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Section VI: Qur’anic Recitation in Prayer

Firstly: Reciting Al-Fatihah in Prayer The ruling of reciting al-Fatihah for the imam and one praying alone
Reciting al-Fatihah for the imam and one praying alone is an integral of prayer. This is the position of the majority: the Malikis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis. It is the position of Dawud al-Zahiri and the majority of the scholars among the Companions, Followers, and those after them. The ruling of the follower reciting al-Fatihah during prayers offered out loud
It is not wajib for the follower to recite al-Fatihah during prayers offered out loud. This is the position of the majority: the Hanafis, [348] The Hanafi position is that it is not wajib to recite during prayers offered out loud or those offered quietly. Malikis, Hanbalis, [349] However, they consider it mustahabb to recite during the imam’s moments of silence and when he does not recite out loud. and the old position of the Shafi`i school.  It is also the position of the majority of the Salaf. The follower reciting more than al-Fatihah
The follower must listen to his imam’s recitation of the Qur’an regarding what is beyond al-Fatihah. Ibn Taymiyyah reported consensus on this issue. The number of verses in al-Fatihah
The number of verses of al-Fatihah is seven. Consensus on this was reported by Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn `Abd al-Barr, Ibn al-`Arabi, al-Qurtubi, al-Nawawi, Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Kathir, and al-Shawkani. Is Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem a verse of al-Fatihah?
Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem is not a verse of al-Fatihah. This is the position of the majority: the Hanafis, Malikis, and Hanbalis. The ruling of reciting Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem out loud and quietly before al-Fatihah
It is sunnah to recite Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem quietly in prayer before al-Fatihah and before every surah. This is the position of the Hanafis, Hanbalis, and was selected by Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin. Mistakes in reciting al-Fatihah
Whoever makes a mistake when reciting al-Fatihah and changes the meaning whilst being able to rectify it, then both his recitation and prayer are invalid if it is done deliberately. This is the position of the majority of scholars: Malikis, Shafi`is, Hanbalis as well as the early Hanafis. [350] Hanafis have detailed explications with regards to making mistakes in al-Fatihah. The rule amongst the early scholars among them is that reciting it with a change of meaning and believing in it is considered disbelief, rendering the recitation invalid. If the changes are not to that degree, it is still invalid. Likewise if the change in meaning is not similar to anything else in the Qur’an it is completely corrupted. The same ruling applies if it changes to a degree that the meaning is completely lost. Pronouncing the dod (ض) in wa la al-dalleen as a tha’ (ظ)
The prayer of one who pronounces the dod (ض) in wa la al-dalleen as a tha’ (ظ) is valid. This is the position of most Hanafis, the popular position of the Hanbali school, the correct position according to the Hanbali school, and one position among Shafi`is. Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Kathir, Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin chose this position. Repeating al-Fatihah for no reason
Repetition of al-Fatihah is not legislated during a single act of standing for no reason. [351] A reason being such as one’s recitation having faults, in which case its recitation is repeated. This is the position of the majority: the Hanafis, Malikis, and Hanbalis. Hearing oneself when reciting
It is not a condition that one hears one’s own recitation. [352] However, quiet recitation involves moving the tongue and lips. This degree of involvement is necessary when reciting Qur’an, supplications, or anything else. This is the position of the Maliki school, a position in the Hanafi and Hanbali schools, and the position of al-Thawri. It was chosen by Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn al-Qayyim, and Ibn `Uthaymin. The ruling of one who prays while unable to recite al-Fatihah
If an unlearned person is unable to recite al-Fatihah, his prayer is valid – if he is unable to learn it. Ibn Taymiyyah related consensus on this matter. What one who cannot recite al-Fatihah should do
Whoever cannot recite al-Fatihah must recite seven other verses if he is able to do so properly. If unable, he should recite any formulation of dhikr (remembrance of Allah). This is the position of the Shafi`is and Hanbalis. Ibn Baz and Ibn `Uthaymin chose this view. Saying Ameen in prayer
Saying Ameen is a confirmed sunnah after reciting al-Fatihah. [353] Al-Nawawi says: “There is consensus among the Ummah that one praying alone says Ameen, as does the imam and follower in quiet prayers. The majority hold this with regard to prayers offered out loud as well.” (Sharh Sahih Muslim) (4/130) Hanafis differ, saying it is sunnah to lower one’s voice during prayers offered out loud. As for the Maliki school, it is not mustahabb that the imam say Ameen during prayers offered out loud, but it is mustahabb for the follower if he hears the imam’s recitation. One recites it quietly during quiet prayers and loudly during prayers offered out loud. One also says Ameen with the imam. This is the position of the Shafi`i and Hanbali schools. It is also the position of the majority of the scholars and the generality of Hadith specialists. Secondly: The Ruling of Reciting more than Al-Fatihah and What is Sunnah to Recite in Prayer The ruling of reciting more than al-Fatihah
It is sunnah to recite a surah of the Qur’an after al-Fatihah during both units of the fajr prayer and during the first two units of all other wajib prayers. Consensus on this was related by Ibn Sireen, Ibn Qudamah, al-Nawawi, and al-Shawkani. What is sunnah to recite during the fajr prayer
It is sunnah to extend recitation during the fajr prayer. [354] According to the majority among the Malikis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis, one reads from Tiwal al-Mufassal. According to Hanafis, from 40 to 60 verses, and, according to one narration: from 60 to 100 verses. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence. Ibn al-Qayyim related the consensus of jurists that it is mustahabb to recite from Tiwal al-Mufassal [355] Tiwal al-Mufassal are surahs from Surah Qaf (50) to Surah al-Naba’ (78). during the fajr prayer. What is sunnah to recite during the zuhr prayer
Scholars are of two opinions regarding what should be recited during the zuhr prayer:
The first opinion: It is sunnah to recite from Awsat al-Mufassal [356] Awsat al-Mufassal are surahs from Surah al-Naba’ (78) to Surah al-Duha (93). during the zuhr prayer. This is the position of the Hanbalis, and one position among Hanafis. It was chosen by Ibn Baz and Ibn `Uthaymin.
The second opinion: It is sunnah to recite from Tiwal al-Mufassal during the zuhr prayer, like the fajr prayer. [357] However, they maintain that recitation during the zuhr prayer should be shorter than it is during the fajr prayer. According to Hanafis, it should be like recitation during the fajr prayer or slightly less. This is the position of the majority: the Hanafis, Malikis [358] However, they say that one should recite from the shorter surahs of Tiwal al-Mufassal. , and Shafi`is [359] It is mustahabb according to them to recite those surahs that are slightly shorter than Tiwal al-Mufassal. . What is sunnah to recite during the `asr prayer
It is sunnah to recite from Awsat al-Mufassal during the `asr prayer. This is the position of the majority: the Hanafis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis. What is sunnah to recite during the maghrib prayer
It is sunnah to recite from Qisar al-Mufassal [360] Qisar al-Mufassal are surahs from Surah al-Duha (93) until the end (Surah al-Nas, 114). during the maghrib prayer. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence. What is sunnah to recite during the `isha’ prayer
It is sunnah to recite from Awsat al-Mufassal during the `isha’ prayer, and this is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Thirdly: The Rulings of Reciting During Prayer Reciting in other than Arabic during prayer
It is not permissible to recite the Qur’an in any language other than Arabic during prayer. This is the position of the majority: the Malikis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis. It is the position of Abu Hanifah’s two companions [361] Abu Yusuf and Muhammad ibn al-Hasan. However, the impermissibility according to them is conditioned upon him not knowing Arabic. Otherwise, it is permissible if he doesn’t know Arabic. and that of the Zahiri school. Mispronunciations when reciting
Mispronouncing something when reciting anything other than al-Fatihah does not invalidate the prayer, even if it changes the meaning. [362] Unless one does so intentionally, in which case it invalidates the prayer. This is the position of the Shafi`i and Hanbali schools, some Hanafis, and one position found in the Maliki school. It is also the chosen position of Ibn Taymiyyah. Combining variant recitations (qira’at)
It is not legislated that one reciting combines variant recitations while reciting the Qur’an. Consensus on this was related by Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn al-Qayyim. Reversing the order of verses
It is not permissible to reverse [363] Reversal here means reciting a surah from end to start, reciting the end of it before its beginning, or reciting in other than the order found in the Qur’an. There is no difference of opinion that the order of verses is binding. the order of verses. Ibn Taymiyyah related consensus on this issue. Reversing the order of surahs
It is mustahabb to recite the surahs during the two units of prayer in the same order as they appear in the Qur’an. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence. Reciting out loud and quietly
What the imam recites out loud
It is legislated for the imam to recite out loud during the fajr prayer and the first two units of the maghrib and `isha’ prayers. Ibn Hazm, al-Nawawi, al-Zayn ibn al-Munir, and Ibn Qudamah related consensus on this.
The follower reciting quietly
It is sunnah for the follower to recite quietly whether he hears the imam or not. Al-Nawawi and Ibn Qudamah relate consensus on it being sunnah for the follower to recite quietly and on it being makruh for him to recite out loud.
The ruling of one praying alone reciting out loud during prayers offered out loud
Scholars differ regarding one praying alone: should he recite out loud in prayers offered out loud or should he recite quietly? There are two positions:
The first position: It is sunnah for one praying alone to recite out loud in prayers offered out loud. This is the position of the Maliki and Shafi`i schools, and one position among Hanbalis. It is the position of the majority of scholars and was chosen by Ibn Hazm and Ibn Baz.
The second position: One praying alone is free to choose whether to recite out loud or quietly. This is the position of the Hanafi and Hanbali schools, and was chosen by Ibn `Uthaymin. The ruling of seeking Allah’s protection from the devil in prayer
It is sunnah to seek the protection of Allah in prayer, and this is legislated before recitation. This is the position of the majority: the Hanafis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis.


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