Praying Behind Imaams Who Pronounce Letters Improperly
Fatwa No: 420640


Asalamualikum all of those who are on this website. My question is that I live in an arab country and as so you know arabs are perfect in reading Quran. But still I find many arab imams pronouncing the letters of Surah Fatiha wrong. They pronounce the letter ض as ظ and letter ذ as د. I find extremely few imams who recite totally correct. This thing makes me repeat my prayer and everytime I pray in mosque I have to repeat it. Please tell me if this type of mistake in pronouncing changes the meaning or not. I have no problem in repeating the prayer bur sometimes when Iam outside with family going somewhere and when we stop for prayer I find imams like this and at that time it is very hard for me to repeat the prayer. Please give me a solution and tell me what should I do. The masajid near my house are 3 and in 2 of them the imams make mistakes. If I attend prayer in these mosques I will have to repeat it. Please provide me a solution as I love to pray in congregation but the imams make mistake
May Allah bless all the true scholars of Ummah immensely


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Our advice to you is to perform the prayer once and not repeat it. If what you are experiencing are mere doubts and satanic whisperings, then you should disregard them. If you are certain of what you mentioned, then you should know that many jurists held lenient opinions regarding the pronunciation of the letter Dhaad (ض) as Thaa’ (ظ) given the proximity of the two points of articulation and the difficulty of avoiding it (i.e., pronouncing the Dhaad (ض) as Thaa’ (ظ)). This opinion was chosen by Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him. Moreover, many late Shaafi‘i and Hanafi jurists held lenient opinions regarding the pronunciation of the letters with close points of articulation like Seen (س) and Saad (ص), and Taa’ (ت) and Taa’ (ط), given the difficulty faced by lay Muslims in differentiating between them in pronunciation.

Therefore, you may opt for this opinion to spare yourself any difficulty and ward off hardship. Seeking to pray in a mosque where the Imaam (leading the prayer) does not make mistakes (in the recitation) is better in all cases.

Allah Knows best.

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