Thursday, 31 January 2019

Sunna to Urinate While Seated

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
والصلوة والسلام على رسوله الكريم
والعاقبة للمتقين
Recently, a popular YouTube preacher, Engineer Muhammad Ali Mirza, came out and stated that it is from the Sunna for a man to urinate while standing, quoting the Hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari:
 
عَنْ حُذَيْفَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ لَقَدْ رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم، أَوْ قَالَ لَقَدْ أَتَى النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم سُبَاطَةَ قَوْمٍ فَبَالَ قَائِمًا
Hudhaifa (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I saw Allah’s Apostle (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him)” - or he said - “The Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) came to the dumps of a people and urinated while standing” (Sahih al-Bukhari #2471)

While this Hadith is certainly true, to understand from it that it is a “Sunna” to urinate while standing is a great error. The truth is that an isolated incident under special circumstances cannot become a Sunna if it is contrary to the regularly practiced Sunna of the Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him).
The Hadith has been quoted in Mishkat al-Masabih, where the author, Khatib al-Tabrizi (d. 741 H), comments:
كان ذالك لعُذرٍ
“That was for an excuse”
(Mishkhat ul-Masabih #364):

Meaning, the Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) only urinated while standing at that spot because to sit and urinate there would have soiled his clothing. This does not mean that men should therefore urinate while standing regularly, but is a proof that they may do so in order to save their clothes from being soiled, i.e., under exceptional circumstances.
This is why the Mother of the Believers, sayyidatuna A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) said:
مَنْ حَدَّثَكُمْ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ يَبُولُ قَائِمًا فَلاَ تُصَدِّقُوهُ مَا كَانَ يَبُولُ إِلاَّ قَاعِدًا
“Whoever relates to you that the Prophet sall Allahu alayhi wasallam would urinate while standing then do not accept it, for he did not urinate except while seated.” (Jami at-Tirmidhi #12)
So it is established that the Prophet’s Sunna is to urinate while seated, and this was his consistent, regular practice. The misguided engineer has made a grievious error by stating that to urinate while standing is the Sunna and should repent from his reckless ignorance through which he is leading his blind-followers astray. According to some other Hadith, though they may contain some slight weakness, the Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah upon him) expressly forbade urinating while standing:
عَنْ عُمَرَ قَالَ رَآنِي النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَأَنَا أَبُولُ قَائِمًا فَقَالَ ‏ "‏ يَا عُمَرُ لاَ تَبُلْ قَائِمًا ‏"‏ ‏.‏ فَمَا بُلْتُ قَائِمًا بَعْدُ
Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I saw the Prophet sall Allahu alayhi wasallam while I was urinating standing, so he said: “O Umar, do not urinate while standing”. After that I never urinated while standing. (ibid)
Similarly, sayyidina Umar radi Allahu anhu said:
مَا بُلْتُ قَائِمًا مُنْذُ أَسْلَمْتُ
“I have not urinated while standing since I became a Muslim” (ibid)
And the great jurist of the companions, sayyidina Ibn Mas’ud (radi Allahu anhu) stated:
إِنَّ مِنَ الْجَفَاءِ أَنْ تَبُولَ وَأَنْتَ قَائِمٌ
“Among the loathsome things is to urinate while you are standing” (ibid)
According to another Hadith (Sunan Abi Dawud #22), the Prophet peace be upon him once urinated while sitting, concealing himself with his leather shield, and so the people said, “he urinates like a woman”. But the Prophet peace be upon him answered them and explained that the purpose is to avoid being soiled, so it is better for a man to urinate while seated, and that is his Sunna. Other well known Hadith confirm the fact that it is a great sin for a person to be careless while urinating, becausing being careless will lead to his clothes becoming polluted, and the punishment of the grave is due to this pollution.
Some Muslims have sadly begun imitating the ways of the Europeans and other disbelieving nations, adapting their impure habits such as urinating while standing.

Friday, 25 January 2019

Terrifying Vision of Monster Camel

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
والصلوة والسلام على رسوله الكريم
والعاقبة للمتقين
An incident from the life of the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) while he was still in Makka during the beginning of his prophetic ministry, reveals something about the immense spiritual power he wielded that even his sworn, mortal enemies testified to that spiritual power and would behold terrifying visions in connection with our Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam):
 
عَنِ ابْنِ إِسْحَاقَ ، قَالَ : حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْمَلِكِ بْنُ أَبِي سُفْيَانَ الثَّقَفِيُّ ، قَالَ : قَدِمَ رَجُلٌ مِنْ إِرَاشٍ بِإِبِلٍ لَهُ مَكَّةَ فَابْتَاعَهَا مِنْهُ أَبُو جَهْلِ بْنُ هِشَامٍ ، فَمَطَلَهُ بِأَثْمَانِهَا وَأَقْبَلَ الإِرَاشِيُّ حَتَّى وَقَفَ عَلَى نَادِي قُرَيْشٍ وَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ جَالِسٌ فِي نَاحِيَةِ الْمَسْجِدِ ، فَقَالَ : يَا مَعْشَرَ قُرَيْشٍ ، مَنْ رَجُلٌ يُؤَدِّينِي ؟ وَفِي غَيْرِ هَذِهِ الرِّوَايَةِ : يُعَدِّينِي عَلَى أَبِي الْحَكَمِ بْنِ هِشَامٍ ، فَإِنِّي غَرِيبٌ ابْنُ سَبِيلٍ وَقَدْ غَلَبَنِي عَلَى حَقِّي ، فَقَالَ أَهْلُ الْمَجْلِسِ : تَرَى ذَلِكَ الرَّجُلَ ، وَهُمْ يُهْوُونَ لَهُ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لِمَا يَعْلَمُونَ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ أَبِي جَهْلِ بْنِ هِشَامٍ مِنَ الْعَدَاوَةِ ، اذْهَبْ إِلَيْهِ فَهُوَ يُؤَدِّيكَ عَلَيْهِ وَفِي غَيْرِ هَذِهِ الرِّوَايَةِ : يُعَدِّيكَ عَلَيْهِ ، فَأَقْبَلَ الإِرَاشِيُّ حَتَّى وَقَفَ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَذَكَرَ ذَلِكَ لَهُ ، فَقَامَ مَعَهُ ، فَلَمَّا رَأَوْهُ قَامَ مَعَهُ ، قَالُوا لِرَجُلٍ مِمَّنْ مَعَهُمُ : اتْبَعْهُ فَانْظُرْ مَا يَصْنَعُ ، فَخَرَجَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ حَتَّى جَاءَهُ فَضَرَبَ عَلَيْهِ بَابَهُ ، فَقَالَ : مَنْ هَذَا ؟ قَالَ : مُحَمَّدٌ فَاخْرُجْ إِلَيَّ ، فَخَرَجَ إِلَيْهِ وَمَا فِي وَجْهِهِ بَايِحَةٌ وَقَدِ انْتَقَعَ لَوْنُهُ ، قَالَ : أَعْطِ هَذَا الرَّجُلَ حَقَّهُ ، قَالَ : لا تَبْرَحْ حَتَّى أُعْطِيَهُ الَّذِي لَهُ فَدَخَلَ فَخَرَجَ إِلَيْهِ بِحَقِّهِ ، فَدَفَعَهُ إِلَيْهِ ، ثُمَّ انْصَرَفَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَقَالَ لِلإِرَاشِيِّ : الْحَقْ بِشَأْنِكَ ، فَأَقْبَلَ الإِرَاشِيُّ حَتَّى وَقَفَ عَلَى ذَلِكَ الْمَجْلِسِ ، فَقَالَ : جَزَاهُ اللَّهُ خَيْرًا فَقَدْ أَخَذَ الَّذِي لِي ، وَجَاءَ الرَّجُلُ الَّذِي بَعَثُوا مَعَهُ ، فَقَالُوا : وَيْحَكَ مَاذَا رَأَيْتَ ؟ فَقَالَ : عَجَبًا مِنَ الْعَجَبِ ، وَاللَّهِ مَا هُوَ إِلا أَنْ ضَرَبَ عَلَيْهِ بَابَهُ ، فَخَرَجَ وَمَا مَعَهُ رُوحُهُ ، فَقَالَ : أَعْطِ هَذَا الرَّجُلَ حَقَّهُ ، فَقَالَ : نَعَمْ ، لا تَبْرَحْ حَتَّى أُخْرِجَ إِلَيْهِ حَقَّهُ ، فَدَخَلَ فَأَخْرَجَ إِلَيْهِ حَقَّهُ فَأَعْطَاهُ إِيَّاهُ ، ثُمَّ لَمْ يَلْبَثْ أَنْ جَاءَ أَبُو جَهْلٍ ، فَقَالُوا لَهُ : وَيْلَكُ مَا لَكَ ؟ فَوَاللَّهِ مَا رَأَيْنَا مِثْلَ مَا صَنَعْتَ ! ، فَقَالَ : وَيْحَكُمْ وَاللَّهِ مَا هُوَ إِلا أَنْ ضَرَبَ عَلَيَّ بَابِي ، وَسَمِعْتُ صَوْتَهُ ، فَمُلِئتُ رُعْبًا ، ثُمَّ خَرَجْتُ إِلَيْهِ ، وَإِنَّ فَوْقَ رَأْسِي لَفَحَلا مِنَ الإِبِلِ مَا رَأَيْتُ مِثْلَ هَامَتِهِ وَلا قَصَرَتِهِ ، وَلا أَنْيَابِهِ لِفَحْلٍ قَطُّ ، فَوَاللَّهِ لَوْ أَبَيْتُ لأَكَلَنِي
Narrated Ibn Ishaq that Abdul Malik bin Abi Sufyan al-Thaqafi narrated to us that a man from Irash arrived in Makka with his camel. Abu Jahl bin Hisham bought the camel from him but refused to pay its price. The man went away until he came across an assembly of Quraish. Meanwhile, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was sitting at a section of the Mosque. The man called out: “O Quraish! Is there any man who could aid me against Abul-Hakam bin Hisham for I am a stranger and a wayfarer and he has usurped my rights?”
The attendees of the assembly said to him: “Do you see that man?” hoping to make a jest of Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, since they knew the enmity existing between him and Abu Jahl, “go to him, he will aid you against him,” they said. The man from Irash went toward the Messenger of Allah and narrated his ordeal to him. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, rose in his aid. When they saw the Prophet, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, stood, they sent one of them to follow him. They said: “Follow him so that we may see what he intends to do.” The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, then left for Abu Jahl’s residence. He knocked at his door. “Who is there?” Abu Jahl asked. “This is Muhammad, come out!” the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said.
Abu Jahl came out without any bloodshot face (of anger). The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: “Give this man his right.” Astonishingly, Abu Jahl said, “Right away, while you are still present I will give him what belongs to him.” So he went in and restored the man’s right. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, went back and said to the Irashi, “here is your right”. The Irashi went away and came upon the initial gathering of men and said: “May Allah reward him, I have received my right.”
Soon afterward, the man whom they had sent with him (and had witnessed the incident) arrived. “Woe be to you, what did you witness?” “One of the most astonishing things,” the man began, “he did nothing other than knock at his door and he came out and he said to him, ‘give this man his right’ and he said, ‘right away while you are still present, I will give him what belongs to him.’ He then went in and brought to him his right.”
Shortly thereafter, Abu Jahl himself came to the gathering and they asked him: “Woe be to you! Whatever happened to you? We never saw anything like what you did (today).” Abu Jahl replied, “Woe be to you all! There was nothing other than he knocked at my door and when I heard his voice I was filled with fright. Then I came out to see that above his head was a ferocious looking bull camel with fiery shoulders and canines the type of which I have never seen before. By Allah, if I had refused, it would have devoured me!” (Dala’il an-Nubuwwa lil-Bayhaqi)

Some Facts About Adhan and Iqama

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
والصلوة والسلام على رسوله الكريم
والعاقبة للمتقين
The Adhan, including the Iqama, is one of the salient features of Islam. Christians ring a bell as their call to worship while Jews blow the shofar (ram’s horn). Sayyidina Abi Huraira (radi Allahu anhu) narrates that the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) said:
الْجَرَسُ مَزَامِيرُ الشَّيْطَانِ
“The bells are the musical instruments of Satan”
(Sahih Muslim #5548)

From the Sunna practiced by the Ahnaf is to proclaim the Iqama with seventeen phrases, as proven from the Hadith of sayyidina Abi Mahdhura (radi Allahu anhu):

وَالإِقَامَةُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ أَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ أَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ حَىَّ عَلَى الصَّلاَةِ حَىَّ عَلَى الصَّلاَةِ حَىَّ عَلَى الْفَلاَحِ حَىَّ عَلَى الْفَلاَحِ قَدْ قَامَتِ الصَّلاَةُ قَدْ قَامَتِ الصَّلاَةُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ
(Sunan Abi Dawud #502)

It is an innovation to recite the salat (durud) upon the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) before giving the Adhan, as is the practice of the grave-worshiping Barelwi sect. However, it is from the Sunna to recite it after the Adhan, a Sunna that has been neglected by most Muslims:

