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Sujood Sahw

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي ; وَيَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي ; وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِنْ لِسَانِي ; يَفْقَهُوا قَوْلِي


Sujood Sahw refers to the prostrations of forgetfulness. There are instances in our Salat when we commit some errors or forget to do something (which is supposedly a part of Salat); such cases are dealt with Sujood Sahw.

Let us find out the correct way of dealing with such cases, according to Sunnah.

1. If we forget any part of raka’at or a whole raka’at during Salat

Narrated Abdullah bin Buhaina (RA): Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) once led us in Salat and offered two raka’at and got up (for the third raka’at) without sitting (after second raka’at, for At-Tahhiyat). The people also got up with him, and when he was about to finish his Salat, we waited for him to finish the Salat with Taslim, but he said Takbir before Taslim and performed two prostrations (of Sahw) while sitting and then finished the Salat with Taslim.

(Hadith No. 1224, Book of As-Sahw, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2).

This hadith tells us that if we forget to pray At-Tahhiyat in second raka’at of any prayer consisting of more than two raka’at (i.e. Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib or Isha), we should do Sujood Sahw in last raka’at before finishing the prayer with Taslim.

On similar lines, if someone forgets a whole raka’at or more than a raka’at, then again Sujood Sahw has to be performed. Refer to following hadith:

Narrated Shu’bah from Sa’d bin Ibrahim, that he heard Abu Salamah bin Abdur-Rahman, from Abu Hurairah (RA) that the Prophet (PBUH) prayed Zuhr and said Taslim after two raka’at. It was said to him: Has the prayer been shortened? So, he prayed two raka’at, then prostrated twice.

(Hadith No. 1014, Book of Salat, Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 1).

In other similar narrations it is mentioned that he performed prostrations after Taslim.

2. If we pray additional raka’at in a Salat

Narrated Abdullah (RA): Once Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) offered five raka’at in Zuhr prayer, and somebody asked him whether there was some increase in As-Salat. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “What is that?” He said, “You have offered five raka’at.” So, Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) performed two prostrations (of Sahw) after Taslim.

(Hadith No. 1226, Book of As-Sahw, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2).

This narration tells us that the Prophet (PBUH) performed Sujood Sahw in this case after Taslim. The reason is simple, by the time he came to know that he has prayed additional raka’at, he had completed his prayer. So he performed Sujood Sahw as soon as he came to know about his forgetfulness.

3. What to do when in doubt about how many raka’at we have prayed while in Salat?

Forgetfulness is a normal thing which can happen with any human being. Shaitan leaves no stone unturned to keep our attentions diverted and distracted from good deeds. This is also one of those efforts of Shaitan, and a Muslim is supposed to be well versed with the technique of combating these tactics of Shaitan.

If during a prayer any of us forgets which number of raka’at is he/she is praying (or how many raka’at he/she has completed by that time), then he/she is supposed to act according to following advice from our beloved Prophet (PBUH):

It was narrated that Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri (RA) said: Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “If one of you is unsure when in prayer and does not know how many (raka’at) he has prayed, whether it is three or four, let him ignore what is uncertain and proceed on the basis of what is certain. Then let him prostrate twice before saying the Taslim. Then if he has prayed five (raka’at) that will make his prayer even; and if he has prayed it properly with four (raka’at), it will annoy the Shaitan.”

(Hadith No. 1272 (571), Chapters on Masajid & Places of Prayer, Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2; Hadith No. 1204, Book of Salat, Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 1).

Therefore, in case of doubt, one should act upon whatever is certain. For example, if one is not sure how many raka’at he has performed, two or three and four or five, he should take the lesser number as the basis. Based on the number, he should proceed to perform the remaining raka’at and complete the prayer by performing two prostrations (of Sahw).

4. Sujood Sahw is to be done before Taslim or after Taslim?

After going through all the narrations mentioned above, we come across two scenarios: in one case we come to know that Rasool-Allah (PBUH) performed two prostrations before Taslim, while in other case he performed two prostrations after Taslim. Although, I see no point of confusion, still different views prevail about whether one should perform Sujood Sahw before or after Taslim?

Imam Shafi’s view is that the prostrations should be performed before Taslim. However, this view cannot be made universal as there are narrations which prove that the Prophet (PBUH) performed it after Taslim as well.

According to Imam Ahmad, whatever is reported from the Prophet (PBUH) about the prostrations for As-Sahw, is to be acted upon. It can be before Taslim or after Taslim, depending upon the cases as done by our beloved Prophet (PBUH). In cases where it is reported that the Prophet (PBUH) performed Sujood Sahw before Taslim, we should follow that way. For cases where it is reported that the Prophet (PBUH) performed Sujood Sahw after Taslim, we have to follow that way. In cases where nothing is reported about, then two prostrations should be followed before Taslim.

And I am more comfortable with second opinion.

5. Sujood Sahw is accompanied by Takbir.

If we revert back to the hadith mentioned in Section 1, we see that there is mention of Takbir (saying Allah-o-Akbar). Therefore, Takbir is to be said before performing Sujood Sahw.

6. Tashahhud is not recited after performing Sujood Sahw.

It is mentioned on authority of Qatada in Chapter 4, Book of As-Sahw, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2 that Tashahhud (i.e. saying At-tahhiyat and Ash-hadu an la ilaha illallah….) is not to be recited after prostrations of Sahw.

7. Sujood Sahw should be performed for Nawafil prayers also.

It is mentioned in Chapter 7, Book of As-Sahw, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2 that Ibn Abbas (RA) used to perform two prostrations (of Sahw) after Witr prayers. Therefore, Sujood Sahw should be performed if we commit an error during Nawafil prayers too.

8. How many prostrations are to be performed for forgetfulness?

No. of prostrations for forgetfulness are two. Some schools of thoughts state that only one prostration is done for forgetfulness. However, almost all the narrations regarding the Prophet’s (PBUH) action in this context refers to two prostrations (refer to all narrations mentioned in this discussion). Hence, two prostrations are to be performed.

9. It is wrong to say that Sujood Sahw cannot be performed if the person has talked after Salat.

Some schools of thoughts are of the view that Sujood Sahw can be performed only till we have not talked after Salat. This is not correct, as several of the narrations mentioned above (in Section 1 & Section 2) tell us that Rasool-Allah (PBUH) was reminded by others of his forgetfulness after he had completed his Salat and he talked to the persons who reminded him, confirmed his forgetfulness and then performed Sujood Sahw. Therefore, one is allowed to perform prostrations of forgetfulness even if he/she has talked after Salat.

Concluding remarks

To err is human. Therefore, it is natural that one may make mistakes; it can happen during Salat too. However, as discussed above, a Muslim should be well versed about how to amend his/her mistake during a prayer so as not to let the prayer be affected. We have discussed the actions of our beloved Prophet (PBUH) which all of are supposed to follow.

Remember, Sujood Sahw compensates for minor mistakes / errors / forgetfulness, like those mentioned in different narrations above. Bigger mistakes (like not reciting Surah Fatiha, or starting pray without Wudu etc.) should not be (or rather cannot be) compensated by Sujood Sahw.

Also, more than one error during a prayer does not require additional prostrations. One set of prostrations for forgetfulness is enough.

So, next time, when anyone of us commit any mistake (among those mentioned above), then he/she should not worry. Rather remember the procedure(s) for Sujood Sahw for each case and be assured.

And Allah knows best.

May Allah forgive me if I am wrong and guide us to the right path…Ameen.

سُبْحَانَ رَبِّكَ رَبِّ الْعِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُون َ ; وَسَلامٌ عَلَى الْمُرْسَلِينَ ; وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ.

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  1. Really nice information!
    Keep up the good efforts, May Allah bless the team of this platform.

  2. After reading this article, my confusion about how and when to perform sujood sahw is cleared. Thanx for providing the information in so simple and clear words. May Allah bless you.

  3. As-Salam-O-Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barkatuhu,

    JazaakALLAHU Khair TEAM,

    Query – Suppose in Salah while reciting ayahs (excluding Surah Al-Fatiha), if we do mistakes do we need to do ‘Sujood-Sahw’?

    Please clarify!

    • Wa alaikum As Salam warahmatallah wabarakatuhu,

      It depends on what type of mistake is done. If it is a minor error which is corrected during the course of Salat, there shouldn’t be need of Sujood-Sahw.

      And Allah knows best.

  4. JazakAllahu khayran!! This is great information and clarification.

  5. Asalamualaikum warahmatulahi wabarakatuhu…I would like to ask, if i forget to recite surahtul fatihah in one of my rakaat, i remember it while im still in my salah, How can i correct this mistake and do i have to do sujood as sahw before the taleem or after?? Please answer my question on my email address as soon as you can, JazakAllahu Khair !

  6. mohammed abubacker

    during sallah after rukhooh one said allhahu akbar instead of samiallahu liman hamdu .
    Do he required to do Sujood Sahw

    • Salam alaikum,

      No such example can be cited from any ahadith; but as per my understanding, if someone does so, then Sujood Sahw should be done to compensate for that miss.

      And Allah knows best.

  7. suppose i am doing sujood sahw, after reciting at tahiyyat and saying ash hadu allah ilaha …….what i have to do after that please let me know what action i have to take and what i have to read please let me know

    • Salam alaikum,

      The details about how to do Sujood-Sahw have been explained in detail in the subject article.

      If you realize your mistake while being in prayer, and then you want to do Sujood-Sahw, you should complete Tashah-hud and just before saying Taslim say Takbir and make Sujood two times (these are Sujood-Sahw), and after that say Taslim. That is the correct way as per Sunnah.

      And Allah knows best.

  8. Asslaamu o Aliykum
    I have one question
    Can we are parfam faraz prayer with out light its allowd?

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

      If essential conditions of offering a prayer are fulfilled, then a prayer offered in dark is valid; amount of light is not a condition for offering a prayer.

      However, if the darkness is so strong that it may cause fear to the person offering the prayer, and as such may disturb the person in prayer, then it is better to avoid offering prayer in such a dark condition.

      And Allah knows best.

  9. Assalamualaikum…every time forget that how many rakaats that I had completed,,,,,, I try concentrate more,,but result is zero,,I am so dipressed,,,,.I dont know what I have to do is,,,every time can I read soojud sahw???

    • Is any body there????plz answr me

      • Salam alaikum,

        Sister, you wrote a query and immediately after one hour you sent a reminder saying “Is any body there??? Please answer me.”

        This shows your impatient nature.

        You should be patient in life. May be this is one of the reasons which is affecting your concentration while praying, and you keep forgetting no. of raka’at every now and then.

        Yes, you have to Sujood Sahw whenever you forget no. of raka’at. But at the same time you have to work hard towards developing a patient personality.

        Make dua to Allah for His help.

        May Allah help you!

        jazak Allah khair.

  10. Assalamualaykum , jazakAllah khair.. U are doing great job ..
    Someone told me that in case of any deficiency of wajibat in prayer , sajda sahoo should be done before tasleem ,,and if there is somethin extra or excess so one should do it after tasleem……please throw light on it

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

      Sister, doing Sujood Sahw is permissible to be done either before doing Tasleem or after doing Tasleem, whether it is a Fard prayer or a Nawafil prayer. As can be seen from different ahadith, it seems that the Prophet (PBUH) did Sujood Sahw before Tasleem when he remembered the mistake before doing Tasleem, and he did Sujood Sahw after tasleem when he came to know about mistake after the Tasleem. Here is one example to support this understanding:

      Narrated Shu’bah from Sa’d bin Ibrahim, that he heard Abu Salamah bin Abdur-Rahman, from Abu Hurairah (RA) that the Prophet (PBUH) prayed Zuhr and said Taslim after two raka’at. It was said to him: Has the prayer been shortened? So, he prayed two raka’at, then prostrated twice. – (Hadith No. 1014, Book of Salat, Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 1).

      I hope this clarifies the matter for you.

      Feel free to write back in case any doubt remains.

      And Allah knows best.

  11. Thanks for responding for my query…jazakallah khair,,,,InshaAllah I will try my best,,,,,…, can we count the no.of raakats of our salat by fingers,,,,in the case of rememberance,,,of rakaat,,that which rakaat is we doing? Present,,, my husband said no it is not permissible..and we cant count like that,,,,is it is true??? jazakallah khairr,,,,,

    • Salam alaikum,

      While in Salat, it is recommended that we do not indulge ourselves in other acts which are not part of Salat. Therefore, if you want to keep count of your raka’at, you should keep it in heart and not in your fingers. I won’t say that it is prohibited to do so (as there are narrations which tell us that the Prophet, PBUH, would motion with his hand/fingers sometimes during Salat); but such acts are not recommended generally during Salat.

      Another solution to your problem is that you start offering Salat in congregation. That way you will solve your problem of forgetting your raka’at. If there is a masjid in your vicinity and there is a provision for women room, start going there. If there is no such arrangement in your locality, you can also arrange congregational prayers at your home.

      Try to find out some of these alternates to solve your problem. Make dua to Allah.

      Insha’Allah all should be well.

      And Allah knows best.

  12. This website by its content really makes a companion to be kept. please, as a young muslim, I want a deepened advice on how to identify a potential wife and how to approach her with my sincere intentions with clear statements on the dos and don’ts.

    • Salam alaikum,

      Jazak Allah khair for your kind and appreciative words. Dear, all praise is for Allah alone.

      I would recommend you to read a detailed article titled “(Do’s & Don’ts of) Marriage in Islam” available on our website. Insha’Allah you will get clarification on your query.

      Please feel free to write back in case any doubt remains.

      Jazak Allah khair.

  13. Assalamualaykum..
    Sorry I am asking a question which is related to another article, but I couldnt find space to comment there…..
    My question is regarding TAWAAF ,,,, why do we circumambulate around Kaaba ???
    I mean , we find every thin g in islam is logical and actually for our oun benefit… Sovwhats the significance of tawaaf around kaaba ? As this resembles the worship of some non- muslims ,, they misunderstand that we muslims also worship the Kaaba……
    Please answer well explaining so that it convince non muslims asking me.
    JazaakAllah khair

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

      The most important thing everyone should understand that Kabah is called Baytullah i.e. House of Allah. And so it is a place of great importance for Muslims. But, doing rituals near and around Kabah should not be mistaken that the Muslims worship Kabah. That will be a very foolish inference drawn. Rather, we should remember that Kabah has been made a symbol of unity for Muslims, and that’s why Allah ordered us in Qur’an to turn our faces towards Kabah during our prayers (ref. Verse No. 144, Surah Al-Baqarah, Chapter No. 2, Holy Qur’an).

      Coming to your query of doing Tawaf around Kabah, sister, I really have never thought of investigating why we do Tawaf; the reason enough for me to do Tawaf is that it is a Command from Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH).

      Therefore, I won’t be able to give my personal view on this question. However, I have come across one explanation on this matter given by someone scientifically, and I liked it. I will share it with you, and hope that it can be helpful to you in explaining it to your Non-Muslim friends.

      Allah says in Qur’an (Verse No. 33, Surah Al-Anbiya, Chapter No. 21):

      “And He it is Who has created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon, each in an orbit floating.”

      This verse refers to scientific facts concerning the system of universe. Science tells us that we live in a universe that depends on revolutions. Planets revolve around the sun, satellites revolve around the planets, electrons/protons/neutrons revolve around the nucleus of an atom; and all these revolutions are anti-clockwise.

      On the same basis, humans also being a part of this universe, are Commanded by Allah to revolve around the House of Allah whenever they visit Makkah (ref. Verse No. 29, Surah Al-Hajj, Chapter No. 22, Holy Qur’an). Even the angels do Tawaf of the Kabah. And every point of time, someone or another is doing the Tawaf around the Kabah, keeping this universal fact on the move, as a Command from Allah.

      This tells us the significance of Kabah, its role as a spiritual centre for Muslims, its role as a symbol of unity for Muslims, its role in validating the truthfulness of Islam.

      And Allah knows best.

  14. Assalamualaikum…Brother ,….Is it permissible to take tablets which contains gelatin(animal origin) ?

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

      I will quote the fatwa passed by ‘Resolutions and Recommendations of the Council of the Islamic Fiqh Academy of Jeddah’ in their third session from 11 to 16 October 1986 held in Amman, Jordan:

      “It is not permitted for a Muslim to use yeast or gelatin containing extracts from swine in food stuffs. Yeast and gelatins extracted from vegetables or permissible animals are good enough substitute.”

      I hope this answers your query satisfactorily.

      And Allah knows best.

  15. assalamu alaykum, pls tell me which things breaks our ablution(wudu)? I’m very confused about this matter because there are many views about this from different scholars but i want to know according to quran and sunnah? so would you pls tell me about this? pls tell me any ahadiths about it.

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

      The answer to this question requires a detailed article in itself; therefore, I would request you to leave this for some other time and we shall publish a separate detailed article on this subject in due course of time. However, if you have any specific query as to whether this thing breaks Wudu or not etc., then please do write to us; we shall respond accordingly Insha’Allah.

      Jazak Allah khair.

  16. assalamu alaykum,ok i want to know that touching private parts breaks our wudu or not? if yes then would you pls tell me any hadith regarding to this?

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

      There are two views about this matter: first view is that if someone touches his/her private parts, he/she should do Wudu after that; the other view is that it doesn’t necessitate a Wudu.

      The first view, which is held by Muslims following Shafi school of thoughts, is base don following hadith:

      Urwah said: I entered in upon Marwan bin Al-Hakam, and we were discussing the factors that necessitate Wudu. Marwan said, “(One of these factors) is touching the penis.” I replied, “I did not know this.” So Marwan said, “Busrah bint Safwan narrated to me that she heard Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) say: Whoever touches his penis, let him perform Wudu.” – (Hadith No. 181, Book of Purification, Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 1).

      The second view, which is held by Muslims following Hanafi school of thoughts, is based on following hadith:

      It was narrated from Qais bin Talq, from his father who said: We went to the Prophet (PBUH). A person who seemed to be a Bedouin came to him and said, “O Prophet of Allah! What is your verdict for the one who touches his penis after performing Wudu?” He (the Prophet, PBUH) responded, “Is it not a part of him, or a bit of him?” – (Hadith No. 182, Book of Purification, Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 1).

      Therefore, in my understanding, both views are authenticated by ahadith; and everyone has the option to opt for whichever view he/she prefers.

      And Allah knows best.

  17. i have one more question about sujood sahw that according to hanafi in india we do sujood sahw after only one taslim(right side of taslim) so doing like this is also way of sunnah or not pls tell me.

    • Salam alaikum,

      I don’t know how far that is right. I have collected almost all ahadith related to Sujood Sahw and explained in my article. And that is the preferred manner in which I do Sujood Sahw.

      And Allah knows best.

  18. walaykum assalam, jazakallahu khaira thank you so much

  19. Assalamualaikum…brother,,,,yesterday I went hospital she gave me tablets which contains soft gelatin,,,,I already requested her that dont gave tablets which contains gelatin,,,eventhough she gave that,,,IWont notice in hospital,,when I came home I noticed that which contain gelatin,,,,,shall I use,,that tablets,,,what means,,,soft gelatin ,,,,jazakallah kahir

    • Wa alaikum Salam Warahmatallah,

      It is agreed by scholars that gelatin from animals which are allowed to be eaten in Islam is acceptable, whereas gelatin from animals which are prohibited to be eaten is not acceptable for Muslims.

      Now, it needs to be confirmed from which type of gelatin are the soft-gels given to you are being made. You can search on the website of the company manufacturing that drug and get the details. You can even call the customer service of the manufacturer and ask them for details.

      If satisfied, take the medicine, or else avoid it.

      And Allah knows best.

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