Repeating Surat al-Fatiha in Prayers

Repeating Surat al-Fatiha in Prayers

Question:

Would it be permissible for one to repeat Surat al-Fatiha in the same rak’at on purpose in order to gain khushu’ in salah, or would this call for Sujud al-Sahw to be offered?

Answer:

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

One of the necessary obligations (wajibat) of prayer is to recite another Sura instantaneously after the recitation of Surat al-Fatiha. Any delay in the recitation of another Sura (or verses of the Qur’an) will necessitate prostration of forgetfulness (sujud al-sahw). However, in terms of obligatory (fardh) prayers, this is only in the first two Rak’ats, since a further Sura is not added in the last two Rak’ats of a Fardh prayer.

Imam al-Haskafi (may Allah have mercy on him), the renowned Hanafi jurist, states in his al-Durr al-Mukhtar:

“…And [from the wajibat of prayer] is to recite Surat al-Fatiha before the full recitation of another Sura. Similarly [another wajib is] to avoid repeating Surat al-fatiha before another Sura in the first two Rak’ats.”

The commentator of al-Durr al-Mukhtar, Imam Ibn Abidin (may Allah have mercy on him) explains the above text by stating:

“… As such, if one recites Surat al-Fatiha twice in any one of the first two Rak’ats, a prostration of forgetfulness (sujud al-sahw) becomes necessary due to delaying a Wajib which is the recitation of another Sura, as mentioned in al-Dhakhira and other books. The same ruling applies [i.e. the necessity of offering sujud al-sahw] if one recites most part of Surat al-Fatiha and then repeats it, as mentioned in al-Zahiriyya. However, if one recites Surat al-Fatiha once before and once after the recitation of another Sura, then offering Sujud al-Sahw is not necessary, since Ruku’ is not wajib instantaneously after reciting the Sura, because if one was to recite many Suras after Surat al-Fatiha, there would be nothing necessary upon one… The reason why this [ruling] is restricted to the first two Rak’ats of prayer is that sufficing with the recitation of Surat al-Fatiha once in the last two Rak’ats is not necessary, hence Sujud al-Sahw is not necessary for repeating Surat al-Fatiha in the last two Rak’ats…” (Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar 1/460-461)

In light of the above texts of al-Durr al-Mukhtar and its commentary Radd al-Muhtar, we can summarize by saying that repeating Surat al-Fatiha in the first two Rak’ats of Fardh prayers necessitates Sujud al-Sahw. However, if one repeats the recitation of al-Fatiha after reciting another Sura, then Sujud al-Sahw will not be necessary, since the Wajib is to recite another Sura directly after reciting Surat al-Fatiha. Likewise, repeating Sura al-Fatiha in the last two Rak’ats of Fardh prayers does not necessitate Sujud al-Sahw, since there is no recitation of another Sura in those Rak’ats.

This is why it is stated in al-Jawhara al-Nayyara:

“If one recites Surat al-Fatiha twice in the first two Rak’ats, prostration of forgetfulness (sujud al-sahw) is necessary, because one has delayed reciting the Sura. However, if one, in the first two Rak’ats, recites Surat al-Fatiha then a Sura and then Surat al-Fatiha [again] by mistake, sujud al-sahw will not be necessary, and it will be as though one has recited a long Sura.” (al-Jawhara al-Nayyara 1/77)

All of the above is in the case of repeating Surat al-Fatiha by mistake and out of forgetfulness. As for repeating it on purpose, even in order to gain more devotion, this must be avoided, and would require that the prayer itself is repeated if it was in the first two Rak’ats, because leaving out Wajibats of prayer intentionally necessitates that the prayer is repeated.

And Allah knows best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

Question #: 5471
Published: 11/04/2007