Doubt in Prayers | Islamic Laws by The Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei


Doubt in Prayers


Q 514: A person in the third rakah of his prayer doubts whether he has performed the qunut or not. What should they do? Should he complete the prayer or should he break it when the doubt occurs?

A: The doubt should be ignored. His prayer is correct and there is no obligation upon him in this case.


Q 515: Should a person pay heed to doubts that occur in nafilah prayers (other than the doubt concerning the number of performed rakahs)? For example, he is unaware whether he has done one prostration or two.

A: The rule of doubts in the words and deeds of nafilah prayer is the same as those of obligatory prayers, i.e. the doubt is heeded if its pertinent place has not passed, and is ignored after that.


Q 516: Knowing that those who doubt excessively are not to pay heed to their doubts, what are they to do if the doubts occur during prayer?

A: They must posit the occurrence of the act which they doubt unless doing so would lead to the invalidation of their prayers, in which case they must hold the opposite to be true. There is no difference whether the doubt is with regard to the number of rakahs, the words or acts of prayer.


Q 517: What is the religious duty of a person who realizes after a number of years that his worship was invalid, or doubts its correctness?

A: Doubts after the performance of a deed are ignored. In case he is certain of its invalidity, he must perform the qada of what is possible.


Q 518: Does the prayer of a person become void if he mistakenly performs some parts of his prayer in the place of other parts, or looks away at some point during the prayer, or speaks by mistake?

A: Unintentional acts in prayer do not bring about its invalidation. In some cases they call for the performance of two prostrations of inadvertence. But, of course, the prayers are invalid if additions are made to the rukns of the prayer or if some are left out.


Q 519: What is the duty of a person who forgets to perform a rakah of his prayer and then remembers it in the last rakah? For example, thinking first rakah of his prayer to be the second one, he performs the third and the fourth rakah; then in this last rakah he realizes that it is really only the third rakah. What should he do?

A: It is obligatory for him before reciting the final salam of the prayer to perform the rakah he has missed and then to recite the salam. As he had not done an obligatory tashahhud in its proper place, it will be obligatory for him to perform two prostrations of inadvertence and to perform one qada tashahhud prior to them, based on a caution.


Q 520: How can a person know the number of rakahs of caution prayers he is liable to perform? (That is whether it is one rakah or two).

A: The number of rakahs of caution prayers corresponds to the number of rakahs that he may have missed in the obligatory prayer. So when it is doubted whether two rakahs were performed or four, then it becomes necessary to perform a two-rakah prayer of caution. However, if he doubts whether he prayed three or four rakahs, then a one-rakah prayer of caution must be done in standing position or a two-rakah one in sitting position.


Q 521: Do two prostrations of inadvertence become obligatory if a word of the dhikrs of the prayer, of the verses of the Holy Quran, or of the supplication of qunut is mistakenly recited?

A: No, it is not obligatory.