Chapter 4: Obligatory Acts Of The Prayer
• Things That Annul The Prayer
• Doubts In The Prayer
• Obligatory Acts Of The Prayer
The prayer begins with saying Allahu Akbar (Allah is great) and ends with saying the tasleem.1
The acts that are performed in the prayer are either obligatory or recommended.
There are eleven obligatory acts in the prayer that are either rukn (pillar or base) or other than rukn.
Obligatory Actions Of The Prayer
Obligatory actions of the prayer: 2
(1) intention, (2) standing, (3) takbeerat ul-ihram (saying“Allahu Akbar”), (4) ruku’ (bowing), (5) sujud (prostrating).
Other Than Rukn
(1) Recitation (reciting Qur’anic suras), (2) dhikr (words of remembering Allah or reciting His attributes), (3) tashahhud (reciting the shahada), (4) tasleem, (5) orderliness, (6) successiveness.
The Difference Between The Rukn And Other Than The Rukn
The rukn acts are the bases of the prayer. If one of them is not performed or one is performed twice, even if out of forgetfulness, the prayer becomes void.
But, as for the other obligatory acts that are other than rukn, if one of them is forgotten or performed twice out of forgetfulness, even though they must be performed, the prayer does not become void.3
Rulings On The Obligatory Acts Of The Prayer
The Amount Of A Kurr
One, from the beginning to the end of his prayer, must know which prayer he is offering and must have in mind that he is carrying out the command of Allah.4
It is not necessary to recite the wording of the intention with the tongue, but there is no problem to do so.5
The prayer must not be offered with the intention of showing off. It must only be offered with the intention of carrying out the orders of Allah. If the whole prayer or even a part of it is offered for other than Allah, it is void.6
As said before, the prayer is begun by saying Allahu Akbar. This is called takbeerat ul-ihram. Many things that are permissible before saying this Allahu Akbar become impermissible (haram) in the prayer after saying it, such as eating, drinking, laughing and crying.
The Obligatory Acts Of Takbeerat Ul-Ihram
• It must be said in correct Arabic.
• The body must be still when reciting Allahu Akbar.
• The takbeerat ul-ihram should be said in such a manner that in normal circumstances one can hear himself say it. It should not be said too quietly.
• As an obligatory precaution it should not be connected to a previous sentence.7
• It is recommended to raise the hands opposite to the ears while reciting the takbeerat ul-ihram and the other takbeers of the prayer.8
In some cases, standing is a rukn in the prayer and not performing it invalidates the prayer.
We shall discuss the duty of one who is not able to stand while offering the prayer soon.
• Standing while reciting the takbeerat-ul-ihram
• Standing before performing the ruku’
• Other than rukn
• Standing while reciting the Qur’anic chapters
• Standing after performing the ruku’9
Rulings Of Standing
It is obligatory to stand a little before and a little after reciting the takbeerat-ul-ihram so that one is certain that he recites it while standing.10
Standing before the ruku’ means that one should go into the ruku’ from a standing position. For this reason, if one forgets the ruku’ and starts to perform the sujud but remembers the ruku’ before beginning the sujud, he must stand up and then perform the ruku’.11
Acts that must be avoided while standing for the prayer:
• Moving the body
• Leaning to one side
• Leaning on something
• Opening the feet too widely (making a big gap between them)
• Lifting the feet off the ground12
One offering the prayer must put his both feet on the ground at the time of standing. It is not necessary to put all his weight on both feet; there is no problem if he puts it on one foot.13
One, who cannot offer the prayer while standing up, must offer the prayer while sitting down facing the qibla. If he cannot offer the prayer while sitting down, he must offer it while lying down. 14
One, who offers the prayer lying down, must offer it on his right side facing the qibla. If he cannot do that, he must perform it on his left side facing the qibla. If that is also not possible, he must offer it lying down on his back with the bottoms of his feet facing the qibla.15
It is obligatory to stand up completely after performing the ruku’ and then to go down to perform the sujud. If this is intentionally skipped, the prayer will be void.16
One must recite the first chapter of the Qur’an (the sura of al- Fatiha or, as also called, al-Hamd) and after that any other chapter of the Qur’an in the first and second rak’as of the obligatory, daily prayers.17
In the third and fourth rak’as, one has either to recite the first chapter (sura) of the Qur’an (one time) or the four tasbeehats three times, though if recited one time is enough.18
The four tasbeehats are:
سبحان الله و الحمد لله و لا اله الا الله والله اكبر
Subhana Allahi wal-Hamdulillahi wa la ilaha illa Allahu wa Allahu Akbar
(glory be to Allah, and praise be to Allah, and there is no god but Allah, and Allah is great).
Rulings On Recitation
The sura in the third and fourth rak’a must be recited quietly.
The rulings related to the first chapter of the Qur’an (the sura of al-Hamd that must be recited in the first and second rak’as of every prayer) and the other chapter that is recited after it are as follows:19
• In the Noon and Afternoon Prayers both man and woman have to recite these suras silently.
• In the Morning, Sunset and Night Prayers, man has to recite the suras loudly, but a woman is free to recite them loudly or silently. If there is a non-mahram man, who may hear her voice, she, as obligatory precaution, has to recite the suras silently; otherwise, she can recite them loudly if she likes.
The prayer is void if one intentionally recites the suras loudly when he has to recite them quietly or recites them silently when he has to recite them loudly.
The prayer is accepted if this mistake occurs out of forgetfulness or ignorance to this rule. 20
If one, in the middle of reciting the sura of al-Hamd or the other sura after it, makes a mistake (for example, he recites loudly when he should recite silently) it is not necessary to repeat the parts that have already been recited.
One must learn the prayer correctly, so he does not make mistakes. One, who is not able to learn it correctly, must offer the prayer as possible as he can, and as a recommended precaution he should offer the prayers in congregation.21
The prayer is void if one intentionally recites one of the four chapters of Qur’an that have a verse of sajda in them. 22
If one chooses to recite the chapter of al-Ikhlas23or the chapter of al-Kafirun24 after the chapter of al-Hamd in the prayer, he cannot change his mind and leave that chapter to recite a different chapter. The only exceptions are in the Friday Prayer or the Noon Prayer on Friday when one, out of forgetfulness, recites one of these chapters instead of the chapter of al-Jum’ah25 or al-Munafiqun, 26 and before reaching the middle of the chapter, he can give it up and recite either the chapter of al-Jum’ah or al-Munafiqun27
If one recites a different chapter than the chapter of al-Ikhlas or al-Kafirun, he can change his mind and recite another chapter only before reaching the middle of that chapter.28
If one forgets the rest of the chapter he is reciting in the prayer, he can stop reciting that chapter and recite another one, even after passing the middle of the chapter or even if the chapter is al-Ikhlas or al-Munafiqun. 29
If one thinks that his reciting of a word in the sura he recites in the prayer is correct and later on he understands that it was wrong, he does not have to repeat his prayer.30
In the following cases one should not recite the second sura that he has to recite after the sura of al-Hamd in the first and second rak’as of the prayer:
• When the time of the prayer is about to run out.
• When one fears that if he recites the second sura, a thief, a wild animal or anything else may attack or harm him.31
• When the time remaining for the prayer is short, one must recite the four tasbeehats one time only.32
Some Recommended Acts Of Recitation
Saying اعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم (I seek the protection of Allah from the cursed Satan) in the first rak’a before reciting the sura of al-Hamd.
Saying بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ (In the name of Allah the compassionate, the merciful) loudly in the first and second rak’as of the Noon and Afternoon Prayers.
Pausing a little after each verse when reciting the suras, and not attaching the verses together.
Paying attention to the meaning of the verses while reciting the sura of al-Hamd and the other sura.
Reciting the sura of al-Qadr33 in the first rak’a and the sura of al-Ikhlas in the second rak’a of every prayer.34
One of the obligatory acts of ruku’ and sujud is reciting the dhikr;35 that is to say: Subhana Allah, Allahu Akbar and the like, which will be explained later on.
In every rak’a and after reciting the two suras, one must bow to the extent that he puts his hands on his knees. This doing is called ruku’.
Obligatory Acts Of Ruku’
• Bowing to the extent mentioned above
• Reciting the dhikr (at least saying Subhana Allah three times)
• Keeping the body still at the time of reciting the dhikr
• Standing erectly after performing the ruku’
• Keeping the body still after performing the ruku’36
The Dhikr Of Ruku’
Any dhikr that is recited in ruku’ is enough, but as an obligatory precaution one is to recite subhana Allah three times or سبحان ربى العظيم وبحمده “Glory be to my Lord, the Great and praise be to him”, should be recited one time at least.37
Keeping The Body Still In Ruku’
The body must be kept still in the ruku’ during the reciting of the obligatory dhikr.38
If someone, intentionally, recites the dhikr of ruku’ before bowing down and keeping his body still, his prayer becomes void.39
The prayer becomes void when one intentionally raises his head from the ruku’ before he completes reciting the obligatory dhikr.40
Standing And Keeping Still After The Ruku’
After performing the ruku’ one must stand up and after keeping still, go down to perform the sujud. The prayer becomes void if one intentionally goes into sujud before standing up (after the ruku’) or before keeping still while standing up.41
The Duty Of One Who Cannot Perform The Ruku’ Normally
• One, who cannot bow to the extent required for ruku’, must bow as much as he can.
• One, who cannot bow at all, must perform the ruku’ while sitting down.
• One, who cannot perform the ruku’ while sitting down, must offer the prayer while standing up and move his head down as a sign for the ruku’.42
Forgetting The Ruku’
If one forgets to perform the ruku’ but remembers before going into sujud, he must stand up and then perform the ruku’. If he goes directly from sujud into ruku’, his prayer is void.43
As an obligatory precaution, if one forgets the ruku’ and then remembers it while performing the sujud, he should stand up, perform the ruku’, finish the prayer, and then offer the prayer again.44
Some Recommended Acts Of Ruku’
• It is recommended to recite the dhikr of ruku’ three, five or seven times. Even reciting it more than that is recommended.
• It is recommended to say Allahu Akbar while standing erectly before performing the ruku’.
• It is recommended to look between one’s feet while performing the ruku’.
• It is recommended to say “Allahumma salli ala Muhammadin wa aali Muhammad: O Allah, have blessings on Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad” before or after reciting the dhikr of ruku’.
• It is recommended to recite: ‘sami’allahu liman hamidah’ while standing still after performing the ruku’.45
One offering the prayer must perform two sajdas (prostrations on the ground) after performing the ruku’ in every rak’a of every obligatory and recommended prayer.46
Sajda is that when one puts his forehead, both palms, both knees, and both big toes on the ground.
Obligatory Acts Of Sajda
• Putting the seven parts of the body (the forehead, the two palms, the two knees, and the two big toes) on the ground.
• Reciting the dhikr
• Keeping the body still while reciting the dhikr
• Raising the head, sitting down and keeping the body still between the two sajdas
• Having the seven parts of the body on the ground while reciting the dhikr
• Having the seven parts of the body in the same on the ground (not higher or lower than each other)
• Putting the forehead on something that is permissible to perform the sujud on
• The thing that one puts his forehead on must be tahir.
• Successiveness between the two sajdas47
It is enough to recite any dhikr in the sujud, but as an obligatory precaution, one is to recite “subhana Allah” three times or سبحان ربى الأعلى وبحمده “Glory be to my Lord, the Exalted, and praise be to Him” one time.48
Keeping The Body Still
The body must be still while reciting the obligatory dhikr.49
The prayer will be void if one intentionally recites the dhikr before putting his forehead on the ground and keeping his body still. If this is done as a result of forgetfulness, then one must recite the dhikr again while keeping still.50
Raising The Head From The Sujud
After finishing the dhikr of the first sajda, one must sit until his body is still and then he goes again into the second sajda.51
The prayer is void if one intentionally raises his head from the sajda before completing the reciting of the dhikr.52
Putting The Seven Parts Of Sujud On The Ground
The prayer becomes void if one intentionally raises one of the seven parts of sujud from the ground while reciting the dhikr. There is no problem when the dhikr is not being recited to raise any of the parts, other than the forehead, from the ground and put it down again.53
There is no problem if, in addition to the big toe, other toes are put on the ground as well.54
The Parts Of Sujud In The Same Level
The place where one puts his forehead (on the ground when prostrating) is not to be four joined fingers higher or lower than the place where he puts his knees.55
As an obligatory precaution, the place where one puts his forehead on should not be four joined fingers higher or lower than the place where he puts his toes.56
Putting The Forehead On Permissible Things
While performing the sujud, one must put his forehead on the earth or something that grows from the earth, but it should not be eatable or wearable 57.58
Examples of things that are permissible to perform sujud on: (1) earth, (2) rock, (3) baked clay, (4) gypsum, (5) wood, (6) grass.
One can perform the sujud on a rug or the like in the case of taqiyya. In this case it is not necessary to go somewhere else to perform the prayer.59
Rulings Of Sujud
1. It is not right to perform sujud on minerals such as gold, silver, agate or turquoise.60
2. It is prohibited to perform sujud for other than Allah.61
3. It is permissible to perform sujud on things that grow from the earth and are used as food for animals, such as grass and hay.62
4. Performing sujud on paper, even if it is made from cotton or the like, is permissible.63
5. It is the better than anything else to perform sujud on the earth of the master of the martyrs, Imam Husayn (‘a) (from the land where he has been buried) and then as the following order: (1) earth, (2) rock, (3) plants.64
6. If the torba 65 sticks to one’s forehead in the first sajda and without taking it off his forehead he performs the second sajda, his prayer becomes void.66
The Duty Of One Who Cannot Perform Sujud Normally
One, who cannot put his forehead on the ground, must bend as possible as he can and put the torba on something high such as a pillow and perform sujud on it. However, he must put his palms, knees and big toes on the ground in the normal way.67
If one cannot bend at all, he must sit and make a gesture with his head in place of the sajda.
As an obligatory precaution, he should hold the torba with his hand and put it against his forehead.68
Some Recommended Acts Of Sajda
It is recommended to say Allahu Akbar at the following times:
• After the ruku’ and before the first sajda
• After the first sajda, while sitting with the body still
• Before the second sajda, while sitting with the body still
• After the second sajda
• Prolonging the sajda is recommended.
• Saying استغفر الله ربي و اتوب اليه (Astaghfirullah rabbi wa atoobu ilayh: I ask Allah, my Lord, to forgive me and I repent to Him) after the first sajda while sitting with the body still is recommended.
Saying “Allahumma salli ala Muhammadin wa aali Muhammad: O Allah, have blessing on Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad” while performing the sajdas is recommended.69
The Obligatory Sajda Of The Qur’an
There are four chapters of the Qur’an that have a verse of sajda in them. One must perform a sajda immediately after reciting or listening to someone else reciting one of those verses.70
The chapters that have verses of sajda are:
• Chapter 32, the sura of as-Sajda, the verse 15
• Chapter 41, the sura of Fussilat, the verse 37
• Chapter 53, the sura of an-Najm, the last verse.
• Chapter 96, the sura of al-Alaq 71 the last verse.
If one forgets to perform the sajda, he must perform it whenever he remembers it.72
It is not necessary to perform the sajda if one hears a verse of sajda from a cassette player.73
If one hears the verse from loudspeakers, a radio or a television that is not through a cassette (it is a live broadcast), he has to perform the sajda.74
It is not right to perform this sajda on something that is edible or wearable, but the rest of the conditions of sujud are not necessary to be followed.75
It is not obligatory to recite a dhikr in these sajdas, but it is recommended.76
In the second and last rak’as of obligatory prayers, and after the second sajda, while sitting with the body still, one must recite the tashahhud, which is:
أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله. اللهم صل على محمد و آل محمد
(ash-hadu an la ilaha illa Allah, wahdahoo la shareeka lahoo, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhoo wa Rasooluhoo allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammadin wa aali Mmuhammad)
(I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the one with no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is his slave and messenger. Oh Allah, have blessings upon Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad.)77
If one forgets to recite the tashahhud and remembers it before performing the ruku’ of the next rak’a, he must sit down, recite the tashahhud, then stand up and recite whatever must be recited in the next rak’a and then finish the prayer.
If he remembers during the ruku’ or after it, he must finish the prayer and after the tasleem, recite a tashahhud as qadha’ and as an obligatory precaution two sajdas of sahw (forgetfulness) must be performed.78
The tasleem must be recited after the tashahhud in the last rak’a of every prayer to finish the prayer with.
The obligatory amount of recitation is the reciting of one of the following statements:
• السلام علينا وعلى عباد الله الصالحين (Peace be upon us and the good servants of Allah).
• السلام عليكم ورحمة الله و بركاته (Peace be upon you and the mercy and blessings of Allah).79
It is recommended to recite this statement before those two statements:
السلام عليك أيها النبي و رحمة الله و بركاته
(Peace be upon you, oh Prophet, and the mercy and blessings of Allah). It is also recommended to recite all three statements together.80
The prayer must be performed in the following order: takbeerat ul-ihram, recitation of Qur’anic suras, ruku’, sujud and in the second rak’a after the second sajda, the tashahud must be recited. In the last rak’a after the tashahud, tasleem must be recited.
The prayer is void if one forgets one of the rukns and goes into the next rukn; for example, if one forgets to perform ruku’ and remembers while performing sujud.81
The duty of one, who forgets a rukn and performs something else that is not a rukn, such as that when he recites the tashhahud before performing the two sajdas, is that he should perform the rukn and then repeat what he has done mistakenly. 82
The prayer is correct if one forgets something that is not a rukn and remembers it while performing the rukn after it, as when one forgets to recite the sura of al-Hamd and he remembers while performing the ruku’.83
Successiveness is to perform the parts of the prayer one after the other and not to pause excessively between them.
The prayer is void if one pauses so long between the parts of the prayer that one would not say he is offering a prayer.84
Prolonging the ruku’ and sujud or reciting long chapters of the Qur’an does not affect the successiveness.85
It is recommended in the second rak’a to recite qunut after reciting the two suras and before performing the ruku’. The qunut is to raise one’s hands in front of his face open towards the heaven and to recite some supplication or dhikr.86
It is enough to recite any dhikr in the qunut, even reciting subhana Allah one time. One may recite the following supplication:
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
Rabbana atina fi ‘d-dunya hasanata wa fi ‘l-akirati hasanatan, wa qina adhaba an-naar
Oh our Lord, give us good in this world and good in the next world and protect us from the torment of the hellfire. (The Holy Qur’an, 2:201 )87
Things To Be Done After The Prayer (Ta’qeeb)
Ta’qeeb means being busy reciting dhikr, supplications, and Qur’anic verses after the prayer is finished with tasleem.
It is better to do this ta’qeeb while facing the qibla.
It is not necessary to recite these things in Arabic, but it is better to recite what has been written in the books of supplications.
It is recommended to recite the tasbeehat of Lady Fatima az-Zahra (‘a); that is to recite “Allahu Akbar” 34 times, “Alhamdulillah” 33 times, and “Subhana Allah” 33 times. 88
Things That Make The Prayer Void
There are some things that become impermissible for one, who performs the prayer, when he recites the takbeerat ul-ihram until he finishes the prayer. If he does one of these things, his
prayer becomes void.
Things that make the prayer void are as follows:
1. Missing one of the conditions of the prayer
2. The occurrence of things that make the wudu’ or ghusl void
3. Eating and drinking
4. Talking (speech other than that of prayer)
7. Turning away from the qibla
8. Increasing or decreasing a rukn
9. Confusing the shape of the prayer
10. Putting the hands one on the other
11. Saying ‘Amen’ after reciting the sura of al-Hamd
12. The doubts that make the prayer void89
Rulings Of Nullity Of Prayer
The prayer is void if one realizes that one of the conditions of the prayer is missed, as when one realizes in the middle of his prayer that he is offering the prayer in a usurped land.90
The prayer is void if during the prayer one’s wudhu’ becomes void or one of the things that require a ghusl takes place.91
The prayer is void if one sleeps in the middle of it.92
If one wakes up from sleep in the sujud and doubts whether or not it was the last sajda of the prayer or a sajda for thanksgiving done after the prayer, he must offer the prayer again.93
The prayer is void if one intentionally utters a word and wants to make someone understand something with that word.94
As an obligatory precaution, one must repeat his prayer if he has said a word that has more than two letters, even if he did not want to make someone understand something by it.95
One should not greet others while offering the prayer. However, if someone greets the one, who is offering the prayer, it will be obligatory on him to reply to the greeting. The one offering the prayer must make the word “salam” be the first word in his response. He should say, “as-salamu alayk: peace be upon you” or “as-salamu alaykum”. He should not say, “alaykum as-salam.” 96
Laughing And Crying
One’s prayer is void if he intentionally laughs with noise. Smiling does not make the prayer void. The prayer is void if one intentionally cries loudly about something related to the worldly life.
Crying without making a noise or crying out of fear of Allah or the afterlife, even if it is loud, does not make the prayer void. 97
Turning Away From The Qibla
One’s prayer is void if he intentionally turns away from the qibla to the extent that others would say he is not facing the qibla.
As an obligatory precaution one must repeat his prayer if he forgetfully, turns his face to the left or the right of the qibla, but if the turning is just a little that it is not completely to the right or left of the qibla the prayer is correct.98
Confusing The Shape Of The Prayer
The prayer is void if one does something that confuse the shape of the prayer, such as clapping, jumping in the air, or the like, even if it is done out of forgetfulness.99
The prayer is void if one remains silent for long that it can be said he is not offering prayer.100
Breaking an obligatory prayer is forbidden except if one is obliged to do so as in the following cases:
• To save one’s or another’s life
• To protect one’s property
• To prevent damage from reaching one’s body or property
• There is no problem in breaking the prayer to pay back a debt as in the following conditions:
• When a creditor wants his debt
• When the time of the prayer is not short that one can pay the debt and then offer the prayer in its time
• It is not possible to pay the debt while offering the prayer.101
• It is Makruh to break the prayer for a little amount of money that is not so important.102
Putting The Hands One On The Other
The prayer is void if one puts his hands one on the other while offering the prayer, as some people who are not Shia do.103
Saying ‘Amen’ After The Sura Of Al-Hamd
The prayer is void if one intentionally says ‘Amen’ after reciting the sura of al-Hamd. The prayer is not void if one mistakenly or out of taqiyya says it.104
Things That Are Makruh In The Prayer
• Closing the eyes
• Playing with the hands and fingers
• Keeping quiet while reciting the suras or the dhikr in order to listen to some other’s talk.
