Follower Reciting Behind the Imam

Answered by Sidi Waseem Hussain

Question: I have heard conflicting opinions throughout my life about what an individual should or should not recite while being led in congregational obligatory prayer by an imaam. What is the strongest Hanafi position on the matter?

Answer: Assalamu Alaykum Warahmatullah,

The position of the Hanafi school is that the follower does not recite any Qur’an behind the imam regardless of the prayer being prayed.

Practically this entails that when praying behind the imam:

  • One says the opening takbir (Allahu Akbar)
  • One says the thana (Subhanakallah…)
  • One does not recite anything after that (So no Audhubillah, bismillah or fatiha). One merely stands and concentrates as much as possible
  • One says the ‘ameen’ silently, when the imam finishes the faitha.
  • One does not recite anything after that (so no verse is recited)
  • One says all the takbirs of movement silently with the imam (so one says “allahu akbar” for going into ruku, prostration and coming up from prostration)
  • When coming up from ruku only the imam says “sami allahu liman hamidah”, and the follower says: “Allahumma rabbana wa laka al-hamd” silently (or its shorter versions without the ‘allahumma’ and the ‘wa’)
  • One recites all the tasbihs in ruku and prostration silently (subhana rabbi yal adheem and subhana rabbi yal ala)
  • One recites the tashhahud (attahiyat), peace and blessings on the prophet (durud), the du’a and the salams with the imam. All of these silenty as well.

[Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah; Zailai, Tabyeen al-Haqaiq; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

And Allah knows best.
Waseem Hussain

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani