What Do You Recite Out Loud When Praying Alone?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: My question concerns the Loud prayers (Fajr, first two rakahs of Maghrib and first two rakahs of Isha).
I have learned that, even when praying alone, it is sunnah (especially for the men) to recite out loud in these salah.

My question is, what exactly is recited out loud when praying alone? Are you supposed to recite out loud what the Imam would in congregation (qirat + takbeers + coming up from ruku + salam)?

Are you supposed to recite the “Sami Allahu liman hamidah” out loud when coming up from ruku?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I hope you are in the best of health and spirits, insha’Allah.

According to the Hanafi school, it is optimal, for the man praying alone, to raise his voice, such that he can hear himself, in the recitation of the dawn (Fajr) prayer and the first two cycles (rak`ats) of the sunset (Maghrib) and night (`Isha) prayers.

[Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah; `Ala al-Din `Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya]

As for the woman’s prayer, the basis is concealment; therefore, even when alone, she would recite quietly.

Finally, with regards to raising one’s voice in the various phrases of remembrance (Allahu Akbar, the salams and so on), these would not be included in the encouragement to recite aloud.

And Allah knows best.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Loud and Quiet Recitation in Prayer and Qur’anic Recitation

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: From what little I know, Fajr, Maghrib, and Isha are recited aloud, whereas Zuhr and Asr are recited silently. (Assuming I was praying on my own,) I’ve heard from a Shafi’i Scholar that reading loudly means with a voice that someone close to you can hear, whereas reading silently refers to reading in a voice that you can hear yourself. I was also told that for any salat, it is not enough to simply move your tongue and lips, but you must also recite loud enough for yourself to hear. I was wondering does this apply in the Hanafi School too? Also, what’s the minimum level your voice should be when reading Qur’an or other dua?

Answer: Walaikum assalam,

If praying alone, one has a choice whether to recite aloud or silently in loud prayers, though the former is better for men.

Reciting silently and aloud are the same in the Hanafi school as the definitions you mentioned above, though there is another valid, though less sound opinion that simply moving one’s tongue and lips is enough. This opinion is strong enough to use to avoid making up past performances. It is better, though, to stick to the stronger opinion for current performances.

The minimum recitation for Qur’an, invocations, etc, is the same as the minimum quiet recitation in prayer: You need to be normally able to hear yourself.


Faraz Rabbani

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.”


Faraz Rabbani