Reciting the Fatiha behind the Imam

Question: Does the follower have to recite the Fatiha after the Imam recites it?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Yes, even if the imam recites the Fatiha aloud, the follower must still recite the Fatiha at some point before he goes into the bowing position. This could be before, during, or after the imam’s recital of the Fatiha. (Minhaj al-Talibin, Nawawi)

Some of the Prophetic Companions were reciting behind the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) as he was reciting in prayer. He noticed and said, ‘Perhaps you recite behind your imam?’
‘Yes, O Messenger of Allah,’ they responded.
‘Do not do that, except for the Opening of the Book, for indeed there is no prayer for the one who does not recite it.’ (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibban and others; al-Qira’a Khalf al-Imam, Bukhari)

It is recommended for the imam to pause after he recites the Fatiha so that the follower can recite the Fatiha to himself. (Fath al-Mu’in, Millibari) Even if he doesn’t do that, the follower still has to recite the Fatiha one way or the other.

Please also see:
https://islamqa.org/shafii/seekersguidance-shafii/108309

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years, he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.