Sun 20 Jm2 1435 - 20 April 2014
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Ruling on saying Bala (yes indeed) when the verse “Is not Allaah the Best of judges?” [al-Teen 95:8] is recited

What is the ruling on saying Bala (yes indeed) when the imam says “Is not Allaah the Best of judges?” [al-Teen 95:8]? Or is that bid’ah (an innovation)?.

Praise be to Allaah.

There is nothing wrong with the person who is praying behind the imam saying that, or saying Subhaanaka fa bala (Glory be to You, yes indeed) and so on, when the imam recites (interpretation of the meaning): “Is not He (Allaah Who does that) Able to give life to the dead?” [al-Qiyaamah 75:40] or “Is not Allaah the Best of judges?” [al-Teen 95:8]

This is the view of the Maalikis. It says in Mawaahib al-Jaleel (2/253): If there is a mention of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in the imam’s recitation, there is nothing wrong with the person who is praying behind him sending blessings on him, or if there is any mention of Paradise or Hell, there is nothing wrong with asking Allaah for Paradise or seeking refuge with Him from Hell, and that may happen time after time. The same applies to a person saying, when the imam says “Is not He (Allaah Who does that) Able to give life to the dead?” [al-Qiyaamah 75:40]: Yes, He is Able to do all things, and so on.  

This is also the view of the Hanbalis. It says in Sharh al-Muntaha (1/206): The worshipper may say Subhaanaka fa bala (Glory be to You, yes indeed) and so on, when (the imam) recites (interpretation of the meaning): “Is not He (Allaah Who does that) Able to give life to the dead?” [al-Qiyaamah 75:40], whether it is an obligatory or naafil prayer, because of the report. With regard to the verse “Is not Allaah the Best of judges?” [al-Teen 95:8], the report is subject to further discussion. End quote. 

See: al-Furoo’ (1/481) and al-Insaaf (2/107). 

The report referred to was narrated by Abu Dawood (884) from Moosa ibn Abi ‘Aa’ishah who said: A man was praying on his roof, and when he recited the verse “Is not He (Allaah Who does that) Able to give life to the dead?” [al-Qiyaamah 75:40], he would say Subhaanaka fa bala (Glory be to You, yes indeed). They asked him about that and he said: I heard it from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).  

Its isnaad is da’eef, because there is an interruption between Moosa and the Sahaabi, and there is at least one other man omitted, as was stated by al-Hafiz in al-Nukat al-Ziraaf (11/210) and Nataa’ij al-Afkaar (2/48). 

Even if the report were saheeh, it does not mean that this is to be done in an obligatory prayer, rather what seems to be the case is that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not do that in obligatory prayers, because if he did that it would have been narrated, as it was narrated that he did it in night prayers (qiyaam al-layl). In the hadeeth of Hudhayfah (may Allaah be pleased with him) it says: I prayed with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) one night, and he started to recite al-Baqarah and I thought: he will bow when he reaches one hundred, but he carried on. Then I thought that he would finish it in the two rak’ahs, but he carried on. Then I thought he would bow after finishing it, but he started to recite al-Nisa’ and recited it all, then he started to recite Aal ‘Imraan and recited it all, reciting with a slow and measured pace. When he reached a verse that spoke of glorifying Allaah, he glorified Allaah; when he reached a verse that spoke of asking of Him, he asked of Him; when he reached a verse that spoke of seeking refuge with Him, he sought refuge with Him… Narrated by Muslim (772). 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

But with regard to naafil prayer, especially in night prayers (qiyaam al-layl), it is Sunnah to seek refuge with Allaah when reciting a verse that speaks of seeking refuge, and to ask (for mercy) when reciting a verse that speaks of mercy, following the example of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and because that helps one to focus more and ponder more deeply. When praying qiyaam al-layl it is Sunnah to recite at length, and to recite a great deal and bow and prostrate and so on. But in an obligatory prayer, it is not Sunnah to do this although it is permissible. If someone were to say: What is your evidence for this distinction, and you were to say that what is proven concerning naafil prayers also applies to obligatory prayers, 

Our answer is: the evidence for this is that the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) offered three prayers every night and day in which he recited out loud, and he recited verses which spoke of warnings, and verses which spoke of mercy, and the Sahaabah who transmitted from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) how the prayer is to be performed did not narrate that he used to do that in the obligatory prayers. If it was Sunnah he would have done it, and if he had done it, it would have been transmitted. As it was not transmitted, we know that he did not do it. As he did not do it, we know that it is not Sunnah. The Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) were keen to follow everything that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did, to such an extent that they could tell when he was reciting in the prayers in which Qur'aan is recited silently from the movement of his beard. When he fell silent between the opening takbeer and recitation, Abu Hurayrah asked him what he said, and if he had fallen silent when reciting a verse that spoke of warning to seek refuge with Allaah, or in a verse that spoke of mercy to ask of Allaah, they would undoubtedly have transmitted it. 

