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Recitation Behind The Imam: Opinions Of The Four Schools

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 15th February 2011 00:03
The Hanafi school of thought

In the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifa (رحمه الله), Abu Yusuf (رحمه الله), and Imam Muhammad (رحمه الله), under all circumstances-be it jehri (audible) salaah or sirri (silent) salaah, and whether the muqtadi (follower) is listening to the Imam's qirat (recitation) or not-it is not jaiz (not permissible) for the muqtadi to recite Surah Fatiha behind the Imam; in fact it is makrooh tehreemi.

Sahib Hidayah mentions that Imam Muhammad (رحمه الله) relates it is 'good' for the muqtadi to read Surah Fatiha in silent prayers (sirri salaah). However, Durr Mukhtaar refutes this report as follows: "Qirat should not be recited by the Muqtadi at all. There is unanimous agreement (bil-ittifaaq) that one must not recite Surah Fatiha in silent prayers (sirri salaah). The report which has been attributed to Imam Muhammad (رحمه الله) is weak (dha'eef). Ibn Humaam (رحمه الله) describes in detail: it is makrooh tehreemi for the muqtadi to recite qirat. However, according to the most authentic view, salaah will be correct."

Durr Bihaar relates from the Mabsoot of khawaahar-zada that the salaah will become faasid, and the Muqtadi who recites qirat will become faasiq (sinful). Numerous Sahaabah kiraam have related it as 'fasaad', due to which greater caution lays in it being unlawful (i.e. in 'adam-e-jawaaz). Therefore, when the Imam recites qirat loudly, then the Muqtadi (followers) should listen; and when the Imam recites qirat silently, then the Muqtadi should not speak. The proof of this is stated in a Hadith: Hadrat Abu Hurayrah () reports that we would recite qirat behind the Imam; thereafter, an Ayat was revealed "When the Quran is recited, listen to it and remain silent."

Allamah Shaami (رحمه الله) writes in his haashiya (marginal notes):

- Sahib Durr Mukhtaar wrote "fis-sirriyyah" from which it is automatically understood that in loud prayers (jehri salaah) qirat is prohibited (mamnoo').

- And 'bil-ittifaaq' refers to the agreement of Aimma-thalaatha (the three Imams).

- And the report attributed towards Imam Muhmmad (رحمه الله) means that it is istihbaab to read Surah Fatiha in silent salah as a precautionary measure (ehtiyaatan).

- And the result of Allamah Ibn Humam's (رحمه الله) contradiction was that Imam Muhammad says in Kitaabul aathaar that we do not deem qirat permissible behind an Imam in any salaah at all, whether it is jehri (loud) salah, or sirri (silent) salaah. And to say there is caution (ehtiyaat) in it is not worthy, for caution (ehtiyaat) is in not reiciting qirat, because that is acting upon the stronger of the two daleel (proofs). Also, numerous Sahabah kiraam have related that salah becomes faasid by reciting qirat, therefore it is unlawful (which holds the stronger view). [Shaami, p.402, v.1]

The Maliki school of thought

According to Imam Malik (رحمه الله), it is also makrooh for the muqtadi to recite Surah Fatiha in jehri salaah (loud prayers)-whether or not the muqtadi is listening to the Imam's qirat. And it is mustahab (desirable) to read Surah Fatiha in sirri salaah (silent prayers). It is stated in Kitaabul Fiqh 'alal mazaahib al-arba'ah: "Maliki say that it is makrooh for the muqtadi to recite qirat in jehri salaah even if one is not listening to the Imam's qirat or if the Imam has paused/silenced." [vol.1, p.254]

It is stated in Sharah Sagheer of Allamah Dardeer (رحمه الله) that: "The fourth fardh of salah for the Imam and individual is to recite Surah Fatiha, but not for the muqtadi because the Imam undertakes the responsibility of reciting Fatiha on behalf of the muqtadi."

