Fatawa >The Fate of the Islamic Unity
The Fate of the Islamic Unity
Upon finishing the recitation, it is obligatory on the worshippers
to perform ruku’. Ruku’ is an obligatory part of
each and every prayer, be it obligatory or supererogatory, for no
rak’a’ (unit) shall count without the actual bowing act (ruku’),
showing humility to the Almighty. So, if the bowing was intended to
pick up something from the floor, for example, it would not count as ruku’;
consequently, the worshipper has to go back to a standing position to
execute ruku afresh.
Ruku’ has certain requirements:
103.a.It should be performed from a standing position because
bending down could be executed from a standing position or from a
kneeling one. The obligatory ruku’ which is a prerequisite in
prayer is the one performed from a standing position.
104.b.The ruku’ should follow the recitation from an
upright standing position, in that any other ruku’ executed
from other positions, including a standing one which is not upright,
would not do.
105.c.The level of bowing in ruku must be such that the finger tips
of the worshippers should reach their knees. If the worshipper’s
hand was either extraordinarily big or small, their bowing should be
on a par with the average worshipper.
106.d.Ruku’ must be done once in each rak’a’; thus, if
two ruku’s were performed in any one ruku’, the
prayer would be rendered batil. Ayat prayer, which has already
been discussed in the Chapter on Types of Prayer, para.(194), is an
exception because each rak’a of it consists of five ruku’s
107.e.While maintaining stability in their bowing position for ruku,
the worshippers must utter any of these phrases, "Subhana
Rabbiyal Adheemi wa Bihamdih", at least once, "Subhanal Lah",
"Alhamdu Lillah", "La Illaha Illal Lah", "Allahu
Akbar" at least three times; a sick person can recite it once.
The obligatory stability, or steadiness, in ruku’ should
be achieved in any way possible, even by supporting oneself with a
stick or the like.
The obligatory dhikr ]tasbeeh[ in ruku’ should be recited
in Arabic, giving due attention to things like proper pronunciation
and the rules of Arabic syntax.The worshippers are free to recite
dhikr audibly or inaudibly.
108.f.On finishing ruku’ the worshipper should go back to
an upright standing position, maintaining a repose state.
109.Inability to perform ruku’ as it should be done: Ruku’
is obligatory, even if the worshippers were not in a position to
maintain stability while performing it. The same goes for a person who
cannot bend fully for ruku’. If it is not at all possible to
bend, a nod would do. Ruku’ from a sitting position would not
110.Lapses:If the worshippers skipped any ruku’ of a
prayer, such a prayer should be deemed batil, irrespective
whether they did it intentionally or inadvertently.
The same goes for abandoning (a) the first of the six obligations,
already discussed, such as performing ruku’ while sitting,
(b) the second: performing ruku’ from a sitting position not
an upright standing one, (c) the third: not reaching the required
level of bending in ruku’, and (d) the fourth: by executing
two ruku’s in any one rak’a’.
111.Omitting dhikr while in ruku’ could have one of two
outcomes. If the worshippers did it deliberately while they are aware
that it is obligatory, their prayer should be deemed batil.
If there was no malice, i.e. either due to forgetfulness or sheer
ignorance that it is obligatory, the prayer should be valid. In such a
case, they are not required to repeat dhikr, if they realized the
oversight after lifting their head from ruku’
112.The worshippers may deliberately recite dhikr while not
maintaining a calm and collected posture. Their prayer is batil,
if they have intended to treat such a dhikr as part and parcel of the
prayer. Conversely, this would not detract from their prayer; however,
they have to repeat dhikr.
Should this happen due to an oversight or ignorance of the rules,
the prayer is valid and the worshippers are not required to repeat
dhikr, even if they discovered the omission just before lifting their
head from ruku’.
The same rule applies to a worshipper not performing dhikr in the
proper manner for reasons beyond his control, such as being forced to
move or sway in his ruku’ because of overcrowding for
113.What shall be the position of a worshipper who inadvertently
forgot to perform ruku’.
A.If the worshippers realized the omission after they had performed
the second of the two sujoods, ]no remedy can be applied[, in
that the prayer is batil.They have to start again.
If the realization takes place before performing the second sujood,
they should go back to the upright standing position, perform ruku’
and finish their prayer. They are not required to repeat anything, no
matter whether or not they entered in the first sujood; Had
they done so, they should have considered it cancelled.
114.Doubts: If the worshippers found themselves in a standing
position not knowing whether or not they had performed ruku’,
they must hasten to do it.The same applies in the case of dhikr, in
that the worshipper did not know whether or not they recited it while
they were still in a bowing position.
115.Doubt about performing ruku’ arising while performing sujood,
or on the way to performing it after ruku’, must be ruled
116.After performing ruku’ and lifting one’s head, one
may entertain a doubt whether he has executed ruku’ properly,
or whether he has recited dhikr as it should be recited. Such doubts
should be ruled out.
117.Decorum: It is mustahab for the worshippers to recite takbir
by lifting both their hands as close as possible to their ears or to
both the sides of their face before actually going into a bowing
position for ruku’.
Once assuming a bowing position, it is mustahab for the
worshippers to place their hands on their knees - although it is
recommended for women to place their hands on their thighs - push the
knees backward [as though to straighten the legs[, straighten the
back, stretch the neck to form a straight line with the back, look at
the spot between the feet, repeat tasbih ]dhikr[ three, five, seven
times or more, and utter the phrase, "Sami’al Lahu Limen
Hamidah" upon lifting the head from ruku’.
