Is it permissible to recite a different sura after already beginning a sura during prayer?
Thank you for your important question.
May Allah, Most High reward you for your desire to increase in knowledge.
When you begin the recitation of a sura in prayer, you should continue to recite that sura and not switch to another sura.
It is only permissible to specify a sura before prayer when:
It is the only sura you know at the time
It is in following the way of the Messenger Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace). Ex. Reciting Sura Alif Lam Mim Sajda’ in Fajr prayer based on this Hadith:
“The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to recite the following in the Fajr Prayer of Friday, “Alif, Lam, Mim, Tanzil” [Qur’an, 32:1] and “Hal ata ala al-insani.” [Qur’an 76:1] [Bukhari, al-Sahih]
Specifying a sura for other than these reasons is disliked. [Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr al-Razi, Tuhfat al-Muluk]
And Allah alone knows best,
[Ustadh] Omar Popal
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani