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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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Check Also

Correct way of performing Sujood (Sajdah/Prostration)

Also remember, as discussed above, that if Sujood is not done properly, it may render our prayer invalid. All this tells us that Sujood is an important part of our Salat, and it is imperative that we do Sujood properly, as taught to us by the Prophet (PBUH), so as to ensure that our prayers are offered properly.


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. walaykum assalam, jazakallahu khaira thank you so much

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Assalaam Alaykum,

    I have three questions please clarify them for me. I get confused.

    1. What does one say when making Sijidal sahaw? Is it Subhanna Rabbial A’ala or Subhan malayanamu wala yas-hau?

    2. Tahiyyatul Masjid, is it performed only if you are waiting for congregation or Jumaa prayer? or is it also performed anytime you enter the masjid for prayer (alone) and you didn’t have to sit or wait for congregation.

    3. If I usually pray kablia and baadia dhuhr nafil, but unfortunately it happened that I arrived in the masjid late and before I start the nafil prayer the Imam started the faradh prayer, can I make up the kablia nafil prayer after the faradh prayer?

    I hope my questions are understandable.

    Shukran wa Jazak Allah Kheir.

  8. Wa alaikum Salam Warahmatallah,

    1. In any Sujood, we say ‘Subhana Rabbi-al-Alaa’, whethe rit is Sujood of prayer or Sujood Al-Sahw. The other recitation which you mentioned finds no substantiation from Sunnah or acts of the Sahabas, hence, should be left alone.

    2. You can offer Tahayyatul masjid prayer whenever you enter Masjid. The Sunnah is not to sit in Masjid until you offer two raka’at:

    Narrated Abu Qatada Al-Salami (RA): Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “If anyone of you enters a mosque, he should offer 2 raka’at (Tahayyat-al-Masjid) prayer before sitting.” – (Hadith No. 444, Book of As-Salat, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 1).

    The hadith is very plain and clear. The Prophet (PBUH) has talked about whenever someone enters a Masjid; he didn’t specified that if someone enters for offering congregational prayers or alone.

    3. Yes you can do so if the time after offering Farz prayers allows you to do so (i.e. it doesn’t become one of the prohibited times where no prayer is allowed to be offered).

    And Allah knows best.

  9. Assalaam Alaykum Warahmatullah wa Barakatuhu.

    My question is I have debts I owe somebody, but he told me I can pay him anytime I am ready to pay him. Now there is a mosque which needs repairs can I donate to the repair even though I have debts?

    Will my donation be accepted by Allah?

    Jazzaka’Allah Kheir

  10. Wa alaikum Salam Warahmatallah Wabarakatuhu,

    If you are under debt, and you have money to pay off the debts, then your first priority should be to pay off the debts, irrespective of the person being lenient towards you. Do not misuse his lenience and strive to pay off the debt as a top priority.

    Contributing for repair of Masjid could be classified as Sunnah-e-Kifayah on community, but paying off the debt is like a Fard-e-Ain for you individually. So concentrate on that as a priority.

    And Allah knows best.

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