Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalam alaykum
If one sits for a moment or two accidentally after the first rakat of a two rakat prayer, does this necessitate sajdatu sahw?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
No, sitting momentarily between the end of the second prostration and the subsequent cycle (rak‘at) does not necessitate the prostrations of forgetfulness (sujud al-sahw). But it is not a sunna of the prayer, and hence it should be avoided. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) would generally stand right back up after the end of the cycle. [Tirmidhi]
Generally, it is considered to be improper to sit in this manner without excuse as it was not established as prophetic practice. Traditions (hadith) which seem to indicate that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to do this are understood to be in the context of weakness and older age.
In any case, sitting in this manner wouldn’t necessitate the prostrations of forgetfulness unless you sat for an extended period of time, namely, the extent of three tasbihs [saying “Subhan Allah” thrice] without doing anything.
[Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar (1.340)]
Please also see this answer.
And Allah Most High knows best.
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.