بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of Allah The most Gracious The Most Merciful
Reciting One or Two Verses In Salah
Question: During the month of Ramadan, some performers of Prayer reprimand us for the recitation of one Ayah (Qur’anic verse) or two Ayahs only in each Rak`ah. We may recite from Ayah no. 1 to Ayah no. 13 of Surah Al-Baqarah in four Rak`ahs and sometimes in six Rak`ahs. Is such practice permissible? May Allah safeguard you and guide you to the right path!
Answer: With regard to Qiyam-ul-Layl (optional Prayer at night), it was reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would prolong the Prayer including the recitation. Moreover, there are many Prophetic Hadiths on this point. When Abu Salamah (may Allah be pleased with him) asked `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) about the prayer of Allah’s Messenger during the month of Ramadan, she said, “Allah’s Messenger never exceeded eleven Rak`ahs in Ramadan or in other months; he used to offer four Rak`ahs, do not ask me about their beauty and length, then four Rak`ahs, do not ask me about their beauty and length, and then three Rak`ahs.” (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
Also, it was authentically reported that the Prophet’s Companions (may Allah be pleased with them), who were gathered by `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) to perform the Tarawih Prayer (special supererogatory night Prayer in Ramadan) as a congregational prayer, would prolong recitation to the point that they would lean over their sticks to bear standing for prayer. Thus, it is legally prescribed that during the Tarawih Prayer the Imam should prolong recitation to the extent that the Prayer does not become burdensome for the performers of Salah; otherwise he should recite some few Ayahs of the Holy Qur’an in each Rak`ah. As for the practice of reciting one Ayah or two Ayahs of the Qur’an in each Rak`ah, it is better to abandon such practice, as it leads the performers of Prayer not to listen to as many parts of the Holy Qur’an and deprives them of the reward of listening to the Holy Qur’an. The Imams should fear Allah (Exalted be He) as regards the Prayer. Moreover, they ought to give advice to the people being led in the Prayers and interest them in the Prayer with long recitation to get the best reward, as much as possible. The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’
“So, recite of the Quran as much as may be easy for you” [al-Muzzammil 73:20].
It was narrated that ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever reads one letter of the Book of Allah will have one hasanah for it, and each hasanah is a tenfold reward. I do not say that alif-laam-meem is a letter, rather alif is a letter, laam is a letter and meem is a letter.” (Narrated and classed as saheeh hasan ghareeb by at-Tirmidhi; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Tirmidhi.)
Ibn al-Hammaam al-Hanafi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: If he recites half of a lengthy verse such as Aayat al-Kursiy or the verse on debt, it was said that it is not permissible because it is not a complete verse, but the majority (of scholars) are of the view that it is permissible… This was stated definitively by al-Qadoori, who said: The correct view according to the madhhab of Abu Haneefah (may Allah have mercy on him) is that whatever may be called Qur’an is permissible. This is also the view of Ibn ‘Abbaas, who said: Recite whatever you have learned of Qur’an, and nothing of the Qur’an can be regarded as too little. End quote from Fath al-Qadeer, 1/333
An-Nafraawi al-Maaliki (may Allah have mercy on him) said: After reciting al-Faatihah, you may recite – as it is Sunnah – something from the Qur’an, even if it is a short verse, such as “With spreading branches” [ar-Rahmaan 55:48] and “Dark green (in colour)” [ar-Rahmaan 55:64], or part of a lengthy verse such as the verse of debt. But it is preferable to recite a complete soorah. See: al-Fawaakih ad-Dawaani, 1/178; Haashiyat ad-Dasooqi, 1/242
Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (may Allah have mercy on him) said: One may attain the Sunnah action with less than a verse.End quote from al-Minhaaj al-Qaweem Sharh al-Muqaddimah al-Hadramiyyah, p. 99
Al-Bujayrimi ash-Shaafa‘i (may Allah have mercy on him) said: If he recites part of a verse, he will have attained the Sunnah action, and that is acceptable if it conveys a complete meaning, such as a short verse that gives a complete meaning. End quote from Tuhfat al-Habeeb ‘ala Sharh al-Khateeb, 2/68
Al-Mardaawi al-Hanbali (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The correct view is that reciting a soorah after al-Faatihah in the first two rak‘ahs is Sunnah. This is the view of our companions… It says in al-Furoo‘: What appears to be the case is that even part of a verse (is sufficient), because of the apparent meaning of the report. End quote from al-Insaaf, 2/120
What can be derived from the fatawah given and the evidences from both sides that it is permissible to recite one or two verses especially if it is complete and understandable. While it is permissible to do so it is better to complete the whole chapter if possible if it does not add to hardship upon the one performing the prayer. Allahu Allam