Selections of the ahadith below are from Muwatta’ of Imam Malik, translated by Prof. Muhammad Rahimuddin, those in the brackets and notes are by author, numbers at end of the hadith are those in the original.
 Abu Sa’id, freedman of ‘Amir b. Kuraiz, reported: The Prophet – peace be upon him – called Ubayy b. Ka’b and he was in Prayer. When the Prayer was finished, he came to the Prophet who put his hand over his. Ubayy wanted to leave, the Prophet said, “I desire that you should not leave until you learn a surah, the like of which is not to be met either in the Torah (Tawrah) or the Bible (gospels or Injil) or (the Zabur, psalms) or the Qur’an.” Ubayy said, ‘I began walking haltingly in the hope of learning the surah. Then I said, Apostle of Allah teach me the surah you promised.’ The Prophet asked me, “What do you recite when you start saying your Prayer? I begin reciting surah al Fatihah up to its end.” The Prophet said, “It is this same surah. It is the Sab’ al Mathani1 and the Qur’an al ‘Azim2 that has been given to me. 
1. The Opening Chapter is also know as ‘Umm al Qur’an,’ (mother of Qur’an). “And We have bestowed upon you the seven oft-repeated (verses)…” (15: 87).
It is called ‘mathani’ because it was revealed twice, first in Makkah and then in Madinah. [Note from the original work].
2. “…And the Grand Qur’an,” (15: 87).
 Abu Sa’ib, freedman of Hisham b. Zuhrah, said that he heard Abu Hurayrah saying that he heard from the Prophet, that whoever said his Prayer and did not recite surah al Fatihah in it, his Prayer was faulty, faulty, faulty – never at all complete1. Abu Sa’ib said, Abu Hurayrah, ‘sometimes I am behind the Imam.’ Abu Hurayrah pressed my arm and said, ‘Recite in your heart, for I have heard from the Prophet who used to say, “Allah commanded2, The Prayer has been divided between Me and My slave, half to half, half Mine and half his, and whatever My slave asks for, I shall give him.” The Prophet said, when (Allah’s) slave says “Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds,” Allah says, “My slave praised Me.” When the slave says, “The Merciful, the Compassionate,” Allah says, “My slave has described my qualities3.” When the slave says, “Master of the Day of Judgement,” Allah says, “My slave has exalted Me4.” When the slave says, “You alone we worship, and to You alone we turn for help,” Allah says, “This is the bond5 between Me and My slave.” When the slave says, “Guide us to the straight path6, the path of those upon whom You have bestowed favors7, not of those against whom You are angry, nor of those who are astray,” Allah says, “These verses relate to the slave and whatever (of good) My slave asks I shall give him.” 
1. A Prayer is incomplete (or faulty) when said by a person who knows surah al Fatihah well, apart from other suwar (pl. of surah), but does not recite it due to carelessness.
But the Prayer of one is valid who is a new-Muslim who entered into Islam recently, even if he just knows “In the name of Allah, the Compassionate the Merciful, (1: 1). Saying ‘Praise be to Allah,’ or ‘Glory be to Allah,’ would suffice even if he does not know a single verse of the Qur’an. But if he does not even know that, then just following behind the Imam would be enough until he learns the surah.
2. That is, by way of hadith al qudsi, is a kind of hadith narrated by the Prophet, revealed to him by Allah, but not part of the Qur’an.
3. The quality of being “My mercy prevails over my wrath” as said by Allah when He decreed the Creation and pledged Himself by writing in His book which is laid down with Him. (On the authority of Abu Hurayrah, as narrated by the Prophet. Related by Muslim (also by al-Bukhari, an-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah) [An-Nawawi’s Forty Hadith Qudsi # 1].
4. That is, the slave of Allah has accepted Him as his sole Judge.
5. Except the ‘bond’ of ‘straight path.’ There is nothing between a true believer and Allah.
Allah says in al Furqan (the Criterion), “…I answer the call of the caller when he calls to Me (seeking My help). Therefore let them respond to Me, and have trust in Me, haply so they may be led aright,” (2: 186)
And your Lord says: “Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer): But those who are too arrogant to serve Me will surely enter Hell abased,” (40: 60)
“Do not call upon anyone other than Allah,” (72:18)
6. To help die as a true Muslim.
Nafi’ heard from ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Umar that he prayed to Allah at Safa’: O Lord, You said: Pray to Me and I shall grant. You never break Your promises. I beg You that as You showed me the path of Islam, do not deprive me of it until the point of my death so that I may die a Muslim. 
7. The ‘favor’ being the religion of ‘Islam.’ Allah says, “This day I have perfected your religion for you, have completed My favor to you, and have approved for you as religion al-Islam,” (5: 3).
 Nafi’ reported, When anyone asked ‘Abdullah b. ‘Umar whether surah al Fatihah should be recited behind the imam1, he would reply, “If any of you Prays behind an imam the recitation of the imam is sufficient for him2, and if you say your Prayer alone, you may recite it.” Nafi’ added that ‘Abdullah b. ‘Umar did not recite it when Praying behind the imam. 
