Reciting the Qur`an without ablutio...

Egypt's Dar Al-Iftaa

Reciting the Qur`an without ablution


the ruling for reciting Surat al-Sajdah regularly on the dawn of Friday.


It was mentioned in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim that the Prophet [pbuh] used to recite surat Al-Sajdah and surat Al-Insan during the dawn Prayer of Friday. Al-Tabarani likewise reported that the Prophet [pbuh] used to recite them regularly during that same time. This counters the argument of those who deny that these two Qur`anic chapters are to be recited regularly during the Dawn prayer of Friday and the claim made by those who maintain that it is a Sunnah not to follow the actions of the Prophet [pbuh]. In its widest sense, this is an erroneous assumption and if taken literally, would appear contradictory.

The mustahab, mandub and sunnah

These include those actions that the Prophet ordered to be done though they are not classified under obligatory actions; they are those actions which the Prophet ordered to be performed and the negligence of which is not mustahab [desirable]. However, it is mustahab to refrain from doing those actions that are considered makruh [those actions that are disliked but do not fall under the prohibited].

The practice of the Companions

The Companions used to act upon the mustahab and mandub [recommended] actions practiced by the Prophet [pbuh] as if they were obligatory. In an effort to emulate all the actions of the Prophet [pbuh], they used to practice these acts on a continuous basis and admonish those from among them who neglected them. Some of the Companions even went as far as to emulate the Prophet's dispositions and personal tastes. Ibn abu Shaybah reported in al-Musannaf that al-Sha'bi said: "I have not seen Ibn 'Abbas recite any chapter on Friday except "Tanzeel" (al-Sajdah) and "Hal ata" (al-Insan)."

The meaning of the claim that it is a sunna not to follow the actions of the Prophet [pbuh] may be due to the fact that he used to refrain from some mustahab actions for fear that they would become obligatory upon his community, that some may assume that they are obligatory or that a scholar or a person in authority might follow this action under the same assumption. Proponents of this claim thus maintained that it is a sunna not to follow the actions of the Prophet [pbuh] to block the means [forbidding or 'blocking' a lawful action because it could lead to an unlawful action] following some Maliki scholars and others. However, it is unacceptable to expand the scope of blocking the means since this was only possible before rulings became established. But afterwards, and after distinguishing between what is mustahab and what is obligatory, there is no room for either making such a claim or for acting upon it.

This is especially so since it was reported that the Prophet [pbuh] used to specifically recite surat Al-Sajdah and Al-Insan on a continuous basis. It is invalid to allow 'blocking the means' and other similar statements to stand as a barrier between the people and between following the sunnah of the Prophet on a regular basis. Scholars maintain that following the sunnah of the Prophet [puh] takes precedence in all circumstances.

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