What If I Can Mildly Hear the Imam’s Recitation in the Quiet Prayers?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


In the first row, I sometimes hear the recitation of the Imam in silent prayers; winter is starting, and there is less noise due to it.

I assumed that the Makruh Tahriman action had not been performed because the definition of silent recitation is one that one can hear oneself. Due to the winter season, people in the first row may be able to hear the recitation slightly.

Is my understanding correct?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

It is necessary to recite aloud in the Fajr, Maghrib, Isha, Tarawih (in congregation), and Witr (in the congregation; done in Ramadan only) prayers. [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah]

If one does not recite loudly in these prayers or recite loudly in the quiet prayers, the amount of three verses, prostrations of forgetfulness is necessary. [Ibid.]

Determining the Volume of Recitation

To judge the volume of recitation for a prayer, one would think whether, hypothetically speaking, the recitation would be audible or not if there were absolute silence and no outside intervention. [Ibid.]

I.e., if there was no microphone and no distracting noises, could I hear the recitation according to the following criteria?

Maximum Volume of Recitation in Silent Prayers

Scholars have mentioned regarding the quiet prayers that, if the Imam were to recite loud enough that one or two people could hear, it is not considered loud recitation.

A loud recitation is one that everyone in the front row can hear without the aid of a microphone or the like.

This is established by the evidence of al-Quhustani from al-Mas’udiyya – that the loud recitation of the Imam is that which the entire first row can hear.  [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar from al-Khulasa from al-Jam’i al-Saghir]

Therefore there is much expansiveness in the matter.

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch teaches Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences.

He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he studied for three years in Dar al-Mustafa under some of the most outstanding scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib.

In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Quran and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Quranic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.