Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
If the imam unintentionally recites the surah aloud during asr prayer, what should we do?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
Generally, the Hanafi jurists stipulated that the prostrations of forgetfulness (sajda al-sahw) are due when necessary (wajib) actions are forgetfully omitted. Amongst these is the necessity of reciting quietly during the quiet prayers, namely, Zuhr and `Asr.
Consequently, if the imam recites an amount which would normally validate the prayer, usually a verse, aloud during a quiet prayer, then he would need to perform the prostrations of forgetfulness. The same applies if the opposite occurs.
Imam Bukhari recorded in his Chapter on Silent Recitation in Zuhr and `Asr on the authority of Abu Ma`mar, “We said to Khabbab, ‘Did the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) use to recite in Zuhr and `Asr?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ We said, ‘How did you know that?’ He said, ‘By the movement of his beard.’”
[Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar (1.498)]
Please also see: Reciting Aloud in Quiet Prayers and: Loud and Quiet Recitation in Prayer and Qur’anic Recitation and: What Are the Rulings Related to Loud Recitation, and Being Joined By Someone If I Pray Alone?
And Allah Most High alone knows best.
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.