In a Hadith it is stated that Dhakwan, the slave of Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radiyallahu ‘anha) used to look inside the Mushaf [Quran] and lead her in Salah.
What does this mean?
This narration is recorded in Kitabul Masahif of Abu Bakr ibn Abi Dawud (rahimahumallah). Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) has also cited this narration ta’liqan (without a chain of transmission).
(Kitabul Masahif; Refer: Fathul Bari, before Hadith: 692, vol. 2 pg. 185)
Those Fuqaha (Jurists) who were of the opinion that it is permissible to offer Salah while looking in and reciting from a Quran usually cite this narration as evidence to support their view.
However, those Fuqaha (Jurists) who were of the opinion that reciting from a Quran in Salah nullifies the Salah, have cited as evidence the narrations wherein Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) instructed those who were unable to recite Quran from memory, to suffice on hamd (praise of Allah) and tasbih (glorifying Allah) instead of looking into a Quran.
These narrations are recorded in Sunan Tirmidhi, Sunan Abi Dawud and other Hadith sources.
With regard to the Hadith in question, ‘Allamah Zafar Ahmad ‘Uthmani (rahimahullah) has cited the following answer:
“Dhakwan had memorised the portion which he was reciting and was therefore not dependant on looking into the Quran, rather he was dependant on his memory. He would keep the Quran open to assist him [for one or two words] which does not nullify the prayer.”
(i’laus Sunan, vol. 5 pg. 59-62)
Note: I have merely answered your question regarding the narration in question. This should therefore not be viewed as a Fiqh ruling/fatwa. Kindly contact a Mufti/Darul Ifta for a fatwa on this matter.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar