The Permissibility of Reading from the Mushaf in the Obligatory Prayers

I translated the ruling of Shaikh Ibn Baz (may Allah have mercy upon him) regarding reciting from the Mushaf in Fard (obligatory) prayers. While some scholars mentioned that it is disliked due to excessive movement caused by turning the pages, Shaikh Ibn Baz had no problem with it, while emphasizing the need for the Muslim to work on memorizing the Qur'an so that it is no longer necessary to do so.

Abdurrahman Wood

3/9/2022 1 min read

حكم القراءة من المصحف في صلاة الفريضة

The Ruling on Reading from the Mushaf in Obligatory Prayers

(translated from Shaikh Ibn Baz's website here)

س: هل يجوز للإمام في أثناء الصلوات الخمس أن يقرأ من المصحف وخاصة صلاة الفجر؛ لأن تطويل القراءة فيها مطلوب وذلك مخافة الغلط أو النسيان؟

Question: Is an Imam allowed to recite from the Mushaf during the five daily prayers? Specifically Fajr prayer, since it is desirable to lengthen recitation therein, and one may be concerned about making mistakes or forgetting (without using the Mushaf).

ج: يجوز ذلك إذا دعت إليه الحاجة كما تجوز القراءة من المصحف في التراويح لمن لا يحفظ القرآن، وقد كان ذكوان مولى عائشة رضي الله عنها يصلي بها في رمضان من مصحف، ذكره البخاري في صحيحه تعليقًا مجزومًا به، وتطويل القراءة في صلاة الفجر سنة، فإذا كان الإمام لا يحفظ المفصل ولا غيره من بقية القرآن الكريم جاز له أن يقرأ من المصحف، ويشرع له أن يشتغل بحفظ القرآن، وأن يجتهد في ذلك، أو يحفظ المفصل على الأقل حتى لا يحتاج إلى القراءة من المصحف، وأول المفصل سورة ق إلى آخر القرآن، ومن اجتهد في الحفظ يسر الله أمره لقوله سبحانه: وَمَنْ يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ مَخْرَجًا [الطلاق: 2] وقوله : وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا الْقُرْآنَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِنْ مُدَّكِرٍ [القمر: 17]

والله ولي التوفيق

Answer: That is permitted if a need arises, just as it is permitted to recite from the Mushaf in Taraweeh for someone who hasn’t memorized the Qur’an. It is established that Dhakwan, the Maula (freed slave) of Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) led her in prayer during Ramadan while reciting from the Mushaf. This was mentioned by Bukhari in his Sahih in Mu’allaq form. 

Regarding lengthening Qur'an recitation in Fajr prayer, that is a recommended Sunnah. Accordingly, if the Imam has not memorized the Mufassal Surahs, or other parts of Al Qur’an Al Kareem, it is permissible to recite from the Mushaf

At the same time, it is upon this person to spend time completing memorization of the Qur’an, and to work hard in that regard. Or at least to memorize the Mufassal Surahs, so there will be no further need to recite from the Mushaf. The Mufassal Surahs are from Surah Qaf to the end of the Qur’an. 

Whoever strives hard to memorize the Qur’an, Allah will make it easy for them to do so.

This is as He - the Exalted - says (Translation of Dr. Mustafa Khattab - the Clear Qur’an): 

“And whoever is mindful of Allah, He will make their matters easy for them” (At-Talaq 65:4)

“And We have certainly made the Quran easy to remember. So is there anyone who will be mindful?” (Al Qamar 54:17)

Allah is the Provider of Success