Sajdah as-sahw (prostration of forgetfulness) is the sajdah performed at the end of a prayer if a mistake is made while performing a prayer in order to correct that mistake. The mistake includes delaying a fard, abandoning a wajib by forgetting it or delaying it or performing it earlier than its determined time.
If such mistakes are noticed while performing a prayer, sajdah as-sahw is performed at the end of prayer. Sajdah as-sahw is wajib.
After at-Tahiyyat is read in the last sitting, the imam salutes to the right (if a person is praying alone, he salutes to the right and left), utters takbir and prostrates twice. He sits after the second prostration, reads at-Tahiyyat again, salawat and supplications, and then salutes. Thus, sajdah as-sahw is fulfilled.
If a person remembers that he has made a mistake after he salutes, he can perform sajdah as-sahw if he has not turned his direction from the qiblah and if he has not spoken. However, if has got up, turned his direction from the qiblah or has spoken, he cannot perform sajdah as-sahw. His prayer is valid but he receives fewer thawabs since he has not performed sajdah as-sahw.
If one of the wajibs is abandoned deliberately, it is necessary to perform the prayer again. Performing sajdah as-sahw is not enough.
* It is valid to follow the imam who performs sajdah as-sahw.
Some of the states that necessitate sajdah as-sahw are as follows:
1 - To bow down without reading an additional chapter or verses after the chapter of al-Fatiha.
If a person remembers at ruku that he has not read an additional chapter or verses, he stands up, reads it and goes back to ruku. He performs sajdah as-sahw at the end of the prayer.
2 - To read the chapter of al-Fatiha twice by mistake.
3 - To forget to utter the takbir and to read the supplications of qunut in the witr prayer.
If a person remembers at ruku that he has not read the supplications of qunut, he does not stand up to read them. It is enough to perform sajdah as-sahw at the end of the prayer.
4 - To stand up for the third rak'ah after the second rak'ah without performing the first sitting.
If such a person has stood up fully or mostly, he does not sit; he completes the prayer and performs sajdah as-sahw at the end of the prayer. If he has started to stand up but is closer to sitting, he sits down and does not perform sajdah as-sahw at the end of the prayer. If a person sits down after he has stood up completely, his prayer is invalidated.
5 - To read salawat and supplications after reading at-Tahiyyat in the first sitting and to stand up after that or to delay standing up long enough to perform a rukn.
In that case, if the part of the salawat that is read forms a sentence (like Allahumma salli ala Muhammad), sajdah as-sahw is performed at the end of the prayer. If the part that is read does not form a sentence, there is no need for sajdah as-sahw.
6 - If a person stands up for the fifth rak'ah without sitting after the fourth rak'ah in a four rak'ah fard prayer, he needs to sit again if he has not completed the fifth rak'ah by qiyam, qira'ah, ruku and has not started sajdahs. He needs to salute after reading at-Tahiyyat and to perform sajdah as-sahw because he has delayed the last sitting, which is fard.
However, if he has prostrated for the fifth rak'ah, this prayer becomes a nafilah (supererogatory) prayer. One more rak'ah is added and it becomes a six-rak'ah nafilah prayer. Therefore, sajdah as-sahw is not necessary.
7 - A person who stands up after sitting as long as tashahhud in the last sitting of a four-rak'ah prayer sits down immediately and salutes. He does not have to read at-Tahiyyat again. He can even salute while standing, without sitting. For, he has completed the fard sitting. If he salutes while standing, he abandons a sunnah. Sajdah as-sahw is necessary at the end of the prayer because salutation has been delayed.
8 - If a person who has caught up with the imam after the first rak'ah makes a mistake in the part of the prayer that he has performed alone, he needs to perform sajdah as-sahw for his mistake.
9 - If the imam reads silently where it is wajib to read aloud or vice versa, he needs to perform sajdah as-sahw; for instance if he reads the chapter of al-Fatiha and an additional chapter or verses aloud in the noon prayer and silently in the evening prayer.
Reading tasbihat and takbirs aloud in a prayer does necessitate sajdah as-sahw.
10 - If a person thinks for a while after reading the chapter of al-Fatiha about what verse or chapter to read, sajdah as-sahw becomes necessary because a wajib is delayed.
11 - Abandoning ta'dil-al-arkan necessitates sajdah as-sahw.
12 - If a person makes more than one mistake that necessitates sajdah as-sahw, one sajdah as-sahw is enough.
It is wajib to read at-Tahiyyat after two sajdahs and salute while performing sajda as-sahw. The supplications and salawat after at-Tahiyyat and the takbirs and tasbihat in sajdahs are sunnah.
* If a person doubts about what rak'ah he is performing in a prayer, his prayer is invalidated if he is not a person with delusions. He has to perform it again. As a matter of fact, a person who doubts whether he has performed a prayer or not when there is still time to perform that prayer needs to perform that prayer. If a person doubts about the number of rak'ahs he has performed after finishing the prayer, he does not perform it again. However, if he definitely understands that he has skipped one or more rak'ahs, he has to perform it again.
A person can perform a sajdah of thanking due to attaining a bounty, disappearance of a trouble, etc like sajdah of tilawah. It is called sajdah of thanking.
Sajdah of thanking is mustahab. The Messenger of Allah and his Companions sometimes performed sajdah of thanking.
For instance, when the Messenger of Allah saw Abu Jahl's cut-off head, he performed sajdah of thanking 5 times.
In the Quran, there are some sajdah verses. It is wajib for a person to prostrate when he reads or listens to one of those verses. There are 14 verses of sajdah in the Quran.
A person utters Allahu Akbar without raising his hands and prostrates with the intention of sajdah at-tilawah (reading). He utters Subhana rabbiya'l-a'la (Glory be to my Great Sustainer, Most High) three times or Subhana rabbina in kana wa'du rabbina la-maf'ula (Glory to our Lord! Verily the promise of our Lord must be fulfilled). Then, he says Allahu Akbar and gets up from sajdah.
Sajdah at-tilawah has only one rukn (condition): to prostrate in order to glorify Allah and to oppose those who avoid humbleness and prostrating before Him.
It is mustahab to stand up first and then to prostrate, to get up from sajdah after prostration and say "Ghufranaka rabbana wa ilaykalmasir (We seek) Thy forgiveness, Our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys)" while getting up. The takbirs uttered while going to sajdah and getting up from sajdah are mustahab. It is wajib to place the forehead on the ground and prostrate.
Sajdah at-tilawah becomes wajib even if a person does not understand the meaning of the sajdah verse and even if a person hears it without the intention of listening.
Reading the meaning of the sajdah verse in another language makes it wajib for the reader to prostrate.
Sajdah at-tilawah is not necessary for a woman who is in the period of menstruation or pueperum.
The verses listened from a tape or recording does not necessitate sajdah at-tilawah since they are like echoes. However, it is better to prostrate. If a person recites the Quran live on the radio or television, it becomes fard for the listener to prostrate if a sajdah verse is recited because it is not an echo but online broadcast.
It is necessary to go to sajdah immediately after a verse of sajdah is read in a prayer (salah) and then it is necessary to stand up and go on reading. However, if ruku is performed before three more verses are read after a verse of sajdah and intention is made for sajdah at-tilawah, ruku is also regarded as sajdah at-tilawah. The sajdah performed at the end of the rak'ah is also regarded as sajdah at-tilawah whether or not intention is made. Therefore, it is better for an imam to go to ruku and sajdah immediately after reading a verse of sajdah or after reading at most two more verses so as not to cause confusion in the congregation. If the imam intends to read three or more verses after a verse of sajdah, it is wajib for him to perform sajdah at-tilawah as soon as he reads the verse of sajdah and to stand up and to continue reading after that. In that case, sajdah at-tilawah is not replaced by the ruku and sajdahs of that rak'ah.
If a person reads a verse of sajdah by dividing it into syllables or writes it, or looks at the written form of it but does not read it, sajdah does not become wajib. Sajdah is not necessary if the most part of a sajdah verse is not read.
If the same sajdah verse is repeated a few times in a place, one sajdah at-tilawah is enough for it. However, if different verses are read or if the same verse is read in different places, a separate sajdah for each one becomes wajib.
1 - The chapter of al-Araf - 206
2 - The chapter of ar-Ra'd - 15
3 - The chapter of an-Nahl - 49
4 - The chapter of al-Isra - 107
5 - The chapter of Meryem - 58
6 - The chapter of al-Hajj - 18
7 - The chapter of al-Furqan - 60
8 - The chapter of an-Naml - 25
9 - The chapter of as-Sajdah - 15
10 - The chapter of Sad - 24
11 - The chapter of Fussilat - 38
12 - The chapter of an-Najm - 62
13 - The chapter of al-Inshiqaq - 21
14 - The chapter of al-Alaq - 19
It is not necessary to prostrate as soon as a sajdah verse is read. It can be performed later. However, it is makruh tanzihi to delay it if there is no necessity.
If it is not possible to prostrate for the reader and the listener to prostrate as soon as a sajdah verse is read, it is mustahab for them to say,
"Sami'na wa ata'na ghufranaka rabbana wa ilaykalmasir. (We hear and we obey We hear and we obey; (We seek) Thy forgiveness, Our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys.)
A person can perform a sajdah of thanking due to attaining a bounty, disappearance of a trouble, etc like sajdah of tilawah. It is called sajdah of thanking. Sajdah of thanking is mustahab. The Messenger of Allah and his Companions sometimes performed sajdah of thanking.
For instance, when the Messenger of Allah saw Abu Jahl's cut-off head, he performed sajdah of thanking 5 times.
- How is the prostration of Quran recitation (sajdah at-tilawah) performed when a verse of prostration (sajdah) is read? Is it permissible to delay this prostration?
- What are the situations that necessitate sajdah as-sahw? Is it necessary to perform sajdah as-sahw in sunnah prayers?
- When is Sajdah as-Sahw (prostration of forgetfulness) required? Where is it be performed?
- Wajibs of prayer
- What should a person do if he sits down in the third rak’ah of a four rak’ah prayer by mistake?
- What should a person who forgets the number of rak’ahs he has performed or who makes a mistake about rak’ahs do?
- Is it permissible to recite additional duas (prayers) from the verses of the Quran and hadiths in the last sitting of prayer after reciting the usual duas?
- How should a person who forgets what rak'ah he is performing in witr prayer or any other prayer complete his prayer?
- How is a prostration (sajdah) that is skipped in a prayer performed; does sajdah as-sahw become necessary?
- What is necessary to do if the chapter of al-Fatiha is not read in the 3rd and 4th rak'ahs of fard prayers?