Ibn Qudamah on the prostration of forgetfulness, Sujud As-Sahwa

July 31, 2014


By Abu Amina Elias for FaithinAllah.org

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Ibn Qudamah writes in his book Umdat fil Fiqh:

Forgetfulness is one of three types.

First, it is the addition of an action that is similar to the actions of prayer, such as adding an additional bowing (raka’at) or pillar. The prayer is invalid if that was done intentionally. If it was done due to an absent mind, then the prostration of forgetfulness must be done.

If one remembers while he performing an additional bowing, he must sit down immediately. If he invokes peace (tasleem) while having missed part of the prayer, he must perform the part that he left out and then prostrate.

If he does an action that is not similar to the actions of prayer, then it is all the same whether he did it intentionally or due to an absent mind. If that action is not trivial, it invalidates the prayer. If it is trivial, like what was done by the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, when he carried Umamah and opened the door for Aisha, then there is no harm.

Second, it is the omission of an action such as forgetting a mandatory act. If he stands up before performing the first testimony (tashahhud) and remembers before he is fully upright, then he should go back and perform it. If he remembers after he is fully upright, the he should not go back.

If he forgets a pillar and remembers it before he begins the recitation of another bowing, he must go back and perform it and whatever is after it. If he remembers it after that recitation, then the bowing in which he missed the pillar is invalid.

If he forgets four prostrations out of four bowings and remembers while he is reciting the testimony, then he should prostrate himself immediately, thus validating one bowing and he must then perform three more bowings.

Third, it is a doubt. Whoever has a doubt whether he has missed a pillar of prayer, it should be regarded as if he has missed it. Whoever doubts the number of bowings he has performed must proceed on the basis of certainty, except for the Imam, who proceeds on the basis of what he suspects is more probable.

Prescribed for every forgetfulness are two prostrations before the final invocation of peace, except for the following cases:

  1. One who invokes peace before completing the prayer,
  2. The Imam when he proceeds on the basis of what he suspects is more probable,
  3. One who forgets to prostrate before invoking peace.

In these cases, they should perform two prostrations after the invocation of peace and then again recite the testimony and the invocation of peace.

The prostration of forgetfulness is not obligatory upon one who is led in prayer, except when the Imam forgets as he must prostrate with him. For one whose Imam forgets or something happens to him during the prayer, then men should declare the glory of Allah (subhan Allah) and women should clap.

Source: Umdat fil Fiqh

باب سجود السهو

والسهو على ثلاثة اضرب

أحدها زيادة فعل من جنس الصلاة كركعة أو ركن فتبطل الصلاة بعمده ويسجد لسهوه

وإن علم وهو في الركعة الزائدة جلس في الحال وإن سلم عن نقص في صلاته أتى بما بقي عليه منها ثم سجد

ولو فعل ما ليس من جنس الصلاة لاستوى عمده وسهوه فإن كان كثيرا أبطلها وإن كان يسيرا كفعل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في حمله أمامة وفتحه الباب لعائشة فلا بأس

الضرب الثاني النقص كنسيان واجب فإن قام عن التشهد الأول فذكر قبل أن يستتم قائما رجع فأتى به وإن استتم قائما لم يرجع

وإن نسي ركنا فذكره قبل شروعه في قراءة ركعة أخرى رجع فأتى به وبما بعده وإن ذكره بعد ذلك بطلت الركعة التي تركه منها

وإن نسي أربع سجدات من أربع ركعات فذكر في التشهد سجد في الحال فصحت له ركعة ثم يأتي بثلاث ركعات

الضرب الثالث الشك فمتى شك في ترك ركن فهو كتركه ومن شك في عدد الركعات بنى على اليقين إلا الإمام خاصة فإنه يبني على غالب ظنه

ولكل سهو سجدتان قبل السلام إلا من سلم عن نقص في صلاته والإمام إذا بنى على غالب ظنه والناسي للسجود قبل السلام فإنه يسجد سجدتين بعد سلامه ثم يتشهد ويسلم

وليس على المأموم سجود سهو إلا أن يسهو إمامه فيسجد معه ومن سها إمامه أو نابه أمر في صلاته فالتسبيح للرجال والتصفيق للنساء

العمدة في الفقه لابن قدامه

Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.