Making deliberate mistake in reciting Al-Faatihah in prayer

3-1-2018 | IslamWeb


Is your prayer valid if you deliberately make a minor error in Surat Al-Faatihah or the Tashahhud even though you can say it right? For example, I prefer to not elongate the "Daud" in "wala-d-daal-leen". Please answer according to the Shaafi‘i School of Fiqh.


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.

First of all, we say that it is not permissible to deliberately make a mistake in Al-Faatihah or in other surahs even if it does not change the meaning.

The Footnote of Al-Jamal reads:

In brief, it is absolutely forbidden for the worshiper to make a pronunciation mistake that changes the meaning deliberately, knowingly, and while able to recite correctly, but as for what does not change the meaning, it does not affect the validity of his prayer or being led by him in prayer. As regards what changes the meaning, then in other surahs than Al-Faatihah, it does not affect the validity unless he does so deliberately while knowing it and being able to recite properly. As regards such mistakes in Al-Faatihah, then if he is capable and is able to learn, then it affects the validity…

With regards to not reciting the words “wa-la-dhaalleen” (ولا الضَّالِّين) with the obligatory elongation, then this does not invalidate the prayer because this mistake in pronunciation does not change the meaning. The Shaafi'i scholars of Fiqh stated that there is no harm in shortening an elongation except that it is prohibited when done deliberately (but it does not affect the validity of prayer).

The footnote of Ash-Shirbeeni on Al-Ghurar Al-Bahiyyah authored by Zakariyya Al-Ansaari reads:

In brief, if one changes something that is obligatory in Al-Faatihah out of forgetfulness, then it is not prohibited at all, and his prayer as well as his recitation are valid, but it is obligatory to repeat whatever has a change in meaning when one remembers it. If he does not remember it until a long time has elapsed, then it is obligatory to repeat the prayer anew. If he did it deliberately, then this is absolutely prohibited and his prayer is invalidated immediately if he changes the meaning. If he does not change the meaning, he must repeat it (with the correct pronunciation) even along with something else, and even if he interrupts the recitation before the bowing. If he makes the bowing before he repeats it, his prayer is invalidated.

This means that if one shortens the elongation, then there is no harm in it except the prohibition when done deliberately. The same applies to prolonging what should not be prolonged…

Allah knows best.