Saturday, April 10, 2010

If the Imam forgets to Sujud in the Solah.

The Imam forgot to do a Sujud then he repeated the Rak’ah, but some of ma’mum didn’t follow it.

During ‘Isha’ prayer the imam led us in prayer, but he was not the official imam. In the last rak’ah he did not do the second prostration, and he said the salaam without anyone noticing it or reminding him. A few minutes later, one of the worshippers came and told him about that, so he got up straight away and said, “We will repeat the last rak’ah in order to do the prostration that was forgotten.”

Is this correct? What is the ruling on those who did not do the second prostration with them?

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

All the Praise is to Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala. Peace and Blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad His Messenger.

Firstly: Reminding the Imam during Solah

If the Imam forgets something during the Solah, then the Prophet s.a.w commanded the members of the congregation to remind him. He said: “I am only human like you, and I forget as you forget, so if I forget then remind me.”

[Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 401]

So the Prophet s.a.w commanded them, the Sahaabah to remind him.

On one occasion when he became hesitant in his recitation, he s.a.w said to Ubayy Ibn Ka`ab, “What stopped you?” i.e., what stopped you from correcting me? This indicates that correcting the imam is something that is essential.

Thus the congregation in the mosque should have said tasbeeh (“Subhaan Allaah”) so that the imam would notice and would do the second prostration.

Secondly: If one forgets pillars or essential parts of the Solah.

Both the first and second prostrations are pillars or essential parts of the prayer( Rukun of Solah), without which the prayer is not valid. Whoever deliberately omits one or both of them has sinned, and his prayer is invalid. Whoever forgets one or both of them has to do what he forgot when he remembers it, whether he is leading a congregation, following an imam or praying on his own. Whoever does not do that, his prayer is invalid.

Shaikh Ibn Salih Al-‘Uthaymeen r.h said:

The pillars or essential parts (of the prayer) are obligatory and more important than the wajib (obligatory parts of prayer), but they differ from then in that the pillars are not waived if one forgets them whereas the wajib are waived in that case and may be made up for by doing the Prostration Of Forgetfulness (Sujud Al-Sahwi), unlike the pillars. Hence whoever forgets a pillar, his prayer is not valid without it.

[Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 3/315]

And Ibn Salih Al-‘Uthaymeen also said:

The evidence that the pillars cannot be made up for by the prostration of forgetfulness is the fact that when the Prophet s.a.w said the salam after praying two rak'ahs of Zuhur or ‘Asr, he completed it and did what he had omitted, and did the prostration of forgetfulness. This indicates that the pillars of prayer cannot be waived by doing the prostration of forgetfulness, and they must be done.

[Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 3/323]

With regard to what your imam did by repeating the final rak’ah in full after being reminded, this is in accordance with one of the two scholarly opinions on this matter, which is that the one who omits a pillar or essential part of the final rak’ah and does not realize it until after saying the tasleem should do the rak’ah in full. This is the view of Imam Ahmad r.h.

[See al-Mughni, 1/658].

This view was favoured by Shaikh Ibn Baaz r.h, who was asked about an imam who forgets the final prostration in ‘Asr prayer. He stood up and offered a complete rak’ah, then he said the tashahhud and the tasleem, then he did the prostration of forgetfulness. He said: This is what is prescribed in Islam. If the imam forgot a prostration and said the tasleem, then he remembered it or it was pointed out to him, he should stand up and do a full rak’ah, then say the Salam, and then do the prostration of forgetfulness after saying the salaam. This is better. The same ruling applies to one who is praying alone. But if he does the prostration of forgetfulness before the salaam, there is nothing wrong with that, but doing it after the salaam is preferable.

[Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Baaz, 11/277]

The second view concerning this matter is that one or the imam does not have to do the rak'ah in full; rather he should do the pillar that he forgot and whatever comes after it [i.e sujud sahwi]. This is the view of Imam al-Shafi’e r.h.

[See al-Majmoo’, 4/33].

This view was favoured by Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen r.h

[See Sharh al-Mumti’, 3/374]

The point is that the prayer of the imam, and the prayer of those who completed the prayer with him, would only be valid.

But for those who did not complete the prayer and did not do the prostration that was omitted, their prayer is not valid, and they have to repeat it.

And Allah knows best.
Based on Fatwa No: 47627 Islam Q&A

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