Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
If I read the Fatiha with the imam, by reciting each verse after each of his verses, is my prayer valid in the Shafi’i school?
Thank you for your question.
Fatiha Behind the Imam
I asked Shaykh Mohammad Badhib, the illustrious scholar from Yemen about this, and this is what he said:
The prayer is still valid. However, what is obligatory on her is to listen to his Fatiha and recite hers after he is done with his. This is the default ruling and the sunnah because of the hadith of Anas bin Malik that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), said, “Verily the Imam is appointed only to be followed; so when he prays standing, pray standing, and when he bows, bow; when he raises himself, raise yourselves; when he says ‘Allah listens to him who praises Him‘, “Our Lord ! to Thee be the praise.” [Bukhari; Muslim]
Not Enough Time
He also said, “However, if the imam is praying quickly or his recitation is fast, and one knows that one will not be able to read the Fatiha after his Fatiha because he will surely bow before one is finished, it is permissible for one to read the Fatiha with him. And Allah knows best.“
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.