"Silent qirat behind an Imam in a sirri salah (silent prayer) is Mustahab (desirable), and also in the last rakat of Maghrib, and in the last two rakats of Isha."

The Shaf'iee school of thought

Imam Shafi's (رحمه الله) former opinion was that Surah Fatiha is not wajib upon the muqtadi in jehri namaz. Nevertheless, during the last stages of his life, two years before his death whilst in Egypt, Imam Shafi told his new opinion that it is wajib upon the muqtadi to recite Surah Fatiha in a jehri salaah. And according to the Shawaafi', fatwa is upon this new opinion. As for sirri namaaz (without any contradictory opinions) it is wajib upon the muqtadi to recite Surah Fatiha. It is written in Muhazzab:

"Is it wajib upon the Muqtadi to recite Fatiha? In this series, it will be observed that...

ง If it is sirri salaah, then Fatiha is wajib

ง If it is jehri salaah then there are two opinions:

ง Imam Shafi has said in Kitaablul-Umm and Buwaytee that it is wajib

ง And Imam Shafi's old opinion is that the muqtadi should not recite qirat. Imam Nawwi says that we have mentioned earlier that our mazhab is that "Fatiha is wajib upon the muqtadi in all rakaats of both sirri (silent) and jehri (loud) salaah; and this is the correct mazhab in our opinion."

The Hanbali school of thought

In the opinion of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (رحمه الله), if the muqtadi is listening to the Imam's qirat in jehri salaah, then it is not jaiz to read Fatiha. And if the muqtadi is so far that the Imam's recitation cannot be heard, then it is jaiz (permissible) to recite Fatiha. Furthermore, it is mustahab (desirable) to recite Fatiha in sirri salaah and between the Imam's silent-pauses in jehri salaah. It is written in Mukhtasar al-kharqi: "When the Muqtadi is listening to the Imam's qirat, then he should not read Surah Fatiha or any other Surat; whereas, to recite in between the Imam's silent-pauses and in sirri salaah (silent prayers) is Mustahab (desirable). Hence, if the Muqtadi did not recite Fatiha, his salaah is complete because 'for whosoever is an Imam; the Imam's qirat is also his qirat'. And if the Muqtadi is not listening to the qirat due to distance, then one should recite Surah Fatiha."

[REFERENCE: Adalla-e-Kaamila yani ghair muqallidoun kai 10 sawaalaat aur unkai tehqeeqi jawaabaat, by Shaikul-Hind Hadrat Moulana Mehmud Hasan Sahib Deobandi, P.g 60-64]

The Statements of the Sahaabah (رضي الله عنهم أجمعين) About Not Reciting Behind the Imam

When Hadhrat Ata ibn Yasaar (رضي الله عنه) enquired from Hadrat Zaid bin Thaabit (رضي الله عنه) concerning reciting behind the Imam, he replied, "There is no recitation whatsoever behind the Imam." [Muslim, vol. 1, pg. 410]

Hadrat Jabir (رضي الله عنه) mentioned, "There is no salaah for him who does not recite Surah Fatiha in salaah, except for the one who performs salaah behind an Imam (he will not even recite Surah Fatiha when following the Imam)." [Tirmidhi]. Imam Tirmidhi (رحمه الله) says that this Hadith is Hasan and that from this Hadith Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (رحمه الله) deduced that the salah of the person who does not recite Surah Fatiha will not be valid when he performs salah individually.

Imam Tahaawi (رحمه الله) has narrated from Hadrat Ali (رضي الله عنه) that the person who recites the Quran while following the Imam is not a follower of the natural Deen.

Hadrat Abdullah ibn Mas'ood (رضي الله عنه) is reported to have said, "Remain silent for the recitation of the Quran because salaah is an occupation and the Imam will suffice for you."

Hadrat Abdullah ibn Mas'ood (رضي الله عنه) is also reported to have said, "If only the mouth of that person who recites while behind the Imam is filled with soil."

Abu Jamra (رضي الله عنه) asked Hadrat Abdullah ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنهما) whether he should recite the Quran while behind the Imam. He replied in the negative.

Hadrat Abdullah ibn Umar (رضي الله عنهما) never recited Quran behind the Imam and when it was asked of him whether one should recite, he replied, "When any of you perform salaah behind an Imam, then the recitation of the Imam will suffice for him as well."

These Hadith together with the Quranic verse in Surah al-'A'raaf
"When the Quran is recited, then listen attentively to it and remain silent so that mercy be shown to you" (7:204) establish the rule that the Muqtadi should listen to the Imam's qirat and keep silent.

[REFERENCE: Anwaarul Bayaan/ Illuminating Discourses on the Noble Quran p.g 101-103, vol. 4]

It is compulsory for a muqallid (adherent of a particular madhab) to follow the ruling of his madhab. He cannot do as he likes.

Also see: Recitation Behind The Imam, and Not Reciting Surah Fatiha Behind The Imam

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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 17th October 2022 21:45



As I understand in hanafi fiqh when praying behind imam we stay silent for Qirat. I was listening to a scholar who said it would make sense to do this in Maghrib Isha Fajr as Imam is reciting audbily, whereas zuhr asr to read it as imam is reciting it sliently. As I understand there is a Quranic verse which states when Quran is recited listen attentively (to the best of my knwoledge) how can we intrpret this for the silent prayers Zuhr Asr if in Hanafi fiqh we are still to remain silent?

If you can please shed some clarity on this matter


ูˆุนู„ูŠูƒู… ุงู„ุณู„ุงู…
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Allah Ta'ala says:
"So when the Quran is recited, listen to it, and remain silent, that you may recive mercy."

Imam Ahmad states, "The people are unanimous that this verse was revealed concerning the salah." (Al-Mughni 1:601)

This verse is very general and encompassing in its command regarding salah. It states that one must remain silent and, if possible, also listen "when the Qur'an is being recited," i.e. whether audibly or silently.

Nabi ุตู„ู‰ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ุนู„ูŠู‡ ูˆุณู„ู… said, "The imam has been assinged to be followed. When he proclaims the takbir you also proclaim it. When he recites remain silent." (Abu Dawud 1:96)

In a narrtion of Saheeh Muslim it states: "When he recites remain silent; and when he reaches "ghair al-maghdubi alaihim wa la-dallin," say "amin," and Allah will answer your prayer. (Muslim 1:147)

These two hadiths explains the verse above. When the Nabi ุตู„ู‰ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ุนู„ูŠู‡ ูˆุณู„ู… commanded the follower to follow the imam in proclaiming the takbir and other prayers, he did not command him to recite Surat Al-Fatihah with the imam, but rather instructed him to remain silent.

Nabi ุตู„ู‰ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ุนู„ูŠู‡ ูˆุณู„ู… led the Asr salah. A person began reciting behind him, so the person next to him gave him a nudge. After finishing his prayer the person asked, "Why did you nudge me?" The other person replied, "The Messenger of Allah ุตู„ู‰ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ุนู„ูŠู‡ ูˆุณู„ู… was in front of you, and I did not approve of you reciting behind him." The Nabi ุตู„ู‰ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ุนู„ูŠู‡ ูˆุณู„ู… heard this and said:
"Whoever has an imam, his imam's recitation is sufficent for him." (Muwatta Muhammad 98)

This command is clearly regarding a silent salah like Asr.

Shaikh Ibn Taimiyah writes in his Fatawa: "The recitation of the imam is sufficient for the muqtadi. The consensus of the Sahabah and the Tabieen proves this." (23:271) [Fiqh al-Imam]

Having mentioned some of the evidences on this issue, it is important to note that these are scholarly discussions which a person will only appreciate if they study the alim program. Books have been written on this topic and similar ones. Each of the four imams follow the Quran and Sunnah and have evidences for their rulings.

And Tawfeeq is from Allah.

Muhammad ibn Suleman
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 19th October 2022 07:59
abu mohammed wrote:
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