Can salah be read in one’s mother tongue?

Question

I am a new convert living in Germany, is it acceptable to pray, even I make mistakes in my prayer – my intention is right (and plan to get better with time)? Or should I wait until I can pray correctly? Is it allowed to read the prayer in my mother tongue as a beginner?

Michal Halvaty

Answer:

It is allowed for new Muslim to perform prayer in their mother tongue. Imam Abu Hanifa considered reading in a language other than Arabic valid, and his two companions – Abu Yusuf and Abu Muhammad – restricted the permissibility to those who were unable to speak Arabic. It says in Tabyin al-Haqa’iq Sharh Kanz al-Daqa’iq (vol 1/110):

“As for reading in Persian: it is permissible, according to Abu Hanifa”. The principle is that prayer should be performed in Arabic, every Muslim must learn the Arabic texts of surah al-fatiha, and few shorter suras, the shorter prayers of tasbih and tashahhud including durud sharif.

An exception to the previous ruling is those who are unable to learn Arabic, so it is permissible for them to remember God Almighty as much as they can in their native language. According to the Quran “Allah has placed no hardship in the religion” (Al-Hajj, 78).

Allah ﷻ knows best

This fatwa is written by Dr. Musharraf Hussain al-Azhari & Dr Hafiz Muhammad Munir al-Azhari

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