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Should I Perform the Prostrations of Forgetfulness for Forgetting a Surah in Prayer?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalamu ‘alaykum,

Should I perform the prostrations of forgetfulness for starting a surah in prayer, forgetting it and reciting another surah instead?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

No, you do not need to perform prostrations of forgetfulness (sajda al-sahw) for forgetting the chapter (surah) you were reciting because those prostrations are only required in the case of forgetfully omitting a necessary (wajib) act.

However, if you forget the specific chapter in future, and you have recited three verses or more, you can simply go into the bowing (ruku`) and continue your prayer. You aren’t obligated to complete an entire chapter in the cycle (rak`at).

Consider taking the following free class at SeekersHub: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Basic Hanafi Jurisprudence (STEP)

And Allah alone knows best.

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Photo: Sunil Krishnan

Does Performing Unnecessary Prostrations of Forgetfulness Invalidate the Prayer?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum,

I have a lot of doubts regarding my recition and other things in my prayer. So I can’t help myself performing prostrations of forgetfulness in almost every prayer.

Does performing unnecessary prostrations of forgetfulness invalidate the prayer?

How can I refrain from this?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

No, the prayer is not invalidated by the unnecessary prostrations of forgetfulness (sajda al-sahw).

However, you should only perform them when you accidentally miss a mandatory (wajib) part of the prayer, otherwise not, regardless of what your mind may tell you. Pronunciation errors don’t necessitate prostrations of forgetfulness.

Ignore misgivings. Practice your tajwid outside the prayer and not within it.

Please see: A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings) and: Do Grammatical and Pronunciation Mistakes While Reciting the Qur’an Invalidate Your Prayer? and: What Can I Do About Anxiety in Prayer and Waswas Regarding My Pronunciation? and: Should I Repeat My Qur’an and Du’a Recitations Due to Errors in Pronunciation?

And consider taking the following free class at SeekersHub: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Basic Hanafi Jurisprudence (STEP)

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,
Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani