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1419: There is nothing wrong with the imaam reading from the Mus-haf* (held in his hands) whilst praying

I was wondering about praying salah while reading the qur’aan (the book in your hands). We have a congregation here and no body has memorized the full Qur’aan in our community. So, instead, the imam is reading the qur’aan in his hands during Taraweeh. I heard that this is haraam according to some Hanafi Jurists, and might be makrooh according to others. Sould we just pray the salah with what we know (have memorized)? Please respond urgently to this question, and translate it to English soon also, inshaa-Allaah.
Barakallaahu feek.

Published Date: 1998-06-07

Praise be to Allaah.

Al-Bukhaari (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his Saheeh:

“Chapter on a slave or freed slave leading the prayer: ‘Aa’ishah used to be led in prayer by her slave Dhakwaan whilst he was holding the Mus-haf.” (Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Adhaan).

Ibn Hijr (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Fath al-Baari Sharh ‘ala Saheeh al-Bukhaari (his commentary on Saheeh al-Bukhaari): “The phrase ‘ ‘Aa’ishah used to be…’  Abu Dawood completed the chain of narration in Kitaab al-Masaahif, via Ayyoob from Ibn Abi Maleekah, who said that ‘Aa’ishah used to be led in prayer by her slave Dhakwaan whilst he was holding the Mus-haf (the Qur’aan). The chain of narration was also completed by Ibn Abi Shaybah, who said: Wakee’ told us from Hishaam ibn ‘Urwah from Abu Bakr ibn Abi Maleekah that ‘Aa’ishah freed a slave she owned… he used to lead her in prayer during Ramadaan, holding the Mus-haf.”

If the imaam or a person who is praying alone recites from memory, this is better, but if he reads from the Mus-haf, there is nothing wrong with it. And Allaah knows best.

* (Translator’s note) Mus-haf: a written or printed copy of the Qur’aan.

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Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
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