HOW TO SAY ‘AMEEN’ IN SALAAT
By Abdul Mageed Dyton
“When the imam recites, ‘….not of those whom you are angered nor of those who have gone astray,’ then say ameen (along with the imam), for the angels say ameen and the imam says ameen. If his ameen corresponds to the ameen of the angels, he will have his previous sins forgiven.” (Hadith Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and an-Nasai).
People say ameen in two different ways; loudly or softly. However,what is known is that it is sunnah that ameen has to be said after the recitation of Surah al-Fatiha in Salaat.
The word ameen is itself not part of al-Fatihah, but it is a supplication invoking upon Allah to respond to or answer what we have said.
Naeem al-Mujamir said, “I prayed behind Abu Hurairah and he said, ‘In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful,’ then recited al-Fatihah, and closed it with ameen. After the prayer, Abu Hurairah said, ‘By the One in whose Hand is my soul, I have followed the prayer of the Prophet.” Al-Bukhari mentioned this hadith in Mu’allaq from where others such as an-Nasai, Ibn Khuzaimah, Ibn Hibban and a-Siraj related it.
IN SUPPORT OF SAYING ‘AMEEN’ LOUDLY
According to a book called Fiqh us-Sunnah; Purification and Prayer by As-Sayyid Sabiq, Nafa is quoted as to have said, “Ibn Umar did not encourage the people to say it aloud, nor did he discourage them. I have heard him report that.”
Reporting on the same subject, Abu Hurairah said, “When the Messenger of Allah (SAW) would recite. ‘…not with those with whom You are angered and not of those who have gone astray.’ he could say ameen and those close to him could hear him.” (Related by Abu Dawud). Ibn Majah’s version is, ‘until the people in the first row would ring with the sound.” Al-Hakim also related this hadith, and says that it is sahih according to the criterion of al-Bukhari and Muslim. Al-Baihaqi calls it hassan sahih while Ad-Daraqutni considers it as hassan.
A similar report from Wail Ibn Jubair says, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (SAW) recite, …’and not of those who have gone astray,’ and then say ameen, and made it long with his voice” (Related by Ahmad). Abu Dawud has it with the wording, “And he would raise his voice with it.” At-Tirmidh classifies it as hassan and states, “more than one knowledgeable companions and those who followed them have said that a person should raise his voice while saying ameen and not make it silent. Ibn Hajr holds that the chain of this hadith is sahih.
It is also reported in the same book that ‘Ata said, “I have found two thousand companions of the Prophet (SAW) in this masjid and when the imam recited ‘…and not those who have gone astray,’ I heard them say ameen.”
Aisha (RA) is also reported to have said that the Prophet (SAW) said, “The Jews do not envy you for anything more than they envy you for the salutations and the saying of ameen behind the imam.” (Related by Ahmad and Ibn Majah).
IN SUPPORT OF SAYING ‘AMEEN’ SOFTLY
In Silsilat al-Ahadith adh-Daheeffah (numbers 951 and 952) al-Alban has discussed those hadith that state that the majid would ring with all people saying ameen and so on, and has declared them all to be weak. For example, he rejects the satement of ‘Ata because of its weakness caused by unknown narrators in its chain.
And in al-Umm by Ash-Shafi, who has himself recorded a hadith like the above, he states that the followers should only say ameen to themselves (i.e. softly) and not aloud.
WHEN TO SAY ‘AMEEN’
It is preferred to say ameen along with the imam, and not before or after him.
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (SAW) said, “When the imam recites, ‘…not of those with whom You are angered nor of those who have gone astray,’ you should say ameen. If this corresponds to when the angels say it, he will have all of his sins forgiven.” (Related by Al-Bukhari).
He also reported that the Prophet (SAW) said “When the imam recites, ‘…not of those with whom You are angered nor of those who have gone astray,’ you should say ameen (along with the imam), for the angels say ameen and the imam says ameen. If this ameen corresponds to the ameen of the angels, he will have his previous sins forgiven.” (Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and An-Nasi).
Many authentic traditions support the view that ameen should be said loudly. It is also certain that Abu Hurairah and Ibn as-Zubair raised their voices in saying ameen while they were not the imams.
Even ash-Shafi in his al-Umm does admit that at least the imam should say ameen loudly because there are overwhelming authentic hadith that clearly confirms it.
And Allah knows best.
How do you say your ‘ameen’?