Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalam alaykum
Can I pray in English and Arabic during the prayer?
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
No, you cannot pray in English because there is no need to do so when you, minimally, have a single verse memorised in Arabic.
The reason for this is because reciting a single verse in Arabic during the prayer is sufficient to validate it. Allah Most High says, “So recite as much of the Qur’an as is easy for you.” [73:20]
But there are a number of necessary (wajib) actions, relating to recitation, which must also be performed. You can learn about them by taking the following free course: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Basic Hanafi Jurisprudence (STEP)
The only case in which a person would recite in English [or their mother tongue] is if they are unable to recite a single verse in Arabic. The shortest verse which will validate a prayer is “thumma nazar.” [74:21]
Yet, if a person is unable to recite this, it would be obligatory for them to learn how to recite it, and subsequently memorise it in order that they can validate their prayer.
As you are striving to learn the outward laws of the prayer, and its requisites, I’d also recommend learning the inward aspects and the meanings of the prayer so you can move from mere ritualistic movements to spiritual experiences.
[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah with Tahtawi’s Gloss (1.308); Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar (1.360)]
Please also see: Are My Prayers Invalid If I Don’t Understand Arabic? and:Supplicating in Prostration
And Allah Most High alone knows best.
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.