إِذَا سَمِعْتُمُ الْمُؤَذِّنَ فَقُولُوا مِثْلَ مَا يَقُولُ ثُمَّ صَلُّوا عَلَىَّ فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ صَلَّى عَلَىَّ صَلاَةً صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ بِهَا عَشْرًا
“When you hear the Mu’wadhdhin repeat what he says, then invoke salat on me, for everyone who invokes salat on me will receive ten blessings from Allah”
(Sahih Muslim)
Thus there is no problem if the Mu’wadhdhin recites the Salat al-Ibrahimiyya on the loudspeaker after having proclaimed the Adhan, and likewise reciting the well-known Du’a:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ بِحَقِّ هَذِهِ الدَّعْوَةِ التَّامَّةِ ، وَالصَّلاةِ الْقَائِمَةِ آتِ مُحَمَّدًا الْوَسِيلَةَ وَالْفَضِيلَةَ ، وَابْعَثْهُ مَقَامًا مَحْمُودًا ، الَّذِي وَعَدْتَهُ إِنَّكَ لا تُخْلِفُ الْمِيعَادَ
(Sunan al-Kubra lil-Bayhaqi)
With regard to adding phrases to the adhan for some particular purpose under special circumstances, we learn this was the way of the Prophet’s companions and the early Muslims (may Allah be pleased with them). For example, when the false prophet Aswad al-Ansi was killed by sayyidina Fayruz (radi Allahu anhu) and his friends, the Adhan for the obligatory Salat was given in which the Mu’wadhdhin proclaimed:

أَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَأَنَّ عَبْهَلَةَ كَذَّابٌ
“I bear witness that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah and that Abhala is a liar”
(Sahih Tarikh at-Tabari v.3 p.37):

 

Monday, 21 January 2019

Offering Taslim Concurrently with the Imam

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
والصلوة والسلام على رسوله الكريم
والعاقبة للمتقين
When the imam makes the taslim, saying “as-Salamu alaykum wa-Rahmatullah” first to the right and then to the left, it is from the sunna to make the taslim concurrently with the imam. It is observed that a large number of Muslim worshipers commit an error in waiting for the imam to conclude the taslim to the right and to the left before they offer the taslim themselves. The Hadith of Itban b. Malik al-Ansari رضى الله عنه in which the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم led the Salat in his house, is a proof that the followers are to make the taslim concurrently with the imam:

فَقَامَ فَصَفَفْنَا خَلْفَهُ ثُمَّ سَلَّمَ، وَسَلَّمْنَا حِينَ سَلَّمَ
“He (Prophet) stood (for Salat) and we arranged in rows behind him. Then he made the taslim and we made the taslim when he made taslim.”
(Sahih al-Bukhari)

Therefore, when the imam makes the taslim first the right, all those praying behind him should likewise make the taslim turning their faces to the right. They should not wait until the imam has made the taslim to the right and left before commencing with the taslim to the right.

Recitation Behind the Imam

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
والصلوة والسلام على رسوله الكريم
والعاقبة للمتقين

Previously I wrote that it is necessary for the ma’mum to recite Surat al-Fatiha in every rak’a, including in those in which the imam is reciting audibly. However, I have reconsidered this view in light of strong proofs and in keeping with a general following of the Hanafi school of jurisprudence, which is the most superior school of the four schools because it was aided by Allah Who caused it to spread in most of the lands of the Muslims. The general proof for our position is the Ayah of the Holy Qur’an, in which Allah Most High says:
وَإِذَا قُرِئَ الْقُرْآنُ فَاسْتَمِعُوا لَهُ وَأَنصِتُوا لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ۞
And when the Qur’an is recited then listen to it and be silent that you may obtain mercy
(Sura 7:204)

The exegetes, including Sahaba and eminent individuals of the Salaf, explained that this Ayah (7:204) was revealed particularly for the Salat. It is mentioned that people would speak during the Salat, or recite behind the Prophet صلوات الله وسلامه عليه while he was reciting in the Salat, and so this Ayah (7:204) was revealed ordering them no to do so (Tafsir at-Tabari v.10 pp.658-664):






As for the opposing view, that Surat al-Fatiha has to be recited by the ma’mum behind the imam even during audible recitation, and that without it the Salat is not valid, such a view has absolutely no proof from the Qur’an itself but is based on an interpretation of the Hadith narrated by sayyidina Ubada b. as-Samit رضى الله عنه:
لاَ صَلاَةَ لِمَنْ لَمْ يَقْرَأْ بِفَاتِحَةِ الْكِتَابِ ‏
“There is no Salat for the one who does not recite the Fatiha of the Book”
(Sahih al-Bukhari)

