السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Is it wajib to move the tongue and lips when saying a dua and athkaar? For example when saying the duas before sleeping.


و عليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته

In regards to the ruling on moving the tongue and lips when reading the adhkaar, then the majority of the scholars have mentioned that is generally required due to the following narration:

“Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,

إن الله عز وجل يقول: أنا مع عبدي إذا هو ذكَرَني وتحرَّكت بي شفتاه

‘Allah, the Most High says: “l am with my slave when he remembers me and his lips move with my mention”.’ [Reported by Ibn Majah and graded saheeh by Shaykh Albani rahimahullah]

Ash-Shaykh Abdul Kareem al-Khudair, hafidahullah, was asked the following,


“Does the person get a reward for reciting the Quran or performing dhikr without moving his lips?”


“It is not called a recitation if he does not move his tongue and lips. As for merely recalling the Quran and words of dhikr in one’s heart, then this is a form of contemplation and it isn’t considered an act of reading nor will the person attain the prescribed reward of ten good deeds for every letter recited from the Quran. Also, he wouldn’t be carrying out what has been encouraged concerning reading the adhkaar and what relates to it if he is merely recalling it with his heart. Yes, contemplating has its reward, however the prescribed reward that comes for reciting will not be attained through reading it only in his heart since it is not implied that he actually read nor that he actually performed dhikr. Rather, it was an act of contemplation that he did and he will be rewarded for that, however he will not be rewarded for the act of reading since it is necessary when reading to move one’s lips and tongue.” End translation.


Ash-Shaykh Muhammad bin Hizaam, hafidahullah, said,

أما مجرد ذكر القلب دون تحريك اللسان لايسمى تسبيحاً ولا تحميداً ولا تهليلاً ولا تكبيراً حتى تتحرك اللسان.

“As for merely remembering Allah with one’s heart without moving one’s tongue, then that is not considered tasbeeh, tahmeed, tahleel [i.e saying la ilaha illa Allah], nor takbir, up until you move your tongue.” End quote. [Reference]

Also some other scholars add that it is necessary when reading the adhkaar to hear oneself.

Al-Imam an-Nawawi, rahimahullah, said,

اعلم أن الأذكار المشروعة في الصلاة وغيرها -واجبة كانت أو مستحبة- لا يُحسبُ شيء منها ولا يُعتدُّ به حتى يتلفظ به، بحيثُ يُسمعُ نفسه إذا كان صحيح السمع لا عارض له

“Know that the prescribed adhkaar inside the prayer and outside the prayer, whether they be obligatory adhkaar or the recommended, aren’t considered and deemed valid unless the person actually utters them to the extent that he could hear his own self if he has no hearing disability.” End quote. [al-Muqaddimah of al-Adhkaar pg. 45]

However, the stronger opinion is that is not necessary for him to hear himself when reading the adhkaar.

Ash-Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-Uthaymeen, rahimahullah, was asked the following,

هل يلزم تحريك الشفتين في الصلاة والأذكار والقراءة؟ أم يكفي أن يقرأ بدون تحريك الشفتين؟


“Is it necessary to move the lips for the salaat, adhkaar, and recitation, or is it sufficient to read without moving the lips?”

لا بد من تحريك الشفتين في قراءة القرآن في الصلاة، وكذلك في قراءة الأذكار الواجبة كالتكبير والتسبيح والتحميد والتشهد؛ لأنه لا يسمى قولاً إلا ما كان منطوقاً به، ولا نطق إلا بتحريك الشفتين واللسان ولهذا كان الصحابة رضي الله عنهم يعلمون قراءة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم باضطراب لحيته -أي: بتحركها-ولكن اختلف العلماء هل يجب أن يُسمع نفسه؟ أم يكتفي بنطق الحروف؟فمنهم من قال: لا بد أن يسمع نفسه، أي: لا بد أن يكون له صوت يسمعه هو بنفسه، ومنهم من قال: يكفي إذا أظهر الحروف، وهذا هو الصحيح


“It is a must to move the lips when reciting the Quran in the prayer and likewise when reading the obligatory adhkaar such as the takbeer, tasbeeh, tahmeed, and tashahud since it is not considered to be speech unless the person actually pronounces the words. There is no way to pronounce the words unless he moves his tongue and lips. For this reason, the Sahabahs would notice the recitation of the Prophet ﷺ through the moving of his beard.

However, the scholars have differed if it is obliged on the person to make himself hear his own self [when reading] or if he could suffice with merely pronouncing the words. A group of scholars say it is incumbent that he hears himself, [meaning] it must have a sound that he himself could hear. Another group of scholars say it is sufficient to merely pronounce the letters and this is a more correct opinion.” End translation. [Liqaa al-baab al-Maftooh]

In summary, it is important that the person moves his/her tongue and lips when reading the adhkaar and when making du’a in order to meet the prescribed requirements that were mentioned concerning how to read the adhkaar and du’as correctly.

Translated by

AbdulFattaah Bin Uthman
Abu Fajr