Fatawa >Sec2 Chapter Five :
General Guidelines of Prayers
Sec2 Chapter Five : General Guidelines of
Sec2 Chapter Five :
General Guidelines of
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.
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
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
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
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
6. f. Eating and drinking,
irrespective of whether it would affect the form and content of
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
k. Performing four sujoods in any one
l. Setting one’s face to any
direction other than qiblah, being unaware of the rules requiring such
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
48. How should one perform
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
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
In the event of doubting the validity
of performing sujood-as-sahu, the worshipper need not worry about such
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
In all these forms, the remedial
action taken should render prayer valid. However, there are some
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.
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
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
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
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
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.