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If any one or several of the wajib (necessary) acts of prayer is left out forgetfully, it becomes wajib (necessary) to make the forgetfulness prostration.


Question: What breaks Salah (prayer)? I mean to ask about mistakes which cannot be rectified in any way except for the repetition of the entire prayer (again).

The following six (6) acts break your Salah and it doesn't matter whether you have ommitted them knowingly or by mistake. These are Faraidh (obligatory) acts in Salah. It also doesn't matter whether you are a man or a woman, you will need to repeat your preayers. We have discussed the entire methodology of Salah previously.

 

1 Takbeer Tahreema: (opening Takbeer i.e. Allahu-Akbar to begin your Salah). This has to be said loud enough for you to be able to hear it yourself.

 

2 Qiyaam: If you have no physical ailment or restriction then it is an obligation upon you to stand and pray. The duration of standing is equal to the length of your recitation. Standing in Salah is calssed as being in an upright position so that if you left your arms (freely hanging by the sides) they will not be able to touch your knees.

 

3 Recitation: Recitation of the Qur'aan.

 

4 Ruku: Bowing to such an extent for men that your back is level with the floor while for women just enough so your hand reach your knees.

 

5 Prostrations: Both prostrations in each Rakaah (unit) of Prayer and remember that the physical characterstics are slightly different for men and women.

 

6 Qaa’dah Akheerah: This is sitting in the last Rakaah (unit) of Prayer to the extent that you recite Tashahudd.

 

Question: What are some of the mistakes during Salah (prayer) which need to be rectified? How do I rectify them?

The following fourteen (14) mistakes, if committed in error, require rectification by performing the Forgetfulness Prostration (Sajda Sahw). Please note that, if Sajda Sahw becomes required but is not performed, Salah will need to be repeated.

Please also note that, since these are Waajibat (necessary) acts in Salah, if they are deliberately committed (on purpose), there is no rectification for them and the prayer will need to be repeated.

Also, it doesn't matter whether you are a man or a woman, the ruling for rectifying when these mistakes are made (in error) is the same.

 

1 First 2 Rakaat (units) of Fardh Prayers: These first 2 Rakaats needs to be fixed for recitation

 

2 Recitation of Surah Al-Fatiha: It is Waajib to recite Surah Faatiha in all the Rakaat of every Prayer. However, in the third and fourth Rakaat of any Fardh Namaaz, it is Sunnat and not Waajib

 

3 Recitation after Surah Al-Fatiha: To recite a Surah or at least the minimum of a single lengthy verse or at least 3 small verses after Surah Al-Fatiha in the first two Rakaats of Fardh prayers and in all the Rakaats of other Prayers.

 

4 Order of recitation after Surah Al-Fatiha: Surah Al-Fatiha must be recited first, before any other recitation.

 

5 Sequential order of Salah: Qiyam, then Ruku and then Sujood (prostrations) should be done sequentially and in order.

 

6 Qauma (standing after Ruku): Person must stand upright after Ruku (bowing)

 

7 Jalsa (sitting between prostrations): Person must sit and remain still (momentarily) between the two prostrations

 

8 Ta'deelul Arkaan: Qiyam, then Ruku and then Sujood (prostrations) etc must be done calmly, with contentment and in a good way and shouldn't be rushed.

 

9 Qaa’dah Oola: This is sitting in the second Rakaah (unit) of Prayer to the extent that you recite Tashahudd, Salah doesn't end here and you usually stand up for the 3rd Rakaat after this sitting.

 

10 Tashahudd: Reciting Tashahudd in both Qaa'dah Ooola and Qaa'dah Akheerah. Remember that the classification of Qaa'dah Ooola and Qaa'dah Akheerah is different.

 

11 Loud Recitation: The Imam should perform the recitation loudly in Fajr, Maghrib, Esha, Jumuah, Eidain and Taraweeh while he should recite Zohar and Asr silently. Those praying individually (men and women) should recite loud enough for them to be able to hear it.

 

12 Concluding Salam: Salah should be ended by saying Salam.

 

13 Takbeer of Qunoot: In the 3rd Rakaat of Wit'r there is an additional Takbeer after which Qunoot is recited.

 

14 Six (6) additional Takbeers of Eid: Eid Salah have extra Takbeers

 

Question: What if I make a mistake which is not listed in the six (6) obligatory or fourteen (14) necessary actions above?

If you commit a mistake which is not included above, seek forgiveness from Allah (SWT) but your prayer will Insha'Allah be complete and no rectification or corrective action will be required.

Question: What if I make multiple mistakes out of the fourteen (14) above? What if I perform the Forgetfulness Prostration (Sajda Sahw) and then make another mistake (in error) out of the fourteen (14) above?

There is only a single Forgetfulness Prostration (Sajda Sahw) per prayer if you have made multiple mistakes and even if you make a (new) mistake after performing the Forgetfulness Prostration (Sajda Sahw). In all cases a single Forgetfulness Prostration (Sajda Sahw) is sufficient.

Question: What is the evidence for Forgetfulness Prostration (Sajda Sahw) and that it completes the Prayer when mistakes are made in error?

There are many narrations from Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) which command us to rectify mistakes made in error and by being in doubt, example as follows:

 

حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، حَدَّثَنَا حَجَّاجٌ، عَنِ ابْنِ جُرَيْجٍ، أَخْبَرَنِي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مُسَافِعٍ، أَنَّ مُصْعَبَ بْنَ شَيْبَةَ، أَخْبَرَهُ عَنْ عُتْبَةَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ الْحَارِثِ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ جَعْفَرٍ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ مَنْ شَكَّ فِي صَلاَتِهِ فَلْيَسْجُدْ سَجْدَتَيْنِ بَعْدَ مَا يُسَلِّمُ ‏"‏

 

Sayyidina Abdullah ibn Ja'far (RA) narrated that the Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) said: Anyone who is in doubt in his prayer should make two prostrations after giving the salutation. [Abu Dawud]

Question: What is the procedure for Forgetfulness Prostration (Sajda Sahw) ?

 

1 In the last Rakaat (unit) of Salah when you are finishing the Prayer, recite until At-Tahiyaat

 

2 Make a single Salam (to the right)

 

3 Perform two (2) additional prostrations

 

4 Recite At-Tahiyaat then send Salutations upon Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) and then make Dua

 

5 Conclude the prayer (as normal) by saying Salam on both sides

 


The Forgetfulness Prostration (Sajda Sahw)

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani (HA)

Q) What is the procedure for reciting a verse of sajda in prayer? If it is not okay, is it fine to read up until that verse and then to go to ruku'. Is there a difference for mandatory prayers and supererogatory ones?

It is disliked to recite up to a prostration verse and then leave to it out. [Maraqi]

There is no difference between the forgetfulness prostration in mandatory and supererogatory prayers.

In Heavenly Ornaments, its rulings are explained:


THE FORGETFULNESS PROSTRATION

 

1 If any one or several of the wajib acts of prayer is left out forgetfully, it becomes wajib to make the forgetfulness prostration. By making the forgetfulness prostration, the prayer becomes proper. If one does not make the forgetfulness prostration, the prayer will have to be repeated.

 

2 If one forgetfully leaves out a fard act of prayer, the prayer will not become proper by making the forgetfulness prostration. It will have to be repeated.

 

3 The method of making the forgetfulness prostration is that in the last rakaat the person should recite the at-tahiyyaat only and thereafter make salaam towards the right only and thereafter make two sajdahs. He should then repeat the at-tahiyyaat and thereafter recite the durood, dua, make salaam to both sides and thereby complete his prayer.

 

4 If a person forgetfully makes the forgetfulness prostration before making salaam, even then it will be considered and the prayer will be proper.

 

5 If a person forgetfully makes two rukus or three sajdahs, it is wajib to make the forgetfulness prostration.

 

6 While in prayer, a person forgot to recite Surah Faatihah and only recited another Surah, or he first recited a Surah and then recited Surah Faatihah - the forgetfulness prostration will become wajib.

 

7 A person forgets to recite another Surah (after Surah Faatihah) in the first two rakaats of a fard prayer. He should therefore recite another Surah in the second two rakaats and also make the forgetfulness prostration. If he forgets to recite another Surah in one of the first two rakaats, he should recite it in one of the latter two rakaats and also make the forgetfulness prostration. If he forgets to recite another Surah in the latter two rakaats as well, i.e. he forgets to recite another Surah in the first two as well as in the latter two rakaats, and only remembers at the time of reciting the at-tahiyyaat that he did not recite another Surah in one or two rakaats, the prayer will still become proper if he makes the forgetfulness prostration.

 

8 To recite another Surah (after Surah Faatihah) in all the rakaats of sunnah and nafl prayer is wajib. If a person forgets to recite another Surah in any of the rakaats, he will have to make the forgetfulness prostration.

 

9 After reciting Surah Faatihah, a person began thinking as to which Surah he should recite. His thinking took so long that in that time Sub'haanallah could be recited three times. Even then the forgetfulness prostration will become wajib.

 

11 In the last rakaat, after reciting at-tahiyyaat and durood shareef, a person had a doubt as to whether he offered three or four rakaats. While thinking about this, he kept silent and took so long to make the salaam that in that time he could have recited Sub'haanallah three times, and after that he remembered that he offered all four rakaats- even in this case it will be wajib to make the forgetfulness prostration.

 

11 A person recited Surah Faatihah and another Surah, but thereafter he unintentionally began thinking of something. He took so long to go into ruku that in that time he could have recited Sub'haanallah three times. Even then, the forgetfulness prostration will become wajib.

 

12 Similarly, the forgetfulness prostration will become wajib in the following instances: while he was busy with his recitation he stopped and began thinking of something, he sat in the second or fourth rakaat for at-tahiyyaat and did not commence reciting it immediately. Instead, he sat and started thinking of something, when he stood up from the ruku, he stood silently and started thinking of something, when he sat down in-between the two sajdahs, he started thinking of something. In order words, if a person unintentionally delays in executing a particular posture or gets delayed due to thinking of something, then the forgetfulness prostration becomes wajib.

 

13 In a three or four rakaat fard prayer (irrespective of whether it is a prayer that he is offering for that time, making qada of a prayer which he missed, or it is a witr prayer or the first four rakaats of sunnah of zuhr prayer) when the person sat for the at-tahiyyaat in the second rakaat, he unintentionally recited at-tahiyyaat two times. Even then the forgetfulness prostration will become wajib. And after the at-tahiyyaat if he recited the following from the durood:

Allahumma Sallay Ala Muhammad

or if he recited more than that and only thereafter he remembered that he was supposed to stand up for the third rakaat, even then the forgetfulness prostration will become wajib. But if he recited less than this, the forgetfulness prostration will not become wajib.

 

14 With regards to nafl prayer (or even a prayer which is offered after the fulfillment of a particular wish) it is permissible to recite the durood after the at-tahiyyaat when sitting for the second rakaat. By reciting the durood in a nafl prayer, the forgetfulness prostration does not become wajib. However, if at-tahiyyaat is recited twice, the forgetfulness prostration will become wajib even in a nafl prayer.

 

15 A person sat down for at-tahiyyaat but mistakenly recited something else, or he recited Surah Faatihah. The forgetfulness prostration will become wajib.

 

16 Upon commencing with his prayer, a person recited dua-e-qunoot instead of reciting the thanaa'. The forgetfulness prostration will not become wajib. Similarly, if he recited at-tahiyyaat or something else instead of Surah Faatihah in the third or fourth rakaat of a fard prayer, the forgetfulness prostration will not be wajib.

 

17 In a three or four rakaat prayer, a person forgot to sit down after the second rakaat. Instead, he stood up directly for the third rakaat. While standing up, if he is closer to the sitting posture, he should sit down and recite the at-tahiyyaat and thereafter complete his prayer and there is no need to make the forgetfulness prostration. But if he is closer to the standing posture, he should not sit down. Instead, he should continue with his prayer without sitting down. He should only sit down at the end. In this case, the forgetfulness prostration will become wajib. If after standing up, he still went back and sat down; he will be committing a sin and even in this case he will still have to make the forgetfulness prostration.

 

18 If a person forgets to sit down after the fourth rakaat, then if he is closer to the sitting posture, he must sit down, recite the at-tahiyyaat, durood, etc. and make his salaam. There is no need to make the forgetfulness prostration. And if he stood up completely, even then he should go back and sit down. In fact, even if he has recited Surah Faatihah, another Surah, and went into ruku, he should still sit down, read the at-tahiyyaat and then make the forgetfulness prostration. But if he still did not remember after the ruku and made the sajdahs for the fifth rakaat, he should repeat his fard prayer. This prayer will now be regarded as a nafl prayer and he will have to offer one more rakaat and thereby complete six rakaats. There is no need to make the forgetfulness prostration. If he did not add one more rakaat, or made salaam after the fifth rakaat, four rakaats will be nafl and the one rakaat will not even be considered.

 

19 If a person sits down for the fourth rakaat, recites at-tahiyyaat and thereafter stands up, he should sit down when he remembers as long as it is before making the next sajdahs. The moment he sits down, he should not recite at-tahiyyaat. Instead, he should immediately make the forgetfulness prostration. But if he makes the sajdahs for the fifth rakaat and only remembers thereafter, he should add one more rakaat and complete six rakaats. The first four rakaats will be for his fard and the other two will be regarded as nafl. He will also have to make the forgetfulness prostration. If he makes the forgetfulness prostration and then salaam in the fifth rakaat, he has committed a sin. In this case, the first four rakaats will be of fard, and the remaining one will not be considered.

 

20 If a person is offering four rakaats of nafl prayer and he forgets to sit down after the second rakaat, then as long as he remembers before making the sajdahs for the third rakaat, he should sit down. If he has already made the sajdahs for the third rakaat, his prayer will still be valid. But the forgetfulness prostration will be wajib in both cases.

 

21 A person is in doubt as to whether he offered three or four rakaats. If this doubt was coincidental, i.e. he does not normally have this doubt, then he will have to repeat his prayer. But if these sort of doubts occur quite often, he should ponder in his heart and see what the heart's inclination is. If it is more towards three rakaats, he should offer one more rakaat and the forgetfulness prostration will not be wajib. But if he feels that he offered four rakaats, he should not add another rakaat nor should he make the forgetfulness prostration. If he still cannot make up his mind after pondering over the matter, then he should regard it as if he offered three rakaats and add one more rakaat. But in this case, he should also sit down after the third rakaat and recite the at-tahiyyaat. He should then stand up and offer the fourth rakaat and also make the forgetfulness prostration.

 

22 If he has a doubt as to whether it is the first or second rakaat, the above rule will also apply. That is, if the doubt was coincidental, he should repeat his prayer. But if such doubts occur quite often, he should act according to that which his heart tells him. But if he is still not sure, he should regard it as one rakaat. However, he has to sit down after the first rakaat and recite the at-tahiyyaat, because it is possible that this is actually his second rakaat. On completing his second rakaat, he should sit down again. He should also recite another Surah after Surah Faatihah in this second rakaat. On completing his third rakaat, he should sit down again because it is possible that this is actually his fourth rakaat. After the fourth rakaat he should sit down again, make the forgetfulness prostration and then make salaam.

 

23 If he has a doubt as to whether it is the second or third rakaat, the same rule will apply. If he cannot make up his mind, he should sit down after the second rakaat and thereafter offer the third rakaat. On completing the third rakaat, he should sit down again and recite at-tahiyyaat because it is possible that this is his fourth rakaat. He should then offer the fourth rakaat, make the forgetfulness prostration and then complete his prayer.

 

24 If the doubt occurs after having completed his prayer, that is, he is not sure as to whether he offered three or four rakaats. Then this doubt is not even considered - the prayer is valid. But if he clearly remembers that he only offered three rakaats, he should stand up and offer one more rakaat and also make the forgetfulness prostration. However, if on completing his prayer, he started speaking or did something else with which prayer breaks, he will have to repeat his prayer. Similarly, if this doubt creeps in after having recited at-tahiyyaat, the same rule will apply. That is, as long as he does not remember clearly, he should not worry about it. However, it will be good to repeat the prayer as a precaution so that the uneasiness of the heart is removed and no doubt remains.

 

25 If several things occur in prayer, whereby the forgetfulness prostration becomes wajib, then one the forgetfulness prostration will suffice for all the mistakes. The forgetfulness prostration is not made twice in one prayer.

 

26 After making the forgetfulness prostration, a person commits another mistake which makes the forgetfulness prostration wajib. The first the forgetfulness prostration will suffice and it will not be necessary to make another one.

 

27 A person made a mistake in his prayer whereby the forgetfulness prostration had become wajib on him. But he forgot to make the forgetfulness prostration and made salaam on both sides. However, he remained sitting in that place without turning his chest away from the qiblah, neither did he talk nor did he do anything whereby prayer breaks. He should make the forgetfulness prostration at that time. In fact, if he remained sitting in that position and engaged himself in reciting the kalimah, durood or any other zikr, even then there is no harm in this. Once he makes his the forgetfulness prostration, his prayer will be valid.

 

28 The forgetfulness prostration was wajib on a person but he intentionally made his salaam on both sides and made this intention that he will not make the forgetfulness prostration. Despite this, as long as he does not do anything which makes the prayer invalid, the choice to make the forgetfulness prostration will remain.

 

29 In a three or four rakaat prayer, a person unintentionally made salaam after the second rakaat. He should immediately stand up, complete his prayer and make the forgetfulness prostration. However, if after making salaam, he did something which invalidates prayer, he will have to repeat his prayer.

 

30 A person forgetfully recited dua-e-qunoot in the first or second rakaat of witr prayer. This will not be considered. He should recite the qunoot in the third rakaat again and also make the forgetfulness prostration.

 

31 While offering witr prayer, a person had a doubt as to whether it is the second or third rakaat. He cannot even make up his mind as to which of the two is more correct. He should recite dua-e-qunoot in that rakaat and after sitting down for the at-tahiyyaat he should stand up and offer one more rakaat. He should recite dua-e-qunoot in this rakaat as well. In the end he should also make the forgetfulness prostration.

 

32 Instead of reciting dua-e-qunoot in the witr prayer, the person read thanaa'. Later when he remembered, he recited the qunoot. The forgetfulness prostration will not be wajib.

 

33 A person forgot to recite dua-e-qunoot in witr prayer. Instead, he went into ruku after reciting a Surah. The forgetfulness prostration will be wajib.

 

34 After reciting Surah Faatihah, a person recited two or three Surahs. There is no harm in this and the forgetfulness prostration will not be wajib.

 

35 In the latter rakaats of a fard prayer, a person recited another Surah after Surah Faatihah in one or both the rakaats. The forgetfulness prostration will not be wajib.

 

36 The forgetfulness prostration is not wajib in the following instances: he forgets to recite the thanaa' in the beginning, he forgets to recite the tasbeeh in ruku, he forgets to recite the tasbeeh in sajdah, he forgets to recite:

Subhanna Rabbi Yal A'ala

when standing up from ruku, at the time of saying takbeer-e-tahreemah he forgets to raise his hands to his ears (or to the shoulders for women), at the end of his prayer he made salaam without reciting the durood and a dua. In all the above cases, the forgetfulness prostration is not wajib.

 

37 In the latter one or two rakaats of a fard prayer, he forgot to recite Surah Faatihah and went into ruku after standing silently- even then the forgetfulness prostration will not be wajib.

 

38 If a person intentionally commits those errors which make the forgetfulness prostration wajib, then the forgetfulness prostration will not become wajib. Instead, he will have to repeat the prayer. Even if he makes the the forgetfulness prostration, the prayer will still not be valid. If a person forgets those things which are not fard nor wajib in prayer, his prayer will remain valid and he will not have to make the forgetfulness prostration.

 

39 If a prayer which has to be offered silently is offered in a loud voice, the forgetfulness prostration will have to be made irrespective of whether the person is a munfarid or an imam. If an imam performs a prayer which has to be offered aloud, silently, then he will have to make the forgetfulness prostration. But if very little qira'at is made in a loud voice in a silent prayer, which is not sufficient for the prayer to be valid, then the forgetfulness prostration will not be wajib. For example, just one or two words come out aloud, or an imam recites one or two words silently in a prayer that is offered aloud, then the forgetfulness prostration will not be wajib.