The scholars differed concerning the ruling on saying takbeer after every soorah from Soorat al-Duha to al-Naas. Imam Ahmad regarded it as mustahabb but the other imams differed with him. There is another report from Imam Ahmad which is in accordance with the view of the majority. The correct view is that it is not prescribed to say takbeer, and this is not proven in any marfoo’ hadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). There is also no saheeh report about this takbeer from any of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them), rather it was proven from some of the qurraa’ (reciters) of the people of Makkah.
It was narrated that ‘Ikrimah ibn Sulaymaan said: I recited to Ismaa’eel ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Constantine, and when I reached Wa’l-duha (i.e., Soorat al-Duha), he said to me: Say takbeer, say takbeer at the end of every soorah until you complete (the Qur’aan). ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Katheer told him that he recited to Mujaahid and he told him to do that, and Mujaahid told him that Ibn ‘Abbaas had told him to do that, and Ibn ‘Abbaas told him that Ubayy ibn Ka’b told him to do that, and Ubayy ibn Ka’b told him that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told him to do that.
Narrated by al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak (3/304).
This hadeeth is da’eef (weak). Its isnaad includes Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Abi Bazzah al-Muqri’. Abu Haatim said: His hadeeth is da’eef (weak) and I will not narrate from him. Al-‘Aqeeli said: His hadeeth is munkar (odd). Al-Dhahabi said: This is a ghareeb (strange) hadeeth, and it is one of the hadeeth of al-Bazzi that were regarded as munkar. Abu Haatim said: This is munkar. And he said: Al-Haakim regarded his hadeeth about takbeer as saheeh, but it is munkar.
See: al-Du’afa’ by al-‘Aqeeli (1/127); and Mizaan al-I’tidaal (1/144, 145) and Siyar A’laam al-Nubala’ (12/51), both by Imam al-Dhahabi.
Ibn Muflih al-Hanbali (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Ahmad regarded it is mustahabb to say takbeer from the beginning of Soorat al-Duha until the end of the Qur’aan. This was mentioned by Ibn Tameem and others, and this is the recitation of the people of Makkah, which al-Bazzi took from Ibn Katheer, and Ibn Katheer took it from Mujaahid, and Mujaahid took it from Ibn ‘Abbaas, and Ibn ‘Abbaas took it from Ubayy ibn Ka’b, and Ubayy ibn Ka’b took it from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). A number of them narrated that, including al-Baghawi in his Tafseer, and the reason for that is that the Wahy (revelation) ceased.
This is a ghareeb hadeeth, reported by Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abd-Allaah al-Bazzi, who is sound with regard to recitation but da’eef (weak) with regard to hadeeth.
Ibn Haatim al-Raazi said: This is a munkar hadeeth.
It was also narrated from him – i.e., Imam Ahmad – that there should be no takbeer, as is the view of all reciters. End quote.
Al-Adaab al-Shar’iyyah (2/295, 296).
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about a group who gathered to read the entire Qur’aan (khatmah) and they were reading to ‘Aasim and Abu ‘Amr. When they reached Soorat al-Duha, they did not say Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah or Allaahu akbar, until they reached the end of the Qur’aan. Is what they did better or not? Is the hadeeth which is narrated about saying tahleel and takbeer saheeh and mutawaatir, or not?
Praise be to Allaah. Yes, if they recited in accordance with a recitation other than that of Ibn Katheer, their not doing that is better, and is in fact what is prescribed and is Sunnah. These imams of recitation did not say takbeer either at the beginning of the soorahs or at the ends. If it is acceptable to say that Ibn Katheer narrated the takbeer from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), it is acceptable for others to say that these people narrated the omission of that from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) too. It is not possible that the recitation of the majority that was narrated by more people than the recitation of Ibn Katheer omitted something enjoined by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), because those who narrated mutawaatir reports could not have concealed something for which there was good reason to narrate it. The one who accepts that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told the majority of reciters to add an extra takbeer then they disobeyed the command of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and failed to do what he had commanded them to do, deserves to be punished severely as a deterrent to him and others like him.
With regard to the takbeer, the one who says that it is part of the Qur’aan has gone astray according to scholarly consensus and must be asked to repent; if he repents, all well and good, otherwise he should be executed. How could the one who does not recite it be denounced for not reciting it? The one who regard a person who does not say this takbeer as an innovator or one who goes against the Sunnah or a sinner, is closer to kufr than Islam and should be punished; indeed if he insists on that after having the proof explained to him, then he should be executed.
If we assume [?] that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told some of those who recited it to say takbeer, then at most this indicates that it is permissible or mustahabb. If it were obligatory, the majority of reciters would not have neglected it and the imams of the Muslims would not have agreed that it is not obligatory. But none of the imams narrated that the takbeer is obligatory, rather the most that anyone who reads according to the recitation of Ibn Katheer can say is that it is mustahabb. This is unlike the Basmalah, recitation of which is obligatory according to those who regard it as part of the Qur’aan, but despite that the reciters allow not reciting it if one does not want to use it as a break between one soorah and another. So how could it not be allowed to omit the takbeer, which is not part of the Qur’aan? End quote.
Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (13/417-419)
And he (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
The takbeer that is narrated from Ibn Katheer is not narrated with an isnad from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and no one attributed it to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) except al-Bazzi, who thus went against all those who narrated it, as they only narrated it as something optional that was done by some of those who came after the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and he was the only one who attributed it to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). His transmission was regarded as da’eef (weak) by the specialists in hadeeth and biography among the scholars of recitation and hadeeth, as was mentioned by more than one of the scholars. End quote.
Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (17/130).
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked:
Some of the reciters of Qur’aan separate one soorah from another by saying Allaahu akbar instead of the basmalah. Is that permissible, and is there any evidence for it?
This is contrary to what the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) did, who separated one soorah from another by saying Bismillaah il-Rahmaan il-Raheem, and it is contrary to the scholarly view that the soorahs of the Qur’aan should not be separated by takbeer throughout the Qur’aan.
At the very most, there are some reciters who regard it as mustahabb for a person to say takbeer when he finishes every soorah from al-Duha to the end of the Qur’aan, along with the Basmalah between every two soorahs. But the correct view is that this is not Sunnah, because that was not narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Based on this, what is prescribed is to separate one soorah from another by saying the Basmalah, Bismillaah il-Rahmaan il-Raheem, except in the case of Soorat Baraa’ah (al-Tawbah), as there is no Basmalah between al-Anfaal and it. End quote.
Fataawa Islamiyyah (4/48).
Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd (may Allaah preserve him) mentions in his Book Bida’ al-Qurraa’ (p. 27) seven things that have to do reading the entire Qur’aan, of which we may mention:
Saying takbeer at the end of Soorat al-Duha until the end of Soorat al-Naas, both when praying and otherwise.
Then he said:
There are no saheeh reports about these seven things from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or from his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them). Most of that which is narrated about some of them cannot be taken as evidence. The correct view is that none of these things are prescribed in sharee’ah. End quote.
The Shaykh of the reciters in al-Madeenah al-Munawwarah, Shaykh Ibraaheem al-Akhdar, has written an essay entitled Takbeer al-Khatam bayna al-Qurraa’ wa’l-Muhadditheen, at the end of which he says:
From the above discussion of the reports, examination of their isnaads and biographies of their narrators, we could not find anything but the report of al-Bazzi – as the scholars said – and it is a report whose isnaad is filled with weak and majrooh narrators, and there is no other report apart from the report of al-Bazzi. This was stated clearly by many scholars of reports, although some of the most famous reciters, such as Ibn Mujaahid in his book al-Sab’ah, did not narrate the takbeer, and neither did Abu’l-Qaasim al-Hudhali in his book al-Kaamil. This indicates that the report was not proven in their view. And Allaah knows best.
A Sunnah cannot be established by means of such a report, rather it is better not to do that, whether it is mentioned in the report of al-Bazzi or the report of anyone else. That is so as to protect the Book of Allaah and to keep out of it anything that is not part of it, whether it is thought to be Sunnah or not. Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds. End quote.
Many reasons for this takbeer have been mentioned, the most well known of which is that the Revelation to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ceased for a while, and when it resumed after that, the first thing that was revealed was Soorat al-Duha, in which it says (interpretation of the meaning): “Your Lord (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) has neither forsaken you nor hates you” [al-Duha 93:3], and he said takbeer in joy at that. Even if this is saheeh, it does not indicate that it is mustahabb to say takbeer as suggested by some scholars of recitation, for several reasons:
1. It does not indicate that takbeer is to be said after every recitation of the soorah.
2. It does not indicate that takbeer is to be said until Soorat al-Naas.
3. The takbeer was said only once, because of the Revelation resuming after it had ceased for a while.
4. The other soorahs do not have the same content as Soorat al-Duha.
Moreover, this report does not have any saheeh isnaad, or even any da’eef (weak) one.
Imam Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
With regard to saying takbeer after Soorat al-Duha, the reciters said that when the revelation was late in coming to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and that went on for a while, then the angel came to him and brought the words (interpretation of the meaning): “By the forenoon (after sunrise). By the night when it darkens (and stands still)” [al-Duha 93:1-2], he said takbeer out of joy and happiness.
But this was not narrated with any isnaad that can be judged to be saheeh or da’eef. And Allaah knows best.
Tafseer Ibn Katheer (8/423).
And Allaah knows best.