Ruling On Reciting Al-Faatihah behind the Imaam

Question: The opinions of the scholars have differed concerning the recitation of one who is being led (in prayer) behind the Imaam (prayer leader). So what is the correct position concerning this? Is it obligatory for him (the person being led) to recite Al-Faatihah? And when should he recite it if the Imaam does not observe silence to allow the followers to recite it? And is it legislated for the Imaam to observe silence after he recites the Faatihah to allow the followers an opportunity to recite the Faatihah?


Answer: The correct position is that it is obligatory for the followers to recite the Faatihah in all of their prayers, whether it is a silent prayer or a prayer said aloud. This is based upon the generality of the Prophet's (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) statement:


"There is no pryaer for whoever does not recite the Faatihah of the Book." (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)