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Salam, I am a 2nd yr HS student in the US. In my school, we have this place of prayer where we all gather around to Pray. It led by one of our students who takes the role of the Imam. Usually in Mosques, the Imam always recites the Surah out-loud. But today, he wasn't saying out-loud (only does it during Jummahs) I couldn't tell if he was saying it to himself very quietly or not. We stilled followed his motions as he led us through it.

Main question is: Is the Imam allowed to say the surahs to himself quietly or are we as the people behind him should recite it to ourselves quietly as well?

May Allah bless us with knowledge

  • Which prayer(s)? – goldPseudo Sep 9 at 23:39
  • Zuhr in this case – Damion Sep 10 at 0:10
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There's no confusion here, but some lack of knowledge on your side.

In the congregation prayer there are some aspects one must be aware of: The imam leads the prayer and the ma'amums should follow him and in most cases the acts of the imam are sufficient for the ma'amums. This is the main difference between praying as a jama'ah (in congregation) and praying fadd (alone).
For many parts of the prayer this means either if the imam does something aloud it is no more necessary for you to do it, if he does it silently you should do it similarly.
For instance one difference between praying alone or following the imams that (according the majority view) the ma'amu's don't say any takbir aloud after the imam. And there's a difference of opinion on whether or not one should recite al-Fatihah with or after (both silently) or at all if the imam recites it loudly while listening to his recitation is agreed upon etc.

As for the prayers themselve you should know that prayers that are performed during the day time are known as sirri prayers (one prays them silently) while the prayers that are performed during the night time or at the edges of the day are known as jahri prayers (one prays them in normal or lightly loud voice). To be more exact you recite al-Fatiha and the Surah or the verses of the qur'an which you've chosen to recite after al-Fatihah in an audible voice during the two first raka'as (only) of sobh/fajr (Fard), maghrib and 'Isha' prayer.

For further information refer to How to be a proper Imam in a congregation of fardhu correctly? (Leading of Prayers) or How does one pray in congregation? and many other posts on the site.

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In zuhr and asar the imam is not supposed to say the surahs out loud. Furthermore (according to Hanafi fiqh) you should not recite the Quran in salah as the Imam is doing so on your behalf. Here is a relevant fatwa.

  • Did not know that. Ty. But what about the 3rd and 4th rakats? – Damion Sep 10 at 3:10
  • Again remain silent .(Hanafi fiqh). – Shahab Sep 10 at 4:24

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