118.After performing ruku’ and going back to an upright
standing position, the worshippers have to perform two sujoods,
prostrating twice in each and every rak’a of obligatory as well as
supererogatory prayer is obligatory. That is, any ruku’ would
not count if there was no sujood.
By sujood we mean placing one’s forehead on the earth or
what is grown in it as a mark of submission to Allah, the Exalted.
This, however, will be elaborated later.Not any placing of the
forehead thus is considered sujood; rather the positioning
which is conducive to support, concentration, and leaning not mere
Sujood has certain requirements:
119.a.The placing of the forehead on the earth should be done in
such a way that an area of one inch or slightly less than that of the
forehead should come into contact. Thus, it is not sufficient to
prostrate on an area equivalent to a pin head of the position of sujood,
for example. Placing the entire forehead or quite a big chunk of it on
the earth is not good enough either.
Should the worshipper be nursing an injury in the forehead, he must
do his best to place the sound part, if any, on the earth.If this is
not feasible priority should be given to one of the two temples for
performing sujood. As a matter of optional ihtiyat, preference
should be given to the right temple. If this was not feasible, using
one’s chin in performing sujood should come next. If all the
alternatives are exhausted, a nod would do.
120.b.The worshippers performing sujood should place the
palms of their hands in the place where they are praying. If this was
not feasible, the back of the hands would do. For an amputee, the
stump would suffice. Placing the finger tips would not do, nor would a
clutched hand do. It is sufficient to place the hands on the earth not
121.c.Ensuring that at least part of the knees are secured firmly
on the ground.
122.d.Placing the feet toes on the ground.
The forehead, the hands, the knees, and the toes are called the
seven body parts of sujood.
123.e.While repose, the worshipper can recite any of the following
phrases in their sujood:
"Subhana Rabbiyal A’ala Wabihamdih" at least once,
"Subhanal Lah" at least three times.They could choose from
the other phrases of dhikr mentioned in Ruku’, para.)107(;They
are free to recite dhikr audibly or inaudibly.
While in sujood, the worshipper must remain in a calm and
collected state throughout with the forehead, the hands, the knees,
and the toes securely placed in the manner we have just described.
124.A worshipper, in the process of performing sujood, had a
rebound of the head which caused his forehead to be raised slightly
from the place of sujood; this could have happened
inadvertently either before or after dhikr. How should he go about it?
A.If this happened in the first sujood, the sujood
should be considered done with. If the worshipper was able to keep
steady and prevent his forehead from falling again on the place of sujood,
he must go back to a calm and collected sitting position in order to
perform the second sujood. If his forehead fell again on the
place of sujood through no fault of theirs, he has to lift
their head, repeat sujood and carry on with his prayer till the
Should this happen in the second sujood, the same should
125.f.Upon lifting his head from sujood, the worshipper must
go back to a sitting position and maintaining a state of steadiness
and calmness. That is, the sitting position should serve as a
springboard to performing the second sujood just as the case in
performing ruku’ from a standing position which again the
worshipper has to be upright and repose.
As a matter of ihtiyat, it is mustahab that the worshipper
sits still for a very short time after performing the second sujood.
This is so, even if he is not required to attend to any other part of
the prayer, such as tashahhud or tasleem; this is true in the case of
the first and the third ruku’ of a four-rak’a prayer.
126.g.The spot where the worshipper should place his forehead has
to be level with their standing position. However, slight unevenness,
i.e. not more than a fist )circa 8cm(., can be tolerated. What is not
required is achieving a level pegging position between the rest of the
parts of sujood nor between any one of them, or between the
latter and the place of sujood. That is, it is permissible that
the place of the hands or knees be below, or above, the level of the
place of sujood by a maximum height of a fist. The same goes
for disparity of positions of the hands and knees.
127.h. The place where the worshippers should position the seven
parts, while performing sujood in prayer, has to be either
owned by them, free for all, or owned by someone else who has given
him permission to use it If the place belongs to the others and
permission was not granted, the worshipper is not allowed to usurp it
to perform sujood in it. Should this happen, the prayer is
Suppose someone usurped a plot of land from another and annexed it
to his own house. The usurper stood for prayer on that land. Having
shouted takbir, recited al-Fatiha, and performed ruku’,
he moved few steps to enter into his own territory to ensure that all
seven parts of sujood are securely positioned there, i.e.
outside the usurped area. His prayer should be in order because
judging prayer not in order, and therefore batil, revolves
around the place where the worshipper is at the time of sujood
What we mean by "the place" is the area which the
worshipper’s body occupies, i.e. not the surroundings, be they
walls, roofs, etc. Should these be maghsoub )usurped(, the
prayer should not be rendered batil, so long as the seven body
parts of the worshipper come into contact with the area which is not maghsoub.
If the usurped land was paved with any kind of material or tarmac,
that are lawful )mubah(, prayer on such a land should be valid. Using
any type of furnishing, such as a prayer mat, in order to perform
prayer in a usurped place is not sufficient to render the prayer
A prayer of a prisoner, performing it in a usurped place, is valid.
The place where the worshipper intends to perform prayer may not be
maghsoub.Yet, it is strongly advisable that he leaves it. It
may even become haraam for them to stay there, if it will lead
to endangering his physical or spiritual well-being, in that he may
commit that which is haraam whether intentionally or
inadvertently. If the worshipper goes against this advice, stayed in
that forbidden place, and said prayer, such a prayer will not be
considered good enough.
Mere suspicion that the place is maghsoub should render any
prayer performed there batil, if it was done at will. It is
irrelevant if it was discovered later that the place is not really
usurped, that it is mubah (lawful), and that it is not out of bounds.
If the place is jointly owned neither partner can say prayer there
without the permission of the other party. Should anyone do so, their
prayer would be batil.
If the ownership of the land is not known and it is difficult to
trace the owner, the Marji’ should be approached for permission to
say prayer there.
"The permission of the owner" means that they are neither
averse to, nor hard pressed in letting you pray. If you have any doubt
about that, it is not permissible to say prayer there. If you have
peace of mind that the owner does not hate to see you pray, there is
no harm in performing prayer there. However, reaching "peace of
mind" could materialize either by the owner’s declaration,
established practice, or the worshipper’s own hunch that the owner
will not be annoyed to see them pray.
That said, the worshipper could conclude that the owner would not
mind that he can have a free hand in his land. Accordingly, the
worshipper said their prayer there, only to discover that he was in
the wrong. Their prayer is not good enough.
128.i.The worshipper must not perform more than two sujoods
in one ruku’.The sujood should only be performed in
its place, i.e. not before and not after it is due.That is, if the
worshipper deliberately performed, say, three sujoods or the sujood
was performed prior to ruku’, it is not permissible and
consequently the prayer is deemed batil.
129.j.The place of sujood has to fulfill the following
j/1.It must be tahir. However, this condition does not include all
the area where the worshipper is performing their prayer. If all was
najis save the place of sujood, this will be sufficient for the
validity of prayer, provided that the najis area or the clothes of
worshipper were not wet where it may be conducive to permeating
j/2.The place of sujood must be solid enough as not to allow
the forehead of the worshipper to sink, i.e. not muddy or soft. If it
is not solid enough, sujood can be performed, but not with
sufficient weight. The worshipper is strongly urged, as a matter of
obligatory precaution, to observe this point with regard to all seven
parts, i.e. they need to be secured while sujood is being
If the place was soft, yet it would enable the worshippers to
secure their forehead in it after exerting some pressure, this would
be sufficient. Example: You could place a piece of paper on a
furnishing consisting of fluffy cotton. When you place your forehead
for sujood on it, it will certainly sink until it reaches a
point where it settles. Only there and then you could say dhikr; such
a sujood is sound enough.
j/3.The thing used for prostration (sujood) should be part
of the earth or that which is grown in it, but generally not of that
which is eaten or worn. Of no importance too is that which could,
seldom or due to an emergency, be eaten or worn. By "eaten or
worn", we mean that which is conducive to eating and wearing,
albeit it may need processing (cooking) to be eaten, or weaving to be
Among the things that are permissible to perform sujood on
are those mentioned in para.)14( of the Chapter on Tayammum.
Suppose a worshipper brought with him something to perform sujood
on. Embarking on prayer he lost it. What should he do?
A. Should there be time for prayer, albeit for one ruku’,
he has to cut the prayer short and resume it ]after making available
that which can be used for sujood[.Should there be no time, he
can use his clothes to perform sujood, irrespective of what
fabric they are made of. If this was not feasible, sujood can
be performed on anything available [at the time].
Is it permissible to perform sujood on a piece of paper?
A. It is permissible. However, it is preferable, as a matter of
voluntary precaution, to avoid using paper made from cotton, flax, or
linen, i.e. which are originally forbidden to use for sujood.
A worshipper may mistakenly use a piece of synthetic material in
their sujood believing that it is some sort of paper. After
performing the first or second sujood they realize that it is
not of what is permitted to use for sujood. They are free to
either cut short their prayer and start again, or carry on till the
end, observing in the latter case that the sujoods that will
follow should be performed properly; having opted for this, repeating
the whole prayer is recommended on the grounds that it is better as a
matter of voluntary precaution.
130.Cases of Disability:
He who cannot bend for sujood should do their best to
perform it, even if it calls for raising the place of sujood to
the level where they can perform it. That said, the worshipper should
ensure that the rest of the body parts be positioned in their
respective places on the same level on the floor.
Should the]temporary or permanent[ disability be such that the
worshipper cannot bend, they or someone else, as the case may be,
should raise that which was permitted to perform sujood on to
their forehead and nod. If nodding was not possible, an eye wink would
Should the worshipper either omit, or add to, the two sujoods,
at any ruku’, their prayer shall be deemed batil )void(.This
is so irrespective of either or not it was done knowingly and
deliberately, due to forgetfulness, or through ignorance.
It could happen that a worshipper omits one of the two sujoods.
Should this be deliberate, the prayer is deemed unsound. However, if
it arose from forgetfulness or unawareness of the rules, the prayer is
in order. Yet, the worshipper must hasten to do good the sujood
they omitted and perform the compensatory sujood-as-sahu. This
will be elaborated when we will discuss "the lapses" in the
Chapter on "General Guidelines".
