Answered by Shaykh Sohail Hanif, SunniPath Academy Teacher
I pray ‘in my mind’ sometimes, i.e., without moving my lips when reciting fatiha and the tasbihaat, etc…Have I committed an error?
There are two opinions within the Hanafi school regarding what is considered the minimal recitation such that anything less than it would not be considered recitation.
One opinion, deemed the stronger, is that one must be able to hear oneself when reciting. If one is not able to hear oneself then the recitation does not count.
The other opinion, also deemed strong, is that one’s recitation is correct as long as one pronounces all of the letters, i.e. by moving one’s tongue and lips as though one is reciting aloud even though no sound is being produced and one is not even able to hear oneself.
Reading in one’s mind, however, without even moving one’s lips, is invalid, and if not even a single verse was recited properly, would render the prayer invalid. [Ibn Abidin]
And Allah knows best.
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