Assalamualaikum. I would like to ask, is it permissible for a ma’mum to recite qunut in Subh prayer if the imam does not recite it?
Hoping for an explanation. Thank you.
To conclude, the ma’mum may recite qunut even though the imam does not recite it because it is not conditioned to be done simultaneously (muwafaqah) with the imam, with the condition he has the chance to follow back the imam during his first sujud or sitting between the sujud.
However, if the ma’mum does not has the chance to follow back the imam until on the second sujud, then the ma’mum may not do so as he had missed two requisites of prayer. Therefore, when the ma’mum leaves qunut recitation as he follows the imam who does not do so or others, then it is sunnah for him to do sujud sahwi after the imam gives salam and before he himself gives the salam.
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Firstly, reciting qunut in Subh and witr prayer on the last half of Ramadhan are included in sunnah ab’adh to madhhab al-Shafi’e. Sunnah ab’adh is a sunnah when missed shall be replaced with sujud sahwi. Imam al-Ramli in his book, Nihayat al-Muhtaj cited a saying that:
فَيُقَالُ: مَا شُرِعَ لِلصَّلَاةِ إنْ وَجَبَ لَهَا فَشَرْطٌ، أَوْ فِيهَا فَرُكْنٌ، أَوْ سُنَّ وَجُبِرَ فَبَعْضٌ، وَإِلَّا فَهَيْئَةٌ
“What is sanctioned in prayer, in which it is wajib to be done (outside of prayer), so it is a condition. If it is wajib among the actions of prayer, then it is rukn. If it is sunnah, then is covered (by sujud sahwi), it is sunnah ab’adh. If not, then it is sunnah hai’ah.” (Refer Nihayat al-Muhtaj Syarh al-Minhaj, 1:449)
Based on the above text, whoever leaves sunnah ab’adh shall cover or replace it with sujud sahwi before giving salam.
Secondly, reciting qunut is not wajib to be done muwafaqah (simultaneously) with the imam. This is as mentioned by Imam al-Baijuri:
وأما القنوت فلا تجب الموافقة فيه لا فعلاً ولا تركاً، فإذا فعله الإمام جاز للمأموم أن يتركه ويسجد عامداً وإذا تركه الإمام سن للمأموم فعله إن لحقه فى السجدة الأولى وجاز إن لحقه فى الجلوس بين السجدتين فإن كان لايلحقه إلا فى السجدة الثانية إمتنع فعله
Qunut recitation is not wajib to be done in muwafaqah with the imam whether by reading or leaving it. When the imam recites it, the ma’mum is permissible to leave it and prostrate sujud (sahwi) intentionally (before salam). While when the imam leaves it, it is sunnah for the ma’mum to recite it if he has the chance to follow the imam during the first sujud, and it is also permissible for him to do so if he has the chance to follow the imam during the sitting between two sujuds. However, if he does not have the chance to follow the imam unless during the second sujud, then it is prohibited for him to do so. (Refer Hasyiah al-Baijuri ‘ala Syarh Ibn Qasim al-‘Izzi, 1:198)
The above statement of Imam al-Baijuri gives the meaning that if the imam does not recite qunut, the ma’mum may do so as long as he does not miss two requisites of prayer from the imam which is the first sujud or the sitting between two sujuds. This is because, missing two requisites of prayer from the imam may invalidate the congregation.
However, if the ma’mum feels like he will not have the chance to finish his recitation of qunut until the imam reaches the second sujud, then it is prohibited for him to recite qunut and he shall follow the imam by leaving it.
Therefore, if he leaves the qunut due to following the imam who did not do so, then it is sunnah for him to perform sujud sahwi after the imam gives salam, before he himself gives his slaam. This is as narrated in commentaries of al-Minhaj where:
وَلَوْ تَرَكَ الْقُنُوتَ تَبَعًا لِإِمَامِهِ الْحَنَفِيِّ سَجَدَ لِلسَّهْوِ؛ لِأَنَّ الْعِبْرَةَ بِعَقِيدَةِ الْمَأْمُومِ عَلَى الْأَصَحِّ خِلَافًا لِلْقَفَّالِ فِي عَدَمِ السُّجُودِ، فَإِنَّهُ بَنَاهُ عَلَى طَرِيقَتِهِ مِنْ أَنَّ الْعِبْرَةَ بِعَقِيدَةِ الْإِمَامِ
If a ma’mum leaves qunut recitation due to following the imam who follows madhhab Hanafi, then he shall perform sujud sahwi. This is because, what is considered here is the madhhab of the ma’mum in a sahih opinion, different from al-Qaffal who is of the opinion that the person shall not perform sujud sahwi, as in his method, what is considered is the madhhab of the imam. (Refer Mughni al-Muhtaj Syarh al-Minhaj, 1:428 / Nihayat al-Muhtaj Syarh al-Minhaj, 2:68)
However, it shall be considered that the practice of reciting qunut is the customary practice of Malaysians who practice madhhab al-Shafi’e. So, the imam shall honour this situation by reciting qunut and does not leave it intentionally in prayer.
While for those who are outside of the country practicing madhhab other than al-Shafi’e, then the opinion of al-Qaffal as above (one is not obligated with sujud sahwi because he follows the madhhab of his imam) is more prioritised or enough with short recitation of qunut just to complete the rukn.