• Anything that distracts one from reverence and submission (to Allah)
• Turning the head, a little to the right or the left (if it is moved a lot, the prayer will be void)105
The Doubts In The Prayer
It is possible that one offering the prayer, sometimes, has a doubt about one of the acts of the prayer. For example, he does not know if he has recited the tashahhud or not or performed one sajda or two. Sometimes one doubts about the number of rak’as that have been performed. For, example one doubts if he is in the third or the fourth rak’a.
There are special rulings regarding doubts in the prayer. Mentioning all of the doubts and their rulings is out of the scope of this book, but we shall discuss, in brief, the kinds of doubts and the rulings of each of them.
The Kinds Of Doubts In The Prayer
1. The Doubt About The Parts Of The Prayer
If one doubts about performing one of the parts of prayer, that he does not know whether he has performed that part or not; if he has not begun the next part and he is still in the same position as that part demands, he must perform it. If he is performing the next part and has passed the previous position, this doubt is to be ignored and he is to continue the prayer, which will be correct.
If one doubts about the correctness of the part he has performed in that whether it has been performed correctly or not, the doubt is to be ignored and one should consider it as correct and continue the prayer, which will be valid.
2. The Doubts About The Number Of Rak’as’
The Doubts That Make The Prayer Void
If one doubts about the number of rak’as in a two or three-rak’a prayer (like the Morning or the Sunset Prayer), the prayer is void.
The doubt between one rak’a and more; that if one doubts whether he has performed one rak’a or more than one rak’a, his prayer is void.
If one does not know how many rak’as he has performed, the prayer is void.
The Doubts That Should Be Ignored
• In recommended prayers
• In congregational prayers
• If the doubt happens after the prayer is finished; that if one doubts, after the prayer is finished, about the number of rak’as he has performed or about a certain part whether it has been performed or not, it is not necessary to repeat the prayer.
• After the time of the prayer passes; if one doubts after the time of the prayer has passed whether or not he has performed that certain prayer or not, it is not necessary to perform that prayer.
• The doubts of one who often and always doubts; this is one who doubts three times in one prayer, or doubts in three consecutive prayers, such as in the Noon, Afternoon and the Sunset Prayers.
Anything recited or performed in the prayer is counted as a part of the prayer.
If one doubts whether he has performed a certain part of the prayer or not before going into the next part, he has to perform that part, but, after going into the next part, he is to ignore his doubt and continue the prayer.
For example, if he is sitting before reciting the tashahhud and he doubts whether he has performed the second sajda or not, he must perform another sajda, but if he is reciting the tashahhud or has stood up, he should ignore his doubt, and it is not necessary to perform another sajda. He should then finish his prayer and consider it as correct.
One must ignore his doubt if it is about the correctness of performing a part of the prayer after it has been performed.
For example, after reciting the sura of al-Hamd or even one word of it one doubts whether he has recited it correctly or not. In this case, it is not necessary to recite it again, and one has to continue the prayer which will be valid.
There is also a doubt, during offering the prayer, about the number of the rak’as that have been performed. For example, one doubts while reciting the tasbeehats whether he is in the third or the fourth rak’a.
When one doubts about which rak’a he is performing in a recommended prayer, he should consider it as the second rak’a, because all of the recommended prayers, except the Witr Prayer106, are of two rak’as. So, if one doubts whether it is the first or the second rak’a, or doubts whether it is the second or more, he should consider it as the second rak’a, and finishes the prayer that will be correct.
In the congregational prayer, the imam (who leads the prayer) should not pay attention to his doubt if the people offering the prayer behind him do not have a doubt and, for example, by saying Allahu Akbar, they inform him of that. In the same way, the people offering the prayer behind the imam should not pay attention to their doubt if the imam does not have a doubt.
They should just follow whatever the imam does, and the prayer will be correct.
If one of the doubts that annul the prayer or those that do not comes to one’s mind, one must think for a little. If he remembers what he has performed or one side of his doubt is stronger than the other, he should do that. But, if the doubt remains as it is, he should do what is required regarding that doubt. If the doubt is one of those that annul the prayer, there is no problem in breaking it (the prayer).107
Some General Rulings
• One must not break the prayer if one of the doubts that do not annul the prayer comes to his mind. Instead, he must act according to his duty. If he breaks the prayer, he commits disobedience.
• If a doubt that does not annul the prayer comes to one’s mind, he should think for a little, and then, if he becomes certain or one side of his doubt is stronger than the other, he should act accordingly and continue the prayer. But, if he does not reach certainty or one side of his doubt is not stronger than the other, he should do whatever his duty requires him to do in that concern.
• In the doubts (about the number of rak’as for example) that do not annul the prayer, one must base on the more number (as when one doubts between three or four rak’as) except when one side of the doubt is more than four.
• The precautionary (ihtiyat) prayer is performed to compensate the possible lack of the prayer. So, in the doubt between three or four rak’as there is a possible lack of one rak’a and hence one rak’a of precautionary prayer is required, but in the doubt between two and four rak’as, two rak’as of precautionary prayer are required.
• The sajda of sahw is necessary in the doubts between four and five rak’as while sitting and between five and six while standing.
• In the occasions when one must offer the obligatory one -rak’a- prayer, he can offer a two-rak’a-prayer while sitting down instead.
• One cannot offer a four-rak’a-prayer while sitting down when he must offer the obligatory two-rak’a- precautionary prayer.
• One, in the case of standing, must sit down without performing ruku’ when one of the doubts that do not annul the prayer comes to his mind, except the doubt between three and four rak’as. When he sits down, he should subtract one number from rak’as.
• For example, if he doubts between four and five rak’as while standing, when he sits down, his doubt turns to be between three and four and then he should do whatever is required in this case.
Precautionary (Ihtiyat) Prayer
The precautionary prayer is obligatory in two cases.
For example, when one has a doubt between the third and the fourth rak’as, he must complete the prayer and then, without disrupting the form of the prayer and without doing anything that annuls the prayer, stand up and, without saying the Adhan and Iqamah, recite the takbeerat ul-Ihram for the precautionary prayer.
The Difference Between The Precautionary Prayer And Other Prayers
The intention (of the precautionary prayer) is not to be said out loud.
It is offered without the sura (after al-Hamd) and without qunut. The sura of al-Hamd must be recited silently, as an obligatory precaution.
If the precautionary prayer is one rak’a, one should recite the tashahhud and tasleem after the second sajda. If it is of two rak’as, one must not say the tashahhud and tasleem in the first rak’a, but he must offer another rak’a and after the end of the second rak’a, he recites the tashahhud and tasleem.108
Sajda Of Sahw
When the Sajda of Sahw becomes obligatory, as when there is a doubt between the fourth and the fifth rak’a while one is sitting, one must go into sajda (after completing the prayer) and say “bismillahi wa billah, allahumma Salli ala Muhammadin wa aali Muhammad”.
It is better to say “bismillahi wa billah, as-salaamu alayka ayyuhan nabiyyu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh”. After this statement is recited, one should sit and then go into sajda again. After the second sajda, one is to sit and recite the tashahhud and tasleem.109
The Sajda of Sahw does not have a takbeerat ul-Ihram.
(1) List the rukns of the prayer and explain the difference between them and the parts that are not rukn.
(2) Explain the differences of the standing before and after the ruku’.
(3) Have you recited the recitations of the prayer in front of someone before? If the answer is “no”, then recite them in front of your teacher so that he can correct your mistakes.
(4) What is the duty of one with regards to his previous prayers if he recited the sura of al-Hamd and the other sura silently in the Morning, Sunset and Night (Isha’) Prayers?
(5) When should one not recite the sura and should only recite the four tasbeehats one time?
(6) What is the difference between ruku’ and the dhikr of ruku’?
(7) Is standing after ruku’ obligatory?
(8) Define “sujud” and explain what kind of obligatory acts of prayer sajda is.
(9) Mention four of the obligatory acts of sujud.
(10) What is meant by “successiveness between the two sajdas”?
(11) What ruling does performing sujud on wood, walnut shells, apple peals and orange peels have?
(12) What ruling does performing sujud on paper the box of matches have?
(13) What is one’s duty if he cannot perform sujud normally?
(14) By looking up in the Holy Qur’an, find out the verses that have obligatory sajda.
(15) When is tashahhud recited in the prayer?
(16) Explain the difference between orderliness and successiveness in the prayer.
(17) Mention a supplication that has not been mentioned in the lesson that can be recited in the qunut.
