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Search Fatawaa

Subject : Reciting Al-Fatiha with its Entire Letters is an Obligation in Obligatory Standing (Qiyam)

Fatwa Number : 3839

Date : 07-12-2023

Classified : Things that invalidate or disliked in prayer

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

Some prayer performers start reciting Al-Fatiha when rising for the next Rak'ah before fully standing upright. Consequently, the phrase (Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem) or a part of it may occur before completing the standing position. Is their prayer valid?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

The recitation of Surah Al-Fatiha is a pillar (Rukn) of prayer, and prayer is not valid without it. This applies to the Imam (Person leading people in prayer), the one following the Imam, or the one praying alone, and in both the prayer in which the Quran is recited aloud and the prayer in which the Quran is recited silently. The evidence for this is what was narrated by Ubada bin As-Samit from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he said, "Whoever does not recite Al-Fatiha in his prayer, his prayer is invalid." {Transmitted by Bhkhari & Muslim}.

Sheikh al-Islam al-Nawawi, may Allah have mercy on him, said: "Reciting Al-Fatiha for the one who is able to do so is an obligation as well as a pillar of prayer. It is also a requirement and cannot be replaced by a translation into a language other than Arabic or the recitation of other verses from the Quran. Its obligation is the same for all prayers, whether obligatory or supererogatory, the prayer in which the Quran is recited aloud and the prayer in which the Quran is recited silently, for both men and women, travelers, children, those standing, sitting, or lying down, and in situations of extreme fear and others. The obligation is the same for the Imam, the person following the Imam, and the one praying individually/alone.' [Al-Majmu' Sharh Al-Muhadhdhab, Vol. 3/P.326]."

The recitation of Al-Fatiha is obligatory in the standing position (Qiyam) when it is obligatory. This means that the entire Surah, including the Basmala, must be recited while standing. Reciting any part of Al-Fatiha outside of the standing position, even if it is just one letter, before achieving the upright position, is not permissible. If someone recites any portion of Al-Fatiha in a position other than standing, they must repeat it. Failure to do so invalidates the prayer, and the prayer must be repeated; otherwise, the prayer becomes invalid. The Shafi'i scholar al-Alama Ba'ashan al-Hadrami, may Allah have mercy on him, said: "The obligations of Al-Fatiha are ten, and all of them must be fulfilled while standing if it is obligatory.'" [Bisharat al-Karim fi Sharh Masa'il al-Ta'alim, p. 209].

In conclusion, it is obligatory to recite the entire Al-Fatiha with all its letters, including the Basmala, in the obligatory standing position (Qiyam). It is emphasized to be vigilant about such an action because failure to do so results in the invalidation of the prayer. It is advisable for the worshiper to seek refuge in the prescribed supplications ('A'oodhu Billahi min al-Shaytaan ir-rajeem' ) before reciting Al-Fatiha, as it acts as a protective barrier in safeguarding the proper recitation of Al-Fatiha. And Allah the Almighty knows best."



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