If someone were to say: If that is the case, then why do you not say that it is not allowed in an obligatory prayer, as some scholars did, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Pray as you have seen me praying” (al-Bukhaari (602))? 

The answer is: The fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not do a thing does not mean that it is forbidden, because he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave us a basic principle: “This prayer is not the right place for any of the people’s speech, rather it is tasbeeh, takbeer and recitation of Qur’aan.” Narrated by Muslim (537). Du’aa’ is not “people’s speech” so it does not invalidate prayer. So the basic principle is that it is permissible, but we do not recommend a person to do that in an obligatory prayer, for the reasons given above. 

So the reciter may say it when he recites (interpretation of the meaning): “Is not He (Allaah Who does that) Able to give life to the dead?” [al-Qiyaamah 75:40], because there is a hadeeth about it and Imam Ahmad stated that and said: If the reciter recites …during prayer or otherwise, he may say: Subhaanaka fa bala (Glory to You, yes indeed), in both obligatory and naafil prayers. 

And if he recites “Is not Allaah the Best of judges?” [al-Teen 95:8], he may say Subhaanaka fa bala (Glory to You, yes indeed).  

End quote from al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (1/604-605). 

The Shaykh (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: We have heard some people who were praying in congregation, when the imam recites “Is not Allaah the Best of judges?” [al-Teen 95:8], they say: Bala (yes indeed). Is that acceptable? 

He replied: This is acceptable, because when Allaah says, “Is not Allaah the Best of judges?” [al-Teen 95:8], you may say; Bala (Yes indeed). And whenever similar verses are recited, we may say  Bala (Yes indeed). 

“Is not Allaah Sufficient for His slave?” [al-Zumar 39:36] – you may say Yes indeed. 

“Is not Allaah All‑Mighty, Possessor of Retribution?” [al-Zumar 39:37] – you may say Yes indeed. 

“Is not He (Allaah Who does that) Able to give life to the dead?” [al-Qiyaamah 75:40] – you may say Yes indeed. 

But if saying this will distract the worshipper from listening to the imam, then he should not do it. But if it comes at the end of a verse where the imam will pause, then it will not distract him, so when he says: “Is not Allaah the Best of judges?” [al-Teen 95:8], he may say Yes indeed. End quote from Liqa’ al-Baab il-Maftooh (11/81). 

Note: The hadeeth referred to in the words quoted from Ibn Muflih “subject to further discussion” was narrated by Abu Dawood (887) and al-Tirmidhi from Abu Hurayrah who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever among you recites (interpretation of the meaning): ‘By the fig, and the olive’ [al-Teen 95:1] and comes to the end of it, ‘Is not Allaah the Best of judges?’ [al-Teen 95:8], let him say Bala wa ana ‘ala dhaalika min al-shaahideen (yes indeed, and I am one of the witnesses to that). And if he recites (interpretation of the meaning): ‘I swear by the Day of Resurrection’ [al-Qiyaamah 75:1] and comes to the end of it, “Is not He (Allaah Who does that) Able to give life to the dead?” [al-Qiyaamah 75:40], let him say Bala (yes indeed). And if he recites ‘By the winds (or angels or the Messengers of Allaah) sent forth one after another’ [al-Mursalaat 77:1] and he reaches (the verse) (interpretation of the meaning): ‘Then in what statement after this (the Qur’aan) will they believe?’ [al-Mursalaat 77:50], let him say: Aamanna Billaah (we believe in Allaah).” The isnaad of this hadeeth includes a majhool (unknown) narrator, as was stated by al-Tirmidhi after quoting it. It was classed as da’eef by a number of imams, such as al-Nawawi in al-Majmoo’ (3/563) and others. Al-Albaani quoted it in Da’eef Abi Dawood.

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