– My question is regarding the recitation of the Qur’an while looking at the text during salah. I was reading a book and in it, it says that reading the Qur’an while looking at the text in salaah breaks the prayer. Is this true or are there certain circumstances when it is permissible?
[ ] Is this permissible in Nafl or Tarawih prayers? Can the Imam lead Tarawih whilst reading from a copy of the Qur’an and can we follow such an Imam? If a person is say praying Qiyamul Layl and wants to read sections of the holy Qur’an each day which he hasn’t memorised, would it be permissible then?
– This question is of real importance now particularly as it is Ramadhan and people are trying to offer more sunnah prayers.
In the name of Allah, the Inspirer of truth
In the Hanafi School, there are two opinions regarding performing Salat while reciting from a copy of the Qur’an (mushaf).
- Imam Abu Hanifa (may Allah have mercy on him), the head of this School, is of the opinion that it is impermissible to perform Salat while looking in and reciting from a Mushaf, or while reciting from any other area such as Qur’anic verses inscribed inside the Mihrab. Doing so will invalidate one’s prayer, whether one is an Imam, follower or praying alone, and whether it is an obligatory (fardh), Tarawih or a voluntary (nafl) prayer.
- The second opinion is of the two students of the Imam – namely Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani (may Allah have mercy on both). According to them, one’s prayer is not invalidated by reciting from a copy of the Qur’an (mushaf), although this practice is considered to be disliked (makruh).
It is stated in the famous Hanafi Fiqh primer, Maraqi al-Falah:
“(Amongst those things that invalidate prayer) is to recite, that which one has not committed to memory, from a Mushaf even if one does not hold the Mushaf, due to being inspired by an external element. However, if one has committed the text to memory and does not hold the Mushaf, then the prayer is not invalidated, due to the absence of [excessive] action and external inspiration.” (Maraqi al-Falah with the commentary of Tahtawi, P: 336)
“If the one offering prayer recites from a Mushaf, then his prayer is invalidated according to Imam Abu Hanifa (may Allah have mercy on him). According to Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad, [however], his prayer is valid but it is disliked. Imam Shafi’i (may Allah have mercy on him) states that it is not [even] disliked.” (Bada’i al-Sana’i 1/236)
And Allah knows best
Checked and approved by:
Mufti Abdur-Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel
Question ID: Q-1441-37