What Should I Do After Mistakenly Adding a Tashahhud in Fajr?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


If I mistakenly sit for a tashahhud after the first rak‘a in a Fajr prayer, should I pray one or two more raka‘at before sitting for the final tashahhud?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.

In your scenario, if one mistakenly sits for the tashahhud after the first rak‘a in the Fajr prayer, one should stand up and complete the remaining (one) rak‘a to complete the prayer. The Fajr prayer consists of two rak‘at only. [Nawawi, Rawda al-Talibin]

Since an additional action (tashahhud) was added to the prayer, it is Sunna to prostrate for forgetfulness at the end of the prayer.

The Forgetfulness Prostration

The two reasons for the forgetfulness-prostration are the nonperformance of something called for, such as a main sunna, or the performance of something uncalled-for, such as absentmindedly adding a rak‘a to one’s prayer. [Keller, Reliance of the Traveller]

If there is a surplus action, such as when one absentmindedly goes from standing to prostration without having bowed but then remembers, in such a case, one stands up and bows and performs the forgetfulness prostration (at the end of the prayer). This (having stood twice before bowing) is a surplus action. [ibid.]

The forgetfulness prostration is a sunna and consists of two prostrations. It is performed before one’s final salams, whether the reason is a surplus or omitted action. [ibid.]

One is no longer entitled to perform it if one deliberately finishes with salams before completing it or if one absentmindedly finishes with salams and there is a lengthy interval before one recalls that one was supposed to have performed it. Though if this interval is brief and one wishes, one may prostrate, and one has returned to the prayer and must again finish it with salams. [ibid.]

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.