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What is the ruling on reciting Sûrah al-Fâtihah while praying in congregation behind the imam?

Answered by

Sheikh Salman al-Oadah
The recitation of Sûrah al-Fâtihah for a follower behind the imam in congregational prayer is a matter of disagreement among scholars. The majority of Companions and Successors were of the view that Sûrah al-Fâtihah should not be read in the audible prayers while the imam is reading.

This is the opinion that we prefer, since Allah says: “When the Qur’ân is read, listen to it with attention, and hold your peace that you may receive mercy.” [Sûrah al-A`râf: 204].

However, if the imam stops reading, then the one following in prayer should read Sûrah al-Fâtihah, because there is no silence without remembrance in prayers, and because the reason to abstain from reading is no longer present.

And Allah knows best.


For another opinion, please refer to the fatwâ on our archive by Sheikh `Abd Allah b. Sardâr entitled "Reciting Sûrah al-Fâtihah behind the imam"