If one extra sujood was performed, the prayer shall be
considered lacking when it had been done with intent. It will be
accepted though, if it was done inadvertently or due to unawareness of
the requirements of the procedure.
What would the worshipper do if they omit performing one or two sujoods
after they had already stood up for another ruku’¿
A.If the omission was made in both the sujoods and the
realization did not occur until the worshipper had already gone into ruku’,
the prayer should be deemed batil. If the omission was made in
one of the two sujoods and the realization of one’s mistake
occurred after ruku’, they should proceed with the prayer
which will then be deemed sound. However, at the end of the prayer,
they must perform the one sujood by way of compensation
together with sajdatay-as-sahu.
Should the omission of one or the two sujoods be discovered
before bowing for ruku’, the worshipper must hasten to go
back to a prostrating position to perform the sujoods they
missed. They should then continue their prayer as normal till
completion, in which case they are not required to do anything else.
If after tashahhud and tasleem, the worshipper discovered that they
forgot to perform one or both the sujoods of the last ruku’,
what should they do?
A. Among the items listed under the "Nullifiers of
Prayer" in the Chapter on "General Guidelines of
Prayers" is deliberate action which could render it invalid, such
as talking; other nullifiers could be the commissioning of any action,
albeit inadvertent, such as that which may require [new] wudhu, [such
as breaking wind].
Accordingly, if the worshipper discovered their mistake after
tasleem and before embarking on anything which might be considered a
nullifier of prayer, they should perform what they had omitted from sujood,
say tashahhud and tasleem, provided that not a considerable time has
passed which may impinge on the continuity; they do not need to do
The same applies if the action commissioned was of the first
degree, i.e. that which is not done with intent, such as talking. For
the second type of nullifiers, there are two possibilities.(a) If two sujoods
were omitted, the prayer is batil.)b( If one sujood was
omitted, the prayer is in order, provided that the omitted sujood
has to be performed, while the worshipper is in a state of taharah
The following lapses do not call for any remedial action: (a)
performing sujood after forgetting to say dhikr.)b( saying
dhikr without maintaining a repose state while standing.)c( making
inadvertent movement while reciting dhikr as is the case in ruku’
which has already been discussed.
While standing, a worshipper could not decide whether such a
standing was after performing the two sujoods of a previous ruku’
or they had just lifted their head from a ruku’ on their way
to perform the two sujoods for the rak’a in hand. They should
resolve such a doubt by assuming that their standing is the one before sujood, in which case they must perform the two sujoods.
On completion, they should rise to a new ruku’.
While in a sitting position, a worshipper could not decide whether
they performed one or two sujoods. They must resolve such
wavering by performing a second sujood.
Should the same uncertainty arise while the worshipper is on their
way from a sitting position to a new ruku’, they should not
pay attention to such a doubt.
If the doubt arises after standing for a new ruku’ or
embarking on tashahhud in the second and fourth ruku’, they
should not pay attention to such a doubt.
If after lifting their head from sujood, a person became
doubtful as to the validity of their sujood, they should not
worry. Similarly, if the doubt was more to do with the correctness or
otherwise of dhikr during sujood.
After lifting their head from ruku’, while still
maintaining an upright position, and during the utterance of takbir,
it is mustahab for the worshipper to raise their hands to the
level of their ears or the sides of their face, before going for sujood.
While performing sujood, it is mustahab to place
their nose on something in the same way the seven parts of the body
are positioned. Dhikr ]tasbeeh[ can be repeated three, five or seven
times which is the best.
Upon lifting the head from the first ruku’ and settled in
their sitting position, it is mustahab that the worshipper
recites takbir. The same is recommended on the way to
performing the second sujood and upon raising the head from the
Sujood alone is considered among the greatest acts of worship,
provided that it is done exclusively out of submission to Allah
Almighty. Hadith has it, "The closest man can be to their
Creator is when they are prostrating". Sujood and showing
humility before Allah is His exclusive domain, i.e. it is haraam
to perform sujood to anyone save Him.
It is obligatory to perform sujood upon reciting or hearing
the recitation of any of the four ayahs of sujood which have
already been mentioned in para. )42(of the section on Ghusl/Chapter of
Taharah.By "recitation", we mean proper pronunciation of the
words, in that silent reading has no consequence. Repeating the
recitation requires repeated sujoods. Hearing the ayahs recited
should imply listening attentively. Listening to the ayahs recited
includes live recitation, broadcasting, and playing a tape recorder.
In all these cases sujood is obligatory.
Listening to the ayahs recited while in the street or in a car
where sujood is not feasible requires the worshipper to nod as
a matter of voluntary ihtiyat. Performing sujood should be
postponed to the nearest possible opportunity.
That said, one does not have to observe any of the obligations
required for the sujood in a usual prayer. Also, it is not
obligatory to recite either dhikr, or takbir. Similarly,
neither taharah nor facing the direction of qiblah has to be
adhered to. The only thing that should be observed is the proper
implementation of the sujood itself, i.e. by positioning the
forehead, the hands, knees, and feet toes on the floor.
Among the highly recommended (mustahab) acts of worship is
the sujood of thanksgiving (sajdatu-ash-shukr).This could be
performed upon the renewal of every bounty and the banishment of every
wrath, and upon the bestowal of every success to perform every
obligation or carrying out an honorable deed. While in prostration,
you should say, "Shukran Lillah" - Praise be Allah once or
more. It is most preferable that it is repeated hundred times.
5.Tashahhud and Tasleem
134.Upon finishing the second sujood of the first rak’a
going back to a sitting position, the worshippers should stand up for
the second ruku’. Upon finishing the second sujood of
the second rak’a, it is obligatory on them to sit and recite
tashahhud. Tashahhud means bearing witness that Allah is one and that
Mohammad )s.a.w(. is His messenger; also invoking blessing and
benediction on the Prophet and his pure progeny.As a matter of
obligatory precaution, the wording of tashahhud is as follows, "Ashhadu
Alla Illaha Illal Lah, Wahdahu La Sharika Lah, Wa Ashhadu Anna
Mohammadan Abduhu Wa Rasuluh, Allahumma Salli Ala Mohammadin Wa Aali
Mohammad" - I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and
that Mohammad is his servant and messenger. O Lord! bless Mohammad and
the Progeny of Mohammad.
If the prayer is a two-rak’a one, the worshipper should recite
tasleem after tashahhud, thus bringing it to a close. If it is a
three-rak’a prayer, the third ruku’ must be performed after
tashahhud.On completing it, a second tashahhud must be recited
followed by tasleem.In a four-rak’a prayer, the fourth ruku’,
must immediately be performed after the third one leading to a second
tashahhud and tasleem.
To sum up, tashahhud is required once in a two-rak’a prayer and
twice in a three-rak’a and four-rak’a one.
135.What is required?
It is obligatory to maintain one’s peace and composure while
sitting and reciting tashahhud.There is no harm though in moving the
hand, provided that it does not impinge on the steadiness of the
worshipper while they are seated. Thus, it is not permissible to
recite it while in the process of raising one’s head from sujood,
nor on the way up to assume a standing position.
It has to be recited in Arabic and without a break or pause. The
worshipper is free to recite tashahhud either audibly or inaudibly.
Should the worshippers not be in a position to learn how to recite
tashahhud so much so that they become hard pressed for time, they must
seek help from someone who could coach them to do so; they can even
read it out from a paper where possible. If this is not feasible,
anything which may serve as testament of faith would do. Non-Arabic
speakers who cannot say tashahhud in Arabic can recite the equivalent
in their mother tongue until they learn how to say it in Arabic.
If someone is aware that it is not permissible for them to skip
tashahhud in their prayer, yet they do so deliberately, such a prayer
shall be deemed batil. Should this be done inadvertently or due
to ignorance of the rules, the prayer should be in order.That said, to
make good such a prayer, the worshipper should recite compensatory
tashahhud alongside sajdatay-as-sahu as will be discussed later.
Should the mistake of not saying tashahhud be discovered after
rising for the third ruku, what should one do?
A.If the discovery is made before actually bowing down for ruku’,
the worshipper should take remedial action by going back to a sitting
position to say tashahhud and carry on with the rest of the prayer. If
the discovery is made after ruku’, the worshipper should
continue with their prayer till the end. Upon finishing it, they
should say compensatory tashahhud and sajdatay-as-sahu.
If the worshipper found themselves sitting after the second ruku’
not knowing whether they said tashahhud, they must do so. If the doubt
creeps in upon rising for the third ruku’, they should go
back to a sitting position and say tashahhud. If the same occurs after
the worshipper has stood upright for the third ruku’, they
should continue with their prayer.
The latter ruling applies in such cases as the remembering of the
ostensibly omitted tashahhud occurs (a) after embarking on tasleem of
the last ruku’, and )b( after finishing the entirety of
tashahhud or part thereof, doubting the propriety of reciting it.No
repeat is required.
It is mustahab for the worshipper to inaugurate tashahhud by
saying, "Alhamdu Lillah", or "Bismillahi wa Billah, wal
Hamdu Lillah, wa Khairil Asma’ie Lillah", or "Al Asma’ul
Husna Kulluha Lillah".
It is also mustahab to say, "Wataqabbal Shafa’atahu
Warfa’ Darajatah", after saying, "Allahuma Salli Ala
Mohammadin Wa’ali Mohammad".It is strongly recommended that the
worshipper rests both his hands, with the fingers tucked, on his
139.Tasleem is the last part of prayer; it follows from tashahhud
of the last ruku’ of each and every prayer. Its completion
heralds the end of prayer, and thus the worshipper is free from the
restrictions which they are bound by while the prayer is in progress.
Accordingly, they can go about their business as usual.This will be
elaborated in the section discussing the "Nullifiers of
Prayer" in the Chapter on the "General Guidelines of
In a two-rak’a prayer tashahhud and tasleem are recited in the
end of the second ruku’.In a three-rak’a one, both are
recited in the end of the third ruku’. In a four-rak’a
prayer both are recited in the end of the fourth ruku’.
There are two texts for tasleem. The first is, "Assalamu
Alaina Wa Ala Ibadillahis Saliheen" and the second is, "Assalamu
Alaikum, Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh".The worshipper is free to
choose either. However, it is preferable, as a matter of choice, that
both are recited, starting with the first one first, immediately
followed by the second.
Should both be recited, the first text should be deemed as the
obligatory one and second is the voluntary (mustahab).
Should the worshippers choose to say, "Assalamu Alaikum"
of the second text alone, their prayer should be alright.