1. If the Prayer is a silent one, one may recite surah al Fatihah silently.
‘Urwah b. Zubayr used to recite surah al Fatihah behind the imam in silent Prayers. 
2. There is a narration of the Prophet, which states him as having said, “When one of you Prays behind an Imam, let him stay quiet, for the Imam’s recitation is his recitation and the Imam’s Prayer is his Prayer.”
 Abu Hurayrah reported, Once the Apostle of Allah, after finishing the loudly recited Prayer, asked, “Did any of you recite the word of Allah with me?” A man said, ‘Yes, I did, O Messenger of Allah.’ The Prophet said, “That is why I was saying to myself, ‘How is it that the words of Allah are being snatched away from me’.” Since hearing this from the Prophet the people stopped their own recitation when saying Prayer behind the Prophet in the loudly recited Prayer. 
 Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet said, “When the imam says Amin, you (also) say Amin (after him), for whoever says Amin with the angels will have his previous sins pardoned. Ibn Shihab said that the Prophet used to say Amin. 
 Abu Hurayrah reported the Prophet said, “When any (one) of you says Amin, the angels in Heaven also respond with Amin1 and when one Amin harmonises with another, his previous sins are pardoned2. 
1. That is, they pray to Allah to forgive his sins.
2. Minor sins will be forgiven (immediately). Forgiveness for major sins requires repentance and resolve not to commit it again.
 ‘Ata b. Yasar reported the Prophet as having said, “If any (one) of you should have doubt in the course of Prayer and does not remember whether he has said three rak’ah or four, he should say one rak’ah more and perform two prostrations (sajdah sahw) before the salutation. And if this rak’ah of his should, in fact, be the fifth, it will, in combination with these two prostrations become a pair, and if it be the fourth, it will be humiliation for Satan. 
 Salim b. ‘Abdullah reported: ‘Abdullah b. ‘Umar used to say, “If any of you has doubt about his Prayer, he should try and remember what he has forgotten and say it and perform two sajdah sahw. 
 ‘Abd Allah b. Buhainah reported: The Prophet, who was leading the Prayer after saying two rak’ah, stood up and did not sit. The congregation also stood up with him. When he completed his Prayer and we waited for his salutation, he said the takbir1 and performed two prostrations sitting (sajdah sahw) before the salutation and then offered the salutation. 
1. That is, saying ‘Allahu-Akbar,’ God is Great.
 ‘Abd Allah b. Buhainah reported: The Prophet led the Zuhr Prayer, then stood up after saying two rak’ahs and did not sit (for tashahhud). When he finished his Prayer, he performed two prostrations, and turned in salutation afterwards. 
 Murjanah reported that ‘A’ishah, wife of the Prophet, said that Abu Jahm b. Hudhaifah sent a gift1 to the Prophet which had designs on it. The Prophet came to Prayer wrapped in it and when he had completed (the Prayer), he said: Return this sheet to Abu Jahm for I saw designs on it and was about to become forgetful of the Prayer2. 
1. Khamisah -a thin woollen sheet. (Note from the original work)
2. Prayer mats (and carpets) with designs are also included by default; it is better to use those that are plain and not flashy. (Wearing of white dress might be for this reason i.e. to avoid being detracted).
Samurah b. Jundub reported the Prophet said: “Wear white clothes for they are cleaner and purer; and bury your dead in them.”
 ‘Urwah b. Zubayr reported: The Prophet put on a sheet worked with flowers1 and then returned it to Abu Jahm and took thick, plain and rough woolen sheet. Abu Jahm asked the reason and the Messenger of Allah said: I looked at its design2 during Prayers. 
1. Kisa (pl. Aksiya) means a square black piece of cloth of wool or fur. It is called Khamisa (pl. Khama’is) when it has a design, vide hadith # 706 & 708, Vol. 7 of Sahih al-Bukhari:
Narrated ‘A’ishah and ‘Abdullah b. ‘Abbas: When the disease of Allah’s Apostle got aggravated, he covered his face with a Khamisa, but when he became short of breath, he would remove it from his face and say, “It is like that! May Allah curse the Jews and Christians because they took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.” By that he warned his followers of imitating them.
Narrated ‘A’ishah: Messenger of Allah offered Prayer while he was wearing a Khamisa of his that had printed marks. He looked at its marks, and when he finished Prayer, he said, “Take this Khamisa of mine to Abu Jahm, for it has already diverted my attention from my Prayer, and bring me the Anbijaniyah (a plain thick sheet) of Abu Jahm b. Hudaifah b. Ghanim who belonged to Bani ‘Adi b. Ka’b.
2. There is no harm if those blankets worked with designs were used as bed-sheet.
 Abu Hurayrah reported the Prophet as having said: Verily when one of you stands for Prayer, Satan approaches him with the result that he forgets the number of rak’ah he had already performed. If you have such an experience, perform two prostrations while sitting (sajdah sahw).