Shaikh al-Albaani

Translations From His Works

Category: Fasting

Al-Albaani on People Giving Reminders After Every Four Rak’ahs in Taraweeh


The Imaam said, “Standing to pray in Ramadan was legislated only to increase one’s closeness to Allaah عزوجل, for that reason we hold that we do not mix Taraweeh prayer with anything to do with knowledge or teaching and so on, rather the night prayer should be pure worship. As for knowledge, then it has its time, and it is not restricted by time but [instead] what is taken into consideration concerning it is the well-being of the people who are being taught, and this is the foundational principle, and what I mean by this is that whoever makes it a habit/custom where they teach the people between every four rak’ahs, for example, during the night prayer, whoever makes that a habit/custom—then that is a newly invented matter in opposition to the Sunnah. But if it is concerning a situation that happened to occur, like what Ustaadh Ibrahim just spoke about and it is not made into a habit/custom then in that case it is ok and permissible and I agree with him in what he mentioned, but I just wanted to point out that this is something which is not to be taken as custom, what is taken as custom/habit is standing for the night prayer …”

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 693.

Also see here, here and here.

The Ruling on Giving a Reminder During Taraweeh Prayer


Questioner: Is it allowed for the Imaam of a mosque or a daa’ee … and he is leading the people in prayer for taraweeh … between rak’ahs there is a break … and he gives them a reminder about certain issues, about performing the prayer well, for example, and following the Prophet ﷺ, and bringing their attention to innovations and issues related to shirk, giving them a reminder, ya’ni?

Al-Albaani: The answer is that it is allowed and not allowed. If the admonition or warning or the order to do good or forbid evil is concerning an incident that happened to occur, then this is a must.

As for doing it as a routine or habit after every four rak’ahs, for example, or more than that or less where the Imaam gives a dars, then this is against the Sunnah.

If a situation happens to occur then it is wajib to warn people of it, as for making that a habit/custom, then standing or praying taraweeh is an unadulterated form of worship, where a Muslim turns to Allaah عز وجل with all his body, his core, his intellect and heart, this is the goal of the night prayer, the prayer in Ramadan.

As for making it a habit to have a sitting [to give a reminder] after every two rak’ahs or four, then this is something the Prophet ﷺ did not do.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 656. [3/7/125]

Also see here and here and here.

A Man who Never Used to Pay Zakaat but who Then Repents and Wants to Pay It


 

Questioner: A man who was disobeying Allaah, very rich, then some years later he repents to Allaah, does he have to pay the zakaah of the previous years?

Al-Albaani: He must.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 23.

Questioner: Okay, regarding zakaah, maybe the answer will become clear with this question, a man never gave zakaah for many years, then he repented and turned back to Allaah and wanted to give zakaah, so naturally, it is waajib for him to give the zakaah [for those years]?

Al-Albaani: He must.

Questioner: But he had agricultural land, and he doesn’t know how much it yielded, he’s forgotten, so how much zakaah is he to give?

Al-Albaani: According to the best estimate [he can make], as is the case with all matters that are unclear like this, he makes the best estimate he can, he calculates an amount, he strives, ya’ni, [to come to the best estimate he can], there is no specific amount that has been set.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, no. 31.

Questioner: A man stayed seven years, his wife has a lot of valuable gold, this ornamental gold, he doesn’t know what the ruling is, for seven years he didn’t pay the zakaah?

Al-Albaani: He pays the zakaah for those seven years even if [in the process] he were to lose all his house.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, no. 41.

On the Hadith, “Fast and You Will be Healthy.”


Questioner: Is the hadith, ‘Fast and you will be healthy,’ authentic? If it isn’t how so?

Al-Albaani: This hadith differs totally from the one we mentioned before it, that last hadith about which we said that its chain of narration was weak and [along with that] the text itself was untrue [as well].

This hadith [however] is weak in terms of its chain of narration but correct in its meaning, ‘Fast and you will be healthy,’ as a hadith reported from the Prophet ﷺ according to the scholars of hadith its chain of narration is not authentic, but the state of affairs shows, and, before that, general hadith like his saying ﷺ, ‘It is enough for the Son of Adam to eat a few small bites that strengthens his spine. If he must have more, then let him fill a third with food, a third with drink and leave a third for his breathing,’ … so hadiths like this confirm, and as occurs in another hadith which has no basis whatsoever but which does contain fine wisdom, ‘Prevention is the best cure, and the stomach is the home of disease,’ for this reason, this hadith, ‘Fast and you will be healthy,’—its attribution to the Prophet ﷺ is not correct but, due to what we mentioned, its meaning is.

And what I mean when I say, ‘Its attribution to the Prophet ﷺ is incorrect,’ is that it is not allowed for a Muslim to say, ‘Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ said, ‘Fast and you will be healthy,’’ as you may have heard on some radio stations, this is not allowed. Why? Because the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Whoever attributes to me something that I have not said, let him take his place in Hell.’

So it is not allowed for a Muslim to say a sentence, even if in and of itself it is a piece of wisdom and is acceptable in the view of other general, legislated proofs, [yet] it is [still] not allowed for a Muslim to say, ‘Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ said,’ unless it has, according to the scholars of hadith, been confirmed through the ways which establish the hadiths of the Prophet ﷺ.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, no. 692.

On Fasting While Travelling


The Imaam said, “And the scholars have differed about fasting while on a journey in Ramadaan, there being a number of opinions, and there is no doubt that not fasting during a journey is allowed, and doing that is the preferred option in our opinion if the person not keeping it doesn’t find it difficult to make it up [later], otherwise [i.e., if he does find it difficult to make up later] we prefer that he fasts, and Allaah knows best. And whoever wants to delve further into this topic should refer to Nailul-Awtaar or other books of the people of knowledge.”

Ad-Da’eefah, vol. 2, pp. 336-337.

Commenting on al-Mundhiri’s statement on whether or not to fast when on a journey, the Imaam said, “And he, may Allaah have mercy on him, spoke the truth [when he said], ‘And the better of the two options is the one that is easier.’ People’s strength and circumstances differ, let each one do what is easier for him, and that is why it has been authentically reported that the Prophet ﷺ, when asked about fasting on a journey, said, ‘Fast if you want, or break it if you want.’ (Reported by Muslim 3/145). And from another authentic path [of narration] with the wording, ‘Whichever is easier for you, do it,’ and it has been checked in As-Saheehah, 2884.”

At-Ta’leeq alat-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb, 1/456.

Making Up Previous Ramadaan Fasts Missed with a Valid Excuse


Al-Albaani: Another Ramadaan has come round and you haven’t made up for the [Ramadaan] fasts you missed from the previous year?

There is no harm in that, [but] you should begin making them up at the first opportunity that arises, even if many Ramadaans have passed you by.

Questioner: Yes.

Al-Albaani: There is no harm in that but it is better for a person to be quick to make up missed fasting days, whether a man or a woman, due to the Most High’s Statement, “And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden [i.e., Paradise] as wide as the heavens and the earth.” [Aali-Imraan 3:133]

But if he isn’t quick, then, firstly, that doesn’t take that obligation away from him, so he must [still] make them up, and [secondly], he doesn’t have to do anything more than simply making them up.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor: 81.

The Fasting Person Should Open His Fast with a Few Small Bites, Then Get up to Pray and then Come Back to Eat Without Being Excessive


The Imaam said, “It has been related from the Prophet ﷺ that he said, “There are three people who will not be called to account regarding what they eat, as long as it is halal: a fasting person, and the person eating the suhoor meal and the one guarding the frontier in the way of Allaah.” [Hadith grading:] Fabricated.

