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Method of Salaah for a new Muslim

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Question and Answer:
Q. Russian girl recently converted to Islam. She hasn’t learned surah al –Fatihah yet and doesn’t know how to pronounce the Arabic letters correctly. How should such person perform Salah? She knows the basic movements, provisions of Salah (Ruqu, Sajdah ) , but she isn’t able recite the Surah and Dua needed for prayer. How should such people pray?
(Query published as received)
A. A new Muslim who does not know the Surahs and Duas should make an effort to learn the basic Surahs and Duas required in Salaah. Nevertheless, not knowing these Surahs and Duas should not prevent her from praying Salaah.
Islam is easy and makes provisions for all types of people. So whilst she does not know these Surahs and Duas, she should merely perform the actions of Salaah and recite the Takbir (Allahu Akbar) when commencing the Salaah and when moving from posture to posture. In the positions where she is required to read Surahs, she should recite SubhanAllah, AlhamduliLlah, Allahu Akbar or La’ilaha illaLlah (Whichever is easier for her). Her Salaah will be valid in this manner.
The Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) advised his Sahabi (companion) in a similar situation:
 “If you know anything from the Qur’an, recite it. If not (if you have not memorized anything from the Qur’an), say Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar and La ilaha illaLlah”
(Tirmizi, Hadith #: 302, Narrated by Rifa’ah bin Rafi’)
As she learns the basic Surahs and Duas, she should implement it in her Salaah.
And Allah Knows Best
Mufti Suhail Tarmahomed
Fatwa Department
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)

Council of Muslim Theologians
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