Question & Answer
What is the proper way of doing sajedh suahu?


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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As human beings we are by nature subject to mistakes and errors, if a person fails to perform any of the pillars of the prayer and/or necessary duties, the person is required to mend the error by coming up with two prostration at the end of the prayer known as "sajdah sahu " i.e. forgetfulness prostration.

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "When anyone of you stands for the prayers, Satan comes and puts him in doubts till he forgets how many Rakat he has prayed. So if this happens to anyone of you, he should perform two prostrations of Sahu while sitting. SAHIH AL-BUKHARI[VOL.: 2, BOOK:22, HADITH: 324]

sajdah sahu can be performed in two ways:
1.) After the last tashud, just before the taslim.
2.) after compleating the prayer ie compleating both tashud and taslim.

There are some disagreements between religious jurists regarding this subject as to whether it should be performed before or after the words of peace (Taslim).

Ash-Shaukani says: "The best that is stated on this subject is that one must follow what the Prophet said or did, respecting the sujjud before or after the taslim. If one does something that necessitates sujjud before the taslim, one should make them before the taslim, and if one does something requiring sujjud after the taslim, then one should make them after the taslim. As for those acts of forgetfulness that are not related to any specific time either before or after the taslim, one may choose to make the prostrations before or after the taslim in cases of addition or reduction in the salah. This is based on what Muslim recorded in his Sahih from Ibn Mas'ud that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: 'If one adds or decreases something from his salah, he should make two sujjud."'

Thus one should give respect to both ways as both ways are correct and from the Sunnah of our beloved prophet (pbuh).

Narrated 'Abdullah: The Prophet prayed (and the subnarrator Ibrahim said, "I do not know whether he prayed more or less than usual"), and when he had finished the prayers he was asked, "O Allah's Apostle! Has there been any change in the prayers?" He said, "What is it?' The people said, "You have prayed so much and so much." So the Prophet bent his legs, faced the Qibla and performed two prostrations (of Sahu) and finished his prayers with Tasiim (by turning his face to right and left saying: 'As-Salamu'Alaikum-Warahmat-ullah'). When he turned his face to us he said, "If there had been anything changed in the prayer, surely I would have informed you but I am a human being like you and liable to forget like you. So if I forget remind me and if anyone of you is doubtful about his prayer, he should follow what he thinks to be correct and complete his prayer accordingly and finish it and do two prostrations (of Sahu)." SAHIH AL-BUKHARI[VOL.:1, BOOK:8, HADITH: 394]

Narrated 'Abdullah bin Buhaina: Once Allah's Apostle led us in prayer, and after finishing the first two Rakat, got up (instead of sitting for At-Tahiyyat) and then carried on with the prayer. When he had finished his prayer, the people were waiting for him to say Taslim, but before saying Tasiim, he said Takbir and prostrated; then he raised his head, and saying Takbir, he prostrated (SAHU) and then raised his head and finished his prayer with Taslim. SAHIH AL-BUKHARI [VOL.:8, BOOK:78, HADITH: 663]

The " sajdah sahu " are to be performed in the following circumstances:

1. If a person makes the taslim before he actually completes the prayers.

Ibn Sireen relates from Abu Hurairah, who said: "The Prophet (saws) prayed either zuhr or 'asr salah with us and he prayed only two rak'at and made the taslim. He got up and leaned against a piece of wood in the mosque as if he was angry. He put his right hand on his left and interlocked his fingers. Then, he placed his cheek on the back of his left hand. And some people left the mosque in a hurry. And they said: 'The prayer has been shortened?' Among the people were Abu Bakr and 'Umar, and they were shy to speak to him. One of the people, who was called Dhul-Yadain, said: 'O Messenger of Allah (saws), have you forgotten or has the prayer been shortened?' He (saws) answered: 'I have not forgotten and it has not been shortened.' Then he asked: 'Is it as Dhul-Yadain has said?' The people answered in the affirmative...At that, he led the people in what he had ommitted and made the taslim. After which he made the takbir and prostrated the way he usually prostrated or perhaps even longer. Next, he raised his head and made the takbir. Then, he made the takbir [again] and prostrated, like one of his customary sujjud or perhaps even longer, and finally, he raised his head." SAHIH Muslim [ Book 4 : Hadith 1182] SAHIH AL- Bukhari [ VOL.: 2 :: BOOK: 22 :: Hadith 318 ]

2. In the case of an addition to the prayer.

Narrated 'Abdullah: "Once the Prophet offered five Rakat in Zuhr prayer. He was asked, "Is there an increase in the prayer?" The Prophet said, "And what is it?" They said, "You have prayed five Rakat.' So he bent his legs and performed two prostrations (of Sahu). SAHIH AL-BUKHARI[VOL.:1, BOOK:8, HADITH: 398]

Thus one should make two sujud after he had made the taslim.

3. In the case of forgetting the first tashahud, or one of the other sunnah acts of the prayer.

Narrated 'Abdullah bin Buhaina: (he was from the tribe of Uzd Shan'u'a and was the ally of the tribe of 'Abdul-Manaf and was one of the companions of the Prophet): Once the Prophet led us in the Zuhr prayer and stood up after the second Rak'a and did not sit down. The people stood up with him. When the prayer was about to end and the people were waiting for him to say the Taslim, he said Takbir while sitting and prostrated twice before saying the Taslim and then he said the Taslim." SAHIH AL-BUKHARI[VOL.:1, BOOK:12, HADITH:792]

4. In the case of doubt over whether or not one performed some act of the prayer.

Abdurrahman ibn 'Auf reported that he heard the Prophet (saws) say: "If one of you has some doubt during his salah and he does not know if he prayed one rak'ah or two, he should take it to have been just one. If he does not know if he prayed two rak'at or three, he should take it to have been just two. If he does not know if he prayed three rak'at or four, he should take it to have been just three. [In all such cases] at the end of his prayer, while sitting, he should make two sujjud before the taslim."This is related by Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and at-Tirmidhi.

Narrated Abdullah ibn Mas'ud: AbuUbaydah reported, on the authority of his father Abdullah (ibn Mas'ud), the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) as saying: When you offer the prayer, and you are in doubt about the number of rak'ahs whether offered three or four, and you have prayed four rak'ahs in all probability in your opinion, you should recite tashahhud and make two prostrations while you are sitting before giving the salutation. afterwards you should recite the tashahhud and give the salutation again. ABU-DAWOOD[Book 3 : Hadith 1023] And Allah alone knows the best.

I ask Allah to make this a sincere effort, seeking his pleasure, and I ask him to grant us refuge in him from the evils within ourselves, and that in our deeds. I ask him to grant us success in achieving whatever pleases him; And May Allah Shower His blessings and mercy upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), his family and his Companions and on all those who follow him until the final hour.

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