The Imaam said, “And maybe one of the bad effects of this [fabricated] hadith is the [resultant] state of the Muslims today—for when they sit to break their fast in Ramadan, a person won’t know to get up [and step away] from the food except just before Ishaa due to how many various types of food, drink, fruit and desserts he devours! And how can this not be the case when the hadith says that such a person is one of those who will not be called to account over what he eats!

So due to that they combined the excessiveness which one has been prohibited from in the Book and the Sunnah with the delaying of Maghrib which has [also] been prohibited in his saying, “My nation will remain in good …” or he said, “… upon the Fitrah, as long as they do not delay Maghrib until the stars appear.” (Al-Haakim declared it to be authentic and adh-Dhahabi agreed with him and it is as they both said, for it has other paths and supporting proofs which I pointed to in Saheeh Sunan Abi Daawood, no. 444).

An encouragement to hasten in opening the fast has also been reported in many hadiths, like, “The people will continue to be fine as long as they hasten the opening of the fast.” So both hadiths must be implemented in a manner where one doesn’t negate the other, and that is done by starting iftaar with a few small bites of food by which one’s hunger is calmed down, and then he gets up to pray and then, if he wants, he can come back to the food until he fulfils his need therefrom.

Some of this has been demonstrated in the practical Sunnah, for Anas said, “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to break his fast before praying with some fresh dates, but if there were no fresh dates, he had a few dry dates, and if there were no dry dates, he took some mouthfuls of water.” (Reported by Abu Daawood and at-Tirmidhi and he said it was hasan, and it is in Saheeh Abi Daawood, no. 2040, and the one before it is agreed upon and it has been checked in Al-Irwaa, 899).”

Ad-Da’eefah, 2/92-93.

Accidentally Drinking Water While Fasting



Questioner:
A fasting person is rinsing his mouth out and accidentally drinks some of the water, what is the ruling on his fast?

Al-Albaani: His fast is correct, and in that [mistake of his] is aafiyah [for him]—it is but Allaah who has fed him and given him something to drink.

Questioner: Isn’t that about a person who forgot?

Al-Albaani: I know, and what’s the difference between someone who forgets … “Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we forget or make a mistake …” [Baqarah 2:186]

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 321.

On Breaking An Obligatory Fast on Purpose


Questioner: Does [extra] optional fasting help someone who has broken his [obligatory] fast intentionally, since there is no proof that breaking an obligatory fast can [actually] be made up for?

Al-Albaani: There is no doubt that it will help him, just like someone who missed lots of [other] obligatory duties, compensating for what he missed by performing supererogatory prayers will help him.

There is no way for a person who breaks his [obligatory] fast on purpose to make up for it, and he is extremely sinful [for doing that] until he truly repents to Allaah عزو جل. He should [try and] offset the good deeds that he has missed out on because of breaking the fast on purpose by performing lots of supererogatory prayers until he make amends for some of what he has missed.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 19.

The Wisdom Behind Fasting


The Imaam said, “I start by opening with something appropriate to the time and place we’re in, in that we all know the Statement of Allaah تبارك و تعالى, “… decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you, that you may become righteous,” [Baqarah 2:183] you’ve heard commentary and beneficial comments concerning this verse and things connected to it many times, but I believe that you will have seldom heard commentary on its last part, “… that you may become righteous.”

Why was this fasting decreed? “That you may become righteous.” This is one of the rare verses, in fact one of the rare legislated provisions that links the legislated order with an explanation of the intended goal and the reason it was legislated.

There is a declaration here of the obligation of fasting Ramadan, and Muslims should apply themselves to adopting and implementing this order without asking why or how and so on, something which is common now in terms of questioning the legislated orders, [such that] you will often hear some people [saying], “Why this? Why that? Why this?”—we don’t approve of exhaustively searching for the wisdom behind legislation, except what has been expounded on [itself] in it, like what we’re discussing now [i.e., fasting].

“Decreed upon you is fasting,” why? He تعالى said, “… that you may become righteous,” i.e., the point of fasting is for it to be a means for the fasting person to increase his taqwa of Allaah عز وجل and for him to get closer to Him.

