Is My Prayer Invalid Due to My Mistakes in Recitation?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question

Since I accepted Islam in 2019, I discovered that my pronouncing was not good in salah. I said Bismillāhir ar-Rahman Ir-Rahim wrong and Aouthubillahi mina shaytanir rajeem.

Now I have an problem with surat al fatiha. I accepted Islam, but my family did not know it since it can cause mental or physical harm. With the silent prayers, I cannot pronounce the ر with the shaddah on it, and I had been trying but with no success, and since I cannot recite loud prayers most of the time, I always have to pray silently.

I am in an excruciating moment, and I am despondent. Are my prayers invalidated or not?

The rest of the salah is easy, but I cannot say the ر silently, and I am afraid all my prayers are invalidated.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

I am grateful to Allah Most High that you accepted Islam and are holding fast to the prayer even under challenging circumstances.

Remember that many of the Companions of the Prophet (Allah be pleased with them) were converts and faced similar and worse treatment due to their conversion.

Bear through patiently, and you will have a reward similar to theirs. Allah Most High says, “…and whoever is mindful of Allah, He will make for them a way out (of every difficulty).” [Quran; 65:03]

Mistakes in Recitation

Regarding your question, the mistakes you mentioned do not invalidate the prayers. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

However, it is better to seek a teacher to help you with your Quranic recitation. You may be able to find one in your local mosque or even online.

Quiet vs. Loud Prayers

Note that if you are praying by yourself (i.e., not leading others), you are also allowed to recite quietly in the loud prayer. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

Also, the minimum extent of quiet recitation is that you can hear yourself, and the maximum is that had a row of people behind you, they wouldn’t be able to attend. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar citing al-Khulasa]

This gives you some leeway, allowing you to raise your voice slightly so you can pronounce the letters correctly.

Community

I understand that you are in a difficult situation not being able to tell your family about your Islam. However, it would help if you tried to attend Islamic classes in your community or on the SeekersGuidance website.

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 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.