Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq
Question: I converted two weeks ago and am learning how to properly pray. While learning the obligatory actions, I always prayed in congregation to see step by step what actions were required. Later, I started adding wajib and sunna actions. Until I learnt them, I sometimes recited the general meaning of the invocation in English (for example, making shahada in tashahhud). Not having memorized du’as yet, I still supplicate in English. I both use the meaning of sunnah or Quranic supplications and personal supplication for which I don’t know du’as. Also, sometimes I cut my recitation of the tashahhud short behind an Imam to follow him because I recite slow. Considering this all, is my worship correct, so far, or there is something wrong in what I did (or do)?
Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allah descend on the Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions, and those who follow them.
I pray you are in good health and spirits.
I apologize for the delay in writing back.
May Allah reward you for your concern about your prayers.
None of the information you provided suggests that your prayer was invalid. If you omitted a necessary “wajib” action, but the prayer time expired, then you do not need to make up that prayer.
In future, give yourself some time to practice before actually starting the prayer. And take your time. One does not learn all the elements of the prayer in one day.
May I suggest enrolling in a SeekersGuidance course, such as the Absolute Essentials of Islam? You can learn more at SeekersGuidance.org.
May Allah reward you,
Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq
February 24, 2010
Rabi’ al-Awwal 11, 1431
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani