Was My Prayer Invalid Because One of My Hands Was Not Firmly on the Ground?

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi


This fajr, I was praying, and I believe I made a mistake. My prayer mat folded around the fingers of my hand so it became cushioned. I pressed it until my hand was kind of firm, but I still wasn’t entirely sure if my prayer was done properly. After my prayer was concluded, I prayed it again. Was my first prayer invalid?


In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

I pray this finds you in the best of states.

Your first prayer was valid despite your hand not being firmly on the ground. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]

The reason for this ruling is that your forehead was set firmly on the ground as you were able to feel the bulk and the resistance of the ground under it. And thus, your prostration was valid. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

“Firmly on the ground” means that the forehead touches the ground–such that if you pressed hard, the forehead wouldn’t sink deeper into the surface you are praying on. [Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fatah]

Allah, Most High, says: “O believers! Bow down, prostrate yourselves.” [Quran, 22:77]

This is what you did, as prostration is defined as placing a part of one’s head on the ground in a way that is not mocking. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Thus, the second prayer you performed was not needed. [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 far and wide for answers to the fundamental questions of life and was disappointed at the answers he found. 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.