If he fasts but does not improve compared to how he was before, i.e., before Ramadan, then it means that this person has not accomplished the desired goal wanted from the implementation of fasting.

There are some authentic hadiths, from the Prophet ﷺ of course, which explain and confirm this objective which the verse has stated, for example, the hadith qudsi which the Prophet ﷺ relates from his Lord عز وجل, in which He said, “Whoever does not leave false speech, and acting according to it, then Allaah is not in any need of him leaving his food and his drink,” this is a very great hadith, and goes completely with the end of the verse, “… that you may become righteous.”

So, when we look at both the verse and the hadith, the aim is not—the only aim is not, and I [purposefully say] ‘the only aim’ so that some people don’t misunderstand me—the only aim for the fasting person is not to refrain from eating, drinking and intercourse based upon the fact that they are listed as things which break the fast in the Quraan and the Sunnah, (leaving aside [for now, mention of] the other things which also break it concerning which there is a big difference of opinion amongst the scholars of fiqh), the aim is not to only refrain from these things which break the fast, but rather [to be aware] that there are other obligatory things which a Muslim must stop himself from too just like he did with these things.

In light of the explanation mentioned in the verse and the clear, authentic hadith just now, I can say something to you which might be new in terms of how it’s expressed but is not new in the ahkaam because it is mentioned in the Quran and the Sunnah, this new phrasing is [concerning the fact] that the books of fiqh, without exception mention the things which break the fast, and this is something that must be done, but, to explain and clarify what was previously mentioned in the verse and the hadith, I say: those things which break the fast are of two types, and this correct division [which I am about to mention] must be rooted in everyone’s mind, because of how important it is.

The first type: the material things which break the fast, and they are the things listed in the books of fiqh as was mentioned just now.

The second type: let’s call them the abstract things which break the fast, these are the things that the verse referred to, “… that you may become righteous,” and his ﷺ statement from His Lord تبارك و تعالى clarified that, “Whoever does not leave false speech, and acting according to it, then Allaah is not in any need of him leaving his food and his drink.”

Thus, along with leaving his food, drink and intercourse, to that he must also add refraining from what Allaah عز وجل has forbidden and what He has ordered every Muslim to be far from.

From the Prophet ﷺ that he said, “Fasting is not leaving food and drink but rather fasting is refraining from what Allaah عز وجل has prohibited,” or as he ﷺ said in words of a similar meaning, and whoever wants to read these hadiths and those like it where the Prophet ﷺ warned the fasting person from committing sins and [where it shows] that this forbiddance comes under the generality of His Statement تبارك و تعالى, “… that you may become righteous,” whoever wants to read these types of hadiths should refer to At-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb of al-Haafidh al-Mundhiri, may Allaah have mercy on him.

To conclude I say, fasting, in terms of how it was legislated in order for a Muslim to get closer to Allaah and increase his taqwa of Him, is just like the prayer, prayer whose only purpose is also not that a Muslim just performs its conditions, pillars and requirements, but that he should also pay heed to the purpose and wisdom due to which Allaah عز وجل  legislated five of them, day and night, on His believing servants, that is what Our Lord عز وجل alluded to in His Statement, “Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing …” [Al-Ankabut 29:45], so a Muslim’s prayer is accepted by Allaah عز وجل in accordance with how much it prevents him from immorality and wrongdoing.

The Prophet ﷺ pointed to this fact connected to prayer in an authentic hadith, where he ﷺ said, “Verily the slave prays a prayer of which nothing is written down for him …” i.e., completely, but rather it is written as deficient according to how discrepant it is, he ﷺ explained that in the rest of the hadith where he said, “Verily the slave prays a prayer of which nothing is written down for him except a tenth, a ninth, an eighth, a seventh, a sixth, a fifth, a quarter, a third or half of it,”—and he stopped here, indicating that a complete prayer is very, very rare, a Muslim is not able to perform it, the best of them is the one for whom half is written and so on until a tenth, and [even then] a tenth is only if the prayer is [actually] accepted by Allaah عز وجل, otherwise many of a person’s prayers are those which he will have his face struck with on the Day of Judgement, and refuge is sought with Allaah, and that is because the Prophet ﷺ pointed to two realities.

