Microphone in Salah
ssalamualaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatooh
There appears to be no practical requirement for a microphone to be used for certain Salah in Masjid, in particular Fajr where, unfortunately, the congregation is small. Therefore I have 5 SPECIFIC questions:
1. Is it necessary from a Shar’ee perspective that the followers of the Imam need to hear the Qir’at of the Imam?
2. If the answer to the first question is in the negative, why are our Ulama using microphone for Salah?
3. What are the Shar’ee objections or requirements, if any, for using a microphone in Salah?
4. Even if the Jamat is large, is it not sufficient to use the method of citing people at intervals in different rows so that they recite the takbeer & everyone else can therefore come to know that the Imam has gone in to Ruku, Sajdah etc?
5. Finally, the use of the microphone also entails the Imam engaging in loud congregational Du’a after the Salah and/or announcement and/or Naseehah which then disturbs the Masbooq. Is this permissible? If not, why is it done by our own Deobandi Ulama?
Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,
We acknowledge receipt of your letter wherein you queried the above matter. Our response in the matter is as follows:
The Imaam is required to raise his voice in the jahri(loud) prayers (Fajr, Maghrib and Esha Salaah) to the extent of his congregation. This should be done in such a way that the persons standing in the last row (saff) of the Salaah should be able to adequately hear the voice of the Imam without any form of uncertainty or doubt left in their minds particularly with regard to the change and transmission from one posture to another.
However, to project his voice more louder then what is necessary and that which is beyond the need of his congregation will be regarded as Makruh (abominable and detestable).
Similarly, if there is such a large crowd following the Imaam whereby despite him raising his voice, his voice is not able to be heard by some of the congregants following him, then the scholars have permitted the use of a microphone system to project the voice of the Imaam though not encouraging the use of the same except in situations of extreme necessity.
This brings us to the discussion of the use of the mike.
In the past there used to be a difference of opinion, and many scholars at that time gave a verdict that it is not permissible at all to use a microphone, since it is merely an echo of the voice. However, it has now been firmly established that the exact voice of the Imam is being transmitted. Hence, there are no differences on the permissibility. Yes, scholars differ on what is better.
As established above, the need of projecting the voice of the Imaam will be ascertained by the extent of the congregation and the purpose of it will be to accommodate those standing very far behind the Imaam and alleviating any uncertainty left in their salaah due to not being able to hear the voice of the imaam.
Thus, if no such need exists it will not be in order to utilise the mike particularly when it is a cause of disturbance to those following the Imaam as well.
Moreover, the scholars have identified certain other factors as well on the basis of which they have disliked the use of the mike which are as follows:
 Despite the vast technological advancement found today and with the most efficient equipment available, the transmission is bound to faulter and cause great disturbance and disarray in the Salaah as witnessed many a times.
 Projection of the voice of the Imaam cannot be contained within the limits of moderation and it generally exceeds the limits as stipulated by shari’ah.
 The very loud voice projection that is found due to the usage of the mike is cause of definite disturbance in the concentration and devotion of the followers and hampers unity of thought and attention of heart which is the essence of Salaah.
 The basis of Salaah is humility and simplicity whereas due to the usage of the mike it most certainly implies Takalluf (undue formality) which is not warranted in Shariah.
As for your direct questions regarding why Ulama do it, then we find that in most Darul Ulums as well as in many Tabligh Marakiz and Khanqas, and in many places where there are senior Ulama, no microphone is used, and there is no load dua after Salah.