Imaam goes to ruku before I finish recitation of soorah Al-Faatiha…Shaikh Saaleh Aala Shaikh

In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy

If the Imaam goes to Ruku before those praying behind him finish recitation of Soorah Faatihah, do they go into ruku or complete its recitation?

Answer: Indeed, this (affair) is based on the research concerning whether recitation of Soorah Faatihah is obligatory upon those praying behind the Imaam or whether the (obligation of reciting faatihah is carried out) by the Imaam (on behalf of those praying behind him).  That which the majority of the people of knowledge say–the majority of the Sahaabah (radiyallaahu-anhum), as Shaikh Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah and a group of the people of knowledge attributed to them is that the (obligation) of reciting Faatihah in the loud prayer is carried out by the Imaam on behalf of those praying behind him.  So if this is the case, then those praying behind the Imaam do not have to recite Faatihah according to this (statement/opinion); and if they recite some of it (i.e. in the instance where they are unable to finish it before the Imaam goes into ruku etc), then that would be sufficient.

 The second saying or view is that which a number of the scholars of research hold to be preponderant and it is that recitation of Faatihah is waajib upon the Imaam and those praying behind the Imaam or that it is a pillar (of the prayer).  And the evidence for this is the statement of the [Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) that Allaah said]: I have divided prayer between Myself and My servant into two halves, and My servant shall have what he has asked for.  When the servant says:  All praise belongs to Allaah the Rabb of all the . Worlds… the end of the hadeeth

.The name ‘Prayer’ given to Surah Al-Faatihah shows that it is a pillar within the prayer

Likewise is the statement of Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam): ”Perhaps you were reciting behind your imam?” We said: ”Yes, that is so, O Messenger of Allaah.” He said: “Do not do that, except for the Opening of the Book -al’ faatiha- for there is no prayer for the one who does not recite it.  This shows the obligation of reciting Faatihah and based upon this statement or view, the performer of the prayer goes along with what is possible and what he is able with regards to following the Imaam.  So if he is able to recite some of the (aayaat) of Faatihah, he is excused from the rest of it when the Imaam pronounces the Takbeer (i.e. when the Imaam pronounces the takbeer before going into ruku).  Therefore, it has occurred to you according to one of these statements or views  that the one praying behind the Imaam

is obligated to follow the Imaam when he goes into ruku, and he should leave recitation of  Faatihah

because the Imaam has moved onto another pillar and that is the Ruku.


For more benefits from the hadeeth: I have divided the prayer between Myself and My servant into two halves…..visit:




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