The first is what we have spoken about connected to fasting, and the other is connected to prayer, for he ﷺ said, “How many a fasting person there is who has nothing but hunger and thirst from his fasting,” why? Because he never stopped doing what Allaah عز وجل forbade him from, he [i.e.,, this fasting person] only restricted himself to what we [earlier] called the material things which break the fast—yet he thinks he is fasting—about such a person we say, “He fasted but didn’t fast,” he fasted in terms of refraining himself from the material things which break the fast but he didn’t [really] fast because he didn’t withhold from the abstract things which break the fast, that is why he ﷺ said, “How many a fasting person there is who gets nothing but hunger and thirst from his fast, and how many a praying person there is who gets nothing but a sleepless night and fatigue from his standing in prayer.”

So, we hope that Allaah تبارك و تعالى inspires us to refrain from both types of thing which break the fast, the material and the abstract, and that He inspires us [to perform] prayers that are accepted by Him تبارك و تعالى, prayers which prevent one from immorality and wrongdoing.”

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 692.

On Eating Dates for Suhoor


The Prophet ﷺ said, “How excellent are dates as the believer’s Suhoor.” [Abu Dawud, no. 2345, Al-Albaani said: “Saheeh”]

Al-Albaani Fasting Mondays and Thursdays


“From the day I met him, and maybe this is also true before my meeting him, I never knew him to miss fasting Mondays and Thursdays whether in summer or winter, unless he was travelling or sick.”

Muhaddithul-’Asr, Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani, p. 40.

The Supplication said Upon Completing the Recitation of the Quraan During Taraawih Has No Basis Whatsoever



Questioner:
The supplication said upon completing the recitation of the Quraan, especially during taraawih, does it have any basis?

Al-Albaani: No, it has no basis.

Questioner: The supplication said when one finishes reciting the Quraan?

Al-Albaani: Upon completing the recitation of the Quraan … when a Muslim finishes [reciting all of it], it is a Sunnah for him to, or it is mustahab for him to supplicate and gather his family to do so.

As for when the Quraan is completed like this in the prayer, in the night prayer, then this long, extensive du’aa has no basis whatsoever.

Rihlatun-Noor, 19.

Also see Shaikh Uthaimeen’s answer on the same topic here.

On the Permissibility of Sending Salaah on the Prophet in the Du’aa al-Qunut but the Innovation of Extending it Beyond That


 

Questioner: About the Du’aa al-Qunoot in the witr prayer, sending salaah on the Prophet ﷺ is not authentically established, ya’ni, mentioning salaah?

Al-Albaani: The additional part of the narration which is in Sunan an-Nisaa’i is not authentic, but later it became clear to me that some of the Imaams did it in the time of ’Umar ibn al-Khattaab, may Allaah be pleased with him, without any criticism from anyone, and so I say it is legitimate.

[But] I still say, [that] because it hasn’t been established in the hadith [specific] about the Qunoot [that] there is a difference between what is negated and what is established: what is negated is that a mention of sending salaah on the Prophet ﷺ is established in the hadith about the qunoot which the Prophet ﷺ taught al-Hasan ibn Abi Taalib. And what is established is that some of the Imaams who used to lead the people in the night prayer in Ramadaan during the time of Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, [used to say it], so we said that that alone [i.e., the addition of the salaah] was permissible.

