The Office of the Supreme Leader

Practical Laws of Islam

  • Rules of Taqlīd
  • Rules on Purity
  • Prayer
    • Importance and Conditions of Prayer
    • Prayer Times
    • Qiblah
    • The Place of Praying
    • Rules of a Masjid
    • Rules Regarding Other Religious Places
    • Clothes of the Praying Person
    • Wearing and Using Gold and Silver
    • Adhān and Iqāmah
    • Recitation [of the Fātiḥah and the Other Chapter] and its Rules
    • Dhikr of Prayer
    • Rules of Prostration
    • Things that Invalidate Prayer
    • Rules of Greeting in Prayers
    • Doubt in Prayers
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      Doubt in Prayers
      Q 514: A person in the third rak‘ah of his prayer doubts whether he has performed the qunūt or not. What should they do? Should he complete the prayer or should he break it when the doubt occurs?
      A: The doubt should be ignored. His prayer is correct and there is no obligation upon him in this case.


      Q 515: Should a person pay heed to doubts that occur in nāfilah prayers (other than the doubt concerning the number of performed rak‘ahs)? For example, he is unaware whether he has done one prostration or two.
      A: The rule of doubts in the words and deeds of nāfilah prayer is the same as those of obligatory prayers, i.e. the doubt is heeded if its pertinent place has not passed, and is ignored after that.
      Q 516: Knowing that those who doubt excessively are not to pay heed to their doubts, what are they to do if the doubts occur during prayer?
      A: They must posit the occurrence of the act which they doubt unless doing so would lead to the invalidation of their prayers, in which case they must hold the opposite to be true. There is no difference whether the doubt is with regard to the number of rak‘ahs, the words or acts of prayer.
      Q 517: What is the religious duty of a person who realizes after a number of years that his worship was invalid, or doubts its correctness?
      A: Doubts after the performance of a deed are ignored. In case he is certain of its invalidity, he must perform the qaḍā’ of what is possible.
      Q 518: Does the prayer of a person become void if he mistakenly performs some parts of his prayer in the place of other parts, or looks away at some point during the prayer, or speaks by mistake?
      A: Unintentional acts in prayer do not bring about its invalidation. In some cases, they call for the performance of two prostrations of inadvertence or some other rulings. But, of course, the prayers are invalidated if a rukn of the prayer is repeated or missed. The same rule is applied if a person is no more in the state of saying prayer.
      Q 519: What is the duty of a person who forgets to perform a rak‘ah of his prayer and then remembers it in the last rak‘ah? For example, thinking first rak‘ah of his prayer to be the second one, he performs the third and the fourth rak‘ah; then in this last rak‘ah he realizes that it is really only the third rak‘ah. What should he do?
      A: It is obligatory for him before reciting the final salām of the prayer to perform the rak‘ah he has missed and then recite the salām. As he had not done an obligatory tashahhud in its proper place, it is obligatory for him to perform the two prostrations of inadvertence for the forgotten tashahhud and, based on caution, to make up for it in qaḍā’ before the two prostrations of inadvertence. Moreover, if he says salām in the third rak`ah, thinking that it is the last rak`ah, it is an obligatory caution to perform another two prostrations of inadvertence which should be done after the qaḍā’ of the tashahhud.
      Q 520: How can a person know the number of rak‘ahs of caution prayers he is liable to perform? (That is whether it is one rak‘ah or two).
      A: The number of rak‘ahs of caution prayers corresponds to the number of rak‘ahs that he may have missed in the obligatory prayer. So when it is doubted whether two rak‘ahs were performed or four, then it becomes necessary to perform a two-rak‘ah prayer of caution. However, if he doubts whether he prayed three or four rak‘ahs, then a one-rak‘ah prayer of caution must be done in standing position or a two-rak‘ah one in sitting position.
      Q 521: Do two prostrations of inadvertence become obligatory if a word of the dhikrs of the prayer, of the verses of the Holy Qur’an, or of the supplication of qunūt is mistakenly recited?
      A: No, it is not obligatory.
    • Qaḍā’ Prayer
    • Qaḍā’ Prayers of the Parents
    • Congregational Prayers
    • Rule of Incorrect Recitation by a Congregational Prayer Imam
    • Congregational Prayer Led by a Person Lacking a Body Part
    • Women’s Attendance in Congregational Prayer
    • Performing Congregational Prayer behind Sunnīs
    • Friday Prayer
    • The Two ‘Īd Prayers
    • A Traveler’s Prayer
    • Someone for Whom Traveling Is a Job or a Preliminary for the Job
    • Rule of Students
    • Intent of Traveling the Shar‘ī Distance and Staying for Ten Days
    • Tarakhkhuṣ Limit
    • A Travel for the Purposes of Committing a Sin
    • Rules Regarding the Watan
    • Wife’s and Children’s Following as far as Watan Is Concerned
    • Rules of Large Cities
    • Prayer Performed by Hiring
    • Āyāt Prayer
    • Nāfilahs
    • Miscellaneous Issues of Prayers
  • Fasting
  • Khums
  • Jihad
  • Enjoining the Good and Forbidding Evil
  • Ḥarām Gains
  • Chess and Gambling Instruments
  • Music and Ghinā’
  • Dancing
  • Clapping
  • Non-maḥrams’ Pictures and Films
  • Satellite Television Equipment
  • Theatre and Cinema
  • Painting and Sculpture
  • Magic, Conjuring, and Evocation of Spirits and Jinn
  • Hypnosis
  • Lottery
  • Bribery
  • Medical Issues
  • Teaching, Learning and Their Proprieties
  • Copyrights
  • Dealing with non-Muslims
  • Working for Oppressive States
  • Rules on Clothing and Conspicuous ones
  • Treating the West
  • Smoking and Narcotics
  • Shaving the Beard
  • Attending Gatherings of Debauchery
  • Writing Supplications and Istikhārah
  • Religious Events
  • Hoarding and Extravagance
  • Buying and Selling
  • Miscellaneous Issues in Business
  • Rules Concerning Ribā
  • Right of Pre-emption
  • Hiring, Renting, and Lease
  • Surety
  • Pawning and Mortgaging
  • Partnership
  • Presents and Gifts
  • Debt and Loan
  • Ṣulḥ
  • Power of Attorney
  • Mustaḥabb Alms
  • Deposits and Loaned Properties
  • Leaving a Will
  • Usurpation
  • Placement under Guardianship and Signs of Maturity
  • Silent Partnership
  • Banking
  • State Property
  • Endowments
  • Rules Concerning Graveyards
  • Glossary
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