Monday, 10 October 2011

Reciting surah fatiha behind Imam from sahih hadiths,Hanafi fiqh stance

As Salamu Alaykum Dear brother and Sisters in Islam.

Recently it has been experienced that some people stubbornly claim that whosoever does not recite Surah al-Fatiha behind the Imam then his prayer is not accepted (i.e. It is null and void). Whether It is necessary to recite behind the Imam or not is a minor issue, but when arrogant people make sweeping statements like: Prayer of people who do not recite is “NULL AND VOID” then this issue ceases to be minor in nature and it requires a detailed refutation to be written upon such extremists.

With the Grace of Allah “NOT” reciting behind Imam is something which is proven directly from Quran itself (let alone overwhelming ahadith which I shall cite in this article insha ‘Allah)

Quran states: When the Qur’an is being recited then “LISTEN ATTENTIVELY AND REMAIN SILENT” so that mercy will be showered upon you".(7:204)
The Shan al Nazul of this ayah:

Imam Ibn Kathir (rah) narrates from Abu Musa al-Ash’ari (ra), Abu Huraira (ra) and Ibn Masud (ra) that this ayah was revealed regarding “REMAINING SILENT WHEN IMAM RECITES”… Then Imam Ibn Kathir says:

وقال أبو حنيفة وأحمد بن حنبل: لا يجب على المأموم قراءة أصلاً في السرية ولا الجهرية بما ورد في الحديث «من كان له إمام فقراءته قراءة له» وهذا الحديث رواه الإمام أحمد في مسنده عن جابر مرفوعاً، وهو في موطأ مالك عن وهب بن كيسان عن جابر موقوفاً، وهذا أصح

Translation: Imam Abu Hanifa (rah) and Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal (rah) say that Qirat is not binding upon Muqtadi“WHETHER IN LOUD OR SILENT PRAYER” because it has come in hadith that whosoever has an Imam then his Qirat for (Muqtadi) is enough, this hadith is narrated by Imam Ahmed in his Musnad from Jabir (ra) in the “MARFU FORM” and in Muwatta Imam Malik via the route of Wahb bin Kisaan who nattated from Jabir (ra) in Mawquf form. (Ibn Kathir said) “THIS IS THE CORRECT VIEWPOINT” [Tafsir Ibn Kathir, (1/281) under 7:204]

Imam Ibn Kathir (rah) accepted Stance of Ahnaaf

May Allah Bless Imam Ibn Kathir (rah) who inspite of being a Shaf’I called the stance of Imam Abu Hanifa and Ahnaaf as “MORE CORRECT”

Imam Nasai'i (rah) made a whole chapter as:

باب تأويل قوله عز وجل: {وإذا قرىء القرآن
فاستمعوا له وأنصتوا لعلكم ترحمون}

Translation: Interpretation of Allah’s saying: {When the Qur’an is being recited then listen attentively and remain silent so that mercy will be showered upon you}

Under he brought these ahadith:

أَخْبَرَني الْجَارُودُ بْنُ مُعَاذٍ التِّرْمِذِيُّ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو خَالِدٍ الأَحْمَرُ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَجْلاَنَ عَنْ زَيْدِ بْنِ أَسْلَمَ عَنْ أَبِـي صَالِحٍ عَنْ أَبِـي هُرَيْرَةَ ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلّم: «إنَّمَا جُعِلَ الإِمَامُ لِيُؤْتَمَّ بِهِ فَإذَا كَبَّرَ فَكَبِّرُوا وَإذَا قَرَأَ فَأَنْصِتُوا وَإذَا قَالَ سَمِعَ اللَّهُ لِمَنْ حَمِدَهُ فَقُولُوا اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَا لَكَ الْحَمْدُ».

Translation: Hadrat Abu Hurraira (ra) narrates that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: Imam has been appointed upon you so that you follow him, when he says takbir then you should also say takbir, “BUT WHEN HE RECITES QURAN THEN YOU SHOULD REMAIN SILENT” and when he says “Ghayr il Maghdoobi Ilaihim” then you should say Ameen, when he goes for Ruku and says Sami Allah huliman Hamida then you should say Rabbana Lakal Hamd [Sunnan Nasai’I (2/479, Hadith # 919)]

حدثنـي أبو السائب، قال: ثنا حفص، عن أشعث، عن الزهري، قال: نزلت هذه الآية فـي فتـى من الأنصار كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلّم كلـما قرأ شيئا قرأه، فنزلت: وَإذَا قُرِىءَ القُرآنُ فـاسْتَـمِعُوا لَهُ وأنْصِتُوا

