Fatawa >Sec2 Chapter Five : General Guidelines of Prayers


Sec2 Chapter Five : General Guidelines of Prayers

Sec2 Chapter Five :

General Guidelines of Prayers


There are rules which are designed to regulate the daily prayers, in that they do not cover other prayers, such as qasr (shortened) prayer required by the travelling person. There are other rules, however, which are not confined to daily prayers; they extend to cover other prayers, such as judging any prayer batil, if the worshipper commissioned any action (hadath) that impinges on the requirement of prayer.

Another rule which straddles daily prayers and other types of prayer is that of qadha, as in the prayer of ayat sometimes. A third example is that of congregational prayer, in that in so much as it is lawful in the daily prayer, so it in Eid prayers, Ayat prayers, and Istisqa prayer.

The first category of rules has been covered in the Chapter dedicated to Daily Prayers. Here we will concentrate on the second category as follows:

a. Nullifiers of prayer.

b. Qadha.

c. Lapses.

d. Doubt.

e. Congregational prayer.

f. The differences between obligatory and supererogatory prayers.

1. Things that nullify Prayer

In all its forms, save that said for the dead, prayer would be rendered null and void , if certain things take place while it is being said. Some of these would unequivocally render prayer batil, whereas others would make it incumbent on the worshipper to repeat their prayer, as a matter of obligatory precaution:

1.a. The worshipper may, during prayer, do or get subjected to that which detracts from its sanctity, thus requiring them to perform wudhu or ghusl. Whether the encroachment happens deliberately or inadvertently, in the beginning or in the end of prayer is immaterial. The worshipper has to repeat his prayer as a matter of ihtiyat.

2. b. Deliberately turning ones face or body away from the qiblah should render prayer batil, regardless of whatever remedial action the worshipper takes. However, in the event of oversight, the prayer should not be considered batil, except for two situations, a: if he discovers the omission/comission before the end of time of prayer; should he remember after that, he is not required to repeat the prayer, and b: the turning away from qiblah is so acute that he turns his back, his right or left side to it. Any veering from qiblah which is less than 90 degrees ,right angle, can be tolerated.

3. c. Should the worshippers» do that which would encroach upon the form and content of prayer, this would render it batil. Whether the action committed came about deliberately, involuntarily, or inadvertently is irrelevant. For example, dancing, or going about ones business in the usual manner - a mother suckling her baby, a doctor attending to his patient ... etc.

There is no harm in making slight movements during prayer, provided that it maintains its general look. Movements such as pointing to something with a wave of a hand, putting something on the head or removing it, bending to pick something up, slight walking sideways, provided that the worshipper maintains facing the qiblah. It is permissible to kill harmful animals, such as scorpion and snake [should they pose danger to you].

4. d. Laughter renders prayer null, whether done voluntarily or in involuntarily. Should laughter come about inadvertently, it shall not detract from prayer.

Smiling, albeit deliberate, will not render prayer batil, neither will giggling.

5. e. As a matter of ihtiyat, weeping would render prayer null, if any of the following was present, even if it comes about unwillingly:

a. Tearfulness, even though without sobbing.

b. The motivation for weeping is personal, such as bereavement. Should the motive be spiritual, it would not detract from prayer. For example, crying out of submission to Allah, yearning to obtain His pleasure, or pleading with Him to facilitate a pressing matter.

c. Weeping while the worshipper is aware that prayer is in progress. Crying without due awareness to the fact that they are praying should not detract from the validity of prayer.

6. f. Eating and drinking, irrespective of whether it would affect the form and content of prayer.

However, in Watr Prayer the worshipper, who is thirsty and intending to fast, can walk two or three steps to drink water and return to his place of prayer to finish it. That is, if the water was close to him, and only if time was pressing.

There is no harm in the worshipper swallowing remnants of food left in his mouth.

7. Talking in prayer is forbidden, albeit uttering one letter or sound that may or may not make sense and regardless of whether or not the worshipper was addressing someone. However, unintentional talk can be tolerated.

There is no harm in coughing, clearing ones throat, yawning, puffing etc.

The exception to talking in prayer can be any of the following:

8. a. If speech is of the sort that is addressed to Allah, the Most High, by way of whispered prayer (munajat).

9. b. If it is a kind of dhikr or supplication, provided that it is not addressed to Allah, the Exalted, in that if the worshipper were to say, "Ghafaral Lahu Lak!" - May Allah forgive you, the prayer will be rendered batil. That is, although the expression is a kind of dua ,supplication, yet it is meant for someone other than Him. Saying, "Ighfir Lee" - O Allah! forgive me, or "Ghafaral Lahu Liabi" - May Allah forgive my father, should not render prayer batil.

10. c. If speech is confined to reciting verses from the Holy Quran, it will not detract from the validity of prayer.

11. d. Returning a Muslim’s salutation in kind is allowed, i.e. by repeating such expressions as, "As-Salamu Alaik, Salamun Alaik, or As-Salamu Alaikum". If the greetings took such expressions as, "Alaikas Salam, or Alaikumus Salam", the worshipper is free to return the salutation in the manner they prefer, i.e. starting or ending with the word, "Alaika" or "Alaikum".

If the worshipper cannot make out the exact expression, they are free to use, "Salamun Alaikum" or "Alaikumus Salam". However, as a matter of ihtiyat, returning the salutation, using the Quranic expression, "Salamun Alaikum" is desirable, even if the words of the salutation were different.

Should the worshipper choose not to return the greeting, their prayer can still be valid, although they are deemed negligent.

12. Ignorance of the rules shall not render the prayer of the worshipper batil, apart from those things that invalidate prayer discussed in paras.)1/a( and )2/b( and that which may derogate the form and content of prayer.

13. Crossing the hands while reciting in prayer is not called for. If the worshippers resort to it as though it is required and liked by the Law-giver, they would commit that which is haraam. However, he who does it without intending it to be part of prayer, his prayer is valid. If he meant it to be part thereof, his prayer is invalid, as a matter of ihtiyat, unless he mistakenly thought that it was part of prayer.

The same goes for saying, "Aamin" - Amen, after the recitation of suraratul-Fatiha.

If the worshipper harbors any doubt whether they have committed anything that could have invalidated prayer, they should ignore such doubt.

14. Interrupting optional prayer can be tolerated. Obligatory prayer should not be interrupted as a matter of obligatory precaution. That is, only in an emergency or for a justifiable need. For example, a worshipper, who is alone in the house, and while praying, they hear knocking on the door or the telephone ringing; since it is important for them to know who the caller is, and that continuing prayer would deny them the opportunity to do so, they are justified in interrupting the prayer.

2. Saying Prayer by

Way of Qadha

Although the words "ada and qadha" could have different meanings, from a jurisprudence perspective we mainly use "ada" in the sense that performing the required thing in its prescribed time without delay. "qadha" is performing the required thing after its time has passed by way of compensation. For example, we describe a worshipper who performed Asr prayer before the sunset as "having performed it ada"º should they postpone its performance until after sunset, he is described as "having performed it qadha".

What can be performed qadha?

15. It is obligatory to perform, by way of qadha, the five obligatory daily prayers in the event of missing any one of them. It is obligatory also to perform Ayat Prayer qadha in all the cases except one, i.e. where the eclipse, of the moon or sun, is a full one. However, should the mukallaf be unaware of the eclipse, no qadha is required. It is obligatory though in all the other instances.

16. It is mustahab to say, by way of qadha, the supererogatory daily prayers that the worshipper did not say on time.

17. Again it is mustahab to say, by way of qadha, other missed seasonal, i.e. timely supererogatory prayers, such as the prayer of the first of the month. The exception is Eid prayers, in that they cannot be said qadha as will be discussed.

18. If a nadhr gave rise to any supererogatory prayer becoming wajib which was not said on time, it has to be said qadha as a matter of obligatory precaution.

19. No qadha is required in these cases, a: Juma prayer; Dhuhr must be performed in lieu, )b( Eid prayers, )c( Non-timely supererogatory prayers, unless it is desirable that the mukallaf who had made a vow to perform one of them in a particular time to do so. Failing that they have to resort to saying it qadha. Should they choose not to do the latter they would not be deemed sinful.

Why should one say qadha prayer?

20. The reason why the worshippers should resort to saying prayer by way of qadha is their missing out on performing the prayer properly on its prescribed time. This could come about as a result of an either an outright omission on the part of the worshipper, or they may have performed it, yet without due care to fulfilling the legal requirements, and thus rendering it void.

21. Not everyone who misses prayer has to perform it qadha. This depends on one of two factors:

a. The person’s duty might be that he should say the particular prayer in a given time, yet he did not discharge his obligation either out of rebellion, forgetfulness, or ignorance of the rules. He, then, has to compensate for it. The exception being that the unbeliever who has been brought up thus; he is not required to compensate for any prayer he had abandoned because he was not required to perform prayer to start with. As for the Muslim who had turned apostate and thus turned his back to prayer, he has to perform prayer by way of qadha.

b. The obligation on the person to say the particular prayer may have been waived at the time due to the absence of the third condition of the general precepts, i.e. the ability to carry it out. Such people should say prayer by way of qadha irrespective of the nature of their inability, i.e. whether or not they have control over it; for example a sleeping person who could not get up for prayer and another whose reason for not praying on time could have been non-availability of water for wudhu or dust for tayamum. That said, resorting to qadha in this instance is recommended on the basis of ihtiyat which should not be forsaken.

In all these cases, qadha is obligatory. However, the patient who became unconscious due to no fault of his is a special case.

22. In the light of the above, it is apparent that those who miss out on prayer because they were young - i.e. before attaining adulthood - insane, in haydh or nifas are not required to say compensatory prayers. That is, they are not required to do so at the outset because of their respective situations at the time of prayer.

23. The moment the circumstances change, i.e. the person attains adulthood, the insane becomes sane, the unconscious comes around, and the unbeliever embraces Islam, it is incumbent on each one of them to say prayer. That is, even though there is only sufficient time for just one ruku and with tayamum instead of wudhu. Failure to comply with that would give rise to saying prayer qadha. Should there not be enough time for even one ruku when the circumstances changed, no prayer is called for, neither ada nor qadha.

24. The time for prayer may set in while the woman is in haydh. However, she may find herself tahir before the end of time. She may take one of the following courses of action:

a. Should her period come to an end while there is still time for ghusl and prayer, she must hasten to do so. Failing to comply will give rise to saying prayer qadha.

b. Should there not be ample time for ghusl, rather for tayamum, she should opt for tayamum and say her prayer. If she does not, she has to resort to praying qadha.

25. The time for prayer may set in while the worshipper is still in sound health. Should the worshipper experience a bout of insanity or unconsciousness within the time allotted for prayer before he could say prayer, it is obligatory on him to say it by way of qadha after he restore his health. That is, if the period prior to the bout was sufficient for a full prayer and it was within the worshipper’s ability to make himself tahir for it before the onset of time. Conversely, no qadha is required.

The same goes for a woman in haydh in the same circumstances just discussed.

How should qadha prayer be conducted?

26. Prayer performed by way of qadha must be carried out in exactly the same way as though it is being performed ada. So, if the worshipper missed a prayer while on a journey , he should compensate for it by way of qasr, even if he reached his home town and vice versa, i.e. insofar as tamam prayer goes.

The time for prayer may set in while the worshipper is away on a trip. He returns home before the end of time and still could not pray. It is obligatory on him to perform it qadha and tamam in the light of their circumstances at the end of time. If the situation was the opposite, he should perform it qasr.

27. There is no set time for performing qadha prayer. The worshipper who is required to perform qadha prayer can do so at any time they choose. It is not obligatory on him to hasten to perform it. Postponing it can be tolerated, unless he becomes negligent.

28. The worshippers could have missed more than one prayer. They could be two. If, for example, they were dhuhr and asr for one day or maghrib and isha for one evening, they should start with dhuhr before asr and with maghrib before isha. Should they be different, the worshippers are free to use any order they prefer.

Accordingly, if, for example, there was a backlog of prayers for one year or one month, the worshippers can say qadha prayer, starting with this order:Subh, dhuhr, asr, maghrib, and isha. They may opt for another way, in that they could start with any outstanding prayer, say subh, till it is done with, i.e. for the whole period, then with dhuhr and so on.

29. Managing Doubt

In the event of uncertainty whether the worshippers performed a previous prayer, they are not required to perform it. The worshippers could be aware that they had missed out on prayer at an early stage of their life, yet they are not sure whether they had attained adulthood then. It is not obligatory on them to perform any prayer by way of qadha.

The worshippers could be aware that they missed a prayer, yet they are not sure whether it was subh, dhuhr, or maghrib. In this case, they should perform three different prayers, i.e. a two-raka, a three-raka, and a four-raka, respectively. Should the worshipper not be in a position to tell whether the missed prayer was dhuhr, asr, or isha, they should say a four-raka prayer and feel free to recite audibly or inaudibly.

If the worshippers are uncertain about the number of prayers they missed, they should always resort to the lesser number. For example, if the number was five or more praying five times would do.

Rules Concerning Qadha Prayer

30. A situation may arise whereby a worshipper has two prayers to deal with, one whose time has passed and another whose time is still not up. He may have the choice of starting with either, unless the time for the existing prayer was so short that he fears it might run out, if they started with the compensatory prayer )qadha( first. For example, if the missed prayer was that of subh, which was not performed until it was time for dhuhr, it is permissible for the worshipper to say dhuhr then subh, by way of qadha, unless the time for dhuhr was critical.

31. Q. Suppose a person is required to say a prayer or prayers by way of qadha. This may be due to the fact that a: he cannot perform them properly; : he may not be in a position to perform wudhu, resorting to tayamum instead; c: it could be that he can only perform those prayers from a sitting position. Can he be justified in saying them while he is in a bad shape?

A. Should he be confident that he would regain good health, he is better advised to delay saying the outstanding prayers till then. Conversely, he can say those outstanding prayers in the manner commensurate to his condition.

Q. Following on from this answer, suppose the worshipper opted for saying the outstanding prayer from a sitting position because of his prevalent state of health, only to recover and regain good health. Should he repeat the prayers he performed by way of qadha?

A. Yes, he should, since the way he conducted his prayer was lacking due to his own doing. Such a drawback is not excusable even for an ignorant person. However, rules governing lapses in prayer will deal with, [ among other things]this point in particular, i.e. when a person who is not aware of the laws can be excused for mistakes they make in prayer.

Saying Prayer on Behalf of One’s Father

32. Just as it is obligatory on the mukallafs to say, by way of qadha, the prayer they missed, so are they obligated to say the prayer which their fathers, and not their mothers, had missed. Apparently, the obligation covers those prayers the fathers had missed either for a good reason or deliberately due to an emergency. That is, it does not extend to cover lifetime wilful abandonment of prayer, as is the case of some fathers who never contemplate clearing the backlog of unperformed prayers. The obligation, however, takes into consideration whether or not it was in the father’s ability and power to say, by way of qadha, the outstanding prayer, in that the sons are not obligated to perform those prayers their fathers had missed because of illness.

It is obligatory that the mukallaf be male and that the father has no other living son older than him at the time of the fathers death. The daughter and the youngest boy are exempt of such an obligation. However, if the eldest son was below the age of adulthood, he is not responsible for carrying out qadha prayer on behalf of the dead father. That said, once the son attains adulthood, it is advisable, on the basis of obligatory precaution, to perform qadha prayers.

Should there be two sons of the same age born to the same father, e.g. from two different mothers, they are jointly responsible for qadha prayer on behalf of their father. If one of them shoulders the responsibility, this will absolve the other of it; otherwise both of them will be deemed guilty. Sharing out qadha prayer between them would do.

In the event of twins, the qadha prayer on behalf of the father should be the sole responsibility of the one who was born first.

The father may stipulate in his will that someone be hired to perform qadha prayer on his behalf paid by money from his own estate. If the will is executed, the son should be absolved of the responsibility.

It is permissible for the son who is obligated with performing qadha prayer for his father to hire someone for this purpose with his own money, if the father had not instructed in his will that it be met from his bequeathable one-third share. Otherwise, it is possible that payment for the person hired can be taken from the father’s share.

If the son is uncertain whether or not there were any outstanding prayers that were due on the father, he should not pay attention to that. However, if the son is certain that his father was indebted with prayers, yet is not sure whether the father had performed them before his death, he should perform such prayers.

3. Lapses

The worshipper may detract from his prayer by commissioning unlawful actions; this could be deliberate and with full knowledge; it could be due to an oversight, or ignorance of the laws. We have already discussed many of these lapses and the remedial action to put them right in their respective places. However, we turn now to a number of lapses, mentioning their rules, and explaining the general precepts these rules are based on.

33. If the worshipper deliberately and knowingly fails to fulfil their duty by abandoning any part of prayer or any requirement thereof, his prayer shall be deemed batil because it will be incomplete.

34. Should the worshipper deliberately and knowingly add anything to prayer that is not originally called for, his prayer shall be considered void )batil( as has already been discussed in (para. 156) of the Chapter on General Guidelines.

Beyond the deliberate and flagrant action, there are cases of omission or commission where the prayer will not be rendered batil, whereas there are others where the prayer will be rendered batil.

Situations Where Prayer is Deemed Batil at any Rate

35. Any of the following should render prayer batil:

a. Skipping takbiratul ihram either inadvertently or through ignorance and realizing such an oversight during or after prayer.

b. Omitting ruku leading to the performance of the second sujood and realizing such a mistake during or after prayer.

c. Leaving the two sujoods aside, and rising for the next ruku, then remembering the oversight.

d. Not standing upright at the moment of shouting takbiratul ihram, doing it from a sitting position without being duly excused to do so.

e. Performing ruku from a sitting position with no apparent reason to do so.

f. Performing ruku after rising from a sitting position not from a standing one.

g. Saying prayer without the required wudhu, ghusl, or tayamum; also breach of ones state of taharah while praying.

h. Commissioning that which would encroach upon the form and content of prayer.

i. Unintentionally, praying while still in a state of najasah which is not allowed.

j. Performing a double ruku in any one raka.

k. Performing four sujoods in any one raka.

l. Setting one’s face to any direction other than qiblah, being unaware of the rules requiring such an action.

m. Should the worshipper be aware that facing the direction of the qiblah is obligatory in prayer, yet they momentarily forgot, leading him not to face the qiblah, his prayer is batil.

n. Setting one’s face to the right, left, or opposite direction of the qiblah in the mistaken belief that he was facing the right direction. Realizing one’s mistake before the time of prayer is up would render prayer batil.

o. Performing prayer before the onset of its time for any reason, i.e. it could be due to an oversight, ignorance, or mistakenly believing the time had come. The same goes for starting prayer slightly ahead of its time, except for one case which has already been discussed in para. (78) of the Chapter on The Five Daily Prayers

Cases Where Prayer Shall not be Deemed Void

Any omission or shortcoming on the part of the worshippers giving rise to what could be a breach of prayer could be tolerated, if they were either ignorant or unaware of the law or the omission was made inadvertently.

Such incidences are of two types: (a)Those omissions which could be rectified as soon as they come to the attention of the worshipper. Once remedial action is taken the worshippers can then continue with their prayer. (b) Those slips which do not require the worshippers to take remedial action, making do with their incomplete prayer.

Situations Where Remedial Action is Called for

36. These are:

a. Dropping part of suratul-Fatiha or the surah that follows it. Should the omission be noticed before the ruku (bowing down) of the raka in hand, reciting the part/s that were inadvertently missed and the parts that follow is called for; thus, one can continue the prayer.

b. Missing any part of that which should be recited ]of the Holy Quran[ or tasbih[dhikr] in the third and fourth raka. If realizing the omission comes about before actually going for the ruku in hand, the worshipper should recite the parts he omitted and those that follow them, that done they should continue their prayer.

c. Leaving ruku out. Should the worshipper remember what they have done before performing the second sujood of the ruku in hand, they should hasten to rise to a standing position to perform the missed ruku, then continue the prayer.

e. Forgetting to recite tashahhud. Should the worshippers become aware of such an oversight before actually performing ruku, they should go back to a sitting position to recite tashahhud, then continue the prayer.

f. Omitting either the two sujoods, tashahhud, or tasleem of the last ruku. If the worshippers become aware of their mistake before either doing that which could encroach on their state of taharah or impinge on the form and content of prayer, they can perform what they have missed till the end of prayer.

Situations Where Remedial Action is not Called for

37. These are:

a. Dropping recitation, i.e. al-Fatiha or the second surah or part thereof, or that which should be recited in the third and fourth ruku, i.e. al-Fatiha or tasbih or part thereof. Becoming aware of such an oversight after one has actually performed ruku, does not warrant any remedial action. Thus, prayer should be proceeded with.

b. Rising from ruku or sujood only to realize that you did not recite dhikr. No remedial action is called for; the worshipper should move on.

c. Omitting the second sujood of any raka, the middle tashahhud or part thereof, leading to a new ruku. No immediate remedial action is called for; the worshipper should move on. However, having finished his prayer, the worshipper should repeat, by way of qadha, what he has omitted as will be discussed.

d. Skipping the second sujood, tashahhud, or tasleem of the last ruku. Should realizing one’s mistake occur after some considerable time has elapsed on the prayer so much so that the grain of prayer could no longer be maintained, the prayer would stand, provided the part which has been missed is repeated by way of qadha in the manner that will be discussed.

e. Abandoning standing upright for recitation, only to do so from a sitting position. Should the worshippers realize such an omission after they have done with recitation, it is not obligatory on them to take any remedial action. They should, therefore, move on.

Explaining Terminology

38. Any obligation of prayer, the omission of which would render it batil, is called rukn (fundamental part of prayer). How the omission comes about, i.e. as a result of an oversight or ignorance, is immaterial.

The same goes for any rukn that could be committed to the elements of prayer, apart from takbiratul ihram, in that adding more of it should not render prayer batil, if it is not done with intent.

Any obligation of prayer, the omission of which would not render it batil, unless it is done deliberately and knowingly, is described as non-rukn.

Any obligation of prayer that is a sub-part of a particular part of it, is part of the latter and not directly considered among the parts of prayer. This is because it derives its being obligatory by virtue of being part thereof.

For example, dhikr of a sujood is part of sujood, whereas tashahhud is an independent part of prayer.

Other examples of the obligation of the sub-part of a part is dhikr while performing ruku and standing upright while reciting; the latter being part of recitation. Maintaining a calm and collected posture during recitation of dhikr is part of dhikr. The same goes for maintaining such a posture during recitation, tashahhud, or tasleem. Reciting audibly or inaudibly, as may the case be, is another example.

39. Accordingly, we can deduce the formula for situations where remedy must be applied because it has to be taken where possible, which is the case in the majority of cases, apart from the following:

40. a. The worshipper has, before realizing his mistake, already moved on to another rukn, in which case he is in no position to take remedial action because this action, as we have already mentioned, involves making good what he omitted and repeat the part that followed from it. That is, should he chose to embark on the remedial action irrespective, he would be repeating that rukn which is deemed an infringement. Hence the expression of the jurist, "The time for remedial action is up".

41. b. The omitted obligation is a sub-part of a part and the worshipper is done with that part. For example, the worshipper may have forgotten to recite dhikr [tasbih] for the second sujood after he lifted his head from the spot of sujood, in which case it is too late to take remedial action. That is, if they were to recite dhikr without the actual sujood, it is worthless, because dhikr is part and parcel of sujood not alien to it.

42. c. No remedial action can be taken after the worshipper is done with his prayer so much so that the flow of prayer has been disrupted. This could be said of the prayer which has been finished for some time, or the worshipper may have committed that which constituted a breach of wudhu or ghusl.

43. In each case where remedial action is impossible, prayer is rendered batil, should the skipped part be rukn. If the omitted part is an obligation but not rukn, the prayer stands, provided it is completed.

In the same vein, in each case where remedial action is possible, it has to be embarked on, rendering prayer valid; should the worshipper opt for non-compliance, his prayer would be deemed batil.

What if the worshipper is uncertain about taking remedial action?

44. Some parts of the prayer fall in a gray area, in that there is no clear-cut description whether they are obligations in part or integral parts thereof. Example of this placing of the hands, knees, and feet toes on the prayer mat while performing sujood.

The remedial action here follows where one stands. One may take the view that such action is part of sujood. In this case, the worshipper who did, due to an oversight, not place his hand on the mat, and realized what he had done after lifting their head from the spot of sujood, should not take remedial action, Conversely, if you took the view that it is part of prayer, and not sujood, taking remedial action becomes obligatory; thus performing sujood again properly should be opted for.

