Skip to main content

Saying ‘Āmīn’ in Ṣalāh

Imām Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn

A breakdown on the meaning of ‘āmīn’, when it is appropriate to say it, and when it should be said quietly and aloud.

In the prayers that are read in an audible voice, ‘āmīn’ should be said loudly following the recitation of Sūrah al-Fātiḥah. This applies to the one praying by himself, the one being led by another, as well as the one leading others.

The Imām and Those Being Led Saying ‘Āmīn’

As for the imām saying ‘āmīn’ loudly, it is quite clear from the ḥadīth of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in which he said: “If the imām says ‘āmīn, then say ‘āmīn’ as well”1. Here, the ‘āmīn’ [of those being led] is predicated on the imam’s, which means that the āmīn of the imām must be loud enough that he can be heard. Otherwise, predicating our āmīn on his would be completely meaningless. Moreover, it would have represented a hardship on this ummah [as they would not know when to say āmīn due to not being able to hear their imām say it]. Also, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) used to say āmīn in a loud voice, elongating it.2 Those following the imām should say āmīn loudly, as the companions used to do so when praying behind the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), to the extent that it was as if the masjid would tremor and convulse from the loudness of their voices.3 This is an authentic, well-established Sunnah.

The One Praying By Himself Saying ‘Āmīn’

As for the one praying by himself, if he recites aloud then he should likewise say ʿāmīn’ aloud. If he chooses to recite quietly he may say it quietly. The evidence of this is that when the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) would pray the inaudible prayers like al-Dhuhr and al-ʿAṣr, he would not say the āmīn loudly. This indicates that anyone who recites quietly in ṣalāh should also say his āmīn quietly. For example, the one praying the night prayer by himself may recite aloud as this may facilitate a more present heart; cultivating a greater degree of attentiveness and allow him to ward off sleep. He may recite loudly as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) did when he led Ḥudhayfah bin al-Yamān (رضي الله عنه)4. If he recites aloud, then he should also say āmīn aloud. At other times, he may find reciting quietly to be better, closer to full submissiveness and solemnity, while distancing himself from showing off to others. Or he may be prevented from reciting loudly for example, if there are people sleeping close by or the likeness of such a circumstance. Here, if he chooses to recite quietly then he should also say the āmīn quietly.

The Meaning of ‘Āmīn’

As for the word āmīn, it means “O Allāh Answer [my invocation]!”. The jurists have stated: It is ḥarām to pronounce the mīm with a shaddah (مٌ) when saying Āmīn. This is because pronouncing it in this way (آمٌين) would have changed the meaning to “intend something” in the plural. For this reason, they say: Pronouncing it thus is ḥarām and will invalidate the ṣalāh because the ones pronouncing it this way would have said words whilst praying that are considered from the speech of the creation [and not of ṣalāh].5

When to Say ʿĀmīn’ in Ṣalāh

[Q]: When should ‘āmīn’ be said in ṣalāh?

[A]: As for the imām and the one praying by himself, he should say it upon saying ‘wa-la ḍāllīn’ [at the end of Sūrah al-Fatiḥah].

As for those praying behind an imām, some scholars say: He should say it when the imām finishes saying his āmīn. They evidence this stance with the apparent meaning of his (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saying: “If the imām says ‘āmīn’, then say ‘āmīn’ as well”. They say: This is the same as his (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saying: “If he [the imām] says the takbīr, then say the takbīr as well”6. It is well-known that the one praying behind the imām does not say his takbīr until he hears his imām say the takbīr first. In the same way, we interpret his (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saying “If the imām says ‘āmīn’” to mean: completed saying it. However, this opinion is weak as explicitly stated in another wording of the ḥadīth: “If the imām says: ‘wa-la ḍāllīn’, then say ‘āmīn’”7. In consideration of this, we may interpret his (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saying: “If the imām says ‘āmīn’” as meaning: reaches the point in the recitation at which it is appropriate to say āmīn which is after ‘wa-la ḍāllīn’ [at the end of Sūrah al-Fatiḥah]. Or, if the imām begins saying āmīn then say it such that your āmīn and his coincide.

Despite this, we sometimes hear congregations say it prematurely. To the extent that the imām has not even reached the nūn (ن) at the end of ‘wa-la ḍāllīn’ (وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ) except that they have already begun saying ‘āmīn’. This is contrary to the Sunnah and represents a form of preceding the imām. As the imām himself has not reached the point in the ṣalāh where it is appropriate to say āmīn which is after having said ‘wa-la ḍāllīn’.

[1] Authentic: narrated by al-Bukhārī: 780 and Muslim: 410.
[2] Authentic: narrated by Abū Dāwūd: 932 and al-Tirmidhī: 248. Graded authentic by Shaykh al-Albānī in Ṣaḥīḥ Sunan Abī Dāwūd: 863.
[3] Weak: narrated by Ibn Mājah: 853 and graded weak by Shaykh al-Albānī in Silsilah al-Aḥādīth al-Ḍaʿīfah: 952.
[4] Authentic: narrated by Muslim: 772.
[5] Referencing the authentic ḥadīth narrated by Muslim on the authority of Muʿāwiyah ibn al-Ḥakam al-Sulamī (رضي الله عنه), the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Indeed, it is unsuitable for this ṣalāh to contain the speech of mankind. Rather, it is but tasbīḥ, taḥmīd, and recitation of the Qurʾān”.
[6] Authentic: narrated by al-Bukhārī: 734 and Muslim: 414.
[7] Authentic: narrated by al-Bukhārī: 782.

Source: Al-Sharḥ al-Mumtiʿ 3: 66-71
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī

Published: June 22, 2024
Edited: June 22, 2024

Events & Activities