Reciting the Quran behind the imam

Aug 4, 2021 | Prayer

Q: What is the ruling on reciting the Quran whilst praying behind an imam?


Allah Almighty says in the Quran: “When the Quran is recited then listen attentively to it and remain silent” (7:204)

“The follower does not recite; rather he listens when the imam is reciting aloud and remains silent when he is reciting quietly.”[1]


The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever has an imam then the recitation of the imam is recitation for him.”[2]

Reciting behind the imam is recommended in silent prayers and disliked in audible prayers unless someone wants to have consideration of difference of opinion thus it will be recommended. “The follower recites with the imam in that which the imam recites silently, and he does not recite with him in that which he recites aloud.”[3]


The Prophet ﷺ said, “There is no prayer for the one who does not recite the Fatihah.”[4]

“The follower must recite the Fatihah behind the imam.”[5]


The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever has an imam then the recitation of the imam is recitation for him.”[6]

Reciting behind the imam is recommended in silent prayers and during the pauses of the imam e.g. before and after the Fatihah otherwise, it is disliked in audible prayers when the imam is reciting.[7]

Answered by Shaykh Bilal Brown


[1] (Maraqi al-Falah, Chapter of the Conditions of the Prayer and its Pillars).

[2] (Ahmad, 14643; Ibn Majah, 850) (Hasan).

[3] (Sharh Manzumah Ibn ‘Ashir, Chapter of Recommended Acts in Prayer).

[4] (Al-Bukhari, 756 and Muslim, 394).

[5] (Al-Muhadhdhab, Chapter on the Description of Prayer).

[6] (Ahmad, 14643 and Ibn Majah, 850) (Hasan).

[7] (See: Al-Rawd al-Murbi’, Chapter on the Congregational Prayer).


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