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On Holding the Mushaf During Taraaweeh, A Mention of the Narration of Aaishah and also on Someone Holding the Mushaf Behind the Imaam to Correct Him


 

Al-Albaani: There is an issue which occurs frequently every Ramadaan, i.e., that when many mosque Imaams stand to lead the people in prayer they read from a mushaf directly. This must happen where you are as it does here?

Okay, so I say: is this legislated? As for me, then my answer is no. There are some noble scholars who permit it, saying that it is allowed, and their proof in that is an authentic narration which states that Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, used to have a servant who would lead her in prayer in Ramadaan who would recite from the mushaf, this is an authentic narration.

My answer to this is that this narration does not represent the general manhaj of the Salaf, it represents the opinion of the Mother of the Believers, the [noble] lady Aa’ishah—and she is one for whom it was not obligatory to go to the mosque to pray the obligatory prayers in congregation, let alone the night prayer which is supererogatory. Not only was it not obligatory for her, it was in fact more desirable for her to pray at home. So firstly, this, as I said, does not represent the salafi understanding in this issue in terms of the Salaf comprehensively, men, scholars, students of knowledge and so on. Secondly, this case was specific to Aa’ishah and her servant. So if someone were to say that, “In situations like this it is permitted,” we say that, “It is allowed in compliance with the Mother of the Believers.” As for it to be made a general sunnah for mosque Imaams who lead men in prayer in the mosques, then this is in opposition to what the Salaf were on … …

So the rule is that the Imaams of the mosques lead the people in prayer from what they have memorised, from memory … and in addition to that I say that opening the door to allow mosque Imaams to read from mushafs in the night prayer in Ramadaan leads to the cancellation of an established, legislated Sunnah from the Prophet ﷺ, which is his saying ﷺ, “Keep refreshing your knowledge of the Quraan and make your voice melodious in reciting it, for by the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, it is more inclined to escape from the breasts of men than a camel from its rope.”

“Keep refreshing your knowledge of the Quraan,” means devote your attention to memorising and studying it, because if you don’t it will be lost and go.

So if it is said to mosque Imaams, “There is no need for you to memorise the Quraan … just open the mushaf and put it on a high table and read from it and turn its pages as you pray,” this is a practical dissuasion for them to refresh their knowledge of the Quraan which they had been ordered to do by the Prophet ﷺ.

Thus, this would be from the innovations [bid’ah] which oppose the Sunnah—not only an innovation—but rather an innovation which opposes the Sunnah, and opinion is united in battling against innovations which oppose the Sunnah, if only they knew.

For this reason I do not hold this situation which has now become widespread to be permissible, especially in the Masjid al-Haraam and other mosques around it, [i.e.,] where the Quraan is read from directly, from the noble mushaf.

Questioner: Sometimes a qaari will stand behind them [i.e., behind the Imaam] holding a mushaf so that if the Imaam makes a mistake [he can correct him], so does this have the same ruling?

Al-Albaani: Naturally it has the same ruling. In fact, this is one of the bad results of that practice.

Yes, one time I prayed, I think it was in Taaif, Allaah knows best, behind an Imaam who was reading from the Mushaf—look subhaanallaah, every time when talking about innovations I remember the narration [which says], “No innovation was ever made up except that a Sunnah was wiped out,”what would this Imaam do? When he’d finish [reciting] and wanted to bow, he would put the mushaf under his armpit, picture that, how do you think his rukoo’ would be, his prostration? Like that of a woman according to some madhhabs. What led him to oppose this sunnah or sunnahs? It is the introduction of this innovation, “No innovation was ever made up except that a Sunnah was wiped out.”

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 544.

On Imaams Leading the Night Prayer whilst Reading from a Mushaf


Questioner: During the night prayer is it allowed to read the Quraan from a copy of the mushaf?

Al-Albaani:

And all good is in following those who preceded us
All evil in the innovations of those who came after

Imagine yourselves right now praying the night prayer in the time of ’Umar, who would be leading you? Ubaiy ibn Ka’b.

Questioner: We don’t have an Ubaiy with us.

Al-Albaani: That’s why we must produce an Ubaiy.

Questioner: Until we do, what should we do?

Al-Albaani: Such a method [of holding and reading from the mushaf] will not bring about an Ubaiy or even half an Ubaiy, for this reason, I remind you of the famous hadith, “Keep refreshing your knowledge of the Quraan, for by the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, it is more inclined to escape than a camel from its rope,” keep refreshing your knowledge of the Quraan.

Those people who lead the prayers in the mosque [while reading] from a mushaf, and [I mean] no offense [here] and with respect for any Imaam who leads the people in prayer from a mushaf—I don’t say that these people are lazy [but] I say that at the very least they didn’t carry out this Prophetic order, “Keep refreshing your knowledge of the Quraan.” What does, “keep refreshing,” mean? It is explained in the remainder of the hadith.

If a haafidh does not repeat what he has memorized from the Quraan day and night, it will escape from him just as a runaway camel does from its rope. It is well known amongst camel herders that parallels are coined about a camel’s disposition, such that you have sayings such as, ‘[So and so] is more spiteful than a camel,’ for camels are extremely spiteful, [likewise they are] greatly prone to escaping, even cutting their ropes no matter how strong they may be. That is why addressing the Arabs, camel herders, he  said, “it is more inclined to escape from the breasts of men than a camel from its rope.”

So if Muslims don’t give due care [to memorising the Quraan]and this is a communal obligation, if some people carry it out others don’t need to[if they don’t give due care] then they will be forced to read from the mushaf.

Were the Salaf as-Saalih like that? Of course not.

So, we must produce students who memorise the Quraan and recite it well, and who subsequently lead the people in prayer even if they are young children and those who pray behind them are old men, because priority is given to the one who has memorized it and not the scholar.

For this reason, many times Iand you can see that I am in my eighties nowwill pray behind the youth, because they have memorized more of the Quraan than me, doing so as an implementation of his saying , “The people should be lead by the one who is most well-versed in recitation of the Book of Allaah. If they are equal in recitation, then they should be led by the one who is most knowledgeable of the Sunnah. If they are equal in their knowledge of the Sunnah, then they should be led by the eldest.” Where was I [in this ranking]? In third place [i.e., the eldest]. “If they are equal in age, then they should be led by the one who emigrated first.”

So, the people should be lead by the one who is most well-versed in recitation of the Book of Allaah. So during taraaweeh the people must be lead by the one who is most well-versed in recitation of the Book of Allaah.

And when I say this I know that there could be young children who have memorised more than grown men, but these young children might not pray properly, [but] following this path and implementing this hadith is a legislated way to teach some of these children who have memorised the Quraan the [correct] method of praying, such that they pray it in congregation and lead the people in it, doing so proficiently as ordered by the Messenger of Allaah .

In conclusion I remind you of the hadith of a young boy from the Companions whose name was ’Amr ibn Abi Salamah, his father Abu Salamah was one of the earliest people of the Ansaar to believe in Allaah’s Messenger before he migrated to Medinah. These Ansaar used to go to Makkah on ’Umrah in order to meet the Prophet and to learn what new legislated rulings had been revealed to him. So one time his father travelled and then he and some of the elders from the Ansaar came back with a new ruling which the Prophet had taught them, which was to pray in congregation. Prior to that they would pray individually, so they came back with this new ruling, to pray in congregation, the Prophet having taught them this hadith, “The people should be lead by the one who is most well-versed in recitation of the Book of Allaah …”

[This young boy] ’Amr said, “So they looked around Medinah and didn’t find anyone more well-versed in the recitation of the Quraan than me, nor anyone who had memorised more than me,” and ’Amr’s age was between seven and nine, that’s what is mentioned in the narrations, i.e., at the most he was nine years old, so he said they put him forward to lead them in prayerelderly, grown men with beards praying behind a young boy of nine years at the most.

And as is mentioned in the hadith he was wearing a mantle, i.e., a loincloth made out of a heavy, velvety material. When he would prostrate it would raise up above him, and the women were praying behind the men as is the Sunnah, and some of his ’awrah would show. And so this boy had barely given salaam from the prayer when a woman called out from behind the men, “Won’t you cover the buttocks of your reciter from us?” The boy went on to say, “So they bought a thawb for me, and I had never been so happy with anything before as I was with that thawb.”

Thus, we must give due care to memorizing the Quraan and copying our Salaf as-Saalih.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 694.

On Holding the Mushaf Whilst Praying Taraweeh Behind the Imaam


Questioner: Is it allowed for someone who is following the Imaam in prayer, especially in taraweeh, standing behind the Imaam obviously, [is it allowed for him] to hold the mushaf [while praying] behind the Imaam so that he can look at it?

Al-Albaani: No, no that is not from the Sunnah.

Questioner: If he does it, is his prayer valid [though]?

Al-Albaani: His prayer is valid.

Questioner: But in opposition to the Sunnah?

Al-Albaani: Yes.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 679.

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