What Should I Do If the Imam I Pray behind Often Recites Less than the Minimum Amount of Necessary (Wajib) Recitation?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


I often pray behind an Imam who either recites one or two long ayas, which doesn’t equate to the length of wajib recitation of 3 ayas, or they don’t recite in order as Hanafi fiqh states. In these cases, should I pray again or what?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

In the Hanafi school, it is necessary to recite three small verses or one long verse equal to the smallest three verses in length. However, the scholars have added a condition that the three verses with which one is comparing must be sequential. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Three Smallest Sequential Verses

The three smallest sequential verses in the Quran are the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd verses of Sura al-Muddathir (74), which together add up to 29 letters in length. [Ibid.]

If the Imam recited at least 29 letters or more, the prayer is valid, and the action is not prohibitively disliked. [Ibid.]

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch teaches Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he completed four years at the Darul Uloom Seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences.

He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he studied for three years in Dar al-Mustafa under some of the most outstanding scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib.

In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Quran and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Quranic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.