Sujuud As-Sahwu [postration for forgetfulness] is a recommended one!! The sounder of all the ones is, however, that it is an obligation for the Prophet (peace and blessing of upon him) ordered Muslims to do it if they forget part of their Salaah and he was reported to practice it whenever the need. In Majmuu'Al-Fataawaa- Ibn Taymiyyah (RAH) said:
'It [i.e. Sujuud As-Sahwu] is an obligation for the Prophet (peace and blessing of Allaah be on him) ordered Muslims to do it as narrated by Abu Hurairah (RA) to have said:'
The Prophet (peace and blessing of Allaah be on him) said:
'Whenever a Muslim does his Salaah, Shaytaan comes and 'cast insinuations inside him till the Muslim forgets how many rak'aat he performed. If this happens to any of you, prostrate yourself twice while still in the sitting posture [i.e. prior to Tasleem].'
Ibn Taymiyyah then mentioned another four ahaadeeth and added:
'These five ahaadeeth are all authentic. They all include the Prophet's (peace andblessing of Allaah be upon him)order for Muslims to do Sujuud As-Sahwu [when the need exists]. Once the Prophet (peace and blessing of Allaah be upon him) forgot to recite the first Tashahhud, he did Sujuud As-Sahwu before reciting Tasleern, And once he recited Tasleem before completing the Salaah; he performed what he missed of his Salaah then made Tasleem and finally did two Sujuuds. And once he performed five Rak’aat instead of four, he did Sujuud As-Sahwuafter reciting Tasleem and even after he had talked with his Companions. All the previous ahaadeeth affirm the Prophet's (peace and blessing of Allaah be on him) continuous practice for Sujuud As-Sahwu and that he never abandoned it when the need existed; the thing which affirms its being obligatory as majority of the scholars and the three great Imaams: Ahmad, Maalik and Abuu Haneefah held. Those who held the opposite opinion depend on no [comparably] hard evidence.
Mistakes regarding the manner of performing Sujuud As-Sahwu:
The Scholars of fiqh differed regarding the application of all the ahaadeeth [that deal with the manner of doing Sujuud As-Sahwu]; some held that it should be always done before the Tasleem regardless of the kind of forgetfulness that takes place. Others held that it should be always done after Tasleern. The soundest of all opinions is the one Ibn Taymiyyah held and stated in his fataawaa- (vol. 23/ p. 24):
The timing of Sujuud As- Sahwu differs according to the part of Salaah one forgets or doubts to have done. This is one of Ahmad’s views and Maalik's opinion is relatively similar to it. Whoever forgets to do the first Tashahhud, should do Sujuud As-Sahwu before Tasleem and whoever double performs any part of Salaah should do Sujuud As-Sahwu after Tasleem. As for doubting whether a certain part of Salaah has been done, one should do Sujuud As-Sahwu after Tasleem if one doubts doing a certain part of Salaah then became sure that he has actually done it. In case one could not remember, then built on what he is sure to have done then he should do Sujuud As-Sahwu before reciting Tasleem. If one recited Tasleem and remembered that a rak'ah or two were missed, he should perform the missing part of the Salaah then does Sujuud As-Sahwu after reciting Tasleem.
[to be continued]
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited