Question # 228: Salaam Alaykum, I have seen our Muslims brothers from Hanafi madhhab not saying ‘Ameen’ loudly after Soorah Fatihah during the audible prayers of Fajr, Maghrib and Isha. Can you please point out the correct ruling?

Bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: There is no controversy whatsoever regarding the virtues of Ameen and all the scholars are unanimous that to say it is sunnah. The difference of opinion however, is regarding whether Ameen should be proclaimed audibly or silently. According to Hanafi (and Maliki) scholars, there is no established hadith from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) on saying out ‘Ameen’ loudly. On the other hand, the scholars of Ahlu-sunnah wal Jama’ah (including Shafi’i and Hanbali Madhhab) agree that saying out ‘Ameen’ loudly is an absolute Sunnah. According to Ibnul Qayyim, this is merely a common difference of opinion in which there should be no criticism levelled at the one who says Ameen aloud and neither at the one who says it silently.

Long Answer: There is no controversy whatsoever regarding the virtues of Ameen and all the scholars are unanimous that to say it is sunnah. The difference of opinion however, is regarding whether Ameen should be proclaimed audibly or silently. Ibnul Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him), explaining the nature of this issue writes in his book ‘Zaadul Ma ‘aad’ “This is merely a common difference of opinion in which there should be no criticism levelled at the one who says Ameen aloud and neither at the one who says it silently. This issue is like that of Raf-ul-yadayn.”

Views of Hanafi Madhhab scholars (from the fatwa of Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, a contemporary Hanafi scholar)

There is nothing to indicate that one (should) say the Ameen out loud in hadith, as the Hanafi scholars explain. This was the position of major Companions of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم), including Ibn Mas`ud (رضي الله عنه), who said, four things are said quietly by the imam and he mentioned the Ameen among them. (Marghinani, Hidaya)

And given that Ameen is a dua’a, the basis is that it be said quietly. (Jassas, Ahkam al-Qur’an) In this regard, it is akin to the other dua’as and dhikrs of the prayer: they are said quietly (unless they relate to moving from one posture to another). To establish that it is to be said aloud would require clear proof.

The ahadith that mention the Companions hearing the Ameen of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) are understood to be because he either whispered it so it was audible to those near or that he said it loud for instructional purposes. Imam Daraqutni, one of the great hadith verifiers said that there is no established hadith from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) on saying it out loud. (Ibn al-Humam, Fath al-Qadir)

The Maliki school’s position on this issue is like the Hanafi position. (Dardir, al-Sharh al-Saghir) 

Hadith Reference and opinions of scholars of Ahlu-sunnah wal Jama’ah

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, “When the Imam says ‘Ameen’, then you should all say ‘Ameen’, for the angels say ‘Ameen’ at that time, and he whose ‘Ameen’ coincides with the ‘Ameen’ of the angels, all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari) 

Ibn Qudamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Mughni: “It is Sunnah for the imam and the members of the congregation to say it (Ameen) out loud when Qur’an is recited out loud, and to say it silently in prayers where Qur’an is recited silently.” Al-Nawawi said in al-Majmoo’: “If the prayer is one in which Qur’an is recited silently, then the imam and others should say Ameen silently, following the manner of recitation. If it is a prayer in which Qur’an is recited out loud, it is mustahabb for the members of the congregation to say Ameen out loud. There is no difference of opinion on this point.” (Islamqa.info)

Dr. Main Khalid Al-Qudah, Member of the Fatwa Committee of Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America states that “Imam Al-Shafi’i designated a chapter titled (Saying Ameen loudly) in his famous book: Al-Umm. He narrated that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said (When the Imam says: Ameen, do the same….). Also, Imam Al-Tirmidhi narrated that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) recited in his salah (Ghayre Al-Maghdoubi Alayhim Wala Adhdhallyyeen, then He said: Ameen) and extended it. Another narration: and He said it loudly. Based on that, in addition to the practical consensus of Muslims in saying it- saying Ameen out loud by the Imam and the followers is an absolute Sunnah, and abandoning it contradicts the Sunnah.” 

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam