Answered by Ustadh Faraz A. Khan
Question: 1. According to the Hanafi school, how far do we need to recite in the final sitting if we intend on performing the forgetfulness prostration? 2. When behind an imam, what must one do if he leaves out a wajib? Is his prayer still valid if it was him and not the imam who committed the mistake?
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
I pray this reaches you in the best of health and faith.
(1) Actually, there are two opinions in the Hanafi school, as there was some disagreement on the matter among Hanafi jurists. The stronger opinion is to recite only the tashahhud in the final sitting before performing the forgetfulness prostration. The other opinion is to recite the tashahhud as well as the blessings upon the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) and closing supplication (du’a) in the final sitting before performing the forgetfulness prostration. [Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah; Haskafi, Durr al-Mukhtar]
According to both opinions though, after the final sitting, one says one salam to the right; performs the forgetfulness prostration, which consists of two prostrations with their sunnas; sits and repeats the final sitting, in full, with the tashahhud, sending blessings, and supplication; and then ends with two closing salams as usual.
(2) If a follower omits a mandatory requisite (wajib), then the prayer is still valid. Had he done so by accident or out of forgetfulness, it is excused and there is no sin. He would not perform a forgetfulness prostration though, since the follower in congregation never does so for his own mistake, but rather only with the imam if the imam leaves out a mandatory requisite (wajib). If, however, the follower had omitted the mandatory requisite (wajib) on purpose, it would be sinful and his prayer would be valid yet deficient, due to which he would have to repeat the prayer to fix the deficiency. An exception would be if he had done so for months or years, for example, in which case he would not have to make those prayers up, as they were after all valid. [Tahtawi, Hashiyat al-Tahtawi ala Maraqi al-Falah; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
And Allah alone gives success.
Faraz A. Khan
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani
Faraz A. Khan has lived in Amman, Jordan, for several years studying and teaching traditional Islamic sciences, with a focus on Hanafi jurisprudence, hadith studies, theology, logic, and Arabic grammar. He translated and annotated the classical Hanafi primer “Ascent to Felicity” (Maraqi ‘l-Sa`adat) by Imam Shurunbulali, recently published by White Thread Press.