Can a person who has memorized only one chapter of the Quran perform prayers?

The Details of the Question
Can a person who knows only the chapter of al-Kawthar and the chapter of al-Ikhlas perform prayers by reading only those two chapters in prayers? One of my relatives is illiterate and he cannot read and memorize the chapters of the Quran. He knows only the chapter of al-Ikhlas by heart. He feels very sorry. Can he perform prayers by reading only the chapter of al-Ikhlas? Will such a prayer be accepted? He cannot memorize any other chapters no matter how hard he tries.
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

It is fard to read something from the Quran. Therefore, this person should continue performing prayers even if he can read only the chapter of al-Ikhlas. Besides, it is wajib to read the chapter of al-Fatiha in prayers. He needs to memorize al-Fatiha too. He can perform prayers by reading them. 

Qira'ah in Prayers:

It is fard for a person to read some verses of the Quran as a part of the prayer by pronouncing the letters in a way that he himself will hear. Reading in a way that a person himself will not hear is not regarded as qira'ah. However, a person who follows the imam does not read any verses from the Quran. It will be explained later.  

Qira'ah is fard in all rak'ahs of witr and supererogatory prayers and in both rak'ahs of the two-rak'ah prayers. However, in four-rak'ah fard prayers and the three-rak'ah fard prayers, qira'ah is necessary in two rak'ahs. However, it is regarded wajib to read (qira'ah) in the first two rak'ahs. Therefore, it is makruh to abandon qira'ah deliberately in the first two rak'ahs. Prostration of forgetfulness is necessary if it is abandoned by mistake. Reading the chapter of al-Fatiha in the other rak'ahs is wajib according to the view that is regarded as sound. Abandoning al-Fatiha by mistake necessitates prostration of forgetfulness.

However, according to some other narrations, it is permissible to read (qira'ah) in the third and fourth rak'ahs, or to glorify Allah (by saying Subhanallah) or to keep silent long enough to say Subhanallah three times. However, it is more virtuous to read the Quran; it is sunnah to read al-Fatiha. 

The amount of qira'ah that is fard to read in prayers

According to Abu Hanifa, this fard amount to read is at least one verse even if it is short in every rak'ah in which qira'ah is fard. When this amount is read, this fard is fulfilled. However, according to Abu Yusuf, Imam Muhammad and another narration from Abu Hanifa, this amount is three short verses or a long verse that is equal to three short verses. This last view is the most appropriate one in terms of caution.

According to the sound view, it is not accepted as sufficient to read verses that consist of only one letter or one word like "Nun" and "Mudhammatan". For, this amount is not regarded as qira'ah.

A person who can read only one verse from the Quran reads that verse only once, not three times, according to Abu Hanifa. According to Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad, he needs to repeat it three times. However, according to both imams, it is not permissible for a person who can read three verses to read one verse three times.   

According to the sound view, it is enough to read some part of a long verse like "Ayatu'l-Kursiy" in one rak'ah and the other part in the other rak'ah because it is equal to three short verses.

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