Can you hold the mushaf (Quran) while praying?
We should perform our salah as we were taught to pray by the Prophet (peace be on him), who said, as reported by Malik ibn al-Huwayrith:
Pray as you have seen me praying. (Bukhari and Muslim)
Is it permissible to hold a mushaf (printed Quran) during salah?
There is no ayah in the Quran that says you cannot hold the mushaf during the salah, nor any hadith. The fuqaha (jurists) say that holding the mushaf means that extra elements are being added to the salah, that do not belong in the salah, particularly turning pages, reading and learning. However, ibn Shihab al-Zuhri (who was the Shaykh of Imam Malik) said that great people used to recite from the mushaf:
The best from amongst us used to recite from the mushaf.
Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) used to have a servant called Zawkan who used to lead her in salah while reading from the mushaf as related in Bukhari and Muslim.
This does not mean it should be a regular practice. If one is not turning pages, but reading from a digital device or from a stand, during Ramadan for instance, when one wants to recite more Quran in one’s salah, then it is permissible.
Even in Fard prayer if you are not learning and not doing too many movements by flipping the pages or carrying the Mushaf, it will be permissible to recite from the Mushaf on the stand.
New Muslims who do not know the words and have not yet memorised them can recite their salah holding the mushaf until they have memorised enough to perform the salah as we have been taught.
In the Hanafi school if the Imam is a hafiz and reading from the Mushaf without carrying it, then it’s allowed.
Sunnah and Nawafil salah
There is more flexibility with the sunnah and nafil salah, and it is permissible to read from your Quran particularly during qiyam al-layl when you may wish to recite lengthier portions of the Quran which you have not memorised. However it is preferable in this instance to read the Quran from your phone or iPad or other digital device so that you are not turning pages.
It is permissible to read from the Quran while leading the tarawih salah. And it is also permissible for the congregation to read the Quran during the salah if they are following an imam and wish to know what is being recited. It is preferable again to do this using a digital device rather than the mushaf.
Do not place the mushaf on the ground
If you are reciting from a mushaf, then be careful that you do not place it on the ground when you prostrate as this is disrespectful. Instead you can place it on a nearby cushion, table, stand etc.
Shaykh Haytham Tamim – Activate your Imaan Tafseer Class November 2021
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