However, since one cannot draw the distinction, the mukallaf is advised to continue with his prayer, in the event of such a doubt, without resorting to taking remedial action, provided that he repeats the prayer, albeit it is not obligatory, because the disputed obligation is apparently part of sujood not prayer.

Compensating(Qadha) for Missed Parts

45. In the event of inadvertently skipping one sujood or tashahhud or part thereof, one has to move one, should there be no scope for remedial action. The worshipper has to compensate for the missed part/s by performing same. That said, the worshipper has to be in a state of taharah when performing the missed parts as well as observing the requirements of facing the qiblah and dressing up properly as though he is performing actual prayer. Holding niyyah of performing the missed parts, by way of compensation, is another requirement.

As a matter of voluntary obligation, performing compensatory sujood and tashahhud on the one hand, and the prayer on the other should not be interrupted by anything which may deem prayer batil; also we must reiterate that there should be no other skipped parts where qadha is called for.


Sujood-as-sahu (The prostration in lieu of any omission or commission of a secondary act in prayer).

46. Any omission or commission of a part of prayer that would necessarily give rise to rendering prayer batil, the worshipper will have no alternative but to repeat same. If the omission or commission is of the type that would not infringe prayer, the worshipper should, upon realizing his slip, take remedial action. Should it be too late for that, he can carry on with his prayer which should be valid.

However, there are certain situations which warrant the performance of


47. a. When is it obligatory to perform sajdatay-as-sahu? Sajdatay - as - sahu become obligatory on the worshipper in the following situations:

a. The worshipper unintentional talking during prayer or in the belief that he has finished it.

b. Inadvertently reciting tasleem not in its proper slot, such as reciting it after the first [middle] tashahhud in a four-raka prayer.

c. Faced with uncertainty as to the number of ruku, i.e. between four and five and five and six, as will be discussed in paras. (70 and 74 ) of the Rules Governing Doubt.

d. Forgetting one sajdah, or tashahhud as a whole or in part, would, as a matter of obligatory precaution, warrant performing what has been missed alongside sajdatay-as-sahu.

e. Omission of qiyam or performing an extra one. An example of this is performing qiyam in a sitting position and vice versa. [Our ruling on]this is based on obligatory precaution.

48. How should one perform sujood-as-sahu?

Two consecutive sujoods should be performed in the same way any two sujoods of any prayer are performed. However, facing the qiblah, taharah, clothing, and takbir are not obligatory. Yet, niyyah of qurbah and securing the hands, knees, and feet toes on the floor are obligatory. The spot where sujood is performed should comply with that which can be used for prostration.

Dhikr should be recited in every sajdah. This should contain the remembrance of Allah, the Most High, and the Prophet (p) as a matter of ihtiyat. The worshipper is free to recite either, "Bismillahi wa Billah, Assalamu Alaika Ayyuhan Nabiyu, wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh". or "Bismillahi wa Billahi, wa Sallal Lahu Ala Mohammadin wa Aali Mohammad".

It is permissible insofar as the first expression is concerned to say, "Bismillahi wa Billah, wassalamu etc.". Having performed them, the worshipper should recite tashahhud and tasleem.

49. When is it obligatory?

Sujood-as-sahu becomes obligatory in the situations just discussed. However, it is an independent obligation, in the sense that it is not part of prayer, nor is it complementary. Thus, prayer will not be deemed batil by deliberately leaving it out, let alone skipping it by way of an oversight.

Once it becomes obligatory, it has to be performed immediately, i.e. once prayer is over and done with, alongside any complementary precautionary ruku and qadha of any missed parts. That is, before commissioning that which would render prayer batil.

Remembering one’s slip after prayer has been done with would warrant performingsujood-as-sahu. Similarly, should the realization of the omission occur during another prayer, the worshipper can perform it after finishing the prayer.

50. Rules Governing Sujood-as-sahu

Sujood-as-sahu must be repeated whenever it is necessary to do so, although the repetition may be for the same kind of omission or commission. For example, should the worshipper recite tasleem twice where it is not called for, sujood-as-sahu must be performed twice; talking on two different occasions warrants performing sujood-as-sahu twice, irrespective of the nature of the cause for the second time round talking.

If it becomes obligatory on the worshippers to perform sujood-as-sahu more than once, should they observe the order of omissions and/or commissions?

A. Observing an order is not necessary. The mukallafs are free to start wherever they like. Indeed, it is not even obligatory to precisely designate the reason for the sujood. That is, it suffices that they perform sajdatay-as-sahu twice without the need for remembering the reason for performing them.

51. The worshippers may not be in a position to decide whether or not they commissioned that which warrants performing sujood-as-sahu. In this case, they should not pay attention to such a doubt. However, if the worshipper knew for sure that they are charged with the responsibility of sujood-as-sahu, but are not sure whether they discharged their responsibility, they must perform such a sujood.

The worshippers may be aware of their obligation vis-áÇú-vis sujood-as-sahu, yet they are not quite sure whether it is for more than one occasion; they should ignore any excess. Knowledge of performing one sujood, leading to uncertainty about the second one, must warrant performing the second one, unless the worshipper has moved on to tashahhud, in which case they need not worry.

In the event of doubting the validity of performing sujood-as-sahu, the worshipper need not worry about such uncertainty.

4. Precepts Concerning

Doubt During Prayer

Doubt or uncertainty in prayer can be classified into three categories:

a. Doubts regarding the performance of prayer or lack of it.

b. Doubts regarding the fulfilment of the prerequisites of prayer.

c. Doubts regarding the number of rukus.

Doubt Regarding Performance, or otherwise, of Prayer

52. When faced with such a situation, the worshipper should hasten to perform it while there is still time for doing so, thus resolving the uncertainty as though he did not perform prayer. If the uncertainty arises outside the time allotted for the disputed prayer, he should ignore such a doubt.

If the doubt centers around the performance of prayer or lack of it and whether its time is up, the worshipper must hasten to perform it. Doubt and certainty, here and in the previous assumption, are alike.

Should the day approach its end so much so that what is left of it is not sufficient for even one ruku, it should be treated as though it has come to a close. But if there was enough time for performing one to four rukus, the worshipper, who is not certain that they have said both dhuhr and asr prayers, should hasten to say asr. In case what is left of time is sufficient for five rukus, both he prayers must be said.

If, during asr prayer, the worshipper harbours a doubt about whether or not he performed dhuhr, he should conclude that he did not; in such a case, he should interrupt the prayer in hand and revert to saying dhuhr. That is, if the there is ample time for both dhuhr and asr, albeit for one ruku of the latter. Should there not be enough time for both the prayers, he must carry on with asr, thus absolving themselves of the responsibility of saying dhuhr by virtue of expiration of its time.

53. An average doubter should comply with the rules of managing doubt or uncertainty. An excessive one should not bother.

Doubts Regarding the Fulfillment of Prayer Requirements

54. Wherever and whenever the worshippers entertains a doubt about any of prayers obligations, they should resolve it by assuming that they did not perform it. The exception to this principle being the following.

55. a. Any part of prayer the performance/non-performance of which becomes the subject of doubt, after it has been overtaken by subsequent parts, even though they are mustahab such as qunoot, the doubt or uncertainty should be over-ruled.

Examples of this are uncertainty about whether the worshipper has recited takbiratul ihram while reciting al-Fatiha, or while in qunoot and doubting whether he has done the recitation, or while in ruku and doubting whether he has done the recitation, even if the doubt arises while on the way to actually bowing for ruku. In all these cases the doubt should be ignored.

Jurists call the general principle of overrunning doubt where it is too late to take remedial action as "the principle of skipping the doubt". We have already discussed many instances where this principle has been applied.

Jurists also call the other general principle of making it obligatory to take remedial action to dispel the doubt, where such action is possible because it is timely, as the "principle of doubt addressed on time and place". According to this principle the worshipper who has doubt about the propriety of any part of his prayer should take remedial action to dispel such doubt as long as he did not move on to another part of thea prayer in hand.

56. b. Doubting the proper execution of any part that has already been performed, i.e. not whether or not it has actually been performed, should be ignored. This, of course, is irrespective of whether or not the doubt was discovered on the spot or after the worshipper had already moved to another part of his prayer. For example, doubting whether the worshipper recited takbiratul irhram properly, be it before or after embarking on recitation and so on.

This principle, the jurists term as the "principle of expiration". We have already discussed many instances where it has been called into play.

57. c. Overrunning any doubt about a breach of any of the requirements of prayer, after the worshipper has already embarked on it, especially if he knows very well that all such requirements have been fulfilled. For example, having started prayer facing the qiblah, the worshipper became doubtful whether they have moved away from it while the prayer is still in progress. Another example is that of a woman, who has started her prayer with her hair fully covered, doubting that she might have uncovered her hair at a certain stage of prayer. The ruling in both these examples is ignoring the doubt.

58. d. A given person might be of the type that is given to excessive doubting. The level of doubt of such a person could be reached at by what ordinary people consider as out of the ordinary. For example, should the person harbor doubt once in every three consecutive prayers or twice in every six consecutive ones, such a person should not take his doubt seriously. They should, therefore, have no alternative but to overrun any doubt about the proper execution, or lack of it, of any part of prayer he might have entertained.

However, a given worshipper may be a habitual doubter in a particular part of prayer, such as takbiratul ihram. Such a worshipper should not pay attention to the doubt insofar as that limited area is concerned. Should he become doubtful about whether or not he performed this, or the other, part of prayer, i.e. other than the particular area talked about, he shall be treated as any other average worshipper.

Occasionally, some worshippers may experience extraordinary instances of doubt as a result of certain circumstances which may give rise to great anxiety, such as bereavement, or a sense of insecurity. These worshippers must deal with their doubts in prayer in the usual manner, i.e. they cannot be treated as habitual doubters.

The worshipper may, after an increased level of instances of doubt, think that they have become habitual doubters. Such people must conclude that they have not until they are absolutely sure that they have reached that stage.

Similarly, if a person is a known habitual doubter, thinking that he may have recovered, he must maintain his original state until such a time comes that he is absolutely certain he has regained control over their level of doubt.

59. In a congregational prayer, a doubt about a given part of prayer may arise, i.e. either on the part of the imam or on the part of the worshipper who is praying behind him. Such doubt could be of the type over which dispute between the two may not arise. If this occurs, the one who has reached the conclusion that he had a doubt must ignore it.

However, ]in matters such as[ the followers in a congregational prayer may entertain a doubt about whether or not they followed the imam in performing two sujoods. Here the knowledge of the imam that they performed the two sujoods will not be of any use to the follower, so long as they remained doubtful; indeed, they have to perform the second sujood while there is still time to do so, i.e. not having moved on to the following part.

60. If the worshipper applies the rule of ignoring the doubt, only to realize later on that his doubt was in place, what should he do?

A. Should there be time for making good the doubt, in the light of paras. 40-42, he should hasten to take remedial action; if it were too late, no action is required, and the prayer should count as valid. That is, unless the disputed part was rukn , in which case the prayer is deemed batil.

61. Upon applying the "principle of doubt addressed on time and place".

The worshippers could realize that they had already performed the doubted part. In such a case, the worshippers should carry on with their prayer, unless the disputed part was ruku, which they had performed twice or sujood which they had performed four times, in which case the prayer is deemed batil.

Doubt in the Number of Rukus

62. Any doubt that creeps in after the worshipper has finished their prayer should be ignored. However, if such a doubt arises during prayers, it could be treated in more than one way. Some doubts render prayer batil outright. Some of them will not render prayer batil, yet they call for remedial action. Some do not render prayer batil and do not require remedial action. The latter may take any of the following forms:

63. a. On performing tashahhud, or having just finished it, the worshippers may not be sure whether they have finished the second ruku, in which case this should be what is required of them at that stage of prayer, or maybe they have finished the first ruku, in which case the tashahhud they have just finished is an inadvertent one.

In such a case, the worshippers must conclude that they had performed two rukus. Thus, they must move on to perform the third ruku, should the prayer in hand consist of three rukus or four rukus. Should the prayer in hand be that of two rukus, they should finish tashahhud and perform tasleem. The prayer should, therefore, be valid.

64. b. In a four-raka prayer, the worshippers may find themselves in a position where, while sure that they got passed the second ruku, they are not sure whether the ruku in hand is the fourth one. Such a doubt must be resolved by assuming that the ruku in hand is actually the fourth one, thus finishing one’s prayer with no need to worry about any remedial action.

65. c. In a three-raka prayer, the worshippers may find themselves engaged in tasleem. Yet, they are not sure whether the third ruku is over and done with. In such a case, the assumption should be that the ruku in hand is actually the third one. Consequently, the worshippers must finish tasleem and thereby prayer.

As for the doubt which does not render prayer batil, yet requires remedial action, it is confined to four-raka prayers; it could take any of the following nine forms:

66. a. After rising from the second sujood, only to become doubtful as to whether the ruku in hand was the second or third. However, they may be sure as to the second one, but not quite sure whether it was the third. The situation must be resolved in assuming that the ruku in hand is the third one. Thus, they must move on to finishing the fourth ruku including tashahhud and tasleem .

However, before embarking on anything which may detract from the validity of prayer, they must make niyyah of qurbah to perform ihtiyat prayer. After, reciting takbiratul ihram, they are required to perform one ruku from a standing position, as a matter of obligatory precaution, if their physical ability allow it. Should the physical state of the worshipper not allow for performing prayer from a standing position, they may perform one ruku from a sitting position, also as a matter of ihtiyat.

Thus, if the prayer where the doubt took place actually consists of four rukus, the precautionary prayer would then be counted as supererogatory one. And if it was a three-raka one, the precautionary prayer would count as a complementary ruku.

67. Doubting whether the ruku in hand was the third or fourth, irrespective of whether the doubt arises while standing, performing ruku, performing sujood, or rising from sujood. This situation must be resolved by assuming that it was the fourth ruku; thus, the worshipper can recite tashahhud and tasleem to bring the prayer to an end. Should the worshipper be among those who are required to say prayer from a standing position, they can choose to perform one ruku from a standing position or two rukus from a sitting one. If, for a good reason, the worshipper is not required to say prayer from a standing position, they can perform one ruku from a sitting position.

This should be the case, unless doubt occurs while the worshipper is reciting tashahhud, in which case the doubt be of the type that has been discussed in the second part of preceding para, i.e. where the prayer can be completed without the need for a remedial action.

68. c. Doubting whether the ruku in hand was that of the second or fourth raka, after having completed the two sujoods, requires the worshipper to assume that it is the fourth. Upon completing prayer, they must perform two rukus from a standing position. Should the worshipper be of those with a valid reason to say prayer from a sitting position, they should perform two rukus in that position.

69. d. Upon performing the two sujoods, doubt may creep in as to whether the ruku in hand was the second, third, or fourth. The doubt must be resolved by assuming that the disputed ruku is the fourth one. Accordingly, the prayer must be completed thus. Remedial action should take the form of performing two rukus from a standing position followed by two rukus from a sitting position. For those worshippers with a valid reason to say prayer from a sitting position, they should perform two rukus in that position.

70. e. After finishing the two sujoods, doubt may arise as to whether the ruku in hand was the fourth or fifth. This should be resolved by assuming that it is the fourth; the worshippers should, therefore, complete their prayer and perform sajdatay-as-sahu.

71. f. While standing, the worshipper may doubt that the ruku in hand is the fourth or fifth. They should go back to a sitting position, in which case they revert to a state of doubt between the third and fourth ruku. That is, because in so doing they interrupted the fourth ruku they were in. This should mean that if it really was the fourth, the resolution of such a doubt should be by assuming that the disputed ruku is the fourth one; thus, this should lead to completing one’s prayer and performing one ruku from a standing position or two ruku from a sitting one as has already been discussed )67/b).

72. g. While standing, the worshipper may doubt that the ruku in hand is either the third or fifth. The remedial action here should be by resorting to a sitting position. In so doing the worshipper would revert the state of doubt to that between the second and fourth. Assuming that it is the fourth, he should complete prayer and perform two ruku from a standing position as has already been discussed (68 /c).

73. h. While still standing, the worshippers may doubt that the ruku in hand is either the third, fourth, or fifth. Thus, they should go back to a itting position. In so doing they would render the doubt as that between the second, third, and fourth ruku. Resolving the doubt is by assuming that the ruku is the fourth. Accordingly, he should complete his prayer and perform two ruku from a standing position followed by another two from a sitting one in line with what has already been discussed (69/d).

74. i. While still standing, the worshippers may harbor a doubt that the ruku in hand is either the fifth or sixth. They should treat such doubt as that between the fourth and fifth ruku. Thus, they should complete the prayer and perform sajdatay-as-sahu in the light of what has already been discussed )70/e).

In all these forms, the remedial action taken should render prayer valid. However, there are some exceptions:

75. a. Should the worshippers be inclined to give more preponderance to a particular raka of the disputed third, fourth, or second, they should act accordingly, in that this is no longer considered as a situation of doubt. Thus, no remedial action is called for.

If the worshipper swings between doubt and supposition )dhann(, he should consider it as though it was a case of doubt and act accordingly.

76. b. The doubt of a person who is given to excessive doubting is in itself invalid and must, therefore, be ignored. Such a person must always resolve the doubt by taking to the greater number of rukus. For example, if his doubt was between the second and third ruku, he must assume that it is the third and so on. That said, he is not required to take any remedial action, unless the greater number would detract from the validity of prayer, such as doubting whether the ruku in hand was the fourth or fifth. In this case, he must assume that it is the fourth and complete the prayer; and there again he does not need to take any remedial action.

77. c. Doubt in the number of rukus in congregational prayer - the imam or congregation - can be dismissed by relying on one another. That is, should either of them was aware of the right number, be it on a level of certainty or supposition.

78. d. Should the worshippers be praying a supererogatory prayer and doubt the number of its rukus, they should suppose that they have prayed the least of the possibilities in the doubt; they may suppose that they prayed the most of the possibilities in the doubt, provided it is not of what should render prayer batil; in both cases, they can complete their prayer without the need to take any remedial action.

79. As for the third type of doubt, i.e. that which is likely to constitute a breach of prayer, it does not involve the number of rukus being performed already dealt with. Any other doubt should render prayer batil. For example, the worshipper may not be in a position to tell what number of rukus they have performed in any given prayer.

Among this type of doubt is that which involves the two-raka subh prayer and the three- ruku maghrib prayer. That is, finding oneself in either tashahhud or tasleem without being able to pinpoint the number of ruku that they could possibly have performed, as has already been discussed in paras.)56-36).

Among this too is the inability of the worshippers to determine, in a four-raka prayer, the number of ruku they may have possibly performed coupled with a lack of direction whether or not they have performed the second ruku which is completed with the lifting of the head from the second sujood or just before that. That is, doubt between the first and second or the second and third ruku cannot be sanctioned as it renders prayer invalid.

However, the worshippers could ascertain the successful completion of the second ruku if their doubt arises in any of the following possibilities:

a. Having reached certitude that they have finished and done with the second ruku after due reflection.

b. While reciting tashahhud, the worshipper may entertain doubt about whether the tashahhud is taking place after the first ruku by mistake or it is actually taking place after the second. They must resolve the situation by considering tashahhud itself an evidence that they have performed two rukus. This would be in compliance with the "principle of expiration", in that reaching a stage where they were reciting tashahhud is indicative of finishing one part of prayer and embarking on another. Thus, the second ruku could be said to have been completed as has already been discussed in para(36).

80. Doubts, which we have ruled that they constitute abreach of prayer, do not cover the four cases discussed in paras. 75-78. The ruling applicable is that we have already outlined there and then.

81. Whenever the worshippers are faced with a situation of doubt, yet they ponder it without undue haste till they reach certitude or belief about the number ]of rukus[, they should act accordingly; their prayer should be valid and they do not need to take any remedial action.

But having concluded that their doubt centers around a certain number, only to be thrown into a state of confusion again without being able to determine the number, they must act according to the second state of affairs. Consequently, should the doubt be of the kind which constitutes a breach of prayer, it should be deemed batil. If, however, the doubt is manageable, they should take the appropriate remedial action in the light of each of the nine cases we have already discussed.

Precautionary Prayer

82. As we have already seen that seven out of the nine cases of doubt where prayer can still be considered valid can be rectified by performing precautionary prayer.

When is it obligatory?

Precautionary prayer in those seven cases is obligatory. That is, it is not permissible for the mukallafs, who is faced with a situation of doubt, to interrupt the prayer and start again, as a matter of obligatory precaution. They should, therefore, make good the doubt by performing precautionary prayer.

83. Precautionary prayer can no longer be obligatory, if, upon completing their prayer, the worshippers reached a conclusion that they were right in assuming the most possible number of rukus and that their prayer is in order. Should they reach that conclusion while they are still performing precautionary prayer, they can interrupt it or complete it as a supererogatory two-raka prayer.

After the prayer is over and done with, there may arise a situation, where the worshippers may reach a conclusion that their prayer was incomplete. For instance, after having doubted whether they had performed three or four rukus and having settled for four and completed the prayer thus. Now, having reconsidered that matter, they became sure that they had performed three rukus only. In such a case, can precautionary prayer be waived?

In answering this question, one should discuss the following cases:

a . Should the shortfall be discovered just before embarking on the precautionary prayer, they should ignore the tashahhud and tasleem they have recited and go back to a standing position to complete the prayer by performing the fourth ruku. However, although they are not required to recite takbiratul ihram, yet they should recite, in that ruku, what a worshipper usually recites.

b. The shortfall may be discovered during the performance of the precautionary prayer from a standing position. If the worshipper is still reciting, i.e. before actually bowing down for ruku, he should continue it with the intention of making up for the shortfall. If discovering the mistake occurs after ruku have been performed, prayer has to be resumed afresh, as a matter of obligatory precaution.

c. Should the mistake be discovered after the worshipper has embarked on precautionary prayer from a sitting position, he should interrupt it and stand up to perform the fourth ruku of their prayer. Again this should be done without takbiratul ihram, but with the usual recitation during the last ruku.

d. Should the mistake be discovered after the worshiper has bowed for ruku in the precautionary prayer from a sitting position, it is desirable, as a matter of obligatory precaution, to start the prayer again.

If the mistake is discovered after the completion of precautionary prayer, the worshipper is not required to do anything else.

85. Suppose that the worshipper recited tasleem, thus bringing their prayer to a close. Before doing anything that could invalidate prayer, he became doubtful whether he settled for the fourth ruku believing it was the last one, or his doubt was swinging between the third and fourth, thus settling for the fourth so that he could perform precautionary prayer as a remedy. Does precautionary prayer become obligatory in such a case?

A. Apparently, it is not obligatory and nothing shall be required of him.

85. Suppose a worshipper became liable to perform precautionary prayer. He entertained doubt as to whether or not he performed it. Is it obligatory on him to perform it?

A. If the doubt occurred after the prayer time has elapsed, or on completing it, they did that which invalidates prayer, they are not required to perform precautionary prayer. Otherwise, they should discharge their responsibility by performing it.

86. How should it be performed?

We have already mentioned that precautionary prayer could take different forms. It could consist of either one ruku from a standing position or one ruku from a sitting position. It could consist of two ruku from a standing position or two from a sitting one. Its general form is that of any prayer consisting of one or two ruku.

All those parts and conditions which are obligatory in an obligatory daily prayer should also be fulfilled in a precautionary one. That is, except for the surah and the recitation of al-Fatiha audibly; the worshipper is required to observe inaudible recitation throughout.

Should the worshipper do that which invalidates prayer, before embarking on precautionary prayer, his prayer is rendered batil as though the action they commissioned would have occurred in his original prayer. In such a case, he must repeat the prayer.

87. Lapses and Doubts

Any omission or commission in precautionary prayer whether inadvertently, out of ignorance, or deliberately, is treated in the same way as though it took place in any obligatory daily prayer.

Whenever the rules call for the invalidation of precautionary prayer, the worshipper should say the original prayer again.

The same rules that deal with doubt in the obligatory daily prayer apply in any obligatory utterance or action of precautionary prayer. For example, if the doubt occurs after the worshipper had moved on to a new part of the prayer, no remedial action is required; should it take place before, a repeat is called for.

Should the worshippers become uncertain as to the number of rukus in a two-raka precautionary prayer, they should settle for the higher number, unless the latter constitutes a breach of the prayer. For example, if the doubt was between two and three rukus, the worshippers should aim for the lesser number possible so that their prayer be in order.