Reference: Sharh ‘Umdatil-Fiqh – Tape No.6, Question No.63
Question: A man embraced Islaam, and the time for prayer arrived – but he had not [yet] memorised any of the Qur.aan, and needed some time to do so. So is it permissible for him to pray as he is, or is he required to memorise some [verses of the] Qur.aan [first]?
Response: He should [just] pray with [the rest of] the Muslims. He should pray along with them, even if he has not yet memorised any [verses] of the Qur.aan; [most importantly], he must not leave the prayer. And if there is no-one to pray along with, then he should pray as he is, and just recite some words of remembrance. If he has a copy of the Qur.aan – he can read that, otherwise he should suffice with saying [الحمد لله], and [لا إله إلا الله], and [الله أكبر] throughout the prayer.