What Should I Do If I Forget Which Cycle Of Prayer I Am In?
Answered by Ustadha Sulma Badrudduja
Question: In prayer, if one forgets if they are on the 3rd or 4th rakat, but are certain they have sat for the 2nd rakat, how should one make amends in the prayer according to the Hanafi position?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahamtullah,
If this is the first time ever that you have had such a doubt, the prayer is invalidated and needs to be repeated.
If this is not the first time you have had this doubt, then you resort to acting upon your reasonable surety. You should finish your prayer normally according to what which rak`ah you are reasonably sure that you are on. If you are completely unsure as to which rak`ah it is, you assume that it is the lesser of the two options. So in this case, you would assume that it is the third rak`ah, but you would sit after the third because of the possibility that it might be the fourth, and then complete your last rak`ah and final sitting along with the prostration of forgetfulness (sajda al-sahw).
[Maraqi al-Falah, al-Durr]
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani