Recitation [of the Fātiḥah and the Other Chapter] and its Rules
Q 454: What is the rule regarding the prayers in which our recitation of al-Fātiḥah and the other chapter is not loud?
A: It is obligatory for men to recite the chapter the Fātiḥah and the other chapter loudly in the morning, maghrib, and ‘ishā’ prayers, and their prayer is void if they intentionally recite them quietly, but if they do so unintentionally or out of ignorance, their prayer is correct.
Q 455: While performing the qaḍā’ of morning prayer, should the ‘recitation’ be done loudly or quietly?
A: It is obligatory to recite the Fātiḥah and the other chapter loudly in morning, maghrib, and ‘ishā’ prayers whether the prayers are performed on time or later and at all times even if their qaḍā’ is being performed during the day. If one intentionally does not recite them loudly, his prayer is void.
Q 456: We know that each prayer consists of intention, takbīrah al-iḥrām, the Fātiḥah, the other chapter, rukū‘, and prostration. On the other hand, it is obligatory to recite quietly the noon and afternoon prayers, the third rak‘ah of the maghrib, and the last two rak‘ahs of ‘ishā’ prayers. However, in the Radio and the TV, the dhikrs of rukū‘ and prostration of the third rak‘ah are read loudly. Given that these rukū‘ and prostration are parts of a rak‘ah in which quiet recitation is obligatory, what is the rule regarding this matter?
A: The obligation of loud recitation in maghrib, ‘ishā’ and morning prayers and of quiet recitation in the noon and afternoon prayers are limited to the recitation of the Fātiḥah and the other chapter, just as the obligation of quiet recitation in the rak‘ahs other than the first two rak‘ahs of maghrib and ‘ishā’ prayers applies only to the recitation of the Fātiḥah or the tasbīḥāt al-arba‘ah of those rak‘ahs. As for the dhikrs of rukū‘ and prostration and also tashahhud and salām and other obligatory dhikrs of the five daily prayers, the mukallaf has the choice to recite in either way, loudly or quietly.
Q 457: If someone wants to perform, in addition to the seventeen daily rak‘ahs, another seventeen rak‘ahs of qaḍā’ prayers by way of caution, will it be obligatory for him to recite loudly or quietly in the first two rak‘ahs of morning, maghrib, and ‘ishā’ prayers?
A: With respect to the obligation of loud or quiet recitation in daily prayers, there is no difference between adā’ or qaḍā’ prayers even when their qaḍā’ is performed by way of caution.
Q 458: We know that the word "ṣalāt" [prayer] ends with "t" but in adhān it is said: "ḥayya ‘alaṣṣalāh" [hurry up for prayer] ending with "h". Is this correct?
A: There is no problem in ending the word "ṣalāt" with "h" while stopping at the end of the word. Rather, it is obligatory.
Q 459: Given that, in his commentary on the blessed chapter of the Fātiḥah, Imam Khomeini (q.) prefers the word "malik" over "mālik" is it correct to pronounce the word in both ways while reciting this holy chapter in obligatory and non-obligatory prayers for the sake of caution?
A: There is no problem in observing caution in this respect.
Q 460: Is it correct to stop, without immediate transfer to the rest of the sentence, after reciting "ghayr il-maghḍūbi ‘alayhim", and then start reading "Wa laḍ-ḍāllīn"? And is it correct, while reciting "Allāhumma ṣalli ‘alā Muhammad wa āli Muhammad" in tashahhud, to stop after the word "Muhammad" (s.) and then to continue by reciting "wa āli Muhammad"?
A: It does not harm as long as it does not reach the point of disturbing the integrity of the sentence.
Q 461: The following question had been directed to Imam Khomeini (q.): “Considering that there are several opinions on the pronunciation of the Arabic letter ‘Ḍād’ in the science of tajwīd, what is your view?” Imam replied: “It is not obligatory to know the points of articulation of letters according to the opinions of tajwīd experts; rather, one should pronounce every letter in a way that it is considered correct according to the common view of the Arabs.”
My question is:
i) What is the meaning of the phrase “that it is considered correct according to the common view of the Arabs”? And is it not correct that the rules of tajwīd — like Arabic grammar rules — have been derived from the Arabs’ usage of the language? If so, how could the two be separated from one another?
ii) If someone is sure — based on a reliable method — that he does not pronounce or articulate the letters correctly and he has the ability and opportunity to learn this science, would it be obligatory for him to learn the proper pronunciation as much as possible?
A: The standard for correct pronunciation is its compliance with the way the native speakers, from whom the rules of tajwīd have been derived, pronounce the letters when they read. Therefore, if a difference of opinions among scholars of tajwīd as to what constitutes the correct pronunciation stems from a difference in understanding of how native readers recite, the practice of the native readers itself will be the standard. But if the difference of opinion stems from the actual diversity of their method of pronunciation, the mukallaf may choose the opinion he wishes to follow. The person, who thinks that his recitation is incorrect, is obliged, as far as he can, to learn the correct recitation of the Qur’an.
Q 462: Someone had the intention of reciting the Fātiḥah and Ikhlās chapters at the beginning or is accustomed to reciting them. However, he happened to recite the basmalah and forgot to specify the chapter. Should he intend a specific chapter and then recite the basmalah?
A: It is not obligatory for him to repeat the basmalah. Rather, he can consider the basmalah that he already recited sufficient for any chapter he wants to recite afterwards.
Q 463: In obligatory prayers, is it necessary to pronounce all the words properly? Can a prayer be considered correct when the words are not pronounced correctly in the Arabic language?
A: It is necessary to pronounce all the obligatory dhikrs of prayer including the Fātiḥah, the other chapter, and other parts correctly. If a praying person does not know the correct pronunciation, it is obligatory for him to learn it. However, if he is unable to learn, he is excused.
Q 464: Does the word ‘reading’ also apply to the recitation of words in one’s heart without uttering them?
A: ‘Reading’ does not apply to this and expressing the words in a way that can be called ‘reading’ is obligatory in prayers.
Q 465: According to the opinion of some commentators of the Qur’an a number of its chapters, such as “Fīl” and “Quraysh”, and “Inshirāḥ” and “Ḍuḥā”, are not considered complete chapters. They believe that whoever reads the chapter “Fīl,” he should certainly read the chapter “Quraysh,” and the same rule applies to chapters “Inshirāḥ” and “Ḍuḥā” that should be read together. If someone reads the “Fīl” or “Inshirāḥ” chapter alone in prayer and does not know this rule, what will his duty be?
A: The previous prayers are correct if he was not negligent in learning the rule.
Q 466: If someone inadvertently reads the Fātiḥah and another chapter in the third rak‘ah of noon prayer, for example, and notices his mistake after finishing the prayer; will it be obligatory for him to repeat that prayer? And if he does not even notice his mistake, will his prayer be correct?
A: In the given case, the prayer is correct.
Q 467: Can women recite the Fātiḥah and the other chapter of the morning, maghrib and ‘ishā’ prayers loudly?
A: They can recite them loudly or quietly. But if a non-maḥram hears their voice, it is preferable for them to recite quietly.
Q 468: According to Imam Khomeini (q.) the criterion for reciting quietly in the noon and afternoon prayers is avoidance of jahr [loud recitation] recitation. Given that all Arabic letters, except ten of them, are jahr letters, if we have to pray the noon and the afternoon with quiet recitation, then what will happen to the eighteen jahr letters? Please explain the rule.
A: The criterion in ikhfāt [quiet recitation] is not to forsake the voice’s substance but to avoid expressing it; in contrast to jahr which means expression of the voice’s substance1.
Q 469: How could foreigners, whether men or women, who embrace Islam and are not familiar with Arabic language perform their religious duties, including prayers, etc.? And basically, is there any need to learn Arabic in this case or not?
A: It is obligatory to learn takbīrah al-iḥrām, the Fātiḥah, another chapter, tashahhud, and salām of prayer, and also everything for which Arabic recitation is a condition.
Q 470: Is there any proof for the opinion that mustaḥabb prayers of loud prayers should be recited loudly? What about quiet recitation of mustaḥabb prayers pertaining to the quietly recited prayers? If yes, suppose that a mustaḥabb prayer which belongs to a loud prayer, for instance, is recited quietly. Will it be correct? What about the reverse case? We would appreciate your kind reply.
A: It is mustaḥabb to recite the mustaḥabb prayers of loud obligatory prayers loudly and those of quiet ones quietly. If they are recited otherwise they are also correct.
Q 471: Is it obligatory in prayer to recite a whole chapter after the Fātiḥah or does it suffices to read a part of the Noble Qur’an? And in the former case, is it permissible to recite some Qur’anic verses after the chapter?
A: In daily obligatory prayers, recitation of some verses of the Noble Qur’an does not substitute for the recitation of a whole chapter. However, reading some verses of the Glorious Qur’an after the recitation of a whole chapter with the intention of reading Qur’an is no problem.
Q 472: If someone makes some mistake — due to his negligence or accent — in the recitation of the Fātiḥah and the other chapter, or in the pronunciation of the vowels, for example, ‘yūlid’ instead of ‘yūlad,’ what will be the rule of such a prayer?
A: If he makes this mistake intentionally or he is a blameworthy ignorant person (who can learn it), his prayer is void; otherwise, it is correct. Of course, if one had read his previous prayers like that believing that they were correct, doing their qaḍā’ is not obligatory.
Q 473: Someone is thirty-five or forty years old. His parents did not teach him how to perform prayers. Although he is illiterate, he tried to learn how to say prayers in a correct way. The problem is that he cannot express the prayer’s words and dhikrs in a correct manner. Moreover, he is not able to pronounce some of its words at all. Are his prayers correct?
A: His prayers are correct if he recites what he is able to.
Q 474: I used to pronounce the words of prayers in the way I had learned from my parents and in secondary school. After a while, I found out that I had been pronouncing some words in a wrong manner. Is it obligatory for me — according to the fatwā of Imam Khomeini (q.) — to repeat the prayers? Or are all prayers that I performed in that way correct?
A: In the mentioned case, all your previous prayers are correct and you do not have to repeat or make them up in qaḍā’.
Q 475: Are the prayers performed in gesture by a dumb person, whose senses function properly despite his inability to speak, correct?
A: His prayers are correct and valid in the mentioned case.
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