Question: I carry a copy of the Qur’an while offering Salah (Prayer) behind the Imam (the one who leads congregational Prayer). It should be noted that I concentrate much and my mind does not go astray, and the moves I make in Salah are only for opening and closing the Qur’an. Is this permissible? I hope you will explain the issue!
Answer: The Ma’mum (a person being led by an Imam in Prayer) has to listen attentively to the recitation of the Imam and contemplate the Words of Allah they are hearing. They should not be distracted by anything as Allah (Exalted be He) says:
listen to it, and be silent that you may receive mercy. [Surah Al-A`raf, 7:204]
Imam Ahmad (may Allah be merciful to him) said that religious scholars agreed by consensus that this Ayah is about listening to the recitation of the Qur’an in Salah. holding a copy of the Qur’an while offering Salah behind the Imam for the sake of following the Imam causes the person to make repeated moves which distracts the people offering Salah around them. This may affect the perfection of submission and humbleness to Allah in Salah, so it is prescribed to abandon it.
May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!
[Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’, 5/383]