(18) What is one’s duty when someone else greets him with the Islamic greeting?
(19) What kind of crying and laughing makes the prayer void?
(20) Can one break his prayer when he notices that a child is next to the heater and may get burnt?
(21) A Traveller, who is offering the prayer, notices that his train is about to move; can he break his prayer to catch the train?
(22) What is one’s duty if, while reciting the four tasbeehats, he doubts whether he has recited the tashahhud or not?
(23) Give four examples on the doubts in the parts of the prayer.
(24) What is one’s duty if he doubts between the fourth and the fifth rak’a while standing?
(25) Do you know why one must recite the sura of al-Hamd silently in the precautionary prayer?
(26) Describe how the Sajda of Sahw is performed.
- 1. Tasleem is saying “as-salamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh”.
- 2. Tawdih al-Masa’il, obligatory acts of the prayer.
- 3. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 942.
- 4. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 942
- 5. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 943.
- 6. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 946-947.
- 7. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 948-949, 951-952.
- 8. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 955.
- 9. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 958.
- 10. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 959.
- 11. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 960.
- 12. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 961, 963-964.
- 13. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 963.
- 14. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 970-971.
- 15. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 971.
- 16. Tahriral -Waseela, vol. 1, p. 162, rule 1, Al-Urwat ul-Wuthqa vol. 1, p. 665, rule 4.
- 17. Tawdih al-Masa’il rule 978.
- 18. Tawdih al-Masa’il rule 1005.
- 19. Tawdih al-Masa’il rule 992-994, 1007.
- 20. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 995.
- 21. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 997.
- 22. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 983.
- 23. The sura number 112.
- 24. The sura number 109.
- 25. The sura number 62.
- 26. The sura number 63.
- 27. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 988.
- 28. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 990.
- 29. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 991.
- 30. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1001.
- 31. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 979.
- 32. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1006.
- 33. The Surah number 97.
- 34. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1017-1018.
- 35. Dhikr is remembering Allah, mentioning His attributes and glorifying Him.
- 36. Al-Urwat ul-Wuthqa, vol. 1p. 664.
- 37. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1028.
- 38. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1030.
- 39. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1032.
- 40. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1033.
- 41. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1040.
- 42. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1037.
- 43. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1041.
- 44. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1042.
- 45. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1043.
- 46. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1045.
- 47. Al-Urwat ul-Wuthqa, vol. 1 p. 673.
- 48. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1049.
- 49. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1050.
- 50. Tawdih al-Masa’il, 1051-1052.
- 51. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1056.
- 52. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1052.
- 53. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1054.
- 54. Tahrir al-Wasila, vol. 1 p. 173, rule 2, Al-Urwat ul-Wuthqa, vol. 1 p.676, rule 7.
- 55. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1057.
- 56. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1057.
- 57. The sujud on cement and mosaic does not have a problem.
- 58. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1076.
- 59. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1072.
- 60. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1076.
- 61. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1090.
- 62. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1078.
- 63. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1082.
- 64. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1083.
- 65. A torbah is a special piece of dried clay, usually from one of the holy places, that people use to pray on.
- 66. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1086.
- 67. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1068.
- 68. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1069
- 69. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1091.
- 70. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1093.
- 71. Tawdih al-Masa’il.
- 72. Tawdih al-Masa’il.
- 73. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1096.
- 74. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1096.
- 75. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1097.
- 76. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1099.
- 77. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1100.
- 78. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1102.
- 79. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1105.
- 80. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1105.
- 81. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1109.
- 82. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1110.
- 83. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1111.
- 84. Tawdih al-Masa’il,rule 1114.
- 85. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1116.
- 86. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1117.
- 87. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1118.
- 88. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1122.
- 89. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1126.
- 90. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1126.
- 91. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1126.
- 92. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1126.
- 93. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1129.
- 94. Tawdih al-Masa’il, page 154.
- 95. Tawdih al-Masa’il, page 154.
- 96. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1137.
- 97. Tawdih al-Masa’il, p. 156.
- 98. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1131.
- 99. Tawdih al-Masa’il, p. 156.
- 100. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1152.
- 101. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1159-1161.
- 102. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1160.
- 103. Tawdih al-Masa’il, things that make the prayer void.
- 104. Tawdih al-Masa’il, things that make the prayer void.
- 105. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1157.
- 106. A one-rak’a prayer performed at the end of the recommended midnight prayers.
- 107. Al-Urwat ul-Wuthqa, volume 2, page 20, rule 4.
- 108. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1215-1216.
- 109. Tawdih al-Masa’il, rule 1250.