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Foreword A l l p r a i s e s a r e d ue to A ll ah, Lord of the Un i v e rse, a nd Salutat i ons be upon Rasul u l l ah ( S a l l a l l a hu a l a i hi wa s a l l a m ) . A l l ah l a has pr e se rved this D e e n from a l l d i sc r e pa n c ie s and w i l l c on t i n ue to d o so throu g hout time by m e ans of Scho l ars. Many tr i a l s wi l l c o m e a n d the Ulama w i l l p ro v i d e s ol u t i ons f o r, and a c t a g a i n s t t hese tr ia l s . One g r e at t r i al to d ay i s an i d e o l o g y a nd e ffort w h ic h c a n r e m o v e the g e n e ral m a ss e s from the fo l l o w i ng of authent i c Sch o l a rship, w he r e as this i s a c o mm and of A ll ah a l a and s o m e thing pa s se d d o w n from the f i rst g e n e rat i on of Mu s li m s up un t i l t o d a y . A l l a l a s a y s , O you w h o believe o b e y A ll a h , his Messenger a n d th os e of author i ty a m on g s t y S u r a N i saa, v erse 5 9 . The Mufa ssi reen ha v e m e n t i oned t h at this r e f e rs to t h e Scho l ars ( Tafseer Taba ri ). T h e S a h aab a h f o ll o w e d Rasul u l l ah ( S a ll a l l ahu a l a i h i wa sa ll a m ), the T aab i fol l o w e d the S a h a a ba h , and the Taabi ee n f o ll o w e d the T aab i n . This chain of K no wl e dg e remained unbroken ti l l to da y . The U l a m a h a ve p r e s c r i bed the c o m ple t e way of fol l o w i ng this D ee n after s tu d i ous and in – d e pth r e s e a r c h of the s ources of S h ar i a h , na m e l y the Q u r a n, Ha d i th , I j m a nd Q iy aa s . T h i s i s not s o m e thing any l a y m an c an, i s c ap a ble of, or ob l i g e d to do . Ulama a l s o un ders to o d the Deen better , as they we r e c lo s e r to the e ra of Ras u l u ll ah ( Sal l a l l ahu a l a i hi w a s a ll a m ). Eve r y l a ym an c ann o t i nv o l v e him se l f i n the deep and i nt r ic a t e s tu d y of a l l t h e s c i e n c e s of Dee n , which i s w h y A l l ah a l a has me ntioned i n S ura T a wba, A yah 1 22 that only a gr oup m a y t ake up th i s ta s k. We , at D a r ul U l o o m N e w Yo r k , i n o r d e r to k e e p this p r is tine De e n i n i ts o r ig i nal form, un de r the s u pe r v i s i on of S h a yk h Arshad Ma d ani; Tea c h e r of H a d i t h i n the g r e at s e m i na r y of In di a, D ar u l U l oom D e o band and the P r e sid e nt of Jam i atul Ula m a, ha v e tak e n up t h e ta s k of t r an s l ating a nu m b e r of booklets. The se booklets w e r e gi v e n to us by the Sh a y kh and t ranslat e d b y the s t u d e nts of D a r ul Ul o o m New York . We ho p e that this will pro v e be n e f i c i al f o r the g e n e r a l m a sse s and r e m ove t h e c onfu s i on that has b e e n c r e ated. We are of the opinion that the Ahlus S unnah wal Jam a are on the correct path ; and they comprise of those who follow Authentic Scholarship, which include the four Imams of Fiqh (Islamic i , and Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Rahimahumullah). Although they may differ in many case s, all are correct in their effort to understand, implement, and present Deen . T h e o r i gi nal a rt i c l e s d i s c uss i n d e t a il , p roofs o f s pecific Ma s i l that a r e g e n e rally f o l l o w e d by the H ana f i Sc h ool of T hought . T his w o rk i s a i m e d to w ards e d u c ating the m a ss e s of the aut h e nt i ci t y of the i r po s i t i on and not to c r e ate f rict i o n , s tr i f e , and d e b ates. As we are human, we are prone to err , therefore if anyone were to point out our mistakes, we would be ever grateful. In s h aa – A l lah i n the future we plan to r e p rint th e m o m i tting th o s e er ro r s . M a y A l l ah a la a c c e pt this e ffort a n d g rant us a l l the tr u e u n de rsta nd i ng of Dee n . A amee n . Tran s l ation C o mmi ttee Darul Uloom New York

