Sholat 101: The journey to Allah, recited Al-Fatihah in every raka’at of prayer

Sholat 101: The journey to Allah, recited Al-Fatihah in every raka’at of prayer

In the name of Allah the Most Loving and Love-Giving.

All Praise to be to Allah

O Muslima.. Have we strived to ensure our sholat (prayers) are what the Prophet has taught?

The performance of Sholat (prayer) was “the first act of worship” that Allah made obligatory for all believers (in Allah and His Messenger (pbuh)). Our Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“You pray as you see me praying.” (Narrated by Bukhari)

Illustration by AA Sumadri  Sholat 101: The journey to Allah, recited Al-Fatihah in every raka’at of prayer ornamen china aa

Illustration by AA Sumadri

Every Muslim in every raka’at in their sholat (prayer) should read surah Al-Fatihah. Surah Al-Fatihah is the first chapter of the Quran and must be recited in every prayer.

Rasulullah Shalallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said;

”Whoever performs any prayer in which he did not recite Umm Al-Qur’an (the Opening of the Book Al-Qur’an), then his prayer is incomplete.” (Narrated by Bukhari).

Narrated ‘Ubâdah bin As-Sâmit, Allâh’s Messenger said:

Whoever does not recite Surah Al-Fatihah in his prayer, his prayer is invalid.
[Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol.1, Hadith No. 723]

These hadith testify to the requirement that reciting opening of the Qur’an (Al-Fatihah) in the prayer is required, and there is a consensus between the scholars on this ruling.

وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَاكَ سَبْعًا مِنَ الْمَثَانِي وَالْقُرْآنَ الْعَظِيمَ

“And indeed, We have bestowed upon you seven of Al-Mathani (the seven repeatedly recited Verses), (i.e. Surat Al-Fatiha) and the Grand Quran.”
[Surah Al-Hijr: 87]

The Surah appears below in its entirety:

بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمـَنِ الرَّحِيم
الْحَمْدُ للّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِين
الرَّحمـنِ الرَّحِيم
مَـالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّين
إِيَّاك نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِين
اهدِنَــــا الصِّرَاطَ المُستَقِيم
صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنعَمتَ عَلَيهِمْ غَيرِ المَغضُوبِ عَلَيهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّين

1. In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

2. All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the Creator, Owner, Sustainer of the worlds. 

3. The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

4. The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)

5. You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).

6. Guide us to the Straight Way

7. The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger, nor of those who went astray.

What about if we pray jama’ah with Imam? Should we recite al-Fatihah?

The one who is praying behind an imam is to keep quiet while the imam is reciting aloud, as Allah Subhanahu waTa’ala states in the Holy Quran:
وَ إِذا قُرِئَ الْقُرْآنُ فَاسْتَمِعُوا لَهُ وَأَنْصِتُوا لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ 

“When the Quran is recited, then listen attentively to it and remain silent so that mercy be shown to you.” [Surah Al-A’’raaf: 204].

Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said,

“Remain silent when the Imam is reading.” (Narrated by: Muslim (Vol.1, Pg.174) reports an authentic Hadith).

Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam also said,

When the imam makes the takbir, (you too) make the takbir. When he recites, be silent.” (Narrated by Muslim.).

Others hadith states, “Whoever is praying behind an imam, the imam’s recital is his recital. If the imam reads quietly, then all of the followers must also make their own recital. If one cannot hear the imam’s recital, he must make his own recital.”

According to Imam Abu Hanifah Rahmatullah alayh, the Muqatadi (person following the Imam in sholat) must neither recite Surah Fatihah nor any other Surah. The above verse regarding listening attentively and remaining silent applies to the person performing sholat as well as to others.

According to Imam Ahmad (Rahmatullah alayh) it is not wajib (compulsory) to recite neither Surah Fatiha nor any other Surah in sholat while following an Imam.

According to Imam Shafi’ee (Rahmatullah alayh), it will be wajib for a person to recite form the Quran behind the Imam in such a sholat wherein the recitation is silent (sirri). However, in the audible sholat (jahri), recitation will not be wajib. According to his revised opinion, it will be wajib to recite in both types of sholat (jahri and sirri).

Imam Malik (Rahmatullah alayh) and Imam Ahmad (Rahmatullah alayh) maintain that recitation of the muqtadi is not fardh (obligation), but in certain situations, it will be optional.

May Allah gives us good knowledge that will lead us to success in this life and the life after. May Allah guide us to the right path of life that will lead us all to Jannah Al firdaus.



[Reference : Anwaarul Bayaan/ Illuminating Discourses on the Noble Quran p.g 101-103, vol. 4]

Qathrun Nada Djamil

A wife and a mother of 4 children. Lives at Jeddah-Saudi Arabia.Graduated from faculty of Law-University of Indonesia, Jakarta-Indonesia. Finished diploma of Business English at Business Training Limited -England

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