Now this Hadith must be reconciled with the Ayah of the Qur’an (7:204) so that its correct interpretation is that the Salat of an individual is not valid if he did not recite the Fatiha in it. But in congregational prayer, only the imam is required to recite the Fatiha, and his recitation will count as the recitation for those praying behind him, as it comes in the Hadith:

مَنْ كَانَ لَهُ إِمَامٌ فَإِنَّ قِرَاءَةَ الإِمَامِ لَهُ قِرَاءَةٌ
“Whoever has an imam, the recitation of the imam is his recitation”
(Sunan Ibn Maja #850)

Although the Hadith is weak, including its shawahid, the meaning is in accord with the purpose and spirit of praying in congregation behind an imam. Hence, the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم said:

إِنَّمَا جُعِلَ الإِمَامُ لِيُؤْتَمَّ بِهِ
“Verily the imam is appointed only to be followed”
وَإِذَا قَرَأَ فَأَنْصِتُوا
“And when he recites then be silent.”
(Sunan Abi Dawud #604)

In another Hadith, narrated by sayyidina Abi Huraira رضى الله عنه:

أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم انْصَرَفَ مِنْ صَلاَةٍ جَهَرَ فِيهَا بِالْقِرَاءَةِ فَقَالَ ‏‏ هَلْ قَرَأَ مَعِي أَحَدٌ مِنْكُمْ آنِفًا ‏‏ ‏‏ فَقَالَ رَجُلٌ نَعَمْ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏‏ إِنِّي أَقُولُ مَا لِي أُنَازَعُ الْقُرْآنَ ‏قَالَ فَانْتَهَى النَّاسُ عَنِ الْقِرَاءَةِ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِيمَا جَهَرَ فِيهِ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِالْقِرَاءَةِ مِنَ الصَّلَوَاتِ حِينَ سَمِعُوا ذَلِكَ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم
When the Messenger of Allah finished a prayer in which he had recited (the Qur’an) loudly, he asked: “Did any of you recite along with me just now?” A man replied: “Yes, Messenger of Allah.” He said: “I am wondering what is the matter with me that I have been contended with reciting the Qur’an.” He said: When the people heard that from the Messenger of Allah they ceased reciting (the Qur’an) along with him at the prayers in which he recited aloud.
(Sunan Abi Dawud #826)

The fact that the order to remain silent when the imam is reciting the Qur’an aloud includes his recitation of the Fatiha (which is of course a part of the Qur’an) can be understood from another authentic Hadith:

إِنَّمَا جُعِلَ الإِمَامُ لِيُؤْتَمَّ بِهِ فَإِذَا كَبَّرَ فَكَبِّرُوا وَإِذَا قَرَأَ فَأَنْصِتُوا وَإِذَا قَالَ ‏{غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّينَ}‏ فَقُولُوا آمِينَ
“Verily, the imam is only appointed to be followed, so when he makes takbir then make takbir, and when he recites then be silent and when he says ‘Ghayril-Maghdubi ‘alayhim walad-dallin’ then say ‘Amin’”
(Sunan Ibn Maja #846)

So the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم has said to remain silent when the imam is reciting, but to say ‘Amin’ after he has recited the final verse of the Fatiha. This proves that the recitation of Fatiha by the imam is included in the imam’s recitation during which the ma’mum is ordered to remain silent.
The opposing view presents the saying of sayyidina Abi Huraira:
فَقِيلَ لأَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ إِنَّا نَكُونُ وَرَاءَ الإِمَامِ ‏‏ فَقَالَ اقْرَأْ بِهَا فِي نَفْسِكَ
It was said to Abi Huraira: “Verily we are behind the imam” So he said: “Recite it in yourself.”
(Sahih Muslim)

However, this statement of sayyidina Abi Huraira does not clarify whether the ma’mum is meant to recite “in himself” in both the audible and inaudible rak’at.
As for the narration attributed to the tabi Makhul (d. 100 H):
فَكَانَ مَكْحُولٌ يَقْرَأُ فِي الْمَغْرِبِ وَالْعِشَاءِ وَالصُّبْحِ بِفَاتِحَةِ الْكِتَابِ فِي كُلِّ رَكْعَةٍ سِرًّا ‏.‏ قَالَ مَكْحُولٌ اقْرَأْ بِهَا فِيمَا جَهَرَ بِهِ الإِمَامُ إِذَا قَرَأَ بِفَاتِحَةِ الْكِتَابِ وَسَكَتَ سِرًّا فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْكُتِ اقْرَأْ بِهَا قَبْلَهُ وَمَعَهُ وَبَعْدَهُ لاَ تَتْرُكْهَا عَلَى حَالٍ
Makhul used to recite Fatiha al-Kitab quietly in the prayer in which the imam recites the Qur’an loudly when he observes the period of silence. If he does not observe the period of silence, recite it before him(i.e before his recitation), or along with him or after him; do not give it up in any case.
(Sunan Abi Dawud #825)

It is weak, along with two other narrations which are attributed to the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam):
لَعَلَّكُمْ تَقْرَءُونَ خَلْفَ إِمَامِكُمْ ‏‏ ‏.‏ قُلْنَا نَعَمْ هَذَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏ لاَ تَفْعَلُوا إِلاَّ بِفَاتِحَةِ الْكِتَابِ فَإِنَّهُ لاَ صَلاَةَ لِمَنْ لَمْ يَقْرَأْ بِهَا
“Do you recite behind your Imam?” We said: “Yes, O Apostle of Allah”. He said: “Do not do so, except for the Fatiha of the Kitab, for there is no Salat without reciting it.”
(Sunan Abi Dawud #823)

It should be noted this is the primary evidence presented by the opposing view that one is required to recite the Fatiha while praying behind an imam. But this and the proceeding Hadith are both weak according to the great muhaddith, Imam al-Albani (rahimahullah):
فَلاَ تَقْرَءُوا بِشَىْءٍ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ إِذَا جَهَرْتُ إِلاَّ بِأُمِّ الْقُرْآنِ
“So do not recite anything from the Qur’an when I (recite) it loudly except the Mother of the Qur’an (Fatiha)”
(Sunan Abi Dawud #824)

As I have stated, Imam al-Albani had graded all these narrations which command the recitation of the Fatiha behind the imam as weak (Da’if Sunan Abi Dawud pp.68-69):



As stated earlier, the opposing view has no direct evidence from the Qur’an itself. Some do present the following words from the Qur’an:
فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ
So recite what is easy of the Qur’an
(Sura 73:20)

According to this opposing view, “what is easy of the Qur’an” refers to the Fatiha. If we accept this for the sake of argument, it is still a general command and cannot be utilized as an explicit proof to recite the Fatiha behind the imam, especially when the Qur’an elsewhere has strictly enjoined remaining silent when the Qur’an is being recited (Sura 7:204). Secondly, it is not established that the words “what is easy of the Qur’an” refers to the Fatiha. Firstly, these words which are from an Ayah of Surat al-Muzzammil were revealed before the revelation of Surat al-Fatiha. Secondly, the eminent sahabi, sayyidina Abi Sa’id al-Khudri رضى الله عنه made a distinction between the Fatiha and “what is easy of the Qur’an”:

أُمِرْنَا أَنْ نَقْرَأَ، بِفَاتِحَةِ الْكِتَابِ وَمَا تَيَسَّرَ ‏
“We were ordered to recite with Fatiha of the Kitab and that which is easy”
(Sunan Abi Dawud #818)

Finally, I shall present here the statements of two eminent companions of the Prophet which forbid reciting anything, including the Fatiha, behind the imam:

سَأَلَ زَيْدَ بْنَ ثَابِتٍ عَنِ الْقِرَاءَةِ، مَعَ الإِمَامِ فَقَالَ لاَ قِرَاءَةَ مَعَ الإِمَامِ فِي شَىْءٍ
Ata b. Yasar reported that he asked Zayd b. Thabit about the recitation with the imam, so he said: “There is no recitation with the imam in anything
(Sahih Muslim)

سَمِعَ جَابِرَ بْنَ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، يَقُولُ مَنْ صَلَّى رَكْعَةً لَمْ يَقْرَأْ فِيهَا بِأُمِّ الْقُرْآنِ فَلَمْ يُصَلِّ إِلاَّ أَنْ يَكُونَ وَرَاءَ الإِمَامِ
Jabir b. Abdillah said: “Whoever prayed a rak’a in which he did not recite in it the Mother of the Qur’an (Fatiha), then he did not prayer, except if he was behind the imam.”
(Jami at-Tirmidhi #313)

So it is conclusively proven that these two companions, Zayd b. Thabit and Jabir b. Abdillah رضى الله عنهما agreed that there is no recitation of the Fatiha behind the imam.

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