Questioner: Ya’ni, for example when a person says, “اللهم إني أسألك” (O Allaah! I ask You …)

Al-Albaani: “اللهم اهدني فيمن هديت، وعافني فيمن …” (O Allaah! Guide me among those whom You have guided, and pardon me among those whom …)

Questioner: “اللهم إني أسألك خير ما سألك منه عبدك ونبيك محمد ﷺ، وأعوذ بك من اشر ما استعاذ بك منه عبدك ونبيك محمد ﷺ” (O Allaah! I ask You for the good that Your slave and Prophet has asked You for, and I seek refuge with You from the evil which Your slave and Prophet sought refuge.), if a person says that in the qunoot, and supplicates with a lot of du’aas is that permissible for him or …

Al-Albaani: Such things have not been mentioned in the qunoot, the du’aa al-qunoot is only, “اللهم اهدني فيمن هديت” (O Allaah! Guide me among those whom You have guided.) this is the qunoot of witr.  [See the footnote at the end for the full du’aa al-qunoot the Shaikh is referring to, here he only quotes the first line for the sake of brevity].

Questioner: For example, [in] Ramadaan they read lots of du’aas.

Al-Albaani: Yes, and that has no basis unless a calamity has befallen the Muslims … as for what is to be read as a set routine then the du’aa al-qunoot is, “اللهم اهدني فيمن هديت” (O Allaah! Guide me among those whom You have guided.), and it is not legislated to …

Questioner: Ya’ni, me, for example, at home after rukoo’ can’t I supplicate … after saying, “Sami’Allaahu liman hamidah,” for example, I say, “اللهم إني أسألك خير ما سألك منه محمد ﷺ” or for example I say, “اللهم صل على محمد وآل محمد” at the end of the qunoot, or I make a du’aa saying, “اللهم اجعل القرآن ربيع قلبي” (O Allaah! Make the Quraan the spring of my heart.) or something like that?

Al-Albaani: Nothing is legislated in the [du’aa] al-qunoot of witr except the du’aa al-qunoot which the Prophet ﷺ taught al-Hasan, in this du’aa it is permitted to send salaah on the Prophet ﷺ in accordance with some of the Salaf who were just mentioned, as for adding to this supplication by way of a desire to increase in making du’aa, then this is not legislated … saying unrestricted du’aas, we do not add to the teaching of the Prophet ﷺ.

Questioner: Ya’ni, is this a bid’ah or something of the sort?

Al-Albaani: Of course. Everything which is an addition to the teaching of the Prophet which doesn’t have an extenuating circumstance which permits us to make a supplication like we said concerning [the exception about] calamities, then it is an addition, and additions in matters of worship are innovations.

Questioner: Ya’ni, as you know, for example, in Ramadaan, all the mosques …

Al-Albaani: How can I not know? The Masjid al-Haraam spread this bid’ah in all countries, I know this. So it is not allowed to add anything except due to an extenuating circumstance.

Questioner: There are people whose supplication goes up to half an hour.

Al-Albaani: Yes, there is no doubt or uncertainty that that is an innovation, there is no doubt about it. And people follow what they become accustomed to, so we must return to the Sunnah.

Questioner: What, O Shaikh, what is the form [of the salaah that is said] after, “اللهم اهدني فيمن هديت” (O Allaah! Guide me among those whom You have guided.), ya’ni, we want the complete form …

Al-Albaani: After the well-known qunoot1 [you can say]: “وصلى الله على محمد النبي الأمي وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم”, only.

Fataawaa Raabigh, 6.

1 Which is:

اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِنِي فِيمَنْ هَدَيْتَ، وَعَافِنِي فِيمَنْ عَافَيْتَ، وَتَوَلَّنِي فِيمَنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ، وَبَارِكْ لِي فِيمَا أَعطَيْتَ، وَقِنِي شَرَّ مَا قَضَيْتَ، فَإِنَّكَ تَقْضِي وَلَا يُقْضَى عَلَيْكَ، إِنَّهُ لَا يَذِلُّ مَنْ وَالَيْتَ، [وَلَا يَعِزُّ مَنْ عَادَيْتَ]، تَبَارَكْتَ رَبَّنَا وَتَعَالَيْتَ

“O Allaah! Guide me among those whom You have guided, and strengthen me with those whom You have given strength. Take me to Your care with those whom You have taken to Your care. Bless me in what You have given me. Protect me from the evil You have ordained. Surely, You command and are not commanded, and none whom You have committed to Your care shall be humiliated [and none whom You have taken as an enemy shall taste glory]. You are Blessed, Our Lord, and Exalted.”

