The congregational prayer via loudspeaker, is there any harm in that. Especially when some upright Imam’s see turning off the loudspeaker during the congregational prayer due to things mentioned and others see turning on the loudspeaker for people to know and from the angle of Da’wah, so what is it that our shaykh views to be the most correct in this issue?
The Prophet ﷺ used to raise his voice while reading as a means of Da’wah to the Mushrikīn. And in it is great virtue.
(وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ قَوْلًا مِّمَّن دَعَآ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ وَعَمِلَ صَٰلِحًا وَقَالَ إِنَّنِى مِنَ ٱلْمُسْلِمِين)َ
“And who is better in speech than he who [says: “My Lord is Allāh (believes in His Oneness),” and then stands straight (acts upon His Order), and] invites (men) to Allah’s (Islamic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds, and says: “I am one of the Muslims.” [Fussilat, 33]
And the Quran has great impact in the hearts of the believers.
Jubayr bin Mut’im may Allāh have mercy on him said when he heard the Prophet ﷺ reading Surat-ut-Tūr
(أَمْ خُلِقُوا۟ مِنْ غَيْرِ شَىْءٍ أَمْ هُمُ ٱلْخَٰلِقُون)َ
“Were they created by nothing, or were they themselves the creators?” [At-Tūr,35]
My heart almost flew from between me. And Allāh says:
(لَوْ أَنزَلْنَا هَٰذَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ عَلَىٰ جَبَلٍ لَّرَأَيْتَهُۥ خَٰشِعًا مُّتَصَدِّعًا مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ ٱللَّهِۚ وَتِلْكَ ٱلْأَمْثَٰلُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُون)َ
“Had We sent down this Quran on a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and rending asunder by the fear of Allāh. Such are the parables which We put forward to mankind that they may reflect.” [Al-Hashr, 21]
Due to what is in it of admonishing and power. And the Prophet ﷺ used to recite the Quran aloud and the Mushrikūn could hear and they would curse the Quran, and the One who revealed the Quran, to the end of what is in that Hadith.
So Allāh revealed;
ٰۚ(وَلَا تَجْهَرْ بِصَلَاتِكَ وَلَا تُخَافِتْ بِهَا وَٱبْتَغِ بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ سَبِيلًا)
“And offer your Salāt (prayer) neither aloud nor in a low voice, but follow a way between.” [Al-Isrā, 110]
So he prohibited him from raising his voice due to the harm of them cursing Allāh and that they curse the Qurān and curse the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ.
And they used to say:
(وَقَالَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ لَا تَسْمَعُوا۟ لِهَٰذَا ٱلْقُرْءَانِ وَٱلْغَوْا۟ فِيهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَغْلِبُونَ)
“And those who disbelieve say: “Listen not to this Quran, and make noise in the midst of its (recitation) that you may overcome.” [Fussilat, 26]
So they used to hear the Prophet ﷺ reciting aloud until his voice could be heard. So the Mushrikūn began to advise one another not to listen. And to ignore it and make noise during it and speak during it so that they are not quiet for it. And Allāh says:
(وَإِذَا قُرِئَ ٱلْقُرْءَانُ فَٱسْتَمِعُوا۟ لَهُۥ وَأَنصِتُوا۟ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ)
“So, when the Qurān is recited, listen to it, and be silent that you may receive mercy.” [Al-A’rāf, 204]
And even though this is during Salah, even outside of Salah the Quran is to be listened to. And Abu Bakr may Allāh be pleased with him while he was in Makkah and he used to raise his voice in recitation. And the Mushrikūn would pass by and listen.
So they said to Ibn Daghinah, either he lowers his voice and doesn’t raise it during his Salah or you take back your protection on him. Because he was under protection when he wanted to make Hijrah so it was said to him the likes of you are not driven out O Abu Bakr. You are under my protection from Quraish.
So when he built his Masjid and used to recite the Quran and raised his voice and he used to not be able to hold himself from crying so he cried. And the Mushrikun used to break down and were affected while listening.
So they wanted for him to not have an affect on them, so they said what they said. That he doesn’t raise his voice to us.
So raising the voice in recitation with what the people can hear is not making oneself heard from the angle of ikhlas, it is Da’wah and there is nothing preventing it.
And there are situations to be taken into consideration according to their proportion. For example if there is Masajid close to each other, where the voices become confused. Maybe they perform rukū’u for this one or say Āmīn for that one due to the closeness, then what takes more precedence in the likes of this is lowering the voice so there doesn’t occur harm of voices differing in different Masajid and the listeners maybe are busied from reciting Al-Fātihah and those in the other Masjid perhaps are busied from listening and contemplating and having khusū’.
In the likes of this it has to be dealt with by lowering the voice due to the harm of confusion upon each other;
أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ خَرَجَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَهُمْ يُصَلُّونَ، وَقَدْ عَلَتْ أَصْوَاتُهُمْ بِالْقِرَاءَةِ، فَقَالَ : ” إِنَّ الْمُصَلِّيَ يُنَاجِي رَبَّهُ، فَلْيَنْظُرْ بِمَا يُنَاجِيهِ بِهِ، وَلَا يَجْهَرْ بَعْضُكُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ بِالْقُرْآن
That the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ, came out to the people while they were praying and their voices were raised in the recitation. He said, “When you pray you are talking confidentially to your Lord. So look to what you confide to Him, and do not raise your voices over one another with the Quran.”
There are other cases, perhaps someone could be sick or the likes of that he doesn’t like it, according to their proportion. As for as far as in general then the proofs have preceded of the permissibility and that there is nothing preventing it and that it is from Da’wah to Allāh as long as it doesn’t contain what has preceded of disturbance and harming each other.
Answered by: Shaykh, the Allamah, the Trustworthy Advisor, Abu Abdirrahman Yahya bin Ali Al-Hajuri – may Allah preserve him
Translated by: Abū ‘Abdillāh ‘Omar bin Yahya Al-‘Akawi