What Should You Do If You Haven’t Uttered Words of the Fatiha or Tashahud?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi


I recite aloud adequately in prayer, which only I can hear, but not anyone else.

However, despite sometimes reciting, I pronounce some words without moving my lips or tongue. In these cases (sometimes in Surat al-Fatiha, other Suras, or Tashahud), I repeat the words and perform a prostration of forgetfulness.

Is repeating the words that were not pronounced and performing prostration of forgetfulness appropriate? Are all my previous prayers valid in which I have prayed like that?


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

I pray this finds you in the best of states.

You cannot hear yourself utter words without moving your lips or tongue.

If you have heard yourself, your prayer is valid, and you don’t need to perform the prostrations of forgetfulness, even if you think you have not moved your lips or tongue. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah; Tahtawi, Hashya ‘ala Maraqi al-Falah; Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

If you have not been able to hear yourself, even if you have moved your lips or tongue, you have not performed the required recitation. You will have to perform the prostrations of forgetfulness if any part of the Fatiha or the Tashahud has not been uttered out of forgetfulness. [Ibid]

If you have not been able to hear yourself uttering a word, then repeat it while hearing yourself. Doing so won’t invalidate the prayer because you have not introduced in the prayer an action that doesn’t belong to it. You don’t have to perform the prostrations of forgetfulness by doing so because you have not forgotten to perform a wajib element of the prayer. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

Previous Prayers

Your previous prayers were valid because you have performed all the obligatory (fard) components of the prayer. Missing obligatory (wajib) parts of the prayer are of no consequence for the validity of the prayer. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]

Prostrations of Forgetfulness

Indeed not uttering a part of the Fatiha or the Tashahud out of forgetfulness entails the duty to perform two prostrations of forgetfulness. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah; Tahtawi, Hashiya ‘ala Maraqi al-Falah]

If you have not uttered a part of the Fatiha or the Tashahud willingly, then you are sinful, and it is obligatory for you to repeat this prayer. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]


It is not problematic to be unable to hear yourself when surrounded by noises if you are confident that you would have been able to hear yourself if you had prayed alone in a silent room. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

And Allah knows best.
[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Sufyan Qufi is an advanced seeker of knowledge, originally from Algeria, who grew up in France. He began searching far and wide for answers to the fundamental questions of life and was disappointed at the answers he found. Then he connected with various traditional teachers and gradually connected with SeekersGuidance. He embarked on his journey of learning through the various teachers at SeekersGuidance, including his mentor Shaykh Faraz Rabbani. He studied numerous texts in Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith, and other areas with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and other teachers, including Shaykh Abdurrahman al-Sha‘ar, Shaykh Ali Hani, and others. He is an active instructor at SeekersGuidance and answers questions through the SeekersGuidance Answers Service.