On Holding the Mushaf During Taraaweeh, A Mention of the Narration of Aaishah and also on Someone Holding the Mushaf Behind the Imaam to Correct Him


 

Al-Albaani: There is an issue which occurs frequently every Ramadaan, i.e., that when many mosque Imaams stand to lead the people in prayer they read from a mushaf directly. This must happen where you are as it does here?

Okay, so I say: is this legislated? As for me, then my answer is no. There are some noble scholars who permit it, saying that it is allowed, and their proof in that is an authentic narration which states that Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, used to have a servant who would lead her in prayer in Ramadaan who would recite from the mushaf, this is an authentic narration.

My answer to this is that this narration does not represent the general manhaj of the Salaf, it represents the opinion of the Mother of the Believers, the [noble] lady Aa’ishah—and she is one for whom it was not obligatory to go to the mosque to pray the obligatory prayers in congregation, let alone the night prayer which is supererogatory. Not only was it not obligatory for her, it was in fact more desirable for her to pray at home. So firstly, this, as I said, does not represent the salafi understanding in this issue in terms of the Salaf comprehensively, men, scholars, students of knowledge and so on. Secondly, this case was specific to Aa’ishah and her servant. So if someone were to say that, “In situations like this it is permitted,” we say that, “It is allowed in compliance with the Mother of the Believers.” As for it to be made a general sunnah for mosque Imaams who lead men in prayer in the mosques, then this is in opposition to what the Salaf were on … …

So the rule is that the Imaams of the mosques lead the people in prayer from what they have memorised, from memory … and in addition to that I say that opening the door to allow mosque Imaams to read from mushafs in the night prayer in Ramadaan leads to the cancellation of an established, legislated Sunnah from the Prophet ﷺ, which is his saying ﷺ, “Keep refreshing your knowledge of the Quraan and make your voice melodious in reciting it, for by the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, it is more inclined to escape from the breasts of men than a camel from its rope.”

“Keep refreshing your knowledge of the Quraan,” means devote your attention to memorising and studying it, because if you don’t it will be lost and go.

So if it is said to mosque Imaams, “There is no need for you to memorise the Quraan … just open the mushaf and put it on a high table and read from it and turn its pages as you pray,” this is a practical dissuasion for them to refresh their knowledge of the Quraan which they had been ordered to do by the Prophet ﷺ.

Thus, this would be from the innovations [bid’ah] which oppose the Sunnah—not only an innovation—but rather an innovation which opposes the Sunnah, and opinion is united in battling against innovations which oppose the Sunnah, if only they knew.

For this reason I do not hold this situation which has now become widespread to be permissible, especially in the Masjid al-Haraam and other mosques around it, [i.e.,] where the Quraan is read from directly, from the noble mushaf.

Questioner: Sometimes a qaari will stand behind them [i.e., behind the Imaam] holding a mushaf so that if the Imaam makes a mistake [he can correct him], so does this have the same ruling?

Al-Albaani: Naturally it has the same ruling. In fact, this is one of the bad results of that practice.

Yes, one time I prayed, I think it was in Taaif, Allaah knows best, behind an Imaam who was reading from the Mushaf—look subhaanallaah, every time when talking about innovations I remember the narration [which says], “No innovation was ever made up except that a Sunnah was wiped out,”what would this Imaam do? When he’d finish [reciting] and wanted to bow, he would put the mushaf under his armpit, picture that, how do you think his rukoo’ would be, his prostration? Like that of a woman according to some madhhabs. What led him to oppose this sunnah or sunnahs? It is the introduction of this innovation, “No innovation was ever made up except that a Sunnah was wiped out.”

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 544.

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