Does Repeating Al-Fatiha Due to Waswasa Invalidate My Prayer?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick

Question

Sometimes behind the Imam, after reciting Fatiha and saying amin, I doubt a verse, so I repeat the recitation from the point I doubted onwards.

Is my prayer valid? Do I need to repeat Fatiha from the beginning? Especially if a few seconds passed after amin. I follow the rule that reciting Fatiha behind the imam is needed in silent prayers. Would you please advise as I get waswasa and usually forget the sukun in the word ‘maghdubi’?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to that which is pleasing to Him.

What you described is called waswasa and is also referred to as OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder).  Waswasa is one means that the devil uses to misguide people and distract them from Allah by casting doubts and whispers (waswas) into their hearts. You should categorically ignore these, and Allah knows best. We strongly advise you to oppose the devil by not repeating any of the verses and simply ignoring these distractions. If you do not follow through with this, you will find more and more doubts until your life becomes unbearable, Allah forbid.

Please see this reader for more details and solutions to this severe affliction.

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.