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Can we recite the Fatiha in our heart behind the Imam?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

We all understand that when Imam is reciting then you  listen to him and  do not recite. There is no question as Fiqha is clear cut. However, when Imam is not reciting in Zoher and Asr prayers then we do not hear any thing and if we recite in our heart to keep our concentration to Allah (SWT). Is this permissible or not?? If not, then how does one keep his/her concentration focused in prayer.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalamu alaikum,

The established position of the Hanafi school is that it is prohibitively disliked ( makruh tahriman) and sinful for the follower to recite the Qur’an behind the Imam, even the Fatiha. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; see answer below]

The proofs for this position are explained by Shaykh Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf in his excellent Fiqh al-Imam [see: www.whitethreadpress.com], in which he explains the proofs of major ‘contentious’ issues in worship.

In order to concentrate, one can:

  • ‘Read’ the Fatiha in one’s mind without reciting it with one’s mouth or tongue;
  • Bring the Tremendousness of Allah to one’s heart and mind, and the sense of majesty and awe, as well as love and desire that Allah deserves from us.

And Allah alone gives success.

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.