Praise be to Allaah.
It is Sunnah to say the
takbeer out loud and to recite Qur’aan out loud in a prayer in which Qur'aan
is to be recited out loud, but it is not obligatory, so if a person says
them quietly there is nothing wrong with that and his prayer is valid.
But you have to move the
tongue and form the words, and they cannot be uttered without doing that,
whether in a prayer in which Qur’aan is to be recited out loud or one in
which it is to be recited quietly.
Some fuqaha’ stipulated
that the worshipper should be able to hear his own voice, but the correct
view is that it is sufficient to move the tongue and form the words.
The details of that opinion
are as follows:
1 – The majority of
Shaafa’i and Hanbali scholars, and Hanafi scholars according to the more
correct of their two views, are of the opinion that it is obligatory for the
worshipper to utter the takbeer in such a way that he can hear his own
voice, and it is not sufficient for him to move his tongue without making a
sound. The same applies to all dhikr; it does not count if there is no
2 – Some of the scholars
are of the view that it is acceptable to move the tongue and form the words
without making a sound. This is the view of the Maalikis and of the Hanafis
according to the other report. It was also the view favoured by Shaykh
al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah. Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in
al-Mughni (1/276): The worshipper must be able to hear himself [i.e.,
saying the takbeer] whether he is leading the prayer or otherwise, unless he
has a problems, such as being deaf, or something is preventing him from
hearing, in which case he should do it as if he could hear or as if there
was no problem. Because dhikr is something that is to be done verbally, and
there can be no speech without sound, and sound is what can be heard, and
the closest of listeners to him is himself, so if he cannot hear it then he
does not know whether he has said the word. There is no difference between
men and women with regard to what we have said. End quote.
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have
mercy on him) said in al-Majmoo’ (3/256):
The minimum form of
reciting quietly is such that a person can hear himself if he is sound of
hearing and there is no problem such as surrounding noise and the like. This
is general in meaning and applies to recitation, takbeer, tasbeeh when
bowing and so on, tashahhud, salaam and du’aa’, whether the prayer is
obligatory or naafil; nothing of it counts unless he can hear himself, if he
is sound of hearing and there is no problem. End quote.
See: Tabyeen al-Haqaa’iq
(1/127) and al-Bahr al-Raa’iq (1/356).
Khaleel (may Allaah have
mercy on him) said in his Mukhtasar: … and reciting al-Faatihah by
moving the tongue is a must for the one who is leading the prayer and the
one who is praying by himself, even if he cannot hear himself. End quote.
Al-Hattaab (may Allaah have
mercy on him) said: Ibn Naaji said in Sharh al-Risaalah: It should be
noted that the minimum form of reciting quietly is that one should move the
tongue whilst reciting, and the maximum is when he can hear himself only.
The minimum form of reciting out loud is when he can hear himself and those
who are close to him can hear him, and the maximum is limitless. End quote.
In Sharh al-Mudawwanah it adds: Whoever recites in his heart whilst
praying is like one who does not recite at all. Hence it is permissible for
one who is junub to recite in his heart. Ibn ‘Arafah said: Sahnoon ibn
al-Qaasim heard that moving the tongue is acceptable for one who is reciting
quietly, but it is better if he can hear himself. End quote from Mawaahib
Al-Mardaawi (may Allaah
have mercy on him) said in al-Insaaf (2/44): The words “reciting as
much as he can hear himself” mean that the worshipper must recite aloud in
prayers where Qur’aan is recited quietly and say the takbeer and so on in
such a way that he can hear himself. This is our view, and it is the view of
our companions, and it was stated definitely by most of them. Shaykh Taqiy
al-Deen [Ibn Taymiyah] favoured the view that it is sufficient to form the
letters, even if he cannot hear himself, and he mentioned it as a view in
his madhhab. I say: I favour this view. End quote.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may
Allaah have mercy on him) thought the view of the Maalikis and Shaykh
al-Islam was more correct. He said:
With regard to the words
“he says”, if we say that saying may be done with the tongue, is it
essential that he can hear himself saying it? There is a difference of
opinion among the scholars concerning this. Some of them say that there must
be a sound that he can hear himself. This is the correct view; even if those
who are next to him cannot hear him, he has to be able to hear himself. If
he speaks without hearing himself, then there is no point in forming these
words. But this view is weak. The correct view is that it is not essential
that he be able to hear himself, because hearing is something extra to
saying and speaking, and if something is extra to what is mentioned in the
Sunnah, then the one who says that has to produce evidence for it. Based on
that, if a person is certain that he has pronounced the words properly, but
he did not hear himself, either because his hearing is weak or because of
noise going on around him, or for some other reason, then the correct view
is that all his words are acceptable and he does not have to do more than
what is indicated by the texts, which is speaking. End quote from
al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (3/25).
See also the answer to
question no. 70577
Based on that, if you moved
your tongue and lips in saying the takbeer, that is sufficient, but it is
better if you say it in a voice that you can hear.
And Allaah knows best.