If a person forgets to recite Al-Fatihah, for example, in Zhuhr (Noon) Prayer, is his prayer valid?
Answer us, may Allah bless you and grant you reward you with the best.
Reciting Al-Fatihah is an essential condition for the validity of Salah (Prayer) whether the person was leading others in Salah or was praying alone. The people being led in Salah have to recite it too if possible. If one forgets to recite it in one Rak`ah (unit of prayer), reciting it in the following Rak`ah will be sufficient. However, he has to offer an extra Rak`ah after prayer and make Sujud-ul-Sahw (Prostration of Forgetfulness) after Tashahhud (a recitation in the sitting position in last unit of Prayer) and before Taslim (salutation of peace ending the Prayer). There is no difference whether he was leading others in prayer or was praying alone. Those who pray behind the Imam are not required to recite it if they forget to recite it. The same applies to a person who starts Salah by joining the Imam in Ruku` (bowing). He is not required to recite Al-Fatihah in this case. This is based on the Hadith narrated by
Abu Bakrah Al-Thaqafy. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.