Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

What is the ruling on the validity of the prayer in a case wherein the head briefly bounces back after touching the ground when performing prostration? This happened to me and I contemplated repeating the prayer, but refrained from doing so due to the prohibition on repeating the Fajr prayer in case it was valid.

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

No, there is no need to repeat your prayer if you accidentally lift your head off the ground for a moment during the prostration (sajda).

Generally, you are considered to be within the same prostrating motion until you are closer to the sitting posture (tashahhud). This is because we are looking for a clear separator by which we can distinguish the first prostration from the second. Hence, the placement of your head onto the ground twice within the same motion, accidentally, because you lost your balance, or otherwise, is considered to be one prostration and no more. Even if we were to deem it to be a prostration, according to another position, your prayer would have still been valid because an extra prostration does not vitiate the prayer.

As for remaining motionless (tuma’nina) in an integral (rukn), this is necessary (wajib) and not obligatory (fard). Its omission, then, would not affect the validity of the prayer. Normally, you would be expected to remain in each position for a moment, namely, the extent of a tasbiha (utterance of the phrase subhan Allah).

(Ibn ‘Abidin, Minhat al-Khaliq Hashiyat al-Bahr/Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar; Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah, with Tahtawi’s Gloss)

Please also see this answer.

And Allah Most High knows best.

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

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