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Prayer of caution

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Prayer of caution or Ṣalāt al-Iḥtiyāṭ (Arabic: صلاة الاحتياط) is a one or two-rak'a prayer which becomes obligatory in case of doubting in the number of the rak'as of four-rak'a prayers. In seven cases of doubt regarding the number of the rak'as of prayers, the prayer will be correct after performing the prayer of caution.

Method

  • In this prayer, Sura al-Fatiha is recited in ikhfat manner (whispering voiceless manner); even though the original prayer has been Isha' prayer the suras of al-Fatiha and the other sura of which have to be recited by men in an audible voiced manner.
  • It is obligatory to perform this prayer with the intention of the prayer of caution immediately after the end of the original prayer, before doing anything which harms the form of prayer.
  • Observing all the conditions of obligatory prayers is also obligatory in the prayer of caution.

Conditions in Which the Prayer of Caution is Obligatory

In seven cases, if there is a doubt about the number of the rak'as of four-rak'a prayers, it is necessary to perform prayer of caution and then the prayer will be correct:

Time of Doubt Type of Doubt Duty of the Praying Person Manner of the Prayer of Caution
1 After the second prostration Between rak'as 2 and 3 consider it rak'a 3 one rak'a in standing posture or two rak'as in sitting posture
2 At any time in the prayer Between rak'as 3 and 4 consider it rak'a 4 one or two rak'as in sitting posture
3 After the second prostration Between rak'as 2 and 4 consider it rak'a 4 two rak'as in standing posture
4 After the second prostration Between rak'as 2, 3 and 4 consider it rak'a 4 two rak'as in standing posture and two rak'as in sitting posture
5 Standing Between rak'as 4 and 5 need to sit and finish the prayer two rak'as in either standing or sitting posture
6 Standing Between rak'as 3 and 5 need to sit and finish the prayer two rak'as in standing posture
7 Standing Between rak'as 3, 4 and 5 need to sit and finish the prayer two rak'as in standing posture and then two rak'as in sitting posture

Here, doubt refers to considering equal 50-50 probabilities for the two possibilities given in one condition. But, if the praying person gives more probability to one of the two possibilities, that possibility should be considered true and definite and the prayer will be correct without the need to perform the prayer of caution.

References