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In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Beneficent All praise is for Allah , the Lord of the Universe , and Peace and Salutations be upon Rasulullah ( Sallallahu alihi wasallam ) What is the ruling regarding congregants reciting Surah Al – Fatiha behind the Imam ? Regarding this, there are two kinds of narrations found in the Ahaadith . In some narrations , it has been emphasized to recite Surah Al – Fatihah and in other narrations it has been prohibited to recite anything behind the Imam . Now, b ecause of this, there have been many differences amongst the jurists of the U mmah in regards to reciting Surah Al – Fatihah or any other Surah . According to Imam Abu Hanifah (r) , reciting behind the Imam in Salaah is not permissible , whether it be Surah Al – Fatihah or any other Surah . There are numerous narrations in the Ahaadith which substantiate this, which we will present shortly. According to Imam Malik (r) , Imam Ahmad bin Han bal (r) , Imam Sufyan Thauri (r) , Abdullah bin Mubarak (r) , and others , to recite behind the Imam is not W ajib (obligatory) nor is it M ustahab (recommend (r) . O ne of Imam Shaf s other narrations is that the Muqtadi will recite Surah Al – Fatihah . ( Al – Mughni li ibn Qudamah 1/329) The followers of each of the F our Imams (four juristic schools of thought) act according to the verdict of their Imam . None of them criticize s the other s in any way. Today unfortunately, many who label themselves as S unnah present the interpreted or abrogated Ahadith to the general Muslims , causing confusion and doubt in their Salaah . They severely criticize the Imams , especially Imam Abu Hanifah (r) and his followers. Sometimes they criticize the respected companions of Rasulullah ( Sallallahu alihi wasallam ). This is why we have decided to present this topic to the public with correct , authentic , and reliable sources. First, we will present narrations of three Sahabah (RA) proving the authenticity of recitation of Surah Al – Fatihah behind the Imam . Thereafter , we will discuss how they were abrogated, and then we will present ten narrations of the Sahabah relating to the impermissibility of reciting behind the Imam . The ruling of reciting Surah Al – Fatihah behind the Imam was relevant only before

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the revelation of verse number 204 in Surah Al – A’raaf . After that verse was revealed , the ruling of reciting behind the Imam was abrogated. 1 The narrations of the three Companions related to the recitation of S urah al – Fatihah 1) Abu Hurairah (RA) narrates that Rasulullah ( Sallalla hu alihi wasallam ) S alaah and did not recite Surah Al – Fatihah therein then it ( Salaah ) is incomplete (Rasulullah ( Sallallahu alihi wasallam ) said this three times). It was said to Abu Hurairah we are behind the Imam (meaning as a M uqtadi H in your mind ( Muslim 1/169, Tirmiz i 1/71 ) 2) Ab u Sa We were ordered by Rasulullah ( Sallalla hu alihi wasallam ) to recite Surah Al – Fatihah and whatever that is easy ( Abu – Dawud 1/118, page: 1818) 3) Sallallahu alihi wasallam ) prayed Fajr ( Salaah ) with us and reciting became di fficult for him , so when he completed the Salaam, he asked , o We repl hen he said , the Fatihah of the book (Quran), because there is no S alaah for the one who Tahaawi 1/1 28) 1 For the purpose of clarification , we state again that this is the view of the Hanafi school of thought which will be substantiated with proofs. Others hold the opposite view using proofs as well. We are not presenting this to debate, disregard, disrespect or negate other opinions but merely to establish ours.

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Prohibi tion of the Muqtadi reciting behind the Imam . Quran : d when the Quran is recited, listen attentively to it and be silent , so tha t you may receive mercy. ( Surah Al – A’raaf Verse: 204) Before this verse was revealed, the congregants used to recite behind the Imam . After its revelation , the command of reciti ng behind the I mam was abrogated . Now , only the Imam and the person who prays individually can recite while praying. W e present to the readers num erous Aha a dith on the prohibition of reciting behind the Imam . The narrations of T en C ompanions concerning the prohibition o f reading Surah Al – Al – Fatihah behind the Imam . 1) ri (RA) narr ates (in a lengthy hadith), Rasulullah ( Sallallahu alihi wasallam ) advised us, and he clarified for us our S unnats and he taught us our Salaah , then he When you perform Salaah , establish your rows, then one of you should l ead the others , s o then when (the I mam ) makes T akbeer , then make T akbeer . I n another narration , Rasulullah ( Sallallahu alihi wasallam and when he (the I mam ) recites , remain silent . ( Muslim 1/173 page: 303 – 404, Ibn M ajah / 61 page : 746) 2) Abdul lah ibn Masu’d (RA) relates, e used to recite behind Rasulullah ( Sallallahu alihi wasallam ) then he making the Quran

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Jabir bin Ab d u llah (RA) narrates from Rasulullah ( Sallallahu alihi wasallam ) that indeed he said , Surah Al – Fatihah therein , the n it is as if he has not prayed, except behind the Imaam . ( Because behind the Imaam , a person is not allowed to recite Surah Al – Fatihah ), Imam Tirmizi relates that this H adith is H asan and S ahih . ( Tirmizi 1/71 page : 313 , T aha a wi 1/128, 1/282, page: 1265) Malik bin Isma il (r) narrates from Hasan bin Saalih (r) from Abu Zubair (r) from Jabir (RA) who relates that Rasulullah ( Sallallahu alihi wasallam ) said, very person who has an Imam , the recitation of the I mam ( Musannaf ibn Abi Shaibah 3/282, page: 3823) 5) Anas (RA) reported that after Rasulullah ( Sallallahu alihi wasallam ) performed Salaah , he turned his o you recite while the Imam he Sahabah remained silent, so he asked them thrice , then they Indeed we do ( Taha a wi 1/128 ) 6) Abu Darda (RA) re lates that Rasulullah, i s there recitation of the Quran in every Salaah He replied Y so a man from the Ansaar said , t is obligatory ; (RA) said , think that when the I mam is leading the people, then his recitation suffices for ( Taha a wi 1/127, Sunanul Kubr a of Imam Nasaa i 1/320 )

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henever Abdullah ibn Umar (RA) would be questioned C an anyone recite behind the Imam e would reply W hen one of you prays behind the Imaam , the recitation of the Imaam will suffice hi m, and when he prays alone, he should recite , Abdullah ibn Umar would not recite behind the Imaam . ( Muw atta Imam Maalik / 29, Taha a wi 1/284 ) 7) Muhamma d bin Ijlaan (RA) narrated that Umar bin Al – K hattab (RA) If only (I wish) a rock was ( placed ) in the mouth of the one who recites behind the Imam. ” ( Mu w atta Imam Muahammad / 102) 8) Saad bin A bi Waqqas (RA) said, “I wish a piece of charcoal were placed in the mouth of the person who recites behind the Imam . ( Mu w atta Imam Muhammad / 101) Besides the narrations of these ten comp anions (RA), there are six other/more narrations of the C ompanions from , Ali (RA), Abdullah bin Bahina (RA) , Abdullah bin Abbas (RA) , Zaid bin Aslam (RA) , Shaddad bin Ilh aad (RA) , and Z aid bin Thaabit (RA) , regarding the prohibition of reciting behind the Imam . These are in Musanna f Ibn Abi Shai bah , Musnad Ahmad, Dar Qutni, Musannaf Abdur Razzaaq, Mu w atta Imam Muhamma d, Tah a awi, Musnad bin Abi Y books.

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The Fatwa (verdict) of the Khulafaa (successors) Musa bin Uqbah (RA) narr ates that Rasulullah ( Sallallahu alihi wasallam ), Abu B akr (RA), Umar (RA), and Uthmaan (RA) used to prohibit recitation behind the Imam . ( Musannaf Abdur Razzaq 2/139, page: 281) An Analysis of the Narrations Proving P ermissibility The narrations of Abu Musa ri (RA), ain (RA), Jabir (RA) and Abu Hurairah (RA) (i n favor of prohibition) , narrated by Sahih Muslim and Musannaf ibn Abi Shai bah, are Sahih narrations. Other narrations have also supported them. The narrations of the three Sahabah (in favor of recitation) have been abrogated. Now , putting forward both types of narrations and analyzing them, one can draw a clear and evident conclusion that the Muqtadi will not recite behind the Imam , and this is the preferred view of the A l – A hnaaf . (1) In those narrations which mention reciting Su rah Faatihah behind the Imam , it is not clearly narrated directly from Rasulullah ( Sallallahu alihi wasallam ) that one should recite Surah Al – Fatihah behind the Imam , but recitation is mentioned in general. A possible c orroboration of these seemingly contr adicting narrations can be that when a person is performing Salaah alone, or he is an Imam, then it is obligatory for him to r ecite, but if he is a Muqtadi , he is not commanded to recite. (2) After a thorough analysis of both narrations, we come to know that the narrations of reciting behind the Imam were before the revelation of the verse of Surah A l – A’raaf . Before the revelation of the verse it was permissible to speak, give salaam and for the Muqtadi to rec ite in Salaah . The second type of narration s were after the revelation of the verse , and because of this the Muqtadi has been prohibited from giving or responding to salaam, talking, or reciting . In this way, the correct interpretation of both type s of nar rations are corroborated and both are accepted without contradiction. Otherwise, it

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would have been necessary for us to say that one of the two types of narrations is a false , whilst the other type is correct. However , this is not the case . The result we a chieve from this is that the verse of the Quran and the Ahadith of Rasulullah ( Sallallahu alihi wasallam ) both establish the command to not recite behind the Imam . Therefore, the Muslims should not be in any doubt or confusion because of the Ghair – Muqall i deen or any others who present th e narrations which have already been abrogated. May Allah grant us the ability to understand and implement to the best of our abilities . Ameen .

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