Should I Repeat the Prayers Where I Have Recited the Fatiha Behind the Imam?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi

Question

I’m following the Hanafi madhab and establishing the five daily prayers. Recently I came to know that reciting behind the imam is prohibited so now I don’t recite anything behind the imam. But what about my prayers of the last two years in which I recited surah Fatiha behind the imam? I’m really worried. Should I repeat those prayers or are they valid?

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

I pray this finds you in the best of states.

The prayers you have prayed reciting the Fatiha behind the Imam were valid even according to the Hanafi school. You don’t have to repeat them. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]

The reason for this is that you have performed behind the Imam all the obligatory (fard) actions needed for a valid prayer according to the Hanafi school and being silent behind the Imam while he recites the Fatiha is not one of them.

Nonetheless, it remains prohibitively disliked and sinful for the follower to recite the Fatiha behind the Imam according to the Hanafi school. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]

This ruling is based on the following verse of the Quran:
“When the Qur’an is recited, listen to it and be silent, so that you may be blessed.” [Quran, 2:204]

The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) also said: “The one who has an Imam then the recitation of the Imam is deemed a recitation for him also”. [Ibn Majah]

Repeating Those Prayers

If you decide to repeat those prayers despite them being valid you will be rewarded.

The fatwa position of most of the later scholars is that if prayer was performed with something prohibitively disliked, it is (1) necessary (wajib) to repeat within the time; and (2) not necessary to repeat after the time—but, rather, it is recommended to repeat. [Haskafi, al-Durr al-Mukhtar; Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah]

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam
[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani