Reciting Surah al-Sajdah and Surah al-Insan on Fridays: ibn Taymiyah

Ibn Taymiyah was asked the following questions about the recitation for the Fajr prayer on Fridays:

وسئل عن الصلاة يوم الجمعة بالسجدة : هل تجب المداومة عليها أم لا ؟ . ـ

There is a question about making sajdah in the [fajr] prayer on Friday – are we required to always put this into practice or not?

فأجاب : الحمد لله . ليست قراءة { الم } { تنزيل } التي فيها السجدة ولا غيرها من ذوات السجود واجبة في فجر الجمعة باتفاق الأئمة ومن اعتقد ذلك واجبا أو ذم من ترك ذلك فهو ضال مخطئ يجب عليه [ ص: 205 ] أن يتوب من ذلك باتفاق الأئمة . وإنما تنازع العلماء في استحباب ذلك وكراهيته . فعند مالك يكره أن يقرأ بالسجدة في الجهر . والصحيح أنه لا يكره كقول أبي حنيفة والشافعي وأحمد ; لأنه قد ثبت في الصحيح { عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه سجد في العشاء بـ { إذا السماء انشقت } } وثبت عنه في الصحيحين { أنه كان يقرأ في الفجر يوم الجمعة { الم } { تنزيل } و { هل أتى } } . وعند مالك يكره أن يقصد سورة بعينها . وأما الشافعي وأحمد فيستحبون ما جاءت به السنة مثل الجمعة والمنافقين في الجمعة . والذاريات واقتربت في العيد والم تنزيل وهل أتى في فجر الجمعة . ـ

Response: al-hamdulillaah. Neither reciting surah al-Sajdah which contains a sajdah nor reciting any other surah containing a sajdah is mandatory for the Fajr prayer on Fridays. This is the unanimous position of the scholars, and whoever believes that it is mandatory or that whoever does not practice this is blameworthy is misguided and mistaken and needs to repent from that. This is also the unanimous position of the scholars.

The only area of disagreement among the scholars is whether it is encouraged or disliked to do this, for Malik disliked recited surahs with a sajdah in the audible prayers, however the correct opinion is that this is not disliked, which was the position of Abu Hanifah, al-Shafi’ee, and Ahmad. That is because of what has been authentically transmitted in the Saheeh that the Prophet made sajdah in the ‘Ishaa’ prayer when he recited surah al-Inshiqaaq. And is has also been authentically transmitted in both al-Bukhari and Muslim that he used to recited surah al-Sajdah and surah al-Insaan in the Fajr prayer on Fridays.

But Malik disliked planning to recite a specific surah. As for what came in the Sunnah such as surah al-Jumu’ah and surah al-Munafiqoon in the Friday prayer or surah al-Dhariyaat and surah al-Qamar on the ‘Eid or surah al-Sajdah and surah al-Insaan for Fajr prayer on Fridays, then al-Shafi’ee and Ahmad held such things to be recommended and encouraged.

لكن هنا مسألتان نافعتان : ( إحداهما أنه لا يستحب أن يقرأ بسورة فيها سجدة أخرى باتفاق الأئمة فليس الاستحباب لأجل السجدة بل للسورتين والسجدة جاءت اتفاقا فإن هاتين السورتين فيهما ذكر ما يكون في يوم الجمعة من الخلق والبعث . ـ

However here we come to two points of benefit:

The first one is that according to the consensus of the scholars, it is not meritorious to recite a different surah that also contains a sajdah. It is not the presence of a sajdah in a surah that is recommended; rather, it is these two surahs and the sajdah that comes in the one of them that is recommended. This is the consensus of the scholars. For these two surahs contain mention of the events of creation and resurrection related to the day of Jumu’ah.

( الثانية أنه لا ينبغي المداومة عليها بحيث يتوهم الجهال أنها واجبة وأن تاركها مسيء بل ينبغي تركها أحيانا لعدم وجوبها والله أعلم . ـ

The second point is that it is not proper to always enact this practice, as unlearned people might incorrectly assume that this practice is mandatory and that whoever does not recite them is therefore sinful. Instead, one ought to sometimes not recite them because they are not required. And Allah knows best.

ـ [ ص: 206 ] وسئل عمن قرأ ” سورة السجدة ” يوم الجمعة : هل المطلوب السجدة فيجزئ بعض السورة والسجدة في غيرها ؟ أم المطلوب السورة ؟ . ـ

There is another question about someone who recites surah al-Sajdah on Friday: Is the point just to make a sajdah, such that a person could partition the surah into two parts with the sajdah in one of them, or is it the surah itself that is the point?

فأجاب : الحمد لله . بل المقصود قراءة السورتين : { الم } { تنزيل } و : { هل أتى على الإنسان } لما فيهما من ذكر خلق آدم وقيام الساعة وما يتبع ذلك فإنه كان يوم الجمعة وليس المقصود السجدة فلو قصد الرجل قراءة سورة سجدة أخرى كره ذلك . والنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقرأ السورتين كلتيهما فالسنة قراءتهما بكمالهما . ولا ينبغي المداومة على ذلك لئلا يظن الجاهل أن ذلك واجب بل يقرأ أحيانا غيرهما من القرآن . والشافعي وأحمد اللذان يستحبان قراءتهما . وأما مالك وأبو حنيفة فعندهما يكره قصد قراءتهما . ـ

Response: alhamdulillaah. Actually, the objective is the recite these two surahs: surah al-Sajdah and surah al-Insaan due to the mention of the creation of Adam and the establishment of the final hour and what follows that – for these things are on Friday – which occurs in these surahs. Making sajdah is not the objective. So if someone intended to recite a different surah which also had a sajdah, that would be disliked. And the Prophet would recite both of these surahs in their entirety, so the Sunnah is to recite them both completely. But it is not proper to always do this so that an unlearned person would not come to think that it is required. Instead a person should sometimes recite some other two surahs. Both al-Shafi’ee and Ahmad considered it recommended to recite these two surahs, though Malik and Abu Hanifah disliked planning to recite these two specific surahs.

[Majmoo’ al-Fataawaa 24/205-206]

See also: Surahs Recited on Friday and Their Themes: Ibn al-Qayyim

See also: Etiquette with the Qur’an Article Index

See also: Overview of Surah al-Insaan: Ibn Taymiyah

See also: The Wisdom in Reciting Surah al-‘Aalaa and al-Ghaashiyah in the Friday Prayer: Sheikh al-Fawzan

See also: What to Recite in the Prayers: Sheikh bin Baaz

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