Reciting behind the imam in Salah

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by


Is the following Hadith authentic?

حَدَّثَنِي يَحْيَى، عَنْ مَالِكٍ، عَنْ نَافِعٍ، أَنَّ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ عُمَرَ، كَانَ إِذَا سُئِلَ هَلْ يَقْرَأُ أَحَدٌ خَلْفَ الإِمَامِ قَالَ إِذَا صَلَّى أَحَدُكُمْ خَلْفَ الإِمَامِ فَحَسْبُهُ قِرَاءَةُ الإِمَامِ وَإِذَا صَلَّى وَحْدَهُ فَلْيَقْرَأْ ‏.‏ قَالَ وَكَانَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عُمَرَ لاَ يَقْرَأُ خَلْفَ الإِمَامِ ‏.‏ قَالَ يَحْيَى سَمِعْتُ مَالِكًا يَقُولُ الأَمْرُ عِنْدَنَا أَنْ يَقْرَأَ الرَّجُلُ وَرَاءَ الإِمَامِ فِيمَا لاَ يَجْهَرُ فِيهِ الإِمَامُ بِالْقِرَاءَةِ وَيَتْرُكُ الْقِرَاءَةَ فِيمَا يَجْهَرُ فِيهِ الإِمَامُ بِالْقِرَاءَةِ‏

It has been reported on the authority of Nafi’ (rahimahullah) that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhuma), when asked if anyone should recite behind an imam, said: “When any one of you performs Salah behind the imam, then the recitation of the imam is enough for him; and when he prays alone [i.e without an imam], then he should recite.”

Nafi’ added, “Abdullah ibn ‘Umar would not recite behind the imam.”

Yahya said: “I heard Malik [rahimahullah] say, “The position with us is that a man should recite behind the imam when the imam does not recite aloud, and that he should refrain from reciting when the imam recites aloud.”



Yes, Imam Malik (rahimahullah) has recorded this statement of Ibn ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu) in his Muwatta.

(Muwatta Imam Malik, Hadith: 228-229; Also see: Sunanul Kubra, vol. 2 pg. 161, Ad-Dirayah, vol. 1 pg. 164, Darul Ma’rifah edition, and Nasbur Rayah, vol. 2 pgs. 10-11)

It is evident that at the end, Imam Malik (rahimahullah) has expressed his (Maliki) view on the matter.

Kindly refer to a Mufti/Darul Ifta for the Hanafi ruling on the matter.


And Allah Ta’ala knows best.


Answered by: Moulana Farhan Shariff


Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

This answer was collected from The answers were either answered or checked by Moulana Haroon Abasoomar (rahimahullah) who was a Shaykhul Hadith in South Africa, or by his son, Moulana Muhammad Abasoomer (hafizahullah), who is a Hadith specialist. 

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