Should One Recite Behind The Imaam For Khafee (Silent) Salaah

Question: assalamu alaikum. When a person praying behind the imaam for the zuhar and asr salaat. Should the person recite surah fatiha and a surah ?


Wa Alaikum As Salaam,

When praying behind the Imam for the Dhuhr and Asr Salaah, the person must not recite Surah Fatiha and a Surah in his Salaah. It is authentically narrated in a hadith from Imran bin Husain (R.A) that once the Prophet (s.a.w) led the Dhuhr Salaah and someone recited Surah A’la behind him. When the Salaah was completed, the Prophet (s.a.w) turned to them and asked, ‘Who among you recited?’ The man revealed himself and said it was him. Upon this, the Prophet (s.a.w) said, ‘I thought that one of you was snatching it from me,’ (Muslim Vol. 1 Pg. 172; Nasai Vol. 1 Pg. 176; Abu Dawood Vol.1 Pg. 136).
Imam Nasai has described an entire chapter on this when he said, ‘The Chapter of leaving out the Quranic recitation behind an Imam in those Salaah which are read silently.

It is also narrated from Abdullah Bin Masood (R.A) that he said, ‘The Sahabah (companions) used to recite behind the Prophet (s.a.w) in Salaah, and he said to them, ‘You have confused me in my recitation.’ (Sharh Ma’ani Al Athar Vol.1 Pg. 106; Tabrani).

Jabir (R.A) also narrated that the Prophet (s.a.w) said, ‘Whoever has an Imam (i.e. is led by an Imam), then the recitation of the Imam is recitation for him.’ (Dar Qutni; Musnad Ahmad).
It is narrated from Nafi, that whenever Abdullah Ibn Umar (R.A) was asked whether one should recite behind the Imam, he would reply, ‘When one of you prays behind the Imam, then the recital of the Imam is enough for him. But when he prays by himself, he must engage in recital.’ (Muwatta Imam Malik).

In this manner, the great Sahabahs like Zaid bin Thabit, Jabir bin Abdullah, Abdullah bin Masood, Abdullah bin Abbas, Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali and many others have all stated that it is forbidden for the follower to recite Quran (in his Salaah) when he is led by the Imam. As stated by the Prophet (s.a.w), the recitation of the Imam suffices for the recitation of the followers.’ (Musannaf Abdur Razzaq; Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah; Muwatta Imam Muhammad; Sharh Ma’ani Al Athar).

From these explainations, it is evident that when a person performs Salaah behind the Imam, then he must not recite Surah Fatiha and a Surah. This is the same for all other Salaah.

And Allah Knows Best.

Mufti Waseem Khan.