Kitaab Reading after Salah
In many Masjids we see a kitab being read, mostly immediately after Fajr entitled 5 Minutes Madrassah.
Prior to the reading of this kitab it was noted that ample time was given to complete masnoon Tasbihat.
Now that reading of the kitab has commenced, what happens is that a person reciting Ayatul Kursi, Subhanallah 33 times, Alhumdulillah 33 times & Allahuakbar 34 times only gets half or three quarters of the way through just these mamoolats & Ijtimai congregational Du’a on the microphone starts, which is also shortened & then reading of the kitab on the microphone then commences.
The questions therefore are as follows:
1. Is it permissible to shorten & therefore interrupt the musallis individual Tasbihat so that Ijtimai Du’a & kitab reading on the microphone can all be fitted in?
2. What should an individual do in this situation. Should he continue with his mamoolats whilst Ahadith, Qur’an ayats from the kitab are being read by the Imam over the microphone or should he cut short his recitations and/or his own individual Du’a & listen to what is being read?
3. Is it permissible for the Imam to disturb the Masbooq by conducting congregational Ijtimai Du’a & kitab reading on the microphone on the basis that it is for the greater good?
Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu brother,
It is established that Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) would educate the companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) immediately after prayers. In a narration of Sunan at-Timidhi, Mu’aadh bin Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him) states that the prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) stood up immediately after Fajr prayer to deliver a speech:
This was in the golden era of prophetood, when all the companions would willingly spend hours in the Masjid and readily stay behind after prayers. Unfortunately, we have degenerated to such an extent that we are prepared to sit for hours on end in front of the Satanic Box watching useless programs and cricket matches, but we are not prepared to give perhaps an hour or so to listen to lectures on Deen. Due to this weakness in the Ummah, some of our elderly and pious Ulama felt the need to educate the Ummah by breaking up the educational process in small portions and to convey the message at a time when the most audience could be targeted. To achieve this object, the time immediately after a prayer seemed appropriate so that all the Musallies could be present. A minute or two of Deeni advice at this apt occasion would not be regarded as too taxing and would be easily digested.
From your letter, we gain the impression that some of the Masbuqs i.e. people that miss one or more of their Rak’aats behind the Imaam, are being adversely affected by this type of Kitaab-Reading, in that their attention is diverted away from their Salaah.
First of all, in many instances these Musallies themselves are at fault if they are lax with their Salaah and for missing Rak’aats by making a habit of coming late to the Masjid. If all the Musallies were to come on time to the Masjid, there would be no problem. But let us say for argument’s sake that circumstances sometimes force one to be late for prayers, and a delay cannot be avoided. In that case, the reasons why the Masbuqs are being affected by the Kitaab-Reading could be various. It could be that the voice of the person conducting the Kitaab-Reading is too loud, as you stated that its on a microphone. If that is the case, we would advise the Imam rather to not use the microphone, and also to tone down his voice to the extent that his reading is audible enough for the Non-Masbuqs, and his voice does not travel so loudly to the back Saffs (rows) where the Masbuqs normally are. In this way, the object of Ta’lim is also achieved and the Masbuqs are also being considered.
Another reason why the Masbuqs could be affected is that the Ta’lim after prayer may perhaps be too lengthy. The reader of the Kitaab may be stretching it for up to five or six minutes. If this is the case, then our advice to the reader is that he should curtail his reading to about one or one and a half minutes at the most. The pious elders who have advocated this method of Ta’lim have also stressed that only about a minute should be taken for this work, which is why a Kitaab that has been written expressly for this type of Ta’lim is aptly called “One Minute Madrasah.” This method of Ta’lim has been proven very successful in many quarters and the results are manifest. Communities in many areas where this Ta’lim takes place in the Masaajid have benefitted immensely and look forward to learning their Deen in this convenient “One Minute Madrasah”, whereby they can rejuvenate their Islamic Knowledge and also learn many things which they have not been able to all their lives.
The argument that this Kitaab-Reading causes a disturbance to the Musallies will fall away if the above two conditions are adhered to; i.e. the reader should tone down his voice to ensure that no disturbance is caused to the Masbuqs in the back Saffs and he should confine the reading to about a minute or so. If these conditions are met, then there is no reason why such Kitaab-Reading should not be permissible.
Finally, it will be better for an individual to rather first listen to the Ta’lim, and thereafter engage in his own A’maal. However, if he desires to start his Adhkaar etc immediately, that too will be fine.