Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour
Question: Assalaam alaykum,
I pray you are well. In the Maliki School, it was my understanding that if one were to omit a fard action of the prayer then that entire rakat needs to be replaced. Is this true?
For example, if one were praying in the first rakat of a prayer and then left out the ruku by going straight into sajdah, is there any way the person could correct this rakat?
Or if a person was praying Dhuhr and was in their third rakat and realized they left out the ruku in the first rakat, how would one correct this?
Please explain. Jazak Allah khair.
Missing an Obligatory Action in the Prayer
If a person omits an obligatory action of the prayer out of forgetfulness, they can redress it depending on what was missed and where. The details of these situations are discussed in the books of fiqh and I encourage everyone to study them and become very familiar with them. The entire rak’a does not necessarily need to be replaced by missing an obligatory action.
If a person forgot to perform the ruku’ and went straight into prostration (sajdah), he or she would rise back up to the ruku position and pick up from there. The person would not go to a standing position and then make ruku, but rather go from prostration to a ruku position, then rise and then go to prostration. The person would then continue the prayer and prostrate twice after the final salam (ba’dy).
Remembering Missing a Ruku from a Previous Raka
If a person is in a rak’a and remembered missing an obligation from a previous rak’a that cannot be addressed, they would consider the entire rak’a with the missed portion to be canceled out. If the missed portion was the first rak’a, then the second would become the first and the third would become the second. The person would then continue and then prostrate for the forgetfulness.
If the missed rak’a was from the first two, then a pre-salam prostration (qabli) would be done, if it was remembered after completing the third rak’a. If the missed rak’a was from the last two, or the first two but remembered before completing the third, then a post-salam prostration (ba’dy) would be done.
As one can see, the rules of forgetfulness are very detailed and requires one to study. An excellent text to study and learn all these rules is the Abridgment of Al-Akhdari (Mukhtasar al-Akhdari) and can be completed here at our online academy free of charge.