All the other conditions, such as sitting calm and collected etc.,
which should be fulfilled during tashahhud have to be met in tasleem.
All matters applicable to a person with disability or someone who is
not aware of the rules in tashahhud are applicable in tasleem. The
worshipper has the choice of reciting tasleem either audibly or
Two situations might arise as a result of forgetting to recite
a. Provided that the worshippers did not do anything that
constitutes a breach of the sanctity of prayer, they can recite
tasleem which they might have thought had omitted. Such a prayer is
deemed in order with the proviso that not a long period had elapsed
since they finished their prayer. Conversely, they are not required to
recite tasleem, and thus render their prayer valid.
b. If before they discovered their mistake, they had already
commissioned that which detract from the validity of prayer, their
prayer is apparently in order; that said, repeating it is desirable,
as a matter of voluntary ihtiyat. However, if that was not as a result
of forgetting to recite tasleem, and the worshipper commissioned that
which invalidates prayer, they should repeat it, as a matter of
obligatory ihtiyat. This is so, unless the action which invalidated
prayer had occurred inadvertently, especially if it was among those
actions which do not render prayer void due to the nature of the
omission; the prayer is deemed sound.
141.Managing Doubt. If the worshippers were not sure as to whether
or not they said tasleem, it is not obligatory on them to do so. That
is, if the doubt comes about after a long period had elapsed on
prayer; also, if they had commissioned any action which render prayer
invalid, i.e. those "nullifiers of prayer" already discussed
in para (131).Apart from those two situations, tasleem has to be
recited; in doing so, the prayer will then be deemed valid. This
includes the doubt as to whether or not tasleem was recited that might
have arisen after finishing prayer and embarking on supplication.
If, after finishing tasleem, the doubt has more to do with the
propriety or otherwise of tasleem itself, they should disregard such
We have already mentioned that it is preferable to combine both the
statements in tasleem. Better still if they are preceded by, "Assalamu
Alaika Ayyuhan Nabiyu Wa Rahmatul Lahi Wa Barakatuh".
It is also mustahab that the worshippers place their hands
on their thighs while reciting tasleem as in the case of tashahhud.
6.What should be recited
in the last two ruku’s?
143.In a three-rak’a and a four-rak’a prayer the worshipper
should, after the tashahhud of the second ruku, rise for the third ruku’
of a three-rak’a prayer and for the third and fourth ruku’
respectively of a four-rak’a one.
Here, we are going to discuss what the worshipper should recite in
those ruku’s, after assuming a standing position with full
The worshipper has the choice of reciting suratul-Fatiha or tasbih
]dhikr[ (Subhanal Lah, wal Hamdu Lillah, wala Illaha Illal Lah, wal
Lahu Akbar)ºreciting this once would suffice.The imam (leader) of
prayer and those praying behind him are treated in the same way
insofar as tasbih is concerned.However, it is most desirable that one
should go for tasbih.
144.It is obligatory to recite inaudibly in both the third and
fourth ruku’. This goes for both the choices, i.e tasbih or
suratul-Fatiha.In the latter, the worshipper can recite basmalah
audibly. The rules of Arabic phonetics, grammar, and syntax have to be
observed. One should maintain his composure and stillness while
standing upright and reciting tasbih or al-Fatiha in exact compliance
of the procedure in the first two ruku’s.
145.If the worshippers intended to recite al-Fatiha, yet they found
themselves inadvertently reciting tasbih or vice versa, whatever they
uttered shall be deemed in order. In the event of doing such a thing
with intent, only to switch to the choice, they are free to do so. The
worshippers may think that they are still in the first or second ruku’
of their prayer, and thus they recite al-Fatiha. However, having
finished reciting it, they realize that they are in the third or the
fourth ruku’. Whatever they had recited would do.
In case the worshippers knowingly and deliberately flout the rules
by performing ruku’ without reciting either tasbih or al-Fatiha,
their prayer shall be deemed null and void (batil).Conversely,
if this was done inadvertently or due to unawareness of the rules, the
prayer is sound. However, if the worshippers discovered the mistake
before actually embarking on ruku’, they have to recite that
which they are required to recite, even if they were on the way to
perforing ruku’, i.e. they should go back to a standing
position to carry out the recitation ]of either tasbih or al-Fatiha].
Insofar as the mode of recitation is concerned, nothing is required
of the worshipper who either inadvertently or due to ignorance of the
rules, recite tasbih of al-Fatiha audibly. This is so, even if
discovering the mistake happens before performing ruku’,
i.e.no repeat is required.
If the worshipper, who is in a standing position in the third or
fourth ruku’ of their prayer, harbour any doubt as to whether
he recited al-Fatiha or tasbih, it is obligatory on him to do so.
Should this happen on the way to bowing for ruku’, he should
go back to a standing position to do the recitation. However, if the
worshipper has already assumed a bowing position, he should carry on
and need not pay attention to the doubt. As for the situation of the
worshipper doubting the propriety or otherwise of their recitation
after he had finished it, again he must carry on, overruling such a
148.Decorum It is mustahab for the worshipper to complement
tasbih with istighfar, i.e.by saying, "Astaghfirul Lahi wa Atoubu
Ilaih" - I ask Allah’s forgiveness and repent to Him, or "Allahuma
Ighfir Lee" - O Lord! Forgive me.
