The Prescribed Prayer: Chapter Two (cont.)

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Sujuudus Sahw, Prostration of Forgetfulness, is a pair of prostrations offered when a mistake is made in Salaah, such as omission of an essential in Salaah.

These two prostrations are offered either qablee, before, or ba'adee, after the final Tasleem. Both ways were established by the Prophet.

In Sunnah it is reported that the Prophet (s.'a.s.) offered Sujuudus Sahw ba'adee, after Tasleem, when he mistakenly made Tasleem before the completion of Salaah, or when he added by mistake a full raka'ah in Salaah.

On the other hand, it has also been reported that the Prophet prostrated qablee, before Tasleem when he forgot the first Tashahhud, or any Sunnah in the prayer.

The sujuud is also offered Qablee, before Tasleem, when the worshipper becomes doubtful about the number of raka'aats he has made in salaah. In Hadeeth, narrated by Tirmizee and others, the Prophet said:

"When one is doubtful in his prayer (that is, he is not sure whether he had prayed one or two raka'aats), he should regard it as one raka'ah; if he is uncertain whether it is two or three raka'aats he should count it two raka'aats; also, if he is uncertain whether it is three or four raka'aats, he should count it three raka'aats. Then he should prostrate, when he finishes his prayer (while he is still sitting), two sujuuds before tasleem." (Tirmidhee)

However, besides the above mentioned reason for offering the Sujuud, one may offer the prostration either qablee, before, or da'adee, after, if there is a mistake in Salaah for reasons not mentioned above.

If one makes the Sujuud, qablee, before Tasleem, one should say the Tashahhud first, after which one offers the Sujuud. But if the Sujuud is ba'dee, after Tasleem, one need not say the Tashahhud, which had been said before; instead, immediately after the Sujuud, one says Tasleem.

If an Imaam makes a mistake in a congregational prayer, and has to correct it with Sujuudus Sahw, the worshippers behind him must follow him in making up the correction, whether they agree with him about the mistake or not. But if the follower makes a mistake, neither he nor the Imaam need to perform the Sujuud of Forgetfulness.

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