What should I recite when beginning salah?

What should I recite when beginning salah?

After the takbeer and before beginning the recitation of Surat al Fatihah, the sunnah is to recite either the thana or the dua al istiftah, followed by the istiadha. These are not fard elements of salah and one’s salah would not be invalidated if one missed them out, but one would be rewarded for doing them they are from the sunnah and it brings khushoo’ (tranquillity and purpose) when recited with understanding..

These are recited silently whether the salah is a silent salah (Dhur, Asr) or vocalised (Fajr, Maghrib, Isha). Silent does not mean that one does not move one’s lips, as a salah where you recite in your head without moving your lips is invalid. It means that one moves one lips but the sound is inaudible.


In the Hanafi school it is customary to recite the thanaa’, which is the supplication for opening the salah. It is glorifying and praising Allah Almighty.

Dua al Istiftah

The Shafi’s do not recite the thana but usually begin with the dua al istiftah, which confirms that Allah is the Creator. And it confirms your acknowledgement for His favours upon you.

In the opening of his salah, the Prophet (peace be on him) used to say in the opening of his salah,

Oh Allah guide me to the best character and best habits. No one guides to the best of it, but You. Protect me from bad character and bad habits. No one can protect me from that, but you.

There are many other opening supplications, such as Allahuma maghfirli warhamni, anta ghafurur Rahim:

O Allah forgive me and have mercy on me, You are the Most Forgiving and Most Kind


After reciting the thana or the dua al Istiftah, one These are followed by the istiadha.

Shaykh Haytham Tamim – Let’s Fix Your Salah Course 2022


Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001. His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College). He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.