Forgetting the fourth Rak'ah in a four Rak'ah prayer
Fatwa No: 86022

  • Fatwa Date:8-7-2003 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 9, 1424
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Question

What is the ruling according to Islamic injunction on an Imam who sits down, instead of standing in the 3rd Rak'ah of a Zuhr Salat?

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions. The Imam who sits for Tashahhud in the third Rak'ah of a four Rak'ah prayer should rise to perform the fourth Rak'ah if he remembers or if reminded, whether that is before Tasleem or after that as long as there is a short time between Tasleem and his remembrance. The evidence is the Hadith reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim , that "The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) concluded a four Rak'ah prayer after two Rak'ahs and Dhul-yadain told him, "Has the prayer been shortened (to two Rak'ahs) or you just forgot, O Messenger of Allah!' The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) then asked people, "Is Dhul-yadain right?" They said, "Yes". The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) then rose, prayed another two Rak'ahs and made Tasleem. He then said, "Allahu Akbar" and prostrated as he used to do or longer than that" . Allah knows best.

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