This means the performance of two additional Sajood (Prostrations) in order to compensate for a defect. The defect or fault must have been committed by error - by mistake, not intentionally. If the defect was caused intentionally, Sajda-us-Sahw can be performed.

If one or more of the Wajib constituent parts of Namazi were not fulfilled or carried out by error, Sajda-us-Sahw must be performed.

The Method of Performing Sajda-us-Sahw

After reciting only Tashah-hud in Qad’ah Akhirah, recite:

(Assalamo-Alakum Wa-Rahmatullah)

and turn the head towards the right.

After making this one Salaam perform two Sajdas as usual, sit in Qad’ah and complete the Salaat as usual, i.e. recite Tashah-hud, Durood, and Dua and make Tasleem (Salaam).

If the Namazi, in error, performs the two Sajdas of Sahw before making the one required Salaam, the obligation of Sajda-us-Sahw is discharged and the Salaat is in order.

If during the process of Salaat, the Namazi pauses to think about what should be recited and if the duration of this pause is three or four seconds he must perform Sajda-us-Sahw.

After Tashah-hud in Qad’ah Ula of a three or four Raka’at Fardh Salaat the Namazi, by mistake started to recite the Durood, if he recited the Durood as much as part one or more, the performance of Sajda-us-Sahw is compulsory.

However, if he recited less than the first part of Durood then it occurred to him that this is the Qad’ah Ula, Sajda-us-Sahw is not to be performed in this case.

If the Namazi forgets to sit in Qad’ah Ula of a three or four Raka’at Fardh Salaat, and remembers so before raising his knees, he should immediately return to the Qad’ah position. In this case no Sajda-us-Sahw is to be performed.

However, if the Namazi has already taken up the Qiyaam posture then he should not return to the Qad’ah position, but should complete his Salaat, and perform Sajda-us-Sahw at the end of last Raka’at.

A Namazi Performs a 3 or 4-Raka’at Fardh Salaat and Forgets to Sit in Qad’ah Akhirah

While rising if he recalls the error he should sit immediately and complete the Salaat. No Sajda-us-Sahw is to be performed in this case, if knees have not left the ground.

If the error is recalled by the Namazi after he entered into the Qiyaam position, he should return to the Qad’ah position as long as he did not complete this extra Raka’at. After assuming the Qad’ah position, the Salaat should be completed, but Sajda-us-Sahw has to be performed in this case.

The error is recalled only after completion of the extra Raka’at. In this case, if the Namazi is performing a three-Raka’at Fardh Salaat, he should complete the Salaat after this extra fourth Raka’at. No Sajda-us-Sahw is performed in this case. However, the fourth Raka’at thus performed become Nafil.

If the Namazi is performing a four Raka’at Fardh Salaat, the extra Raka’at will be the fifth. He should add another Raka’at making a total of six Raka’ats. In this case Sajda-us-Sahw has to be performed. The six Raka’ats thus performed become Nafil as well. The Fardh Salaat has to be repeated.

A Namazi sits in Qad’ah Akhirah, recites Tashah-hud but rises into the fifth Raka’at thinking it to be the Qad’ah Ula. As long as this extra Raka’at is not completed the Namazi should return to the Qad’ah, and complete the Salaat. Sajda-us-Sahw is necessary in this case.

If the extra Raka’at has been completed then:

  • If the Salaat is a three-Raka’at Fardh, it (the Salaat) should be completed after this extra (fourth) Raka’at and Sajda-us-Sahw must be performed. The four Raka’ats become Nafil. The Fardh has to be repeated.

  • If the Salaat is a four-Raka’at Fardh, the extra Raka’at will be the fifth Raka’at. A sixth Raka’at should be added, and the Salaat is completed on the sixth Raka’at. Sajda-us-Sahw is to be performed in this case. Four Raka’at are regarded as the Fardh Salaat and two Raka’at become Nafil. The Fardh Salaat is not to be repeated in this case.

  • If the Namazi forgets to sit in the First Qad’ah during a four-Raka’at Nafil Salaat, he should return to the Qad’ah as long as the third Raka’at has not been completed. Sajda-us-Sahw must be made after the fourth Raka’at. If the Namazi did not return to the Qad’ah, but completed the third Raka’at, then, too, Sajda-us-Sahw must be made at the end of the Salaat.

  • Doubt Regarding the Number of Raka’ats

    During the course of performing Salaat, the doubt in number of Raka’ats he has performed, i.e. whether he has performed three or four Raka’ats.

    1. If the Namazi is not in the habit of doubting the number of Raka’ats i.e. such doubts are not common to him, then he should re-offer the Salaat afresh.
    2. If such doubts are common to the Namazi, then in this case he must ponder into the number of Raka’ats he has performed and accept the verdict given by his mind. If he is able to conclude that he had performed two, three or four Raka’ats, he should accept this conclusion. No Sajda-us-Sahw is necessary in this case.
    3. If the Namazi is unable to arrive at any decision, then in such a case he should opt for the lesser number i.e., if the doubt is between two and three Raka’ats, he shall consider that he has performed only two Raka’ats: if the doubt is between three and four, three shall be considered as the number already performed; if the doubt is between one and two Raka’ats, one Raka’at shall be considered. And, in all these instances the Namazi shall sit in Qad’ah and recite Tashah-hud in each Raka’at of the Salaat.
    4. If, after completion of the Salaat, a doubt arise in the Namazi’s mind as to the number of Raka’ats performed, then he should not accord any consideration to this doubt. The Salaat has been discharged in order. However, if the Namazi, after completing the Salaat recalls with certainty, that he had performed, for example, only three Raka’ats instead of four, then he should rise and perform another Raka’at, and make Sajda-us-Sahw. But if the Namazi spoke or turned away his chest from the Qiblah or indulged in any act, which nullifies Salaat, the Salaat shall have to be repeated. In this case he cannot perform one additional Raka’at.
    5. If a doubt as to the number of Raka’ats occurs after reciting Tashah-hud in the final Raka’at, then too, such doubt is to be discounted the Salaat is valid in this case.

    Number of Errors and Sajda-us-Sahw

    If during the performance of Salaat, the Namazi committed several such mistakes, which necessitate Sajda-us-Sahw, then only one Sajda-us-Sahw is to be made for all the errors committed. In one Salaat, Sajda-us-Sahw is not performed twice.

    After making Sajda-us-Sahw, the Namazi again made such a mistake, which necessitate Sajda-us-Sahw. In this case another Sajda-us-Sahw is not performed. The Sajda-us-Sahw performed the first time suffices for the error committed thereafter.

    The Namazi committed a mistake, which necessitates Sajda-us-Sahw, but he completed his Salaat, forgetting to make the required Sajda-us-Sahw. The omitted Sajda-us-Sahw should, in this case, be made even after termination of the Salaat as long as the Namazi did not indulge in any act, which nullifies Salaat. If any such act was committed, the Sajda-us-Sahw cannot be performed. The Salaat must be repeated.

    In the first or second Raka’at of Witr Salaat the Namazi recited, in error, Qunoot. He shall still have to recite Qunoot in the third Raka’at and Sajda-us-Sahw must be performed.

    While performing Witr Salaat the Namazi is unable to decide whether he is performing his second or third Raka’at. In this case he should consider his present Raka’at as the second Raka’at but he must recite Qunoot in this "second" Raka’at as well as the following third Raka’at. Sajda-us-Sahw should be performed in this case.

    It is not permissible to make Sajda-us-Sahw if the Namazi deliberately omits any of the Wajib acts. In such a case the entire Salaat will have to be repeated.