Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi
Can you give evidence that the second Surah after the Fatiha is obligatory?
I heard that there was a hadith saying that anything more than the recitation of Al Fatiha is merely better.
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful
I pray this finds you in the best of states.
The recitation of a second Surah after the Fatiha is not obligatory (fard) but nonetheless fulfills a necessary (wajib) duty of the prayer.
In fact, in the Hanafi school, the minimum obligatory (fard) amount is one short verse in total. Allah Most High commands, “Recite whatever is made easy for you of the Quran.” [Quran, 73.20]. A prayer without this minimum amount is not valid.
The necessary (wajib) amount is the Fatiha and the extent of three short verses, based on Prophetic practice and instruction. It is sinful to leave this amount. Nonetheless, the prayer remains valid. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]
A Proof for This Ruling
The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said: “No [proper] prayer [has been performed] for someone who has not recited the Fatiha and a Surah in an obligatory prayer or any other prayer.” [Tirmidhi; Ibn Maja]
And Allah knows best.
[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani