Question:

What is the proof for one to recite Surah Fatiha behind the imam before or during the Imaam’s recitation of Surah Fatiha  as opposed to waiting until he has concluded reciting Surah Fatiha?

Answer:

The Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam said:

عَنْ عُبَادَةَ بْنِ الصَّامِتِ، قَالَ صَلَّى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الصُّبْحَ فَثَقُلَتْ عَلَيْهِ الْقِرَاءَةُ فَلَمَّا انْصَرَفَ قَالَ ‏”‏ إِنِّي أَرَاكُمْ تَقْرَءُونَ وَرَاءَ إِمَامِكُمْ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِي وَاللَّهِ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ فَلاَ تَفْعَلُوا إِلاَّ بِأُمِّ الْقُرْآنِ فَإِنَّهُ لاَ صَلاَةَ لِمَنْ لَمْ يَقْرَأْ بِهَا

Ubadah bin As-Samit narrated:

“Allah’s Messenger prayed the Subh prayer, and he had difficulty with the recitation. When he turned (after finishing), he said: ‘I think that you are reciting behind your Imam?'” He said: “We said: ‘Yes, Messenger of Allah, by Allah!’ He said: ‘Do not do that, except for Umm Al-Kitab, for there is no Salat for one who does not recite it.’

[Graded as Jayyid by al-Albani in Asl Sifat as-Salah (1/327)]

Translated by

Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan
Abu Sulaymaan

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The salaf used to pause after the fatiha so that the people can read it as Imam Bukhari mentions in Qirat khalf al Imam. But if the Imam does not leave space, then read it even if the Imam is reading  as Said ibn Jubair says in the following proof:

– عن عبد الله بن عثمان بن خيثم ، قال : قلت لسعيد بن جبير : أقرأ خلف الإمام ؟ قال : نعم وإن سمعت قراءته إنهم قد أحدثوا شيئا لم يكونوا يصنعونه ، إن السلف كانوا إذا أم أحدهم الناس كبر ، ثم أنصت حتى يظن أن من خلفه قد قرأ فاتحة الكتاب ، ثم قرأ ثم أنصت

الراوي: سعيد بن جبير المحدث: ابن حجر العسقلاني – المصدر: نتائج الأفكار – الصفحة أو الرقم: 2/26
خلاصة حكم المحدث: موقوف صحيح

On the authority of Abdullah ibn Uthman ibn Khuthaim said: I asked Said ibn Jubair rahimuhallah, “Does one recite behind the Imam?”, He said: Yes even if you hear his recitation. They have innovated something that they (salaf) did not used to do. The salaf, if anyone of them lead salah, would say takbir then keep quiet until he thought those behind him read fatiha. Then he would read (Surah al-Faatihah) and keep quiet (after that). [Saheeh according to Hafidh in his checking of Kitab Adhkaar Imaam Nawai called نتائج الأفكار Also in Bukhari’s Qiraat khalaf al Imam no. 164)

The method Said ibn Jubair is mentioning of reading fatiha first by the mamun (those behind the Imaam), and then the Imam reading, is how it used to be done according to him. Or, as the Sahaba also used to read at the same time, either after each ayah when there was a pause or while the Imam is going.

There are similar proof in Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah and Bukhari’s Qiraat Khalaf al Imam.

And Allah Knows Best.

Translated by

Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan
Abu Sulaymaan

So if one cannot do so, then with the Imam (Surah al-Faatihah can be read simultaneously) and there is no harm.

Shaikh Ibn ul-‘Uthaymeen rahimahullah said:

In regards to the one behind the Imam, then he recites Fatiha even if the Imam is reciting according to the opinion we choose due to the general statement of the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam:

لا صلاة لمن لم يقرأ بأم القرآن

He who does not recite Umm al-Qur’an is not credited with having observed prayer.

[Saheeh Muslim no. 394]

And this Hadith is established in the Saheehayn and other than it. And in the Hadith of Ubaadah ibn Saamit in the Sunan that the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam became mixed up in the fajr prayer. After finishing he said:

علكم تقرؤون خلف إمامكم قالوا نعم قال لا تفعلوا إلا بأم القرآن فإنه لا صلاة لمن لم يقرأ بها

I think that you are reciting behind your Imam?'” He said: “We said: ‘Yes, Messenger of Allah, by Allah!’ He said: ‘Do not do that, except for Umm Al-Kitab, for there is no Salat for one who does not recite it.”

And this is apparent for the one who is behind the Imam to recite even in the loud prayers because that was the fajr prayer and it is a loud prayer. So this Hadith is clear that he recites even if the Imam recites and the generality of the above-mentioned Hadith is evidence which we indicated

[Noor ‘ala Darb (2/8)]

Translated by

Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan
Abu Sulaymaan

Abu Fajr AbdulFattaah bin Uthman’s response on this issue:

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