Ever wondered why the Jama’at Salaah of Zuhr and ‘Asr are Non-Audible while Fajr, Maghrib & ‘Isha Salaah are audible (i.e. recitation in Qiyaam with loud voice)??
The Sunnah of Non-Audible Salaah of Zuhr and ‘Asr traces its practice way-back to the early days of Islam!
Hadhrat Maulana Shah Waliullah Al Dehlwi (rahmatullah alayh) explains it in his famous treatise Hujjatullah lil Balighah:
“During the initial days of Islam, to read Salaat or the Qur’an loudly during day time invited hard punishments, ostracization and even death. The Muslims were scared and were forced to read the salaat in silence. At dusk, when people went back to their homes and the markets emptied, then Muslims could find courage to raise their voices while reading Salaat and Qur’an. Similarly, during Fajr there were not many who would object to prayers in loud voice.
Even great Sahaabi like Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) was almost forced to leave his house because the Makkan’s did not like him reading Qur’an loudly. They were afraid that children who heard him and imitated him were actually learning from him. This was not acceptable to them. He was asked to either read the Qur’an without volume or leave the city. He was lucky that Abu Darda’ (radhiyallahu anhu) offered him protection and he could stay in his house. [Later Hadhrat Abu Darda’ (radhiyallahu anhu) revoked the protection and Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) retorted that he did not need protection of man – Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala was enough for him.]
In remembrance of the hardhips faced by our Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaabah (ridhwanallahu anhum) during the early days, we pray our Zuhr and ‘Asr salaah in slow voices, as they used to.”