What is the ruling of reading from the mushaf while praying?

Answered by Shaykh Abul ‘Ataa Ahmad Banaja (may Allah preserve him)

Question : What is the ruling of reading from the mushaf while praying?

Answer : There is khilaaf in between the scholars regarding this matter, and the majority of them says, that it’s permissible because of the hadith of Aisha رضي الله عنها that is the following narration:

كَانَتْ عَائِشَةُ يَؤُمُّهَا عَبْدُهَا ذَكْوَانُ مِنَ الْمُصْحَفِ”
“ذكره البخاري معلقا وهو بسنده عند ابن ابي شيية وغيره

“Aisha (رضي الله عنها) used to be led in prayer by her servant Dhakwaan from the Mushaf (i.e. he read from the Mushaf while praying])” [Reported by al-Bukhari Mu’allaq form before Hadith (no. 692) and others.

But, In Kitaab al-Masaahif of Ibn Abi Dawood (no. 766)] Beem mentioned that , Umar رضي الله عنه disagree with this,

أخرجه ابن أبي داود في كتاب “المصاحف” (655) عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما قال: نَهَانَا أَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عُمَرُ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ أَنْ يُؤَمَّ النَّاسُ فِي الْمُصْحَفِ، وَنَهَانَا أَنْ يَؤُمَّنَا إِلَّا الْمُحْتَلِمُ

And Umar رضي الله عنه used to order people to recite from their memorization while praying tharawih and he رضي الله عنه used to forbid reading from the book of the Qur’an while praying.

So , in this matter there is no evidence from prophet ﷺ which shows the the permissibility of it.

At that time of prophet ﷺ , there where pages and pieces of wood and leafs and stone in which are written the surah and they don’t used to carry them while praying and there is no authentic evidence regarding this.

At the same time it’s clear that its hardship and difficult to pray carrying a mushaf. As You need to take it, open it, keep it down, take it again by these acts or behavior how can we have khushoo in our prayer. This thing will be applied on other methods also such as reading from your mobile phone too.

And its came clear that Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم said in the hadith of ibn Masoo’d رضي الله عنه :

” إِنَّ فِي الصَّلاَةِ لشُغْلاً”
“Indeed during the prayer one is preoccupied”

Means you should not be busy with anything else other than the prayer because if you do you will lose your concentration in it Such as Reading, taking the mushaf, opening etc which is not included in the prayer action.

And if someone mentioned the evidence of Aisha رضي الله عنها, then we say it’s was her ijthihaad as it was the appilty of her boy servant (dhakwan) and we say Umar رضي الله عنه disagreed with it which show us clear that there is no evidence from prophet ﷺ. So we should go back to the origin witch is the statement of prophet ﷺ

“إِنَّ فِي الصَّلاَةِ لشُغْلاً”
(In the prayer one is occupied)

Also Allah سبحانه وتعالى said:

“فاقرءوا ما تيسر من القرءان “
“Recite that which is made easy from the Qur’an”

Which means Read from the Qur’an according to your ability, But the person who read from the book of Qur’an wail his praying means his reading more than his ability so why he want to make it hard for himself “takalluf”.

And I want to say another point regarding this is even if the person use cellphone or use a stand to keep the mushaf and read from it (that is no need to take and keep and open etc) it’s still not permissible because the main matter is still happening which its reading from something which its conflicting with hadith of ibn Masood

“ان في الصلاة لشغلا”

And the ayah

فاقرءوا ما تيسر من القرءان

And the ayah

قوموا لله قانتين

And the ayah

الذين هم في صلاتهم خاشعون


So, we conclude that among the opinions of scholars , the correct opinion is its not allowed to read from the mushaf while praying as ibn hazm رحمه الله said which is the strongest Opinion. And for the other the reasons that been mentioned before.. .. والله الموفق.

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