Is It Obligatory to Recite Sura Fatiha behind an Imam?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question

Is it obligatory to recite Sura Fatiha behind an imam? If so, what if the person reciting Fatiha behind an imam makes a mistake? Is his prayer valid?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

It is not obligatory nor is it Sunna to recite any Quran behind the Imam (i.e. the one leading the prayer). [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah]

He also said, “Whoever prays behind the Imam (leader of the prayer), then the Imam’s recitation is his recitation.” [Ahmad; Bayhaqi]

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[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 Quran and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Quranic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.