This article is a fatwa about the ruling on holding the Mushaf (copy of the Qur’an) in prayer while praying alone or leading others in prayer (Imam).
For the ruling on carrying the Mushaf behind the Imam please read our translation of Sheikh Ibn Baaz and Sheikh Muhammad bn Solih al-‘Uthaymeen’s fatwa on carrying the Mushaf behind the Imam.
The questioner M.A says in this question:
Is it permissible for me to read the Quran from the Mushaf (copy of the Quran) during the night prayer because I have only memorised Juz Amm, also what is the daily portion (to be recited) from the Quran?
Answer (by Sheikh Muhammad bn Solih Al-‘Uthaymeen):
All praise be to Allaah Lord of the worlds, and I send commendations and peace upon our prophet; Muhammad, his household, companions and all those who follow them in goodness till the day of recompense.
There is no problem on a person if he recites the Quran from the Mushaf if he has not memorised what he wishes to recite from the Qur’an. A report has been narrated regarding that from the mother of the believers ‘Aaishah may Allaah be pleased with her.
But if he does not need to recite from the mushaf then it is not befitting for him to recite from it. That is because reciting from the Mushaf requires carrying the Mushaf and many unnecessary movements and (it requires) missing out a sunnah which is placing the hands on the chest. But when needs arise there is no problem.
So also, from what is apparent, if a person will concentrate more if he carries the Mushaf there is no problem (in carrying the Mushaf).
As for the portion that should be recited from the Qur’an, the sunnah has not specified it. However, it is unbefitting for a person to leave the Quran without reciting. Either he makes the (complete) recitation semi-monthly meaning that he completes all the Quran half a month or (every) ten days or once a month.
The important thing is that he should not leave the Quran.
Sheikh Muhammad Naasiru-deen Albany also answered a similar question:
The one who recites from the Mushaf is compelled to do some movements that do not conform to calmness and concentration in solat. And it has been reported in an authentic hadith that he said (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him):
Be calm in prayer
Be calm in prayer, meaning that the praying person should be like a lifeless wood when he is in prayer and concentrating in the presence of Allaah such that if he is praying in ………
But these movements that negate solat contradict the noble prophetic commandment:
Be calm in prayer.
We see of those who recite from the Qur’an; some of them place the Mushaf under his armpit. Also you see him like his hands are wet; he is unable to raise his hands as Allaah has commanded on the tongue and action of the prophet.
Also he is not able to prostrate the way the messenger (peace be upon him) prostrates; such that whenever he prostrates he spreads (his arms) from his armpits. And I hope you all know this sunnah in shaa Allaah, it’s possible that you know it but you don’t act by it and if you act by it only a few of you do:
…But few of My slaves are grateful.
If the one who places the Mushaf under his armpit wishes to practice this sunnah, the mushaf falls from his armpit…
So that is it, the verdict of two mountains of knowledge. What we deduce from the two scholarly opinions is that it’s better to pray from your memory especially since Allaah said:
So, recite you of the Qur’ân as much as may be easy for you.
However, we see that none of the two scholars said carrying the Mushaf in prayer is haram or an innovation. But they disliked it because it causes the person to miss some sunnah of prayer. Missing these sunnah do not invalidate the prayer but the one who leaves them has deprived himself of great reward.
Notes and References
 Meem alif were used in the video. The name was probably abbreviated to give anonymity to the questioner. Allaah knows best.
 Juz ‘Amm means from surah Nas to Surah Naba‘ (The Qur‘an is divided into 30 Ajzaa)
 It was narrated that Jâbir bin Samurah said: “The Messenger of Allah came out to us and said: Why do I see you raising your hands like the tails of restless horses? Be calm when in prayer.’ Then he came out to us and saw us sitting in circles. He said: ‘Why do I see you in separate groups?’ Then he came out to us and said: ‘Why do you not make your rows as the Angels make their rows in the presence of their Lord?’ We said: ‘0 Messenger of Allah, how do the Angels make their rows in the presence of their Lord?’ He said: ‘They complete the first rows and they keep close together in the rows.” (Saheeh Muslim: Book of Solat/Chapter 27)
 (commendations and peace of Allah be upon him)
 The messenger of Allaah (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him)
 (Saba’ : 13)
 The remaining part is mixed with the local pidgin Arabic of Syria which we don’t understand and hence can’t translate.
 Surah Muzzammil: 20
 Sunnah here is a synonym for supererogatory! not the way of the prophet (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him). We hope to release an article on the concept of the sunnah soon, may Allaah make it easy.