Can Suratul-Fatihah be recited at any time? I heard that it can only be recited at certain times only, like salaat or as prescribed by the Prophet (May Allaah's peace and blessings be upon him) for specific needs. If it is the latter, could you list the proper times to recite it?
It is permissible for you to recite Qur’aan, or any soorah from it, at any time and in any situation, except when you are in a state of janaabah (impurity following sexual activity), in which case it is haraam to recite Qur’aan, because of the hadeeth of ‘Ali who said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to recite Qur’aan to us in all situations so long as he was not in a state of janaabah.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, al-Tahaarah, 136. al-Tirmidhi said: this hadeeth of ‘Ali is hasan saheeh). This was also the view of the scholars among the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the Taabi’een. They said a man may recite Qur’aan without wudoo’ but he should not read from the Mus-haf unless he is taahir (pure, i.e., has wudoo’). This was the view of Sufyaan al-Thawri, al-Shaafa’i, Ahmad and Ishaaq.
See Da’eef Sunan al-Tirmidhi by al-Albaani, hadeeth no. 22
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: The imams are agreed that it is haraam to recite Qur’aan when in a state of janaabah.
It is not proper etiquette to recite Qur’aan when one is in a state of janaabah because it is the words of Allaah which must be respected and venerated, and kept away from all unclean places and places where haraam things take place, which could dishonour it and show disrespect towards its sanctity. Moreover the person who is in a state of janaabah can remove the impurity whenever he wants, so he is not allowed to recite Qur’aan. But if you are impure in the sense of minor impurity then it is permissible for you to recite only, without touching the Mus-haf. See question no. 10672. With regard to women when they are menstruating or bleeding following childbirth, see question no. 2564. And Allaah knows best.
See Tawdeeh Ahkaam al-Nisa’, 1/309.