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Doubts In Connection With Prayers

There are 23 kinds of doubts that may arise during the Prayers which are as follows:-
  • 8 Doubts that if occurred nullify the Namaaz.
  • 6 Doubts are such that if occurred may be ignored, and not nullify the Namaaz.
  • 9 Doubts that if occurred may not nullify the Namaaz but do require the remedial procedure as will be described later and each case carried out. It is not necessary to recite the Namaaz again.


Doubts Which Make Prayer Void.
  1. Doubts about the units performed in prayers consisting of 2 units like Fajr prayers or Qasr prayer.
  2. Doubts about the units performed in prayers consisting of 3 units.
  3. Doubts about the units performed in prayers consisting of 4 units before completion of 2 units.
  4. Doubt in a 4 unit prayers before finishing the Zikr of the second Prostration as to whether he has performed 2 units or more.
  5. Doubt in a 4 unit prayer between 2 and 5 units or between 2 and more than 5 units.
  6. Doubt in a 4 unit prayer between 3 and 6 units or between 3 and more than 6 units.
  7. Doubt in a 4 unit prayer between 4 and 6 units or between 4 and more than 6 units.
  8. Doubt in a 4 unit prayer about the number of units already performed.


If a person entertains one of those doubts in his mind which make his prayer void it is better for him not to break the prayers, rather finish his prayers and offer the prayers again.

Doubts Which May be Ignored.
  1. Doubt about the act after the time has already passed. e.g. during ruku a person doubts as to whether he has recited Sura al-Hamd or while in sajda to doubt having missed ruku.
  2. Doubt after having finished the prayer.
  3. Doubt after the time of prayer has already passed. e.g. doubt at the time of Zohr prayer whether Fajr prayer was offered or not.
  4. Doubt of a person, who doubts too much.
  5. Doubt by the Imam about the number of units when the ma'mum (follower) is aware of their number and vice versa.
  6. Doubt created in recommended and precautionary prayers.


Doubts Which are Sound (that do not nullify Prayers but require remedial procedure)

If a person is in doubt about the numbers of units performed by him in connection with the 4 unit prayers in 9 situations, he should, on the basis of recommended precaution, think over the matter immediately and if he becomes certain or forms an opinion about one side he should adopt that side and finish the prayers accordingly and act according to the following rules:
  1. If after performing both sajdahs one doubts whether one has performed 2 units or 3, he should regard it as a 3rd unit and do the 4th unit and finish the prayer and on the basis of obligatory precaution (Ihteyat-e-Wajib)offer 1 unit Precautionary Prayer (Namaaz-e-Ehtiyat) by standing.
  2. If after performing both sajdahs one doubts whether one has performed 2 or 4 units, he should regard it as a 4th unit and finish the prayer and offer 2 unit Precautionary Prayer (Namaaz-e-Ehtiyat) by standing.
  3. If after performing both sajdahs one doubts whether one has performed 2, 3 or 4 units, he should regard it as a 4th unit and finish the prayer and offer 2 unit Precautionary Prayer (Namaaz-e-Ehtiyat) by standing and two units by sitting.
  4. If after performing both sajdahs one doubts whether one has performed 4 or 5 units, he should regard it as a 4th unit and finish the prayer on this basis. After finishing the prayers he should also perform 2 Forgotten Prostration's (Sajdatus Sahv).
  • In case, however a person entertains any one of the above mentioned four doubts after the first prostration or before finishing the recital of the first prostration his prayers would be void and be done again.
  1. During the course of Prayer if a person doubts, whether he has performed 3 or 4 units, he should assume it as a 4th unit and finish his prayers. He should then offer 1 unit by standing or 2 units by sitting of Namaaz-e-Ehtiyat.
  2. If a person doubts during Qiyam (before the Rukoo)as to whether he has offered 4 or 5 units he should sit down at once and finish the prayers and offer 1 unit by standing or 2 units by sitting of Namaaz-e-Ehtiyat.
  3. If a person doubts while in Qiyam (Before the Rukoo) as to whether he has performed 3rd or 5th unit he should sit down at once and finish the prayers and offer 2 unit by standing of Namaaz-e-Ehtiyat.
  4. If a person doubts while in Qiyam (Before the Rukoo) as to whether he has performed 3rd, 4th or 5th unit he should sit down at once and finish the prayers and offer 2 unit by standing and 2 units by sitting of Namaaz-e-Ehtiyat.
  5. If a person doubts while in Qiyam (Before the Rukoo) as to whether he has performed 5 or 6 units he should sit down at once and finish the prayers and offer 2 Sajdatus Sahv.
  • In the last four cases one should on the basis of obligatory precaution, also perform two Sajdatus Sahv on account of undue Qiyam.
Ihteyat-e-Wajib:
means precautionarily obligatory. Its significance is the same as that of wajib with the difference that in the problems where a mujtahid says it is "precautionarily obligatory", one has the option of leaving his taqlid in this particular problem and following the rulings of the second-best mujtahid in that problem.