What Should I Do If I Forget to Recite the Fatiha in Prayer?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum,

I was on the second cycle of the Fajr prayer then was having doubt on whether I recited the fatiha or not. So I stood up before the salam to repeat this cycle and performed the prostrations of forgetfulness. Is my prayer valid?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

If you forget to recite the Fatiha, all you need to do is to perform the prostrations of forgetfulness (sajda al-sahw). This is because recitation of the Fatiha is not an obligatory action, and thus missing it does not require a repeating of any units (rak`ats) or the prayer itself.

If you get a doubt during the prayer, you should ignore it and act on the basis of your reasonable surety.

Please also see: A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings)

And consider taking the following free class at SeekersHub: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Basic Hanafi Jurisprudence (STEP)

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,
Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani