957. It is obligatory to say أللهُ أَکبَر (AllÁhu akbar) at the beginning of every prayer, and it forms a pillar of the prayer. The letters of the word Allah, the letters of the word akbar and the two word combined, should be pronounced consecutively and in correct Arabic. If a person says them in incorrect Arabic, or pronounces its translation, it is invalid.
958. Obligatory precaution dictates that the takbÐrat al-iÎrÁm should not be joined with recitations preceding it, such as the iqÁmah or any supplication that is recited prior to it.
959. Recommended precaution dictates that the articulation of the words AllÁhu akbar should not be joined to the words following it, such as bismillÁh al-raÎmÁn al-raÎÐm. If one wishes to join them, the letter rÁ’ in the word akbar should be pronounced with a Ãammah.
960. One should maintain bodily composure while pronouncing takbÐrat al-iÎrÁm. If a person deliberately pronounces it while his body is in a state of motion, it will be deemed invalid.
961. The takbÐrat al-iÎrÁm, sÙrat al-FÁtiÎah and the latter sÙrah, the dhikr and the supplications should be vocalized in such a manner that the person himself can hear it. If a person cannot hear it due to weakness in his hearing, deafness or a noisy environment, he should recite in a manner whereby he would be able to hear it in the absence of the impediment.
962. If a person is mute or has a defect in his tongue, on account of which he is unable to correctly pronounce AllÁhu akbar, he should pronounce it however he can. If he is unable to pronounce it at all, he should pass it through his mind, oscillate his tongue for the takbÐr and signal by means of his finger.
963. It is recommended to recite the following supplication preceding takbÐrat al-iÎrÁm:
يَا مُحْسِنُ قَدْ أَتَاكَ الْمُسِيءُ وَ قَدْ أَمَرْتَ الْمُحْسِنَ أَنْ يَتَجَاوَزَ عَنِ الْمُسِيءِ، أَنْتَ الْمُحْسِنُ وَ أَنَا الْمُسِيءُ فَبِحَقِّ مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ وَ تَجَاوَزْ عَنْ قَبِيحِ مَا تَعْلَمُ مِنِّي
Ya Muhsinu qad ataakal musiu wa qad amartal muhsina an yatajaawaza 'anil musiee antal Muhsinu wa anal musiu fabihaqqi Muhammadiw wa Aali Muhammadin salli alaa Muhammadiw wa Aali Muhammadiw wa tajaawaz 'an qabeehi ma ta'lamu minni.
O You Who are benevolent, here stands before You, a sinner. And it is You Who has commanded the benevolent to overlook [the sins of] the sinners. You are the benevolent and I the sinner. So by the right of Muhammad and his progeny, bless Muhammad and his progeny and overlook the ugly deeds from me, of which You are aware.
964. It is recommended to raise the hands adjacent to the ears while pronouncing takbÐrat al-iÎrÁm and other takbÐr during prayer.
965. If a person doubts whether he has pronounced takbÐrat al-iÎrÁm or not, he should disregard his doubt if it occurred after he began to recite a part of the qirÁÞah. However, if the doubt occurred prior to it, he should pronounce the takbÐrat al-iÎrÁm.
966. If after having pronounced the takbÐrat al-iÎrÁm, one doubts if he pronounced it correctly or not, he should disregard his doubt, regardless of whether he has begun reciting something else or not. The recommended precaution is that he should complete his prayer and then repeat it.