149.Of the mustahab )voluntary( parts of prayer, any prayer,
is qunoot. The worshippers will be rewarded for doing it; that said,
no harm would befall them if they abandon it.Literally, qunoot means
submission; technically, it is a kind of supplication and praising the
Almighty at a specific stage of the prayer. It is mustahab in
both obligatory and optional prayers.
As to its order in prayer, it follows from the recitation of the
second ruku’, i.e. before actually bowing for ruku’
There are though few exceptions; because Watr Prayer consists of
one ruku’, the qunoot should be performed before its ruku’;Juma’
Prayer; because it consists of two qunoots; please refer to para.
(44)of the Chapter on Types of Prayer; the third exception is Eid
Prayer as has been detailed in para.(202)of the above-mentioned
There is no particular utterance in qunoot. Any supplication, dhikr,
praising of, and thanksgiving to Allah would do. The worshipper’s
mistakes in Arabic, both phonetically and grammarwise, should be
If the worshipper forgets to recite qunoot, only to discover that
after rising from ruku’, he can say it there and then. If
remembering the omission occurred on the way to bowing for ruku’,
but just before assuming the actual ruku’ position, one
should straighten one’s back by going to a standing position to
It is mustahab to shout takbir before qunoot, and
raise one’s hands to the level of the face while performing it.
8.Praying from a Standing
or Sitting Position
150.In the light of what we have discussed, there seems to be five
instances of obligatory qiyam (standing upright during prayer) in
a. Upon reciting takbiratul ihram.
b. During the recitation or tasbih.
c. The one that precedes the ruku’.
d. The one assumed before the ruku’, i.e.from a standing
position, not a sitting one.
e. The one assumed after rising from ruku’.
Omitting any of these qiyams deliberately and knowingly renders
However, doing it due to an oversight or if the worshipper is
unaware of the rules would render prayer batil, if the mistake
happens in any of the qiyams listed under )a(, e.g.by reciting takbiratul
ihram while seated, (c), e.g. performing ruku after rising from a
sitting position and (d), e.g. performing ruku’ while seated.
The prayer will not be deemed batil, if the mistake occurs
in any of the qiyams listed under (b), e.g. reciting or uttering
tasbih while seated and (e), e.g. by going straight for sujood
from a ruku’ posture without standing upright.
Prayer can be performed from a standing or a sitting position. In
the prayer performed from a standing position, the worshipper is
required to maintain the five qiyams. The prayer performed from a
sitting position is the one conducted while the worshipper is seated
from the start, i.e.takbiratul ihram, to finish.
In the five obligatory daily prayers, it is not permissible to
switch from a standing posture to a sitting one, unless in an
emergency, as will be discussed.
151.Wherever possible there are certain requirements that should be
fulfilled by the worshipper conducting prayer from a standing
a. Standing straight and upright, in that slouching and leaning
right or left is not permissible, nor is spreading one’s legs, which
would detract from standing upright.
There is an exception though, i.e. the qiyam discussed in
para.150/d, in that the qiyam of the worshipper just about to embark
on ruku’, ]by its very nature[, should not require standing
straight and upright. What is required is that the worshipper should
perform such ruku’ from a standing not a sitting position.
b.Standing, i.e. it is not permissible for the worshipper to shout
or recite al-Fatiha for example while walking.
c.Maintaining a repose state while standing; the exception here is
the third type of qiyam described in para.150/c, i.e. the qiyam that
precedes the ruku’.
It is a condition that the worshipper stands on both their feet.
Provided that he fulfils the aforesaid requirements, standing on one
feet would suffice.
Neither is it conditional that the worshipper stands independently.
Leaning on a wall or suchlike for support would be all right.
152.Instances Where the Worshipper is Unable to Pray from a
In such a case the worshippers should do their level best to
maintain a standing position in the light of the following:
a. Should it be within their ability to maintain qiyam, but unable
to bow for ruku’, they are advised, as a matter of ihtiyat,
to say prayer twice, i.e.. praying once from a standing position and
substituting ruku’ with a nod, and a second time again from a
standing position and performing ruku’ from a sitting
However, nodding would suffice can be tolerated as a matter of
voluntary option (al aqwa) .
b.The worshippers may start their prayer from a standing position
and be able to maintain qiyam, yet they are neither able to bow for ruku’
nor conduct a ruku’ from a sitting position. Such people have
the choice of either praying from a standing position and nodding for ruku’
or praying from a sitting position. In such a case, they should chose
the first alternative.
c. Should the worshippers be in a position to maintain qiyam,
without fulfilling the aforesaid requirements, it is obligatory on
them to do so to the best of their ability, in that it is not
permissible for them to pray from a sitting position.
d. If the worshipper cannot sustain qiyam throughout prayer, it is
obligatory on them to maintain it during the early ruku’s
until such a time comes that they can no longer be able to do so, in
which case they must revert to a sitting position. Should they be able
to regain strength, they must resume the standing position, and so on.
e. Should the worshipper be entirely unable to maintain qiyam, they
should resort to praying from a sitting position.
However, having said prayer from a sitting position only to be in a
position some time later to say it from a standing position, the
worshipper must, time permitting, hasten to repeat the prayer in the
case of (e), so as the case in (a) and (b).As for case (c), a repeat
is obligatory in the event of the worshipper having the confidence, at
the outset, to maintain obligatory qiyam. Conversely, no repeat shall
Case (d) again hinges on the confidence of the worshippers when
they first set out for prayer. Should they be in a position to predict
that they would be able to pray from a standing position later in the
time allotted, their remedial action should be to repeat the prayer.
Otherwise, they must take into consideration what they have missed of
qiyam; if it was the first, the third, or the fourth type ]discussed
in para.150[, a repeat prayer shall be obligatory. Otherwise, it shall
153.The worshipper opting for saying prayer from a sitting position
must observe all the requirements called for during qiyam in a prayer
performed from a standing position, i.e. sitting repose, upright, and
In case prayer from a sitting position is not feasible, the
worshippers should resort to lying on their right side, facing the qiblah
with their upper body in the same way a dead person is laid to rest.
If this not conceivable, lying on the left side should be taken up.
Should this not be possible, the worshippers should perform prayer
lying on their back, with the soles of their feet pointing to the qiblah,
in the same way a dying person is made to lie.
Worshippers praying while lying on their side or back can nod for ruku’
and sujood.However, nodding for sujood must be conducted
in such a way that it should be lower than that done for ruku’.
If nodding is not feasible, an eye wink would do.
9.How Should the Parts
of Prayer Be Carried out?
The Order of Parts
154.The lawful order of all the parts in prayer must be observed,
for each of which has its own slot in the chain. Thus, it is not
permissible to embark on any part prematurely. Whosoever, deliberately
and knowingly, contravene this rule, by, for example, performing sujood
before ruku’ or tashahhud before sujood, their prayer
would be deemed batil.
There is a case for the worshipper who, either inadvertently or
through ignorance of the rules, does not adhere to the order of the
parts of prayer.The following lapses may occur.(a) performing two sujoods
before actually performing ruku’, (b) performing a new ruku’
before performing sujood for a previous ruku’, (c)
performing ruku’ before reciting takbiratul ihram, or
(d) any other action that detracts from the order. Contravening the
order in the first three instances would render prayer batil.
Otherwise, it would not.
Succession of the Parts
155.It is to be noted that some parts of the prayer are performed
successively and others are interrupted by short pauses, such as in
the case of rising from ruku’ and waiting for a minute or so
until finding something to perform sujood on. In a third
instance, the interruption could take such a considerable time that
prayer, as a whole unit, can no longer be considered viable. The
latter is not permissible, and would render prayer batil,
regardless of whether the mistake was made intentionally or
inadvertently. It is desirable that prayer is performed according to
the first two modes, although it is most desirable that it is
performed according to the first form.
a .Commissioning Extra Things in Prayer
156.It is not permissible for the worshipper to add anything extra
to the prayer’s legally required parts. Such extras could take the
1.Performing two rak’as or three sujoods in any one ruku’,
irrespective of the motive for the extra rak’a or sujood,
i.e. by considering it part of the prayer or in the case of the extra sujood
being intended for thanksgiving, for example.
2.Repeating any parts of prayer, other than ruku’ or sujood,
by way of meaning the repeat to be part thereof, such as reciting
suratul-Fatiha twice or performing tashahhud twice, this would be
deemed an increase. However, if the second recitation is intended as a
mere Qur’anic recitation, or the second tashahhud as sort of
remembrance of Allah and His Messenger and a supplication, it would
not be considered an extra part.
3.Deliberately commissioning that which is not of prayer, both in
utterance and movement, intending it to be part thereof is considered
an extra action. For example, cracking one’s fingers or closing the
eyes. However, doing any of these or others for any other reason,
should not be an addition, in which case it would not detract from the
sanctity and validity of prayer, unless the action impinges on the
overall image of prayer.
Whosoever intentionally and knowingly sets out to introducing
anything, of that which has just been discussed, to their prayer,
would risk rendering it batil. Doing so inadvertently or for
being unaware of the rules would not render prayer null and void,
apart from performing an extra ruku’ or extra sujoods
in one rak’a.
b. The Best Manner of Conducting Prayer
157.Allah, the Exalted, says : "Successful indeed are the
believers, who are humble in their prayer".(23/1-2). It has been
reported from the Prophet (p.) and the Imams (a.s.), in a number of hadiths,
that the most importance of the worshipper’s prayer will be those
parts of it which will be accepted, that one should not embark on
prayer unwillingly out of lethargy, and that one should not embark on
prayer with an occupied mind; they should set their heart on their
Lord, abandoning every earthly affair. Prayer is a means to having
audience with Allah and thus the worshipper should be humble before
Him, showing fearfulness, submissiveness, and tranquility, aspiring to
all that which would make them cherish His bounty and mercy.
It has also been related that when Imam Ali bin al-Hussain (a.s.)
used to embark on prayer he resembled a tree trunk in its stillness,
i.e. nothing moved except that which the wind fluttered. When Imams
al-Baqir and as-Sadiq (a.s.) embarked on prayer, their color kept
changing from red to yellow and vice versa as though they were
whispering to that whom they could see.
When the worshipper inaugurates prayer with the shout of (Allahu
Akbar), he should live the full meaning of this phrase, in that this
world and all what it resembles should become trivial in his eyes. And
when the worshipper recites )Iyyaka Na’budu wa Iyyaka Nasta’in(,
he should be truthful with his Creator, in that he should not be slave
to his whims and not seek support from any other save from Him