Laws relating to Sajdah as-Sahw (Forgetfulness Prostration)

حامدا و مصليا و مسلما

Laws relating to Sajdah as-Sahw

The acts of Salah are basically divided into three categories viz Fardh, Wajib and Sunnah. It is important to understand which category each act of Salah belongs to. The laws pertaining to Sajda as-Sahw revolves around only two of these categories viz. Fardh and Wajib. For this reason we have listed below all the acts belonging to these two categories. If there are any acts of Salah that are not listed below it means that it is from the Sunnah/Mustahab category.[1]

Fardh/Arkaan

[Mandatory Acts]

1.      Takbeer (Saying Allahu Akbar to commence the Salah)[2]

2.      Qiyaam (Standing)

3.      Qira’ah (Recitation- to the extent of one long verse or three short verses)

4.      Ruk’u (Bowing)

5.      Sajdah (Prostration)

6.      Qa’dah Akhirah (Last Sitting to extent of the recitation of Tashahud)

Wajib Acts

[Necessary Acts]

  1. Recitation of Fatiha (in the first and second Rakah of Fardh Salah)
  2. Recitation of a Surah after Fatiha (in the first and second Rakah of Fardh Salah)
  3. Recitation of Fatiha and a Surah in each rakah of a non-Fardh Salah.
  4. Qauma (standing erectly after Ruku)
  5. Jalsah (sitting upright between the two Sajdah)
  6. Itminaan (to pause in ruku’ &  sajdah to the extent of one tasbeeh)[3]
  7. Recitation of Tashahud in first and second siting.
  8. First sitting (duration of Tashahud)
  9. Tasleem (to say Asalaam or Salaam)
  10. Sequential order of the Fardh acts of Salah (e.g. Ruku then Sujood)
  11. Dua of Qunoot (there’s no specific dua which is considered Wajib)
  12. Takbeer before Qunoot in third rak’ah of witr
  13. Extra Takbeers of Eid
  14. Reciting silently in silent Salah  and loudly in loud (this is specific to congregational Salah)

Juristic Ruling on these Terminologies [Fardh, Wajib & Sunnah]

  1. If any Fardh act is omitted the Salah will be nullified, regardless of whether it was omitted intentionally or unintentionally. The Salah must repeated. If the Salah time has elapsed Qadha must be done.

Nb: If one mistakenly omits a Fardh act in Salah his/her Salah will not become invalidated immediately (i.e. the moment it is left out). Amendments can be made if he/she remembers before the completion of the Salah. Thereafter Sajdah as-Sahw would be performed at the end.[4]

  • If any Wajib act was omitted intentionally, the Salah will still be valid except that it is grossly deficient (Makru Tahrimi) and hence should be repeated within the prayer time. If however, the time has elapsed then there is no Qadha. Nb: This deficiency cannot be compensated by Sajdah al Sawh
  • If a Sunnah action is left out the Salah will still be valid [without the need for Sajdah al Sahw]. Nb: Omitting a Sunnah deprives a person of many rewards.

SAJDAH AS-SAHW BECOMES NECESSARY NAMELY DUE TO TWO FACTORS[5]

  1. An unduly delay[6] of a Fardh or Wajib act (i.e. not performed in its proper place or time)
  2. Unintentionally omitting a Wajib act.

Method of Making Sajdah as Sahw

In the last Rak’ah one would recite Tashahud only and make one Salaam towards the right, then make two Sajdah reciting tasbeeh in each sajdah. Then repeat the recitation of Tashahud[7], thereafter complete the Salah as one would normally do [i.e. send salutations upon the Prophet ﷺ , make dua, then give Salaam to both sides and thereby complete his prayer].

50 Rulings & Cases

  1. If one forgets to make Sajdah as- Sahw after reciting Tashahud, [or after dua or after Salaam] he can still do so. 
  2. A person having to make Sajdah as- Sahw gives Salaam with the intention of completing his Salah will not deter him from making the Sajdah as-Sahw.
  3. A person who misses a Rak’ah or more in congregation [Masbooq] will follow his Imam in Sajdah al Sahw [if he performs it]. Nb: The Masbooq should stand for the completion of his Salah after the second salaam of the Imam.
  4. If a person commits multiple acts, each of which renders Sajdah as-Sahw obligatory, then only the performance of one Sajdah al Sahw will suffice.
  5. If anyone of the factors necessitating Sajdah as-Sahw is carried out deliberately then Sajah as-Sahw would be of no avail and the Salah would have to be repeated (as long as the timing for that Salah has not expired, if expired then there’s no repetition).
  6. If a person omits Sajdah as-Sahw he will have to repeat his entire Salah.
  7. If a person after giving Salaam [with the intention of completion], remembers he has to perform Sajdah as-Sahw, then it is still allowed for him to make the Sajah as-Sahw. He will thereafter re-do the Tashahud and complete the Salah as normal [as long as he did not do an act that nullifies the Salah e.g. speaking, eating etc. Nb: If he turns away from the Qiblah or walks away he will still be able to make up as long as he did not leave the precincts of the Masjid]
  8. If a Sajdah in Salah was left out, then it can be performed before salaam, except that the last sitting would be repeated (also the recitation of Tashahud), thereafter Sajdah as-Sahw will be performed and then Tashahud will be recited once again, thereafter Tasleem.[8]
  9. Mistakes in recitation will not render the performance of Sajdah as Sahw.
  10. Reciting Suras in according to its sequence (in salah) is Wajib. If however read contrary to its sequence, it will not necessitate Sajdah as Sahw. If he recited against the sequence, thereafter recollected and abandoned the surah and started another [in accordance to sequence], then this still will not necessitate Sajdah as Sahw. Nb: One should continue the surah and not abandon it.
  11. If person is reciting a surah thereafter jumps into another surah mistakenly, then there’s no Sajdah.
  12. After the first Salaam, it will not be correct to a new comer to join the Salah of the Imam as the following is terminated with the first Salaam. If however, the Imam has Sajdah as-Sahw to make, then the Iqtidah will not be terminated with the first Salaam [i.e. a new comer may join the Salah.]
  13. If a person started a surah and in the middle of the recitation he forgets [the upcoming verses], thereafter he repeats the surah from the beginning, then there is no Sajdah.
  14. If Sajdah as- Sahw is due upon the Imam and he doesn’t perform it, the followers will not perform it.
  15. If a person, after performing Sajdah as- Sahw performs an act that necessitates Sajdah as Sahw he will not repeat Sajdah as Sahw.[9]
  16. The Masbooq should stand after the second Salaam of the Imam. If he (masbooq) stands, thereafter the Imam performs Sajdah as Sahw then he (masbooq) should return and join the Imam. If he didn’t then his Salah will still be valid and he will perform the Sajdah as Sahw at the end of his Salah.
  17. Whatever mistake the Masbooq makes after the salaam of the Imam, he will have to perform Sajdah as Sahw.
  18. If the Imam performed Sajdah as Sahw but the Masbooq did not participate thereafter the Masbooq makes a mistake necessitating Sajdah as Sahw then only one will suffice.
  19. If a follower, behind the Imam (Muqtaqi) does an act/s necessitating Sajdah as-Sahw he will not perform Sajdah as-Sahw at the end of the Salah.

والله سبحانه وتعالى أعلم بالصواب وأستغفر الله العظيم

Mufti Kaleem Muhammad

Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom (Trinidad)

www.fatwa-tt.com /www.jaamia.net


[1] or a Wajib act that has no connection to Sajdah as-Sahw which is rare such as the recitation of Surahs according to sequence etc.

[2] Takbeer is Fardh except that according to the Hanafi Madhab it is considered a pre-requisite rather than being an actual part of the Salah. It has been listed under the acts of Salah due to its close connection to Salah in that, the moment the takbeer is uttered the Salah commences. Furthermore, all of the conditions pertaining to the validity of Salah applies to the validity of Takbeer. 

[3] Also standing erectly to the extent of one Tasbeeh in Qauma, and sitting upright after the first sajdah to the extent of one Tasbeeh.

[4] If a sajdah is left out, it can be made up for in the following rak’ah after performing the 2nd sajdah of that Rak’ah. If however a ruku was missed out then an entire rak’ah will have to be performed i.e. the missed ruku’ together with the 2 sajdas of that rak’ah.

[5] بدائع الصنائع في ترتيب الشرائع (1/ 164)

وأما بيان سبب الوجوب فسبب وجوبه ترك الواجب الأصلي في الصلاة، أو تغييره أو تغيير فرض منها عن محله الأصلي ساهيا؛ لأن كل ذلك يوجب نقصانا في الصلاة فيجب جبره بالسجود

[6] To the extent of three tasbihaat.

[7] أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم صلى بهم فسها ، فسجد سجدتين ، ثم تشهد ، ثم سلم (رواه أبو داود ، والترمذي ، وابن حبان ، والحاكم)

[8] حاشية الطحطاوي على مراقي الفلاح شرح نور الإيضاح (ص: 249)

 “ثم يعيد القعود” طريق الإتيان بها أنه إذا تذكرها بعد السلام أو قبله بعد القعود أن يسجد المتروكة ثم يعيد القعود والتشهد ويسلم ثم يسجد للسهو ثم يقعد ويتشهد لأن العود إلى السجدة الصلبية يرفع القعود والتشهد وكذا السجدة التلاوية فلو لم يعد القعود وسلم بمجرد رفعه من السجدة بطلت صلاته لترك القعدة الأخيرة

[9] بدائع الصنائع للكاساني: تَكْرَارَ سُجُودِ السَّهْوِ في صَلَاةٍ وَاحِدَةٍ غَيْرُ مَشْرُوعٍ على ما نَذْكُرُ وَلِأَنَّهُ لو سَجَدَ لَا يَسْلَمُ عن السَّهْوِ فيه ثَانِيًا وَثَالِثًا فَيُؤَدِّي إلَى ما لَا يَتَنَاهَى