The proper way to perform prayer behind an Imaam
Fatwa No: 92411

Question

I was asked to resend the following (question # 2125849). So here it is again: What is the correct method of saying the Fard Salah behind Imam? For example In Fajr, Magrib & Isha after the Iqama, (1) When Imam says takbeer in audible voice, do I repeat the takbeer in inaudible voice? (2) After I recite “Subhanaka Allahumma…….. wa lailaha gayruka”, then do I also recite Taabuz and Tasmiah in inaudible voice & wait for Imam to begin the qirat ? (3) Do I then continue to recite takbeers in inaudible voice in ruku & sajood through out the prayer (including salam to end the prayer behind Imam)? (4) During the 3rd rakat of Magrib & 3rd & 4th rakat of Isha when the Imam recites Sura Fatiha only in inaudible voice do I as well recite Sura Fatiha in inaudible voice or stay quiet? (5) During Duhar & Asr (the 4 rakat fard), do I have to recite qirat as well when the Imam recites in inaudible voice in the 1st & 2nd rakat. ? Do I also have to recite Surah Fatiha in the 3rd & 4th rakat when the Imam recites it in inaudible voice? (6) Do I recite Taojee (Inni waj-jah-tu wajheea-lillazee………………..minal mushrikeen”) for each & every time I begin my Salah for example 2 times in Fajr, 3 times (at least) in Duhr and so on or just once at the beginning of each of the five times Salah ? And (7) Do I also have to reply to Iqama of the mujazeen?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. We ask Allaah to exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions.

Firstly, it is a recommended act for a person who is led in prayer to silently recite the Takbeerat Al-Ihraam [saying Allaahu Akbar when starting the prayer] and all other Takbeeraat, supplications and the saying of Salaam.

Imaam An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him from the Shaafi'ee School of jurisprudence, said: "It is a recommended act for people other than the Imaam to say the Takbeer silently, whether one is led in prayer or performing the prayer individually; the least one may say this silently is to be able to hear his own voice…This is general, it applies to the recitation of the Quran, saying Takbeer, saying Subhaana Allaah when in the bowing position and other positions, in Tashahhud, saying Salaam, and when supplicating."

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 85120 and 86256.

Secondly, it is permissible to seek refuge in Allaah from the devil during the prayer, and this should be said silently even when the prayer is said loudly.

An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: "Seeking refuge in Allaah from the devil is permissible in every unit of prayer, he may say after the supplication of opening the prayer "I seek refuge in Allaah from the devil", this is the most common, and this is what Imaam Ash-Shaafi'ee  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him stated, and it is also the authoritative opinion of the scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them …It is desirable to seek refuge in Allaah from the devil in every prayer, the obligatory and supererogatory one, and the one which one makes an oath to perform, and it is desirable for every praying person to say it, whether he is an Imaam, a person led in prayer, or a person who is performing the prayer individually…"

Thirdly, with regard to when one should say the opening supplication for the prayer and seek refuge in Allaah from the devil, then Ar-Rahbaani  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him from the Hanbali School of jurisprudence said: "One should say the opening supplication for the prayer and seek refuge in Allaah from the devil when the Imaam keeps quiet after saying the Takbeer and before starting the recitation of Al-Faatihah (the opening chapter of the Quran) and one should recite Al-Faatihah when the Imaam keeps silent for the second time after finishing the recitation of Al-Faatihah."

Fourthly, in regard to reciting Al-Faatihah for a person who is led in prayer, then please refer to Fataawa 85545 and 82626.

Fifthly, the supplication for opening the prayer is only recited once in the prayer after saying the Takbeerat Al-Ihraam but not before that. 'Ali  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated: "When the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) used to start the prayer he would say "Allaahu Akbar", then he would recite (the opening supplication) wajjahtu wajhi…"

Therefore, it is legislated to say the supplication of opening the prayer when performing obligatory and supererogatory prayers, and this supplication is legislated to be said by the Imaam and the person led in prayer.

Imaam An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him also said: ''It is desirable for every praying person to say the supplication of opening the prayer, whether one is an Imaam, a person led in prayer, a person performing the prayer individually, or a woman…"

Sixthly, it is a recommended act for whoever hears the Iqaamah, to say the same thing as the person who is saying the Iqaamah. Ibn Qudaamah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him from the Hanbali School of jurisprudence, said: "It is desirable to say the same thing as the person who is saying the Iqaamah…"

Finally, for more benefit on how a person led in prayer should perform his prayer behind the Imaam, please refer to Fatwa 85326.

Allaah Knows best.

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