Are My Prayers Valid If I Don’t Recite the Opening Chapter?

Question: Assalamu ‘Alaykum. There have been times when I have just read an Ayah of a Surah in the fajr Salah due to the tightness of time without reciting any portion of Fatiha. Were these prayers valid?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

Yes, those prayers were all valid.

What is the Minimal Recitation?

Recitation of at least one verse is the bare minimum to ensure the validity of the prayers. It is wajib, however, to recite the Fatiha fully, and also wajib to add another three verses (or a short sura) or a long verse which equates to a short sura in length (Shurunbulali; Nur al Idah).

In times of necessity, reciting just one verse is fine. It is better to offer a deficient prayer in its time than to miss it. However, it is still deficient. Do your best to pray it in its optimal form within the time.

This ruling shows us the great blessing of nuance which Allah has provided us through the different valid interpretations of the Qur’an. Alhamdulillah.

I recommend you take our Essentials of Worship courses where you’ll learn all this properly, from an authoritative text.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.