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Fatiha in Prayer…

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Can you elaborate on the following?
1.The Fatiha: (a) Is it recited to oneself with lips moving? (b) Within oneself without lips moving? (c) Or not at all? (d) Who recites it in congregation?

2.Dogs: What is najis about them? Do we have to wash 7 times?

3.What are the bare essentials of wudu?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful


Text: [transcribed from audio answer by Sr. Huma Shah

Can you elaborate on the following?

The fatiha: (a) Is it recited to oneself with lips moving? (b) Within oneself without lips moving? (c) Or not at all? (d) Who recites it in congregation?


1. There are answers related to reciting the Fatiha in prayer for hanafis on Sunni Path. But basically, the minimum valid recitation is to make one’s lips move. The stronger position is that one also has to be able to hear oneself for it to be a minimum quiet recitation. So when you are reciting at home, for example, or leading a quiet prayer, such as, Zuhr or Asr prayer, then one recites to oneself. What’s meant by reciting? The definition of reciting is to make one’s lips move. The stronger position is one has to make oneself heard. There is less strong opinion but it is followable particularly from past practice that if one moved one’s lips and tongue i.e. one pronounces the letters but do not make a sound it’ll still be valid. But it is best and soundest and most precautious to recite such, ya’ani, with a quiet whisper such that one could in normal quiet circumstances hear oneself i.e. with one’s ears.

As for reading it within oneself without pronouncing it with the tongue, this is not recitation by scholarly consensus. Just thinking through the Faitha or surah Asr is not considered recitation rather it is thinking about the Fatiha and this is not sufficient.

As for reciting the Fatiha in the prayer, it is wajib. In hanafi school it is obligatory to recite one verse of the Quran. It is wajib to recite the Fatiha and the equivalent of three short verses in two rakah’s of the obligatory prayer. It is wajib also to specify the first two rakah’s for that recitation. It is wajib to recite the fatiha and the extent of three short verses in every rakah of the wajib prayer and of sunna and nafl prayer and supererogatory prayer. This is the recitation.

Who recites?

In Hanafi school, the Imam recites and the one praying alone recites. The follower does not recite anything whatsoever of the Quran. The follower does not recite the Fatiha, does not recite a surah after it. However, ya’ani, the follower says all the supplications and dhikrs of the prayer. So one pronounces the opening takbir, one says the opening dua, one says the takbirs of the movements and the dhikrs related to the movements, the tashahhud, all the other dhikrs and supplications of the prayer. The tashahhud at the end, the salawat on the Prophet, all these things one does say them. However, one does not recite the Fatiha whether the imam is reciting out loud or if the imam is reciting quietly.

You may wonder why and this is not the time or place to explain that. There are some answers on hanafi fiqh list that explains that somewhat, particularly the answer by our dear teacher Shaykh Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf. If you want to read it in depth I would highly recommend Shaykh Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf’s work, Fiqhul Imam: Key proofs in hanafi madhab, which goes into the proofs related to hanafi worship in some detail and with, ya’ani, with great scholarly competence. This book is available through the previously mentioned site alrashad.com. It is also available through SunniPath Bookstore. You can find the link readily through my blog which you can find on Sidi Masud Khan’s website insha’Allah.

2. As for dogs, what is najis about them is their meat and their saliva. Their hair itself is not najis even when wet.

As for 7 washings this is not obligatory in the hanafi madhab. In hanafi madhab, filth of dog is removed as any other filth. The only difference being that it is recommended to wash 7 times and it’s good if one uses dust or soap or something with it. However, these are not obligatory or emphasized in hanafi madhab. The saliva of dog is najis however it is removed as anything else is removed. If a wet dog shakes and sprays water on you, all you have to do is nothing. Why? Because their hair is not itself filthy whether they are alive or dead. So this is the ruling of dogs.

3. As for the bare essentials of wudu: The bare essentials of wudu are very straight forward. They are explained in answers on Sunni Path. But basically, there are four obligatory acts of wudu only. Which are:

To wash the face entirely
To wash the arms entirely upto and including one’s elbows
To wipe atleast a quarter of one’s head above the ears; and
To wash both feet completely upto and including the ankles.

If one does these four things one’s wudu is valid. The intention is a sunna, the order is a sunna, saying the basmala is a sunna, all these others things are confirmed sunnas. One should not leave those confirmed sunnas. Why? Because if one makes it a habit, without excuse, one would be considered to be sinful in hanafi madhab. So one should take the means to learn them.

My sincere advice to you would be to only switch over to the hanafi madhab once one is sure that one has enough knowledge to be able to act soundly upon the madhab. I would highly recommend that you take the means to find a teacher insha’Allah and they are around. Please make dua that we get our classes and so on up soon on Sunni Path because that may be one of the means for you to learn. But if you have a teacher in your area, I would highly recommend that you study with them because there is more baraka in studying directly under a teacher when possible. When it’s not possible then you may learn from services such as Sunni Path and so on. Whenever you have doubt or anything unclear or seem difficult then do not hesitate to ask someone who understands and may Allah grant us all understanding. Wal Hamdu Lillahi Rabil Aalameen.

Faraz Rabbani

This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.

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