Chapters on Forgetfulness (sahw)

The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari

by Imam Bukhari
Translated by: Ustadha Aisha Bewley

Chapter 27. Chapters on Forgetfulness (sahw)

I: What has come down regarding forgetfulness in the prayer. What happens if someone gets straight up after two rak'ats of the obligatory prayer

1166. It is related that 'Abdullah ibn Buhayna said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, led us in prayer for two rak'ats of one of the prayers and then got up without sitting back. Everyone got up with him. When he finished the prayer and we were waiting for the taslim, he said a takbir before the taslim and performed two prostrations from the sitting position and then said the taslim." (Muwatta, Book 3, 70)

1167. It is related that 'Abdullah ibn Buhayna said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, stood up after two rak'ats of Dhuhr without sitting back. When he finished his prayer, he performed two prostrations and then said the taslim after that." (Muwatta, Book 3, 71)

II: If someone prays five rak'ats

1168. It is related from 'Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, prayed Dhuhr with five rak'ats and was asked, "Has the prayer been lengthened?" He said, "Why do you ask that?" He was told, "You prayed five." So he performed two prostrations after the taslim.

III: When you say the taslim after two rak'ats or three, you should perform two prostrations the same as the prostrations in the prayer or longer

1169. It is related that Abu Hurayra said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, led us in the Dhuhr or 'Asr prayer and said the taslim. Dhu'l-Yadayn said, 'Messenger of Allah, has the prayer been shortened?' The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to his Companions, 'Is what he says true?' They said, 'Yes.' So he prayed another two rak'ats and then performed two prostrations."

Sa'd said, "I saw 'Urwa ibn az-Zubayr pray two rak'ats for Maghrib and then say the taslim. He spoke and then prayed the rest and performed two prostrations. He said, 'This is what the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did.'"

IV: Someone not saying the tashahhud in the two prostrations of forgetfulness and saying the taslim.

Anas and al-Hasan did not say the tashahhud. Qatada said that the tashahhud should not be said.

1170. It is related that Abu Hurayra said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, finished after two rak'ats and Dhu'l-Yadayn asked, 'Has the prayer been shortened or did you forget, Messenger of Allah?' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Has Dhu'l-Yadyan spoken the truth?' The people said, 'Yes.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, stood up and prayed another two rak'ats and then said the taslim. Then he said the takbir and prostrated like his normal prostration or a little longer and then came up." (Muwatta, Book 3, 62)

1171. It is related that Salama ibn 'Alqama said, "I spoke to Muhammad about saying the tashahhud in my prostrations of forgetfulness and he said, 'It is not in the hadith of Abu Hurayra."

V: Someone saying the takbir in the two prostrations of forgetfulness.

1172. It is related that Abu Hurayra said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, prayed either 'Asr or 'Isha'. (Muhammad said, "I think that it was probably 'Asr) doing two rak'ats. Then he said the taslim and stood next to a piece of wood in the front of the mosque and put his hand on it. Abu Bakr and 'Umar were among those who were there and they were too awed to say anything to him and people left quickly. They were saying, 'Has the prayer been shortened?' A man whom the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, called Dhu'l-Yadayn said, 'Did you forget or has the prayer been shortened?' He said, 'I did not forget nor has it been shortened.' He said, 'Yes, you did forget.' So he prayed two rak'ats and then said the taslim. Then he said the takbir and prostrated like his normal prostration or longer. Then he raised his head, saying the takbir. Then he lowered his head saying the takbir and prostrated like his normal prostration or longer. Then he raised his head and said the takbir."

1173. It is related from 'Abdullah ibn Buhayna al-Asdi, the ally of the Banu 'Abdu'l-Muttalib that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, stood up in the Dhuhr prayer when he should have sat back. When he finished his prayer, he did two prostrations and said the takbir in each prostration in the sitting position before he said the taslim. The people prostrated with him to compensate for the sitting which he had forgotten.

Ibn Jurayj corroborated it from Ibn Shihab in the takbir.

VI: If someone does not know whether he has prayed three or four rak'ats, he does two prostrations from the sitting position.

1174. It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "When the call to prayer is made Shaytan retreats, passing wind, so that he will not hear the adhan. When the adhan is finished he comes back. When the iqama is said, he retreats again. When it is finished, he comes back and gets between a man and his own self and says, 'Remember such-and-such and such-and-such,' things he was not thinking about before, until the man does not know how much he has prayed. When one of you does not know whether he has prayed three or four, he should do two prostrations from the sitting position."

VII: Forgetfulness in the obligatory and supererogatory prayers

Ibn 'Abbas performed two prostrations after the Witr.

1175. It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace,  said, "When one of you stands in prayer, Shaytan comes to him and confuses him until he does not know how much he has prayed. When one of you experiences that, he should do two prostrations from the sitting position." (Muwatta, Book 4, 1)

VIII: Someone being spoken to while he is praying and making a gesture with his hand and listening

1176. It is related from Kurayb that Ibn 'Abbas, al-Miswar ibn Makhrama and 'Abdu'r-Rahman ibn Azhar sent him to 'A'isha saying, "Greet her from all of us and ask her about the two rak'ats after the 'Asr prayer and say to her, 'We were told that you pray them although it has come down to us that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forbade them.'" Ibn 'Abbas said, "I and 'Umar ibn al-Khattab used to beat people for doing them."

Kurayb said, "I went to 'A'isha and conveyed my message to her. She said, 'Ask Umm Salama.' So I went out to them and told them what she had said and they sent me to Umm Salama with the same message they had sent me to 'A'isha with. Umm Salama said, 'I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forbid them and then I saw him praying them after he had prayed 'Asr. Then he came in when I had with me some of the women from the Banu Haram of the Ansar. I sent a slavegirl to him and said, "Stand beside him and say to him, 'Umm Salama says to you, "Messenger of Allah, I heard you forbid these two rak'ats but now I see you praying them."' If he makes a gesture with his hand, then wait for him." The slavegirl did that and he made a gesture with his hand and she waited for him. When he finished, he said, "Daughter of Abi Umayya, you have asked me about the two rak'ats after 'Asr. Some people from the 'Abdu'l-Qays came to me and kept me too busy to pray the two rak'ats after Dhuhr and that is what these are."'"

IX: Making a gesture in the prayer

Kurayb reported that from Umm Salama from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

1177. It is related that Sahl ibn Sa'd as-Sa'idi said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, heard that there was a dispute among the Banu 'Amr ibn 'Awf and went out to make peace between them. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was delayed and the time of the prayer was near. Bilal went to Abu Bakr and said, 'Abu Bakr, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, has been detained and the time of the prayer is near, so can you lead the people.' He said, 'Yes, if you wish.' Bilal called the iqama and Abu Bakr came forward and said the takbir for the people. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came walking through the rows until he was standing in the first row and the people began to clap. Abu Bakr did not normally turn round in his prayer. When the people increased their clapping, he looked round and saw the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, there. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, indicated to him to continue praying. Abu Bakr raised both his hands and praised Allah and stepped backwards until he was standing in the row and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went forward and led the people in prayer. When he finished the prayer, he faced the people and said, 'O people, why, when something happened to you in the prayer, did you begin to clap? Clapping is for women. When something happens to you in the prayer, you should say, "Glory be to Allah! (Subhanallah)." There is no one who will not turn round when they hear the words "Glory be to Allah". Abu Bakr, what kept you from continuing to lead the people in prayer when I indicated to you to do it?' Abu Bakr said, 'It is not proper that Ibn Abi Quhafa should pray in front of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.'"

1178. It is related that Asma' said, "I went to 'A'isha while she was standing in prayer and the people were also standing. I asked, 'What are the people doing?' She indicated with her head to the sky and I said, 'A sign?' She indicated yes with her head."

1179. It is related that 'A'isha, the wife of the Prophet, said, "The Messenger of Allah*, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, prayed sitting down in his house when he was ill. The people prayed behind him standing and he indicated to them to sit down. When he finished, he said, 'The Imam was appointed to be followed. Bow when he bows and raise your head when he raises his."