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Holding the Mushaf during Prayer

Rulings Regarding Holding the Mushaf during the Taraweeh Prayer

The Fatawa from the Three Imaams of our Time; Al-Albaani, Ibn Baz & Ibn Uthaymeen 

Collected by Luqmaan bin Abee al-Qaasim Abu Abdullah al-Aajuree ( 

Translated by Abbas Abu Yahya  

1- Shaykh, Allaama, Muhadith of the Islaamic Lands, Muhammad Nasir Deen al-Albaani – May Allaah have mercy upon him.

Questioner: Is it permissible for the person following the Imaam in prayer- especially in the Taraweeh prayer – to stand behind, holds the Mushaf and follows the Imaam by looking at it?

The Shaykh: No, no, no, this is not from the Sunnah.

Questioner: If he did this is his prayer accepted?

The Shaykh: His prayer is accepted.

Questioner: But we say it is against the Sunnah?

The Shaykh:  Yes.

 Taken from Silsilah Huda wa Noor tape no. 679

2- The Noble Shaykh, Allaama, Abdul Azeez Bin Baz – May Allaah have mercy upon him.

Question: What is the ruling regarding the one who holds and carries the Mushaf in the Taraweeh prayer? Answer: I do not know an origin for this action; but what is apparent is that he should have humility and be at ease and not hold a Mushaf. Rather he should put his right hand on his left hand like in the Sunnah, placing his right hand on his left hand, the wrist and forearm and place them on his chest. This is the stronger opinion and better, while holding the Mushaf busies him from following this Sunnah.Also, reviewing the Mushaf and the Ayaat may busy his heart and his eyesight from listening to the Imaam. So, what I see is leaving off this action is the Sunnah, and he should listen and remain quiet and he should not use a Mushaf. If he has knowledge then he can prompt the Imaam if he forgets or someone else can prompt him.The let’s assume that the Imaam makes a mistake, and no one prompts him. This mistake has no harm in other than the recitation of al-Fatiha. This harm is specific to al-Fatiha, because al-Fatiha is a Rukn (pillar) which is most necessary. As for him leaving to recite some Ayaat in other than al-Fatiha, then this does not harm him, if there is no-one who is praying behind him to make him aware of the mistake.If someone holds a Mushaf behind the Imaam due to necessity, then perhaps there is no problem with that. As for everyone to hold a Mushaf, then this is against the Sunnah.Question: Some of those who pray behind the Imaam, follow the Imaam using a Mushaf while he is reciting. Is there a problem in doing that?

Answer: What is apparent to me is that this should not be done. It is more befitting to concentrate in the prayer and have khushoo, and place the hands on the chest reflecting upon what the Imaam is reciting. This is due to the saying of Allah Azza wa Jal:

{{ When the Qur’aan is being recited, then listen to it and remain silent, perhaps you will have mercy sent upon you }}

also the saying of Allah Subhaanu:

{{ Indeed the believers are successful. Those who offer their Salat (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness. }}

Furthermore, due to the saying of the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam:

“Most certainly the Imaam has been made to be followed; so if he makes the Takbeer then you make the Takbeer, and if he recites then remain quiet.”

Taken from the booklet: ‘Ajwaab as-Saheeh min Ahkaam Salaat al-layal wa Taraweeh’

3- Shaykh Allaama Muhammed bin Salih al-Uthaymeen – May Allaah have mercy upon him.

Question: What is the ruling of holding the Mushaf by those who are praying the Taraweeh prayer in Ramadaan with the proof that they are following the Imaam? Answer: Holding the Mushaf for this aim is opposing the Sunnah and that is from different angles:

  1. The person loses out on placing the right hand on the left while he is standing in prayer.
  2. It leads to many movements for which there in no necessity from opening the Mushaf, closing it and placing it under the armpit, in a pocket, etc.
  3. In reality it busies a person praying with his movements.
  4. The praying person looses out by not looking at the place of Sajdah; majority of the scholar hold the opinion that looking at the place of Sajdah is the Sunnah and is better.
  5. The person holding the Mushaf could perhaps forget that he is in the prayer if his heart is not attentive. Contrary to this if he has khushoo in his prayer, placing his right hand on his left, with his head bowing down towards the place of his sajdah, then this would make him closer to being aware that he is praying and that he is behind the Imaam.

Question: The Noble Shaykh was asked: What is the ruling of following the Imaam using a Mushaf in the prayer?

Answer: The Noble Shaykh answered by saying: Following the Imaam by using a Mushaf means that the praying person holds and reads a Mushaf to follow the Imaam’s recitation. If there is need for this, whereby the Imaam has a weak memory, and it is said to one of the people praying: ‘Take a hold of the Mushaf and prompt me if I a mistake.’ Then there is no problem in doing this since there is a need for it.

As for it being in any other way; then I do not see it permissible for a person to follow the Imaam by reading the Mushaf; since he looses out on what is required and falls in to that which is disliked. He looses out by not looking at the place of sajood, and also by placing the hands on the chest which is from the Sunnah. He falls into that which is disliked as a result of the movement of holding the Mushaf, opening it, closing it, and placing it down, There is no need for all these movements.

The people of knowledge have said that it is Makrooh (disliked) to move in the prayer if there is not a need for it, because it negates the perfection of khusoo in the prayer, some of the scholars even said: that the movements of the eyes nullifies the prayer, because the eyes will follow the recitation from the beginning of the line to the end of the line, then from beginning of the second line to the end of the line, etc. Along with all this, there are many letters and many words, as such there would be a lot of movements for the eyes, and this nullifies the prayer.

So, my advice for my brothers is that they leave this matter and they return themselves to having khusoo without looking at Mushaf.”

Taken from : ‘Majmoo’ Fatawaa ash-Shaykh’ ques. 819

All Praise belongs to Allaah, may His peace and blessings be upon our final Prophet Muhammad, his family, his Companions and all those who follow his guidance.