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Things which invalidate prayers » Method of performing the precautionary prayer (ṣalāt al-iḥtiyāṭ) → ← Things which invalidate prayers » Doubts that must be dismissed

Things which invalidate prayers » Doubts that are valid (ṣaḥīḥ)

Ruling 1185. In nine situations if one doubts about the number of rakʿahs in a four rakʿah prayer, he must think [about the doubt]; then, if he becomes certain or he supposes that a particular possibility is correct, he must act according to that possibility and complete the prayer; otherwise, he must act according to the instructions that will be mentioned later. The nine situations are as set out below.

First: after starting the second sajdah, one doubts whether he has performed two rakʿahs or three rakʿahs. In this situation, he must assume he has performed three rakʿahs and perform one more rakʿah and complete the prayer, and after the prayer he must perform one rakʿah of ṣalāt al-iḥtiyāṭ in a standing position; and based on obligatory precaution performing two rakʿahs in a sitting position will not suffice.

Second: after starting the second sajdah, one doubts whether he has performed two rakʿahs or four rakʿahs. In this situation, he must assume he has performed four rakʿahs and complete the prayer; and after the prayer, he must perform two rakʿahs of ṣalāt al-iḥtiyāṭ in a standing position.

Third: after starting the second sajdah, one doubts whether he has performed two, three, or four rakʿahs. In this situation, he must assume he has performed four rakʿahs and after the prayer he must perform two rakʿahs of ṣalāt al-iḥtiyāṭ in a standing position followed by two rakʿahs in a sitting position.

Fourth: after starting the second sajdah, one doubts whether he has performed four or five rakʿahs. In this situation, he must assume he has performed four rakʿahs, complete the prayer, and after the prayer he must perform sajdatā al-sahw. Similarly, whenever the weaker possibility of a doubt is four rakʿahs – for example, he doubts whether he has performed four or six rakʿahs – and whenever one doubts whether he has performed four rakʿahs or more or less after having started the second sajdah, he can assume he has performed four rakʿahs and perform the duty relating to both possibilities of his doubt; i.e. he must perform ṣalāt al-iḥtiyāṭ based on the possibility that he had performed less than four rakʿahs, and then perform sajdatā al-sahw based on the possibility that he had performed more than four rakʿahs.

In each case, if any of these four doubts arise after the first sajdah and before performing the second sajdah, his prayer is invalid.

Fifth: at any stage of the prayer, one doubts whether he has performed three or four rakʿahs. In this situation, he must assume he has performed four rakʿahs, complete the prayer, and after the prayer he must perform one rakʿah of ṣalāt al-iḥtiyāṭ in a standing position or two rakʿahs in a sitting position.

Sixth: while standing, one doubts whether he has performed four or five rakʿahs. In this situation, he must sit down, say tashahhud and the salām of the prayer, and perform one rakʿah of ṣalāt al-iḥtiyāṭ in a standing position or two rakʿahs in a sitting position.

Seventh: while standing, one doubts whether he has performed three or five rakʿahs. In this situation, he must sit down, say tashahhud and the salām of the prayer, and perform two rakʿahs of ṣalāt al-iḥtiyāṭ in a standing position.

Eighth: while standing, one doubts whether he has performed three, four, or five rakʿahs. In this situation, he must sit down, say tashahhud and the salām of the prayer, perform two rakʿahs of ṣalāt al-iḥtiyāṭ in a standing position, and then perform two rakʿahs in a sitting position.

Ninth: while standing, one doubts whether he has performed five or six rakʿahs. In this situation, he must sit down, say tashahhud and the salām of the prayer, and then perform sajdatā al-sahw.

Ruling 1186. If a person has a valid doubt, in the event that the time for performing prayers is short such that he cannot perform it from the beginning, he must not break his prayer and must act according to the instructions that were mentioned. However, if there is ample time for prayers, he can break his prayer and perform it from the beginning.

Ruling 1187. If one has a doubt in prayers for which it is obligatory to perform ṣalāt al-iḥtiyāṭ, in the event that he completes the prayer, the recommended precaution is that he should perform ṣalāt al-iḥtiyāṭ, and he should not start performing the prayer again from the beginning without performing ṣalāt al-iḥtiyāṭ. If he starts performing the prayer again from the beginning before he does something that invalidates prayers, then based on obligatory precaution his second prayer is also invalid. However, if he starts performing the prayer again after doing something that invalidates prayers, his second prayer is valid.

Ruling 1188. If a person has a doubt that invalidates prayers and he knows that if he continues to the next stage of the prayer he will either be certain or have a supposition [about the thing he is currently doubting], then in case this doubt arises in the first two rakʿahs of the prayer, it is not permitted for him to continue the prayer in the state of doubt. For example, if while standing he doubts whether he has performed one rakʿah or more and knows that if he goes into rukūʿ one of the possibilities of his doubt will become a certainty or a supposition, it is not permitted for him to perform rukūʿ in this state. As for all other doubts that invalidate prayers, one can continue the prayer until he becomes certain or has a supposition.

Ruling 1189. If a person initially inclines more towards one of the two possibilities of his supposition and later both possibilities appear equal to him, he must act according to the instructions concerning that doubt. However, if from the outset both possibilities appear equal to him and he adopts the possibility that is in accordance with his duty but later he inclines towards the other possibility, he must act according to the possibility that he inclines towards and complete his prayer.

Ruling 1190. Someone who does not know if his supposition is inclined more towards one of two possibilities or if both possibilities are equal must act according to the instructions concerning that doubt.

Ruling 1191. If after prayers one realises that he was in a state of doubt during his prayer – for example, he doubted whether he had performed two rakʿahs or three rakʿahs – and he assumed that he had performed three, but now he does not know whether his supposition was actually inclined towards performing three rakʿahs or if both possibilities appeared equal to him, it is not necessary for him to perform ṣalāt al-iḥtiyāṭ.

Ruling 1192. If after standing up one doubts whether or not he performed two sajdahs, and at the same time a doubt arises, which, were it to have arisen after completing two sajdahs it would be valid – for example, he doubts whether he has performed two rakʿahs or three rakʿahs – then, in the event that he acts according to the instructions concerning that doubt, his prayer is valid. However, if when he is saying tashahhud one of these doubts arises, then, if his doubt is about whether he has performed two or three rakʿahs, his prayer is invalid, but if it is about whether he has performed two or four rakʿahs, or two, three, or four rakʿahs, his prayer is valid and he must act according to the instructions concerning that doubt.

Ruling 1193. If before one starts saying tashahhud, or before standing up in those rakʿahs that do not have tashahhud, he doubts whether or not he performed one or two sajdahs, and at the same time he has one of the doubts that is valid after completing two sajdahs, his prayer is invalid.

Ruling 1194. If while standing one doubts whether he has performed three or four rakʿahs, or three, four, or five rakʿahs, and he remembers that he did not perform one or two sajdahs in the previous rakʿah, his prayer is invalid.

Ruling 1195. If someone’s doubt is allayed and another doubt arises – for example, he first doubts whether he has performed two rakʿahs or three rakʿahs, and then he doubts whether he has performed three rakʿahs or four rakʿahs – he must act according to the instructions concerning the second doubt.

Ruling 1196. If after prayers one doubts that while performing the prayer he had a doubt about, for example, whether he had performed two or four rakʿahs, or three or four rakʿahs, in such a case, he can act according to the instructions relating to both doubts, and after doing something that invalidates prayers, he can perform the prayer again.

Ruling 1197. If after prayers one realises that while performing the prayer he had a doubt but he does not know whether it was a doubt that invalidates the prayer or not, in such a case, he must perform the prayer again. And if he knows that it was one of the valid doubts but does not know which one it was, it is permitted for him to perform the prayer again.

Ruling 1198. If someone who performs prayers in a sitting position has a doubt for which he must perform one rakʿah of ṣalāt al-iḥtiyāṭ in a standing position or two rakʿahs in a sitting position, he must perform one rakʿah in a sitting position. And if he has a doubt for which he must perform two rakʿahs of ṣalāt al-iḥtiyāṭ in a standing position, he must perform two rakʿahs in a sitting position.

Ruling 1199. If someone who performs prayers in a standing position is unable to stand for performing ṣalāt al-iḥtiyāṭ, he must perform ṣalāt al-iḥtiyāṭ like a person who performs prayers in a sitting position, the rule of which was mentioned in the previous ruling.

Ruling 1200. If someone who performs prayers in a sitting position can stand while performing ṣalāt al-iḥtiyāṭ, he must act according to the duty of someone who performs prayers in a standing position.
Things which invalidate prayers » Method of performing the precautionary prayer (ṣalāt al-iḥtiyāṭ) → ← Things which invalidate prayers » Doubts that must be dismissed
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