How Can I Correct a Mistake in the Last Sitting as a Latecomer?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi


I came late to a congregational prayer (Asr). I missed one rak’a, so I intended to make up one.

However, in the imam’s final sitting (his 4th rak’a, my 3rd rak’a), I accidentally recited both the tashahhud and the Salawat instead of only the tashahhud. How does this impact my prayer? Is it valid? Is it disliked? Should I make it up? please shorten


This mistake does not impact your prayer; you don’t have to make it up. [ Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Yes, indeed, the best thing to do for the latecomer during the last sitting is to recite the Tashahud slowly (up to “Abduhu was Rassuluhu”) so that he finishes right before the salams of the Imam (who will have recited the blessings on the Prophet (Blessings and Peace be upon Him) along with the Tashahud). [Ibid]

Nonetheless, this mistake does not invalidate the prayer for several reasons:

(1) Reciting the Salawat and the Tashahud for the latecomer during the last sitting as a follower is also a valid position in the Hanafi school. [Ibid]

(2) Reciting the Salawat at any point of the prayer won’t invalidate it because it is not from worldly talk. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]

In addition to the above, even if this mistake would have entailed the prostrations of forgetfulness since you were a follower, your mistake has been overlooked due to the following hadith:

The Messenger of Allah (Blessings and Peace be upon Him) has said: “The Imam guarantees your prayers.” [Abu Dawud]

This means that a follower will never have to perform a prostration of forgetfulness for his mistake. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]

And Allah knows best.

[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Sufyan Qufi is an advanced seeker of knowledge, originally from Algeria, who grew up in France. He began searching for ways to learn Islam reliably and was disappointed at the answers he found locally.

Then, he connected with various traditional teachers and gradually connected with SeekersGuidance. He embarked on his journey of learning through the various teachers at SeekersGuidance, including his mentor, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

He studied numerous texts in Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith, and other areas with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and other teachers, including Shaykh Abdurrahman al-Sha‘ar, Shaykh Ali Hani, and others.

He is an active instructor at SeekersGuidance and answers questions through the SeekersGuidance Answers Service.