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Reading from the Mushaf in Prayer When You Memorized the Verses

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: السلام عليكم
I understand the ruling in the Hanafi Madhhab that one may not read from a mushaf in the prayer. It is also my understanding that it is permissible to pray with an open mushaf, without holding it, in order to assist with a word or two, as long as one has the verses committed to memory.
So my question is, if I am reading several pages of The Quran from memory, only briefly looking at the mushaf once in awhile if I forget which verse comes next, or forgetting a word or two, would it be permissible to turn the page during the salah? (Noting that I know, from memory, when I come to the end of the page, and also the mushaf would be on a tall stand just next to me, requiring moving the hand only a short distance to reach it) Would this be considered excessive action, or disliked? I ask because I am in the process of memorizing The Quran إن شاء الله و بعونه, and reading in the salah, what I have recently memorized, greatly helps me retain the verses.
Thank you in advance for your response, جزاكم الله خيرا.
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that this finds you in the best of health and spirits, insha’Allah.
According to the more famous position of the Hanafi school, the position of Imam Abu Hanifa, it is not permitted to hold the mushaf during the prayer nor recite from it.
Classically the jurists give two reasons to explain this position:
(1) holding the mushaf, looking at it, and turning the pages is considered to be excessive action which is invalidating, and
(2) taking from the mushaf is akin to taking from another person [outside of the prayer] or to learning, which too is a foreign, invalidating action.
The Exception
The only exception would be in taking from a mushaf wherein one is relying upon their own memorization (hifz) and merely supporting it by looking at the mushaf, without holding it.
Though it would seem that this would not apply to the one who could not recite the selected verses were it not for the mushaf being open in front of him. Thus, such a person would not be considered to be a hafiz of them (i.e. somebody who has memorized them).
The Position of the Two Companions
The other position is held by the two companions of Imam Abu Hanifa, Qadi Abu Yusuf and Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani. They said that it is in fact permitted to hold and recite from the mushaf whilst in prayer.
They held that both looking at the mushaf and reciting are acts of worship, and joining between them would not invalidate the prayer.
However, they also affirmed the dislikedness of such an action as it resembles the worship of non-believers.
Turning the Pages of the Mushaf in Prayer
As for turning the pages in the prayer, this would be permitted as long as you can do so without excessive movement which invalidates the prayer.
Excessive movement is movement such that were an onlooker to see you at that moment, they would not consider you to be in prayer.
See also: Can New Muslims Hold the Qur’an and Recite from It During Prayer? and: Reciting From a Copy of the Qur’an (Mushaf) in Tarawih and Other Prayers
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Is it Possible to Return to Islam After Leaving It?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: About 10 years ago i tried to convert to Islam because I felt there was a lot of evidence for it being true. Unfortunately I ended up being overcome by doubts. I was trying to quit heroin at the time so that may have had something to do with it.

Since then I have lost hope. I was afraid that I would go to hell forever so I wanted to forget all I learned about Islam. I tried Buddhism and a quasi satanic like religion called Thelema, and then I gave up even that to be completely atheist and nihilist.

For a while I felt satisfied that there was no god and nothing to really believe. About a month ago my nephew converted to Islam. It was quite a surprise, he was breaking the law and getting in trouble and he impressed my by changing completely. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Islam and I started to try to give it another chance in my mind and heart. Now I no longer want to be atheist. I want to Believe. I don’t want to go to hell.

I have reviewed what I have learned about Islam and there seem to be so many proofs of its being true . And Muhammad seems to be exactly what he claimed to be. I feel I could trust Muhammad and that the Qur’an is the word Of God. But the problem is I always have doubts that won’t completely go away. I am willing to accept all the tenets of Islam even though I have doubts.
If I say the shahada will I be guilty of hypocrisy? Please help I feel like i am stuck in limbo and i know it is mostly my fault.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

No, you will not be guilty of hypocrisy by saying the testimony of faith (shahada). Repentance wipes out sin and its traces. See:

A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)

“The one who repents from sin is like the one who never sinned,” said the Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

Say the shahada, and rejoice in God who has destined you to be from those ultimately in Paradise forever. Be of those of glad tidings. And ignore satanic misgivings. The devil is your sworn enemy. All he wants to do is to confuse you, fill you with doubts, and then make you leave the Straight Path so that you end up following him into Hell. Rather, follow the Muhammadan way. How? Find local scholars, gatherings of knowledge and remembrance, and seek knowledge. Strive to inwardly and outwardly uphold the Prophetic character seeking Allah therein. And if you have any questions, ask.

Read the following two articles: Doubts About Islam: I Don’t Find Any Observable Effect or Peace in My Worship and: How Can I Regain My Faith After Doubts and Exploring Other Religions?

I’d also highly advise taking the following classes: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Beliefs & Worship (STEP) and: Excellence in Faith & Action (from Ghazali’s 40 Foundations of Religion)

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Dealing With Peer Pressure as a Teenage New Muslim

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: I’m 16 and I converted to Islam a couple months ago. When high school started it became harder for me to be a “good” Muslim. I’m having difficulty lowering my gaze because girls wear revealing outfits at my school, all my friends who are guys curse, look at girls, listen to haram music, and I know a couple who use drugs.

They also party a lot and it looks really fun and sometimes I think I’m missing out. I find myself slipping up, looking at things I’m not suppose to, saying things I’m not suppose to say. It’s getting difficult for me to be a Muslim in a environment that is not Muslim. Is there any advice you can give me?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful

Assalamu alaikum,

Thank you for your question.

Staying strong in the high school environment is going to be a challenge. If you don’t have the option of finishing your program at home, say through a virtual academy (some states in the U.S. offer this option leading to a fully accredited high school diploma), then resolve to get through school while keeping your faith intact. First, you need to avoid people who swear, disrespect women, and use drugs. If you can’t influence them for the better, then stay away. Second, you need better friends. Are there no Muslims at the school?

If not, then please have a connection with your local mosque’s youth group. If there is none, petition to start one. Third, understand that being Muslim is a process. We are all susceptible to negative influences, no matter how long we’ve practiced this faith. That’s why it’s important to shore up your faith with good company, constant recitation of the Qur’an, and remembrance of Allah. Don’t lose sight of your ultimate purpose which is to find Allah.

Stay strong!

Zaynab Ansari

Related Answers:

How Can I Increase My Iman and My Sincerity By Doing Things For the Sake of Allah?

What Are the Qualities of a Friend?

Is There Baptism in Islam?

Answered by Ustadh Zaynab Ansari

Question: Is there a baptism in Islam? Was being baptized ever done in Islam?

 

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful

Assalamu alaikum,

Thank you for your question.

There is no baptism in Islam in the sense that it exists in the Christian tradition.

There are, however, practices that welcome the baby into the community of believers, including the calling of the adhan (call to prayer) and iqama (reminder to stand up to pray) in the ear of the newborn and the aqiqa celebration in which the community gathers to celebrate the birth of the infant and pray for him or her.

Adults who embrace Islam are required to state the testification of faith (“There is no god but God and Muhammad, peace be upon him, is the messenger of God”) in front of witnesses. Often, they will take a Muslim name, although this is not required.

May Allah reward you,

Zaynab Ansari

Related Answer:

Should a New Muslim Restate the Shahada After a Period of Backsliding?

Can New Muslims Hold the Qur’an and Recite from It During Prayer?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is it allowed for those who are recent reverts (or not hafiz), to hold the Quran in their hands and recite it from there in Salat? Are there different rulings for this between fardh & nawafil salah?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam,

In the Hanafi school, as mentioned in Maraqi al-Falah and the Hashiya of Ibn Abidin, it is prohibitively disliked (makruh tahriman) to hold the Qur’an in the prayer and recite from it.

