Question & Answer
Is reciting sutah fatiha behind an imam obligatory both in the silent and loud prayer. JizakAllah kheir


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

We begin with Allah’s blessed name, we praise him and we glorify him, seek his forgiveness and ask him to guide us. Whoever Allah guides, None can lead astray and whoever he misguides, None can guide. There is no power and no strength except from Allah, The most high, the Most great, the most powerful. We bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers. We pray for peace and blessings on all the noble messengers and in particular on the last of them all “the blessed prophet Mohammad (pbuh)”

There are many authentic Ahadith which state that it is obligatory to recite al-Fatihah in every rakah. Thus, there is no difference of opinion on this point.

Narrated by Ubada bin As Samit Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "Whoever does not recite Al-Fatiha in his prayer, his prayer is invalid." Sahih Al-Bukhari [Volume 1::Book 12:: Hadith 723]

Narrated Ubadah ibn as-Samit: We were behind the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) at the dawn prayer, and he recited (the passage), but the recitation became difficult for him. Then when he finished, he said: Perhaps you recite behind your imam? We replied: Yes, it is so, Apostle of Allah. He said: Do not do so except when it is Fatihat al-Kitab, for he who does not recite it is not credited with having prayed. Abu Dawood [ Book 3 : Hadith 822]

Abu Hurairah (R.A.) reported that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said: "If anyone observes prayer (salah) in which he does Read Ummul Quran (Fatihah), it is deficient, it is deficient, It is deficient, and not complete." It was said to Abu Hurairah: 'What should we do when we are behind an Imam?" He, (Abu Hurairah) (R.A.) replied, "Read it in silence....... " Sahih Muslim [Book 004, Number 0775])

It is confirmed that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, recited al-Fatihah in every rakah of every prayer, obligatory or superogatory. Since this is an act of worship, we can only follow what he did, and the Prophet said,
"Pray as you have seen me pray." Sahih Al-Bukhari [Volume 1 :: Book 11 :: Hadith 604]

But there is an Aayah in the Glorious Quran which States that when the Quran is being recited, the believers should remain absolutely silent and listen to its recitation with full attention.

Allah Says in the glorious Quran: When the Quran is recited to you, listen to it with attention and keep silent. It may be that you also are blessed with mercy. Quran[7:204]

Concluding from the above command of quran and the guidance of sunnah; the scholars are of the opinion that when the Imam is praying and recites the Surah Al-Fatihah and the Quran aloud, the people should listen to the Imam’s recitation; and in the rakahs when the Imam recites the Surah Al-Fatihah and/or the Quran silently, the believers should recite the Surah Al-Fatihah and/or the Quran themselves. In this way both the command of quran and the guidnce from sunnah will be honourd. And Allah alone knows the best.

I ask Allah to make this a sincere effort, seeking his pleasure, and I ask him to grant us refuge in him from the evils within ourselves, and that in our deeds. I ask him to grant us success in achieving whatever pleases him; And May Allah Shower His blessings and mercy upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), his family and his Companions and on all those who follow him until the final hour.

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Category:Salah (Prayer)

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