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.

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Can the Forgetfulness Prostration Be Done in Every Prayer Just to Be Sure it is Valid?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question : Can the Sujud al-sahw be done in every prayer just to be sure it is valid?

Answer : It would be prohibitively disliked, sinful, and a reprehensible innovation to perform the Sujud al-Sahw for every prayer without need.

Forgetfulness prostrations are only required when one forgetfully leaves a necessary (wajib) action in prayer. It is not required nor permitted for any other action. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]

You should strive to learn what the necessary (wajib) elements of prayer are. Any reliable manual of Hanafi fiqh will list these for you.

Also, another  basic assumption is that actions are valid and sound until proven otherwise.

Note that there is a difference between leaving an obligatory (fard) action in prayer and leaving a necessary (wajib) action – the former invalidates prayer; the latter renders it deficient (though valid

Past prayers in which wajib actions were omitted do not have to be repeated.

It is obligatory to make up prayers in which obligatory actions–conditions or integrals–of the prayer were omitted. If this is the case you should how many prayers you have to make up, and set a consistent and sustainable schedule of making up the prayers.

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani