Do Mistakes in Recitation Invalidate the Prayer?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question

I am suffering from Waswasa during my Salah because I fear my incorrect pronunciation. Sometimes it is erroneous, and I must repeat myself; other times, it is not, but I repeat it anyway. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish between the two.
Should I repeat when I am incorrect to make sure my Salah is valid or not? I struggle to distinguish whether my pronunciation is correct or not. Does pronunciation affect my Salah? This especially happens when I am reciting Fatiha.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Mistakes in Prayer

There is much discussion in the books of sacred law regarding mistakes in recitation.

Many scholars have deemed that mistakes in recitation do not invalidate the prayer whatsoever, even if the meaning is changed significantly.

This is due to the fact that most people cannot distinguish between mistakes that invalidate the prayer and those that do not. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Correcting Recitation

I would advise you to seek a reliable teacher to improve your recitation of the Quran. Even though there is much leeway in the above opinion, we as believers should strive to recite the Quran correctly.

Hope this helps
Allah A’lam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.