Sh Ahmad Shakir on reciting Surah Al-Fatihah behind the Imam.

Imam Tirmizi said: "And this is the saying of Malik ibn Anas, ibn Al-Mubarak, Ash-Shafii, Ahmad and Ishaq, they see Qiraah (of Fatihah) behind the Imam"

Sh Ahmad Shakir wrote in note to Sunnan Trimizi:

"The Sharih (Sh AbdurRahman Mubarakpuri) wrote: "This is also the saying of some of the Hanafiyah. Al-Ayni said: "Some of our companions consider it good as precaution in all prayers, and some in Sirri (those the Imam recite silently) only, and upon this are the scholars of Hijaz and Shaam", then the Sharih (Sh Mubarakpuri) wrote: "Know that the saying of At-Tirmizi: "And this is the saying of Malik ibn Anas, ibn Al-Mubarak, Ash-Shafii, Ahmad and Ishaq, they see Qiraah behind the Imam" contains generality, and his aim is that all these Imams see Qiraah (of Surah Fatihah) behind the Imam, either in all prayers or in Sirri prayers only, either as obligation, or as recommendation. And the one who choose the obligation of Qiraah (of Fatihah) behind the Imam, whether silent or loud prayer (Sirri of Jahri), he took evidence in the Hadith of this chapter, and this is the strongest opinion supported"

(Sh Ahmad Shakir): "The Sharih (Al-Mubarakpuri) was correct in what he said"

Shaikh Ahmad Muhammad Shakir also wrote about Fatihah Khalfal Imam, in his Sharh Tirmizi v 2 p 100:

"What is obligatory in similar situation in which evidences contradict each other, is to return to the authentic and correct rules in combining between them. when we do not know between the Nasikh from the Mansookh (abrogating text from abrogated one), as here there is no evidence that some abrogate the other, even if Al-Hazimi in "Al-I'tibar" (p 74-75) claimed that the Ahadith of obligation (to recite behind the Imam) are abrogating the Ahadith forbidding reciting behind the Imam, and there is no evidence for it. As for us we opt that there is nothing abrogated here and favour combining between them with giving precedence:

As for the verse (When the Quran is recited, listen to it and be quiet), it is general to the one praying and other, and the Ahadith about the obligation of reciting (Fatihah) are also general, they include the Imam, the one who prays behind him and the one who prays individually.

And the Hadith "The one who has an Imam, then the recitation of the Imam is his recitation" is particular to the one who prays behind the Imam but general about recitation from anything from the Quran, Al-Fatihah or other, and its Isnad is not something upon which people of knowledge of Hadith rely upon, so even if this Hadith was authentic and nothing stronger came to oppose it, it being particular would be decisive over the generality of other (evidences) which declare Fatihah obligatory upon the one who prays behind, as the particular is judge upon the general and particularizing it, but the Hadith of Ubadah ibn Samit which has preceded n 311 is stronger than it and more particular.

As for its authenticity we showed it in its place, and as for it being particular, then it is Nass in its meaning (it cannot be extrapolated), as the Messenger of Allah (saw) said to the one praying behind forbidding them to recite behind the Imam: "Do not do it except for Umm Al-Quran, as there is no Salah for the one who does not recite it" and this text is supported by other Ahadith which are similar Nass and particular (Khaas).

Indeed Imam Al-Bukhari narrated in his "Juzz Al-Qira'ah": "Abdullah ibn Yusuf narrated to us, Abdullah ibn Ayub informed us from Abu Qilabah from Anas that the Prophet (saw) prayed with his Companions, and when he completed, he faced them and said: "Do you recite in your prayers while the Imam is reciting?" and they remained silent and he asked them 3 times, and one or many said: "we do it", so he replied: "Do not do it, one should recite Fatihah Al-Kitab in his self", it has been quoted in "Awn Al-Ma'bood" (1: 304), and Al-Haythami quoted it in "Majma Az-Zawaid" (v 2 p 110) and he said: "it has been narrated by Abu Ya'la and At-Tabarani in his "Al-Awsat" and its men are Thiqaat (trustworthy)"

And he quoted as well (1:111): "From Ubadah ibn Samit that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: "Whoever recites behind the Imam, he should recite Fatihah Al-Kitab" it has been narrated by At-Tabarani in "Al-Kabeer" and its men are declared trustworthy"

And he quoted also: "From a man among the Companions of the Prophet (saw), he said: "The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: "Maybe you recite while the Imam is reciting" he said it 3 times, and they said: "Indeed we do it" and he replied: "Do not do it except that one recites Fatihah Al-Kitab in his self", narrated by Ahmad and its narrators are narrators of Sahih"

So all these authentic or Hasan narrations are Nass (clear texts that cannot be extrapolated) in its topic, and they are clear and Khaas (particular) compared to other evidences, so if the hadith "Whoever has an Imam.." was to be authentic, these narrations indicate that its meaning is that the recitation of the Imam is their recitation in other than the Fatihah, and that the one who prays behind should recite Umm Al-Quran which has been obligated upon him as a pillar among the pillars of the prayer, then he remains silent from recitation and remains silent to the Imam and does not compete with him in Al-Quran.

And it indicates also particularization of the verse and Hadith: "When he recites, be silent" (Fa iza Qara fa ansitoo, in Sahih Muslim) for what is except the case of the one praying behind reciting Al-Fatihah.

So this is the authentic combination between evidences, its does not cancel anything from it, and we do not throw one bit against the other, see Al-Muhalla of ibn Hazm in masalah n 36, p 236-243)

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