The Ma'mum recites Surah Al-Fatihah before the Imam

Q 2: What is the ruling on a Ma'mum (a person being led by an Imam in Prayer) who recites Al-Fatihah before the Imam (the one who leads congregational Prayer) recites it in a Jahri Salah (Prayer recited out loud)? Is this considered precedence to the Imam? Is Salah considered valid in this case?

A: There is nothing wrong in reciting Al-Fatihah by the Ma’mum before the Imam. This is not considered precedence to the Imam, as the Ma’mum has to read it as well. However, if the Imam pauses for a while after reciting Al-Fatihah, it is better for the Ma’mum to recite it during this period of silence, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) instructed us, saying: “When he (the Imam) recites (the Qur’an), listen attentively.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: “Perhaps you recite behind your Imam?” We (the Companions) said, “Yes, it is so, O Messenger of Allah.” He (peace be upon him) said, “Do not do that except with Fatiha-tul-Kitab (the Opening of the Book, i.e. Al-Fatihah); for there is no Salah (prayer) for the one who does not recite it.” May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.