Header Ads

Header ADS


Sanusi Lafiagi

One of the controversial jurisprudential issues among the fuqahā of previous and present generations is whether or not it is required of the follower of an Imām to recite Fātiha in a Salāt of silent recitation (dhuhr, ‘asr, last raka’ah of maghrib and last two raka’ah of ishā’). To begin with, it is important to note that all scholars agree that recitation of Fātiha on Salāt is a fundamental requirement & that no Salāt is valid without it. The evidence for this is the hadīth by ‘Ubādah bn as-Sāmit that the Prophet ‏said: لا صلاة لمن لم يقرأ بفاتحة الكتاب “There is no prayer for the one who does not recite the Opening of the Book (Fātiha). 

In another narration by Abū Hurayrah, the Prophet said, “كل صلاة لا يقرأ فيها بأم الكتاب فهي خداج ، فهي خداج ، فهي خداج ، غير تمام. ““Any Salāt in which the Opening of the Book (Fātiha) is not recited is deficient, it’s deficient, it’s deficient, incomplete.” They, however differed as to whether or not this injunction applies to the following instances:

a. Where the Imām recites aloud (Fajr, & first two ‎raka’ah of maghrib and ishā’)

‎b. When one catches the Imām just before bowing

‎c. When one catches the Imām in the bowing posture

‎(I won’t bore you with much of the details). In the first case, Al-Albānī rahimahuLlāh has argued (see his صفة صلاة النبي) that the follower ‎is not required to recite Fātiha. His proofs are:

‎a. The statement of the Prophet وَإِذَا قَرَأَ فَأَنْصِتُوا “and when he (Imām) recites, be silent.”

‎b. The hadīth من كان له إمام فقراءة الإمام له قراءة “whoever prays behind an Imām, the letter’s recitation suffices him.”

‎As for the first proof, it is deemed to be عام “general” while the ahādīth invalidating Salāt are khāss “specific”. In the principles of Islamic jurisprudence أصول الفقه, specific texts are given preference over general texts. Thus, the proof in that hadīth is overridden.

The second hadīth which he quoted as been declared weak by majority of experts like Bukhārī, Ibn Taimiyah, bn al-Jawzī, Ibn Kathīr, Ibn Hajar, Nawawī, among others. The most authoritative opinion (in my view) is that one must still recite Fātiha. Ibn Hajar, rahimahuLlāh ‎said: يُنْصِتُ إِذَا قَرَأَ الإِمَام وَيَقْرَأُ إِذَا سَكَتَ “he (the follower) keeps quiet while the Imām recites and recites when the Imām is silent.” 

What he means by this statement is that the follower shall recite Fātiha intermittently when the Imām pauses in-between ‎verses of Fātiha or before the sūrah. If, however, he didn’t pause in any of these moments, the follower will recite Fātiha while Imām recites the sūrah.  Shaykh bn Bāz said: 

‎فإن لم يسكت الإمام فالواجب على المأموم أن يقرأ الفاتحة ولو في حال قراءة الإمام في أصح قولي العلماء. ‎“If the Imām doesn’t pause recitation, then, it is obligatory upon the follower to recite Fātiha even while the Imām recites, according to the most authoritative view of the scholars.” (فتاوى الشيخ ابن باز ج/11 ص/221). 

In summary, it’s best for d follower to recite Fātiha (only) in this case. This does not in any way suggest that the one that does not recite Fātiha in this instance has no Salāt, since the matter is subject to ijtihād. I, however, maintain that to be on a safer side, it’s better to recite it.

I will address the other issues later.

No comments

Powered by Blogger.