For recent converts, the scholars explain that the following must be kept in mind:

  1. The obligatory (fard) recitation is only one verse of the Qur’an. It is necessary (wajib) to recite the Fatiha and the equivalent of 3 short verses in any two rakats of the prayer. It is also necessary to make this necessary recitation in the first two rakats. [Durr]
  2. The necessary (wajib) may be omitted for legally-valid excuses, which include one being a new Muslim.
  3. As such, they should ideally be told to recite a short verse (e.g. “Qul Huwa Allahu Ahad”), which most are able to do. It would be necessary for them to take reasonable means to learn that which is necessary (wajib) to recite. Until then, they would be legally excused from having to recite the Fatiha or anything else.
  4. It is important to emphasize the while it is imperative for new converts to be taught the simple, proper outward fiqh of worship, it is just as imperative that they gain an appreciation of the spiritual significance, importance, and benefits of our worship.

As Sidi Ibn Ata’illah explains, “Actions are lifeless forms whose souls are the secret of sincerity in them.”

More importantly, the Beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace, and grant us true love of him) reminded us, for we are given to forget, “Allah does not look at your wealth or forms. Rather, He looks at your hearts and actions.”

Wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani.

Should a New Muslim Restate the Shahada After a Period of Backsliding?

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: I recently took Shahada Jan. 2008.  I have been struggling with the rules of being a muslimah and backslide a few times.  Can I retake Shahada and will Allah accept?

Answer: Dear Sister,

Assalamu alaikum,

I pray you are well.

Unless your actions took you outside of Islam, which is unlikely, then I see no reason for you to restate your shahadah.

Remember, when you pray, you say your shahadah multiple times per day.

The point is: Every step you take toward Allah should be a reaffirmation of your original shahadah. If you find yourself slipping, then you should seek forgiveness and move on.

I cannot overemphasize the importance of having a support system in place. The number-one issue new Muslims face is that they lack the support structure of “born” Muslims: the family and kinship networks, cultural ties, etc.

So environment really is everything and it’s important to find Muslimah role models.

I would also not look at your new faith as a set of “rules.” Being a Muslimah is a state of mind, heart, and soul. It means being in loving communion with your Creator. It’s a lot more than a dress code or social strictures, although the latter have their significance.

May Allah reward you,

Zaynab

Can New Muslims Recite from a Copy of the Qur’an During Prayer?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is it allowed for those who are recent reverts (or not hafiz), to hold the Quran in their hands and recite it from there in Salat? Are there different rulings for this between fardh & nawafil salah?

Answer: Walaikum assalam,

In the Hanafi school, as mentioned in Maraqi al-Falah and the Hashiya of Ibn Abidin, it is prohibitively disliked (makruh tahriman) to hold the Qur’an in the prayer and recite from it.

For recent converts, the scholars explain that the following must be kept in mind:

1. The obligatory (fard) recitation is only one verse of the Qur’an. It is necessary (wajib) to recite the Fatiha and the equivalent of 3 short verses in any two rakats of the prayer. It is also necessary to make this necessary recitation in the first two rakats. [Durr]

2. The necessary (wajib) may be omitted for legally-valid excuses, which include one being a new Muslim.

3. As such, they should ideally be told to recite a short verse (e.g. “Qul Huwa Allahu Ahad”), which most are able to do. It would be necessary for them to take reasonable means to learn that which is necessary (wajib) to recite. Until then, they would be legally excused from having to recite the Fatiha or anything else.

4. It is important to emphasize the while it is imperative for new converts to be taught the simple, proper outward fiqh of worship, it is just as imperative that they gain an appreciation of the spiritual significance, importance, and benefits of our worship.

As Sidi Ibn Ata’illah explains, “Actions are lifeless forms whose souls are the secret of sincerity in them.”

More importantly, the Beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace, and grant us true love of him) reminded us, for we are given to forget, “Allah does not look at your wealth or forms. Rather, He looks at your hearts and actions.”

Wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani