Rulings on Sujuud Sahw



By the mercy of Allaah to His slaves, as one of the beauties of this perfect religion, Allaah has prescribed that His slaves may make up for shortcomings and mistakes that they make in their worship and cannot avoid completely, by performing supererogatory (naafil) acts of worship, praying for forgiveness and so on.

One of the things that Allaah has prescribed for His slaves to make up for shortcomings that may occur in their prayer is the prostration of forgetfulness, but it is only prescribed to make up for certain things; it does not make up for everything nor is it prescribed for everything.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about the reasons for doing the prostration of forgetfulness, and he replied as follows:

The prostration of forgetfulness in prayer is generally prescribed for three reasons:

1-Doing something extra

2-Omitting something

3-Being uncertain

Doing something extra: for example, doing an extra bow (rukoo’), prostration (sujood), standing or sitting.

Omitting something: such as omitting an essential part of the prayer, or omitting one of the obligatory parts of the prayer.

Being uncertain: such as when a person is not sure how many rak’ahs he has prayed, whether it was three or four, for example.

In the case of doing something extra, if a person adds something to his prayer – bowing, prostrating, standing or sitting – deliberately, then his prayer becomes invalid, because when he added it, that means that he did not do the prayer in the manner ordained by Allaah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does an action that is not part of this matter of ours (i.e., Islam), will have it rejected.” Narrated by Muslim, 1718.

But if he did that extra thing by mistake, then his prayer is not invalidated, but he should do the prostration of forgetfulness after saying the salaam.

The evidence for that is the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said that when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said the salaam after two rak’ahs in one of the two afternoon prayers, either Zuhr or ‘Asr, and they told him about that, he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did the rest of the prayer, then he said the salaam, then he prostrated twice (the prostration of forgetfulness) after saying the salaam. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 482; Muslim, 573.

And Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) led them in praying Zuhr and he prayed five rak’ahs. When he had finished it was said to him: “Has something been added to the prayer?”

He said: “Why are you asking that?”

They said: “You prayed five (rak’ahs).”

So he turned towards the qiblah and prostrated twice. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4040; Muslim, 572.

To be continued In Shaa Allah

May Allah accept our prayers. Aameeen.

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