Is it allowed to hold the Mus’haf and recite from it in the Taraweeh Prayer? How to Establish the Taraweeh at Home.

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Question: Is it allowed in the Taraweeh prayer and Qiyām during the month of Ramadān to recite from a small Mus’haf for the one who has not memorised the whole of the Qur’an ―while noting that this can be achieved in a natural way without it leading to movements that may disturb the prayer?

Answer: There is no problem in reciting from the Mus’haf in the Tarāweeh prayer or Qiyām in Ramadān, or in any prayer if there is a need for that. And if there is a need to read from the Mus’haf, then it does not matter whether it is a small or large Mus’haf ―so, there is no harm in that. That is because not everyone has memorised the Qur’an. So, if he leads the people in Tarāweeh or Qiyām by reading from the Mus’haf, there is no harm.

It is established that Dhakwān (rahimahullāh), the freed slave of ‘Ā’ishah (radiyallāhu ‘anhā) prayed in Ramadān while reading from the Mus’haf. So whoever disallows it, has no proof.

This narration is reported by Al-Bukhāri in ta’leeq (disconnected) form while asserting its correctness (Chapter: A slave or a freed slave can lead the Salāh, ch. 54, no. 692) ―and the chain is reported in connected form by Ibn Abi Shaybah, Abdur-Razzāq and Ash-Shāfi’ī (see Al-Fat’hul-Bāri, 2/185)

So what is correct is that there is no problem in reading from the Mus’haf if there is a need for that, and the imām who leads the prayer can recite from the Mus’haf ―or a person can recite from it in Tahajjud at night and there is no harm in that, alhamdulillāh.

As for the obligatory prayers, then it is sufficient that a person recites what is easy for him, alhamdulillāh ―and there is no need to recite from the Mus’haf ―rather he recites in these prayers what is easy for him (from memory). However, if he recites from the Mus’haf in the Fajr prayer or other prayers, then his prayer is correct. However, alhamdulillāh, there is, by in large, no need for reading from the Mus’haf in the obligatory prayers because he recites what is easy for him (from memory). But, if a person needs to read from the Mus’haf in the Fajr prayer because he has not memorised Surah As-Sajdah and Surah Al-Insān and therefore he reads from the Mus’haf so that he recites these legislated recitals on the morning of Friday [in Fajr], then there is no harm in that, alhamdulillāh.[1]

Furthermore, a small amount of movement in the prayer does not harm it ―it is established that one may prevent a person from crossing in front of him in the prayer. It is also allowed to hold and put down a young child while praying as is reported in the authentic ahādeeth. So, small movements for a need do not harm the prayer.

You can use a Qur’an stand or a coffee table to place your Mus’haf upon as you enter into rukū’ and then pick it up after you get up from the sajdah.

Additional note: This Ramadān (1441 AH / 2020 CE) where the Muslims are in lockdown in their homes (under the COVID-19 restrictions) and the Mosques are closed―the men should gather their families together at home every night after ‘Ishā and lead them in the Taraweeh prayer (in Jamā’ah) and not lose out on this tremendous reward. If there are no men in the household, then the women can gather together where one woman leads the rest in prayer by standing in the middle of the first row, with the women standing next to her on either side as was the practice of Ā’ishah bint Abi Bakr (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā).[2] 

A Muslim rejoices in having a long life because he is able to increase in acts of obedience to Allāh. The Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) mentioned the story of three men from a previous nation who were striving in the worship of Allāh and they would compete with each other in acts of obedience and piety. Two of them were eventually martyred in the cause of Allah whilst the third remained alive until he reached the month of Ramadān. So he fasted the days and prayed in the nights, and then he passed away after the month had finished. Due to this, he was foremost in Paradise preceding his two companions. The Prophet’s Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) were surprised at this revelation. How is it possible that the one who died in his own bed can excel those who were martyred in the cause of Allāh knowing the great reward of the martyrs in Paradise? So the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) answered: “Did he not live after them for a period of time?” They said: “Yes, O Messenger of Allāh.” He continued: “Did he not perform prayers after them for a period of time?” They said: “Yes, O Messenger of Allāh.” He said: “Did he not reach the month of Ramadān and so he fasted in the days and prayed in the nights?” They responded: “Yes, O Messenger of Allāh.” So he said: “By the One in whose Hand is my soul, the difference between them is like the difference between the sky and the earth.”[3] This narration proves to us that having a long life wherein one busies himself with obedience to Allāh is a reason for joy and happiness and increase in rank on the Day of Resurrection. Amazing is the affair of the believer, all of his affairs are good and we praise Allah, the Mighty and Majestic.


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[1] Adapted from Majmū’ Fatāwa Ibn Bāz (11/339), and from the website of Shaikh Al-Islām ‘Abdul-‘Azīz Ibn Bāz (rahimahullāh): [نور على الدربحكم قراءة القرآن في التراويح من المصحف] and [نور على الدرب حكم قراءة الإمام من المصحف في التراويح].

[2] Reported by Abdur-Razzāq and Ibn Abi Shaybah in Al-Musannaf, 1/223.

[3] Cited by Shaikh Al-Fawzān who ascribed it to Ibn Mājah, Ibn Hibbān and Al-Bayhaqi from Talhah (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) in Al-Khutub al-Minbariyyah (vol. 5. pp. 255-256). See also a variation in Ibn Mājah (no. 3925), declared authentic by Shaikh Al-Albānī.

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  1. Question: Where should we place the Mushaf while going into Rukū and Sujūd?
    Answer: You can use a small coffee table next to your place of prayer, so that as you enter the Rukū’, you can place it on the coffee table, and as you come out of Sajdah, pick it up once more.

  2. Asalamu alaokum,

    Can Taraweeh be prayed when there is only two people? For example, a husband leading the wife in Taraweeh or must there be3 or more people? Difficult to pray with others now since we are in lockdown.

    BarakAllahu feek.

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