What is the explanation of the word أقرؤهم in the following Hadith?
عن أبي سعيد الخضري رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إذا كانوا ثلاثة فليؤمهم أحدهم، وأحقهم بالإمامة أقرؤهم
Imam Muslim and others (rahimahumullah) have recorded this Hadith on the authority of Sayyiduna ‘Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (radiyallahu ‘anhu).
(Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 672)
Sayyiduna ‘Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (radiyallahu ‘anhu) has narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:
‘When they are three, then one of them should lead the others, and the most rightful of them to lead is the most proficient reciter amongst them.’
The ‘Ulama have differed with regards to the implied meaning of the word أقرؤهم. Some have taken the literal meaning, i.e. “the most proficient of them in recital (taking into consideration tajwid first and then melodiousness)”. Others have opined that it refers to the one who has memorized the most amount of Quran.
Some ‘Ulama have explained that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was actually implying that the one most deserving of leading the Salah is he who possesses the most knowledge of Din, more specifically the jurisprudence (fiqh) of Salah. Generally, in the time of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam), the greater affiliation one had with the Quran, the more knowledge of Din they possessed.
(Mirqat, Hadith: 1117 and 1118, and Faydul Qadir, Hadith: 828)
Many other explanations have been given as well.
And Allah Ta’ala knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Farhan Shariff
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar,
Note: The above is merely an answer to your query regarding this particular Hadith, which is one among many on the topic. Kindly refer to a reliable mufti/Darul ifta for the ruling of your madhab. The general masses should never seek to deduce their own understandings from Quran and Hadith.
Furthermore, fatwas are not derived from just a single Hadith.