Translation: Imam al-Zuhri (rah) narrates that this ayah was revealed regarding a young person from Ansaar. When the Prophet (Peace be upon him) recited any ayah in prayer, then he used to recite behind him, “THEREFORE THIS AYAH WAS REVEALED” [Tafsir Ibn Jarir (9/110) under 7:204]

Leading Sahaba and Tabiyeen on 7:204

عن بشير بن جابر، قال: صلى ابن مسعود، فسمع ناسا يقرءون مع الإمام، فلـما انصرف، قال: أما آن لكم أن تفقهوا؟ أما آن لكم أن تعقلوا؟ وَإذَا قُرِىءَ القُرآنُ فـاسْتَـمِعُوا لَهُ وأنْصِتُوا كما أمركم الله.

Translation: Hadrat Bashir bin Jabir (ra) narrates that Ibn Masud (ra) lead people in prayer and he heard some people reciting along with Imam, when he offered salutations he said: “HASN’T TIME COME YET THAT YOU UNDERSTAND” hasn’t time come yet that you use your senses? Remember when Quran is recited then you should listen to it attentively and “REMAIN SILENT, BECAUSE ALLAH HAS ORDERED IT (IN 7:204)” [Tafsir at-Tabri, (9/110) under 7:204]

عن سعيد بن جبـير: وَإذَا قُرِىءَ القُرآنُ فـاسْتَـمِعُوا لَهُ وأنْصِتُوا قال: فـي الصلاة الـمكتوبة.

Translation: Hadrat Sa’eed bin Jubair (ra) narrates that {When the Qur’an is being recited then listen attentively and remain silent} is revealed about “OBLIGATORY PRAYERS” [Tafsir Ibn Jarir (9/110) under 7:204]

وقال علي بن أبي طلحة عن ابن عباس في الآية قوله {وَإِذَا قُرِىءَ ٱلْقُرْءَانُ فَٱسْتَمِعُوا۴} يعني في الصلاة المفروضة،

Translation: Ibn Abbas (ra) said that {When the Qur’an is being recited then listen attentively and remain silent} refers to ruling regarding “OBLIGATORY PRAYERS” [Tafsir Ibn Kathir under 7:204]

Now here is proof from leading Tabiyeen:

قال: ثنا أبـي، عن سفـيان، عن أبـي هاشم، عن مـجاهد: فـي الصلاة الـمكتوبة

Imam Mujahid (rah) said: (This ayah is revealed) about “Obligatory prayers” [ibid]

قال: ثنا الـمـحاربـي وأبو خالد، عن جويبر، عن الضحاك قال: فـي الصلاة الـمكتوبة

Imam adh-Dhahak (rah) said: (This ayah is revealed) about “Obligatory prayers” [ibid]

قال: ثنا جرير وابن فضيـل، عن مغيرة، عن إبراهيـم، قال: فـي الصلاة الـمكتوبة.

Ibrahim al Nakh’ai (rah) said: (This ayah is revealed) about “Obligatory prayers” [ibid]

There is no proof in Quran to recite behind Imam

Hence those people who believe that recitation of Imam is enough for Muqtadi (follower) then they have Quran in their favour whereas people who proclaim that recitation is necessary for Muqtadi have no proof from Quran whatsoever. But to their surprise even overwhelming ahadith refute the claim that recitation on Muqtadi is binding, some have been shown above but let me cite some more.

Hadith # 6

Book 004, Number 1192: (Sahih Muslim)

Ata' b. Yasar reported that he had asked Zaid b. Thabit about recital along with the Imam, to which he said: ”THERE SHOULD BE NO RECITAL ALONG WITH THE IMAM IN ANYTHING” and alleged that he recited:" By the star when it sets" (Surah Najm) before the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and he did not prostrate himself.

This hadith is in Sahih Muslim the second most authentic book of hadith in Islam and all it’s ahadith are authentic.

Hadith # 7

Book 3, Number 3.9.40: (Muwatta Imam Malik)

حدثني ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏مالك ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏أبي نعيم وهب بن كيسان ‏ ‏أنه سمع ‏ ‏جابر بن عبد الله ‏
‏يقول ‏ ‏من صلى ركعة لم يقرأ فيها ‏ ‏بأم القرآن ‏ ‏فلم يصل إلا وراء الإمام

Yahya related to me from Malik from Abu Nuaym Wahb ibn Kaysan that he heard Jabir ibn Abdullah say, "Someone who prays a raka without reciting the umm al-Qur'an in it has not done the prayer except behind an imam."

