Must Surat ul-Baqarah be Recited or is Playing a Recorder Sufficient to Expel the Shaytaan from the Home?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Many people often ask regarding the narration that the Shaytaan is expelled from a home that Surat ul-Baqarah is recited within; whether it is a must to actually have to recite, or if it is possible to simply play a recording of Surat ul-Baqarah on some electronic device?

The following is the response of Shaikh Ibn ul-Uthaymeen رحمه الله تعالى:

“Q: Oh Shaikh, there is a hadith from the prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم that if a person recites Surat ul-Baqarah in his home then the Shaytaan cannot enter, but if the Surah was recorded on a cassette [or any other electronic means, and then played] then does the same still occur? [i.e. is that sufficient to prevent the Shaytaan from entering?]

A: No…no…an audio recording is nothing, it doesn’t benefit [in this regard], it cannot be said he [the house resident in this instance] has recited the Qur’an [since the hadith mentions “the one who recites…”], all that can be said is he has listened to a previous reciter on the recording.

Therefore, similarly if we were to record the adhaan [call to prayer] and then leave it at the microphone to play when the time for adhaan enters, then is that sufficient and fulfilling to the right of the adhaan? It is not fulfilling the right….and similarly if we were to record an inspiring and moving khutba of a khateeb and then when Friday comes we play it on the microphone and so the recording starts, “Assalamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu[!] then the mu’adhin makes the adhaan and then the khutba begins [on the recorder]…then is that fulfilling the obligation? No, it is not.”

[via Sahab]

In other various fataawa the scholars have mentioned that one of the reasons for this is because the recitation of the Qur’an is an act of worship and therefore an intention is required, and clearly the electronic device has no intention, or indeed any ability to make an intention. Similarly the Permanent Committee of Scholars mentioned it is not correct to play a recording of the Qur’an for ruqya purposes, rather it requires intention from the reader which the recorder does not have.

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