during the prayer, what should the maamum do?
The answer is you are supposed to do like how the Sahabah did in the time of ‘Umar رضي الله عنه . When the Kafir stabbed him while he رضي الله عنه was in Sujud, and it was in Fajr prayer and was dark. That Kafir was hiding behind the Mimbar. May Allah curse him. So, when ‘Umar رضي الله عنه was stabbed, he shouted, and Sahabah knew he was attacked.
So, some of the people raised their head (from Sujud) to help ‘Umar رضي الله عنه. And others continued the prayer because the situation was under control by part of the congregation. And one of the people went after that Kafir and caught him. This is summary of that story.
So, this is what we are supposed to do. If one of the people fell down while in prayer, be it Imam or Maumoom, its obligatory, upon those who are able, to help him. Two or three people surrounding him, cut off the prayer in order to help him. Evidence for this is the general ruling of the following Aayah:
“وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَىٰ ۖ وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ”
“And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.” [Surah Al-Ma’idah 2]
On the other hand, its obligatory upon those who are far and out of reach, to continue their prayer and NOT to break it. Allah mentioned in the Quran:
“وَلَا تُبْطِلُوا أَعْمَالَكُمْۡ…”
“…and do not invalidate your deeds.” [Surah Muhammad 33]
So, they cut their prayer and help the brother, according to his need. After that, if they managed to catch the jamaah they join the jamaah and complete what they have missed, but if they couldn’t they have to repeat the prayer from the beginning.
بارك الله فيكم