So Salafis misuse some ahadith which say that “Someone who prays a Rakah without Umm al Quran then he has not prayed” …whereas the complete hadith states “EXCEPT BEHIND AN IMAM”

No recitation behind whether Loud or silent prayer

Hadith # 7
Book 3, Number 3.11.46: (Muwatta Imam Malik)

حدثني ‏ ‏يحيى ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏مالك ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏ابن شهاب ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏ابن أكيمة الليثي ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏أبي هريرة ‏

‏أن رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏انصرف من صلاة جهر فيها بالقراءة فقال ‏ ‏هل قرأ معي منكم أحد آنفا فقال رجل نعم أنا يا رسول الله قال فقال رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏إني أقول ما لي ‏ ‏أنازع القرآن ‏ ‏فانتهى الناس عن القراءة مع رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏فيما جهر فيه رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏بالقراءة حين سمعوا ذلك من رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم

Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab from Ibn Ukayma al-Laythi from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, finished a prayer in which he had recited aloud and asked, "Did any of you recite with me just now?" One man said, "Yes, I did, Messenger of Allah." The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "I was saying to myself, 'Why am I distracted from the Qur'an?' " When the people heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say that, they refrained from reciting with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when he recited aloud.

I want to clarify something here so that no excuse for Salafis is left, the salafis first of all believe that Surah al Fatiha is to be recited by Muqtadi whether in “Jahri (loud) or Sari (silent) prayer, so they cannot say that one should refrain from reciting in loud prayer but may recite in silent prayer. Now watch these following ahadith which would shatter the stance of Salafis totally.

حدّثنا وَكِيع عن الضحاك بن عُثمان عن عَبدِ الله بن يَزيد عن ابن ثوبان عن زَيد بن ثَابت قال: لا يقرأ خلف الإمام إن جهر ولا إن خافت.

Zayd bin Thabit (ra) said: There is no recitation behind the Imam “WHETHER IN LOUD OR SILENT (PRAYER)”[Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah 1/413

10 Ahadith regarding not reciting behind Imam

حدّثنا الفضل عن زُهير عن الوليد بن قيس قال: سألت سويد بن غفلة: أقرأ خلف الإمام في الظهر والعصر؟ فقال: لا.

Translation: Walid bin Qays asked Suwaid bin Ghafla (ra): Should there be Qirat behind Imam in the Dhuhr and Asr prayers? He said: No! [Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah 1/413]

Remember Dhuhr and Asr are silent prayers.

Hadith # 8

ثنا بن نمير عن عبيد الله بن عمر عن نافع عن بن عمر أنه كان يقول من صلى وراء الإمام كفاه قراءة الإمام هذا هو الصحيح

Translation: Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiallahu anhu) used to repeatedly say: "Whoever performs salaah behind the Imaam, the Imaam’s qiraat suffices for him" Imam Baihaqi declared it “SAHIH”.(Sunan Baihaqi, Chapter regarding “NOT RECITING BEHIND THE IMAM” Volume No.2, Page No. 160]

Hadith # 9

حدّثنا عَلِيُّ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ . حَدَّثَنَا عُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مُوسى ، عَنِ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ صَالِحٍ ، عَنْ جَابِرٍ ، عَنْ أَبِي الزُّبَيْرِ ، عَنْ جَابِرٍ ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ: «مَنْ كَانَ لَهُ إِمَامٌ، فَقِرَاءَةُ الإِمَامِ قِرَاءَةٌ».

Translation: Hadrat Jabir bin Abdullah (ra) narrates that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: Whosoever has an Imam then the “RECITIATION OF IMAM IS ENOUGH FOR HIM” [Sunnan Ibn Majah (1/277, Hadith # 880)]

Hadith # 10

حدّثنا أحمد بن داود قال: ثنا يوسف بن عَديّ قال: ثنا عُبيد اللّه بن عمرو، عن أيوب، عن أَبي قلابة، عن أنس رضي الله عنه قال: صلى رسول الله، ثم أقبل بوجهه فقال: «أتقرؤون والإمام يقرأ» فسكتوا فسألهم ثلاثاً فقالوا إنا لنفعل، قال: «فلا تفعلوا».

Translation: Anas bin Malik (ra) narrates: The Prophet (Peace be upon him) led us in prayer and then turned towards the people and asked: Do you recite while Imam is reciting? The Prophet asked this thrice! They replied Yes! The Prophet said “DO NOT DO IT” [Imam Tahawi in Sharh al Ma’ni al Athaar (1/217)]


I hope ten ahadith are more than enough for the time being, so Alhamdulillah the great Hanafi Muslims who believe that reciting behind Imam is not necessary and one’s prayer is valid without recitation behind imam, they are in“PERFECT CONFORMITY” with Quran and Sunnah.


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