Although I constantly try to teach Surah Al-Fatihah (the opening chapter of the Qur'an) to my mother and sisters, they cannot memorize it properly. What is the ruling on their Salah (Prayer)?
Reciting Al-Fatihah is an essential condition for the validity of Salah. Women have to learn and memorize it. (Part No. 6; Page No. 397) Their guardian has to keep teaching them what they have to recite during Salah. However, if Salah time is due and they are still incapable of reciting it, they may recite whatever they can. Their Salah is considered valid. This is based on the general ruling implied in the Qur'anic Ayah (verse) which reads:
Allâh burdens not a person beyond his scope.
In another Ayah Allah (Exalted be He) says:
Allâh does not want to place you in difficulty
Allah (Exalted be He) also says:
So keep your duty to Allâh and fear Him as much as you can
A person who is unable to memorize Al-Fatihah should be taught to say: 'subhan Allah wal-hamdu lillah wallahu akbar wala hawla wala quwata illa billah' (glory be to Allah. Praise be to Allah. Allah is the Greatest. There is no might and no strength but in Allah, the High, the Greatest). This Du`a' is based on the Hadith narrated by
`Abdullah ibn Abu Awfa (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:
A man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said, "I cannot memorize anything from the Qur'an, so teach me something which is sufficient for me." He said, "Say: 'Subhan Allah' (glory be to Allah), 'al-hamdu lillah' (praise be to Allah), 'la ilaha illa Allah' (there is no god but Allah), 'allahu akbar' (Allah is the Greatest), and 'la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah al-`aliyy al-`azhim' (there is no might and no strength but in Allah, the High, the Greatest)."
Abu Dawud, and
Al-Nasa'y. It is classified as Sahih (authentic) by
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.