The Prostration Of Forgetfulness (POF) is two prostrations that the one praying makes in order to compensate
for mistakes occurring in the prayer due to forgetfulness. Its causes are three:
(having added something)
2) An-Naqs (having
(being in a state of doubt)
If extra standing, sitting bowing or prostration added intentionally then prayer is nullified.
If done due to forgetfulness and he remembers only after doing the addition then he does POF after
If he remembers whilst performing the addition then obligatory for him to leave it and perform POF
after taslim. In both cases prayer will be correct.
taslim before completion of the prayer is a case of adding. If done intentionally
then prayer nullified.
If done due to forgetfulness but remembers this after a long time then must repeat
prayer. If remembers after short time (2/3 mins) then should complete prayer
and do POF after taslim.
Omission Of Rukn (Pillar):
If initial takbir omitted intentionally or forgetfully then no prayer. If any other pillar left intentionally then no prayer.
If left due to forgetfulness but reaches that pillar in next rakat then he discards
previous rak’at. If not reached then obligatory to perform missed pillar
and what comes after it. In both cases POF done after taslim.
Omission Of Waajibaat (Obligations):
If obligation left intentionally then no prayer.
If left due to forgetfulness but remembers before moving on from it’s place
in the prayer, then he should perform it, and there is nothing upon him.
If remembers after having moved on from its place but before the following pillar
then he returns to it and performs it. Then he completes his prayer and does
POF after taslim.
If he remembers after reaching the pillar that follows it, then he should not go
back to it as it is cancelled but should complete prayer and do POF before taslim.
Doubt is not taken notice of when:
a) It is self delusion, having no reality,
like devilish whisperings.
b) It occurs very frequently
c) It occurs after the completion of the prayer
as long as he is not certain of it. If he is certain he will act upon what he
is certain of. For example, if a person is certain he only prayed 3 rakat for
Zuhr then should complete it if remembers a short while later and do POF after taslim.
But if remembers a long time later then must repeat prayer
Doubt to be taken account of is two kinds:
a) When one of two matters is more weighty in his mind, so he acts upon what is
more weighty and completes prayer upon that then does POF after taslim.
of the 2 possibilities are more weighty in his mind. He should act upon what
he is certain of which is the lesser of the two, then do POF before taslim.
becomes clear to him after doubting that the course of action that he took was correct then the preferable position is that
he does POF before taslim.
Prostration Of Forgetfulness Behind The Imaam
When Imaam does POF before or after taslim the followers must also do so. Except for the one who came late. He
must complete prayer and then do POF after taslim.
If follower forgets but nothing of prayer escapes him (ie he misses saying Subhana
Rabbial Adheem) then nothing upon him because if he does POF then he would differ with the Imaam. But if follower misses part of prayer (a rak’ah or more) due to forgetting whilst behind Imaam or
whilst making up by himself then he must do POF. This will be before or after
taslim depending on its cause as has preceeded.
If two cases of forgetfulness occur, one requiring POF before taslim and the other
POF after taslim, then the POF before taslim dominates.
And Allaah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) knows best.