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Old 10-23-2004, 05:31 PM   #1
Qabeelat Hosna
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Thumbs up Sujood as Sahw

Bismillah wal Alhamdulillah wa salaata wa salaam 'ala rasulillah,
Assalaamu 'alaikom wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh,

The material is all taken from Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen's book "The Prostration of Forgetfulness". I have just tried to make a summary of what is in the book, without including all the proofs for each position and opinion.

Prostration due to forgetfulness are two prostrations that you do at the end of your salaat, either before the salaam or after the salaam, depending on the misktake you make in salaat.

First we must know what is RUKUN (PILLAR) in the Salaat, what is SHART (CONDITION), what is WAJIB (OBLIGATORY) in the Salaat, and what is SUNNAH (RECOMMENDED) in the salaat.

The list is from Shaikh al-Albaani's Abriged book of Sifat as Salaah (the Prophets prayer described).

In it Shaikh al-albaanee, defines each saying:

so the pillar (the rukn) is that which is essential for completion of the affair that it falls within, being such that its absence necessitates that the action depending upon it is nullified. an example is the rukoo' in the prayer it is a pillar of it and if it is absent, the prayer is nullified.

the condition (the shart) is like the pillar except that it is something outside the action that is dependant upon it. an example is the wudoo for the prayer. prayer is not correct without it.

the obligation (waajib) is that which has an established command in the book and the sunnah, but there is no proof that it is a pillar or a condition. one who carries it out is rewarded, the one who leaves it without a valid excuse is punished. just like it is the fard (obligation) and making a difference between the fard and the waajib is a newly invented use of terminology for which there is no proof.

the sunnah is an action of worship that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam continually performed, either always doing it or usually doing it, but which he did not command in a manner causing it to be an obligation. it is such that the one who carries it out is rewarded, but the one who leaves it out is not punished or blameworthy. (end of quote)

Heres the list based on the work of Shaikh al-Albaanee:


- wudoo
- 'awra being covered
- facing the Qiblah (as long as one knows the direction of it)
- niyah (intention for the salaat you're praying, and this is intention thats in the heart, not by saying it)



- Making the first Takbeer (and we make takbeer AFTER the imaam makes Takbeer in congregational salaat)(must start the salat again one forgets to do this takbeer)
- the standing of each Rakah
- the ruku (bowing)
- the standing up after ruku (bowing) such that every bone returns to its place
- the first sajda (prostration) such that he is settled in his prostration
- the siting between the sajdas (prostrations) with calmness
- the second sajda (prostration) such that he is settled in his prostration
- the sitting for the last (not the middle) Tashaahud. (the middle Tashaahud is a part of the wajibaat, in the list below)
- the salaams



The Sutrah:
- Having a sutrah - a barrier kept in front of you like a wall or a pole or something like it.
- Sutrah must be at least a span in height
- Standing close to the sutrah, enough so that at most, the distance between your prostration place and the sutrah is enough that a small sheep can pass by.

The Salaah:
- Seeking refuge with Allaah from shaitaan.
- Reciting Soorah al-Faatihah in every rak'ah. If behind an imaam, reciting Soorah al-Fatihah during the silent prayers (i.e., Dhuhr & 'Asr). During the audible ones, it is not necessary, but if you cannot hear the imaam reciting, you should recite al-Faatihah
- Saying the takbeer ("Allaahu akbar") everytime one moves to the next pillar (i.e., rukoo', sujood, etc.).

The Rukoo':
- When in rukoo' placing his hands firmly upon his knees, spreading his fingers as if he were grasping them.
- In rukoo' spreading out his back and making it level, such that if water were to be poured on it, it would settle upon it.
- Saying "Subhana rabi al-'Atheem" or some other adhkaar from the sunnah atleast once (This addition is from Shaikh ibn al-Uthaymeen)
- Saying "Sami'allaahu liman hamida" while rising out of rukoo'

The Sujood:
- He should keep his fingers together, pointing fingers towards the qiblah.
- Keep palms level with the shoulder or with the ear.
- Keeping the elbows off the ground.
- Placing the knees firmly on the ground.
- Placing the toes firmly on the ground, tips of toes pointed towards the qiblah.
- Feet should be upright on the ground.
- Must be settled in the sujood.
- Saying "Subhana rabi al-'Aala" or some other adhkaar from the sunnah atleast once (This addition is from Shaikh ibn al-Uthaymeen)

Sitting between Sajdahs:
- Sitting with your left foot flat beheath you and your right foot upright. It is permissible to sit on your heels during this sitting sometimes.
NOTE: Sitting between the two sajdahs is a rukun of the salaah.

The Tashahhud:
- Sitting for both tashahhuds, in the manner described above. Sitting on the heels is not allowed in the sitting for the tashahhud. In the second tashahhud, it is from the sunnah to sit with his left hip resting upon the ground with both his feet on his right side, placing his left foot under his right shin.
- Suplicating for blessings upon the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam.

The Tasleem:
- Giving salaams to the right is obligatory and is what ends the salaah, he should also give salaams to his left as is established in the sunnah. (There are other ways of giving the tasleem, refer to The Prophet's Prayer by Shaikh al-Albaanee.)


Basically the Arkaan (PILLARS) of Salaat as listed above are the actions of the salaat that if you miss it due to forgetfulness, you cannot continue the salaat and ignore that you missed that action. You must go back to that action that you missed in the Salaat and repeat it and also make Sujood as Sahw AFTER the Salaams. Senarios are given below to give u more detail on how to make up for a missed rukun action and how to make the Sujood as Sahw.

The Wajibaat (Obligatory Duties) of the Salaat are those duties that if u miss by forgetfulness, you dont have to go back in ur salaat to repeat them, but you continue your salaat even though u have missed that wajib action. The only expiation for it is that you must make Sujood as Sahw BEFORE the Salaams.


The mistake can be one of three things:
1. adding something to the Salaat
2. subtracting something from the Salaat
3. Having been in a state of doubt (regarding how many rikah you missed, etc)

Below is an explanation of each type of mistake [following the same outline as the book].


1. Regarding ADDING something to the Salaat - (Forgetting or doing an extra RUKUN by mistake)

When we speak about adding, then we mean two senarios. One, that we forget a RUKUN of the Salaat, and the other that you did an extra rukun by forgetfulness.

First Senario
For example, lets say you missed a Sujood in Salaat, and usually if you forgot to make a sujood, you probably forgot to sit between the sajdas(prostrations) also. So in this case you missed two arkaan, a sujood (lets say the second sujood), and the siting in between the two sajdas. Lets also say you forgot this during your first rikah.

These are RUKUN acts that you missed, and lets assume you remembered you forgot to do these actions during the standing of your second rika. Now since you're in a standing position in your second rikah, you have not completed a whole rikah since you forgot those arkan(ie. the sujood and the siting in between). Since you havent completed a whole rikah yet after u forgot to make those arkan (and when i say rikah here, i mean from point of the siting position and the second sujood of the FIRST rikah you forgot to make, to the siting position and second sujood of the SECOND rikah), as soon as you remember, you simply go straight down to the siting position that you forgot, and then proceed to the second sujood which you forgot.

Lets say now that you remembered that you forgot to make the siting and the sujood in your third rikah while standing, or u remembered while you were siting in your middle tashaahud, or during your fourth rikah, then as soon as you remember, you pretend as if the rikah your praying is infact your first rikah. You dont go back down to the sujood position. So if u remembered in your third rikah, and at that point ur standing and reciting, that rikah is now ur first instead of ur third. Lets say you remembered after the salaams, if a long time hasnt passed, you get up and begin Salaat in the rikah in which you forgot that rukun. So in this case, you would begin right from the beginning of the salaat since you missed the the sujood and siting in your first rikah.

Now, after u have made sure u have made up for that missed action during your salaat, after u make salaams after the last Tashaahud, make two sajdas, by saying Allahu Akbar, then going down for Sujood, then getting back up saying Allahu Akbaar, then siting position, then saying Allahu Akbar again to second Sujood,then getting back up saying Allahu Akbar once more (these two sajdas is just as you would do in Salaat). Then say Salaams again. This is the Sujood as Sahw when u add something to the Salaat.

So you guys see why its called 'ADDING something to the Salaat'? Because once you forget, its either u go back to do the missed action, or you pretend the rikah ur are in is the rikah in which u missed the action. Thus both situations you've added some actions in the salaat.

Second Senario

If you added something to the salaat by forgetfulness but u then remembered you added that rukun action during your salaat (ie. You made three sajdas instead of two, etc), then all you have to do is make the Sujood as Sahw after the Salaams as described already.

2. Regarding SUBTRACTING something from the Salaat - (Forgetting a WAJIB)

This is somewhat easier to manage. All u need to do is know the difference between the Wajibaat and the Arkaan, so that u dont mix them up. Now if you remember that you have forgoten a Wajib action, then all you need to do is at the end of the Salaat, after you have completed the tashaahud, before the Salaams, make two sajdas, by saying Allahu Akbar, then going down for Sujood, then getting back up saying Allahu Akbaar, then siting position, then saying Allahu Akbar again to second Sujood,then getting back up saying Allahu Akbar once more (just as you would do in Salaat). Then make the Salaams to end the Salaat.

If you complete your Salaat and you forgot to make the Sujood as Sahw, then if a long period has not passed, you can still do the Sujood as Sahw, as you would when doing it after the Salaams. But if a long time passes, then you have to repeat your entire Salaat

3. Regarding DOUBT on how many Rikah you have made

There are three types of Doubt that we must not take notice of in matters of worship:

1. If it is just a self-delusion, having no reality, like devilish whispers.
2. If it occurs very frequently to a person such that he does not perform any acts of worship except that he is caused to doubt in it.
3. If it occurs after the completion (ie. you finished praying your salaat) of the acts of worship, then it is not taken account of, as long as he is certian of it, in which case he will act upon what he is certian of.

So if you have any of the three types of doubts, you should ignore them.

If its in the case of the third type, for example he prayed Zhur and hes not sure if he prayed three rikah or four. If he is not sure if he has prayed three or four rikah then he is to ignore this doubt and not perform any action to make up for the doubt that entered his mind. If he becomes certian that he indeed only prayed three rikah and not four, as in his memory recalls clearly from the salaat that he only prayed three rikah, then if a long time has not passed since he prayed, he prays the remaining rikah and makes the salaam after the tashaahud, then makes two prostrations for forgetfulness, then says the salaams again. If he does not remember until a long time has passed, then he must repeat the entire salaat.

Now as for the other doubts that dont fit the three we have already mentioned above, then they are taken into account.

The doubts that are taken into account are two:

1. During his salaat, he doubts as to whether he prayed three rikah or four, but in his mind he is more sure that he prayed four rikah, then he should go by what he is sure of and then AFTER the salaams, make two prostrations of forgetfulness and make the salaaam again.

2. During his salaat, he doubts as to whether he prayed three rikah or four, but this time he is not sure of either, he cant make a decision as to whether he prayed three or four. So he goes by what would be the safest of the two, which is to assume he has only prayed three rikah and not four. Then when he reaches the last tashaahud, he should make two prostrations for forgetfulness BEFORE making the salaam, then make the salaam to end the salaat.

note: Some might become fooled by Shaytaan and always choose to follow the second kind of doubt from the two, just because they want to be safe, even when in their mind they think they prayed four rikah and not three. This is wrong understanding and practice, because the Prophet sulAllahu 'alayhi wassalaam said "If one doubts in his salaat, then let him strive to arrive at what is correct, and complete it upon that basis. Then let him give the salaams and perform two prostrations." [Al-Bukhaaree. Eng.Trans. Vol.1 no.394] So brothers and sisters, lets stick to the sunnah and strive to arrive at what is correct in our minds when we enter into a doubt in salaat, and we should not fall prey to the whispers of shaytaan to make us go to extremes to what Allah and His Messenger sulAllahu 'alayhi wassaalaam has ordered us.

So again, if we are in doubt, but in our minds we are more sure we prayed four rikah or more sure we prayed three rikah, we go by this and implement the prostration for forgetfulness as described in #1. And if neither are more weighty in our minds, as in we dont know if we prayed three or if we prayed four, then we go by what is more safe from the two, which would be the lesser of the two, in this case being three rikah.


Concerning a doubt at the time you enter the salaat while the imaam is in ruku

the types of doubts are three:

1. That he is certain he has caught the imaam in ruku, and he knows he reached it before the imaam raised up from the ruku. In this cause, he has caught that raka and he doesnt need to repeat it.
2. That he is certian he did not catch the rikah before the imaam raised from the ruku, in which case he has to make up for that rikah he missed.
3. That he is not sure whether he has caught the ruku before the imaam raised or not, so if he is more certain in one of the two, whether it be that he thinks he missed it or he thinks he didnt, then he acts by whichever he is more certian of and at the end of the salaat, AFTER the salaams (from either after the imaam's salaams or your salaams if u had to pray extra rika), make the prostration for forgetfulness, and then say salaams again.

If he is not more certain of either of the two, so he doesnt know whether he missed the ruku with the imaam or not, then he acts according to what is safer, that being he missed the ruku with the imaam, and at the end of his salaat, (since he has to perform extra rikah after the salams of the imaam), at the end of his prayer, he performs the Prostration for forgetfulness in his last tashaahud BEFORE the salaams, then makes salaams.

Realizing you were correct in you decision after a doubt entered in your mind during Salaat:

On occasion, while praying, a doubt enters your mind and you performed the necessary actions during the salaat according to what was more weighty in your mind or what was safer. Later on in your salaat, you realize that indeed your decision was correct and that you didnt add nor did you subtract anything from the salaat as of yet, then there are two opinions regarding this. One opinion is that you no longer have to perform the Prostration for forgetfulness. The second is that it is still necessary to perform it due to the saying of the messenger sulAllahu 'alayhi wassalaam " And if he has prayed it completely, then the two prostrations will be a humiliation for Satan." And Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen points out the second opinion to be more correct due to the hadeeth mentioned. So in this case, one should perform prostration for forgetfulness before the salaams.


Other Considerations

Prostration for forgetfulness with Imaam

If the imaam forgets an action, whether wajib action or rukun action, he must make up for this forgeting as has already been mentioned. And he performs the prostration for forgetfulness, wheither before or after the salaams. And it is obligatory on the people behind him to follow him.

However, if the imaam must perform his prostration after the salaams, then those behind him who have come late to the salaat and still need to stand up after the salaams to make up for the rikahs they missed do not have to follow the imaam in this specific situation due to the fact they have to stand up after the salaams. Upon them is to make this prostration for forgetfulness on their own. So in their last rikah, after the salaams, they should perform the prostration for forgetfulness just as the imaam, and perform the salaams once more.

Considering the example above, lets say someone after he stood up to make up what he missed in the salaat, as he was praying he missed a wajibaat or a rukun action. If he has missed a wajibaat, then he does not have to perform any prostration for forgetfulness. And this is the same case if someone was praying behind the imaam and as he was behind the imaam he forgot to perform a wajibat such as reciting a supplication like 'Subhana rabi al atheem' in ruku atleast once or some other supplication that is found in the sunnah in ruku and sujood etc.

If he has missed a rukun action, or a doubt has entered his mind about how many rikahs he has prayed, whether behind the imaam or while making up what he missed (ususally would happen in the second case), then he must perform the prostration for forgetfulness whether it has to be before or after the salaams. (follow the requirements described above regarding adding something to the salaat, or regarding doubting how many rikahs you has made). If you start with the imaam in salaat, then its not possible that u can doubt how many rikahs you have made since your entire salaat is behind the imaam. But on the odd occasion you might forget to do a rukun, like... for example lets say you somehow forgot to make the salaams with the imaam, and then a short time passed and you realized you forgot to make salaams, then that is a rukun that you missed and you would have to go back to your tashaahud position and make the salaams, then prostrate for forgetfulness, then make the salaams again. Other than that, almost all cases of forgeting a rukun would happen while you are making up for the rakahs that you missed after coming late to join the salaat.

If two cases of forgetfulness occurs in the Salaat

If someone forgets something in his salaat, and it cases them to make two mistakes unintentionally in their salaat, such as forgeting a wajibat then adding an action to the salaat, or other such examples, then the scholars say that the prostration before the salaams predominates. Lets say for example, someone praying Zuhr and they forgot to sit for the middle tashaahud and in their third rakaah they thought they were in their second rakah so they sat for the middle tashaahud in their third rakah rather than their second. Then after this, they realize that they are in their third rakah and not their second so they stand up from their tashaahud and continue the salaat as it is their third rakah. So in this case they have forgotten a wajibat (the middle tashaahud), this requires prostration before the salaams, and they have added a sitting in the third rakah, this requires prostration after the salaams. So the person praying should prostrate BEFORE the salaams as this predominates prostrating after the salaams.

Another case that can be a person forgot to make a sujood in their second rakah, then they remembered and made up for it by returning to their second rakah, but then later on in their salaat, they forget if they are in their third rakah or their fourth rakah. So since they cant distinguish which is more weightier in their mind, they go by what is safest, that they are in their third rakah. Now the first situation would need a prostration after the salaams, but now since they forgot if they are in their third or fourth rakah, this requires prostration before the salaams. So again, they should prostrate before the salams since this is what predominates.

I ask Allah to bless and have mercy upon Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen who wrote this book for us to benefit from, and do guide and bless all of our ulumah living today, and to have mercy upon those who have passed away.

If anything is unclear or mistaken in this work, please forgive me and please post the correct or what you are unclear about.

Subhanikallahumma wa bihamdik wa ash hadu an laaillaha ilAllah, wa astagfirukah wa atuubu ilayk.
wassalaamu 'alaikom wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh
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Old 03-24-2006, 04:28 AM   #2
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Re: Sujood as Sahw

JazzakeeAllahukhairan, very beneficial summary

Can the MODS transfer this to the BOOK NOOK and let everyone benefit inshaAllah ta'la?

WAssalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatAllah
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:41 PM   #3
Abd As Samad
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Re: Sujood as Sahw


Na3m this, I found very beneficial

JazakAllaahu Khair
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