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Tashahhud

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Tashahhud (Arabic: التَشَهُد) as an obligatory element in the prayer, is recited in the second and also in the last rak'as of the prayer after the two prostrations, and contains a testimony of the Oneness of God and the prophethood of the Prophet Muhammad (s) as well as sending blessings upon the Prophet (s) and his family (a): «اَشْهَدُ اَنْ لا اِلهَ اِلاَّ اللّهُ وَحْدَهُ لا شَریکَ لَهُ وَ اَشْهَدُ اَنَّ مُحَمَّداً عَبْدُهُ وَ رَسُولُهُ، اَللّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلی مُحَمَّدٍ وَ الِ مُحَمَّدٍ». Tashahhud is among non-foundational elements of the prayer, and therefore, although it is obligatory to recite it, forgetting it does not invalidate the prayer.

Formula

Tashahhud is one of the obligatory elements of the prayer, which refers to saying the testimonies (testifying to the Oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad (s)) and sending blessings upon the Prophet (s) in the second and also in the last rak’as after two prostrations and before the salaam. As Ali Meshkini, among Shiite jurists, has said, most Shia jurists consider the formula of tashahhud as, “Ashhad-u, an la ilah-a illAllah, wahdah-u la sharik-a lah-u wa ashhad-u anna Muhammad-an ‘abduh-u wa Rasuluh, Allahumm-a sall-i ‘ala Muhammad wa al-i Muhammad”; meaning that “I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except God, the One, with no partner. I bear witness that Muhammad (s) is the servant of God and His Messenger (s). O God, send blessings upon Muhammad (s) and the family of Muhammad (s).”

However, the obligatory amount of tashahhud mentioned in the jurisprudential works of great jurists such as al-Allama al-Hilli and Muhaqqiq al-Karaki is shorter and is «أشهد أن لا إله إلا اللّٰه و أشهد أن محمدا رسول اللّٰه اللهم صل على محمد و آل محمد» Accordingly, 'Allama al-Hilli in his book al-Nihaya has doubted the necessity of the phrase “Wahdah-u la sharik-a lah” in tashahhud.

Rulings

Some of the rules of tashahhud are as follows:

  • When reciting tashahhud, it is necessity to observe muwalat, which is reading sequentially, observing the order, calmness and correct reading of the words.
  • It is recommended for the praying person to place his hands on the thighs of his feet during tashahhud, to stick his fingers together and to look at his lap.
  • During tashahhud, tawarruk is recommended, which is to put the left foot under the right leg and the praying person sits on his left thigh.
  • It is recommended to say some dhikrs during tashahhud; including the phrase اَلْحَمدُلله یا بِسْمِ اللهِ و بِاللهِ وَ الْحَمدُ لِلهِ وَ خَیرُ الأسماءِ لِله before the dhikrs of tashahhud, and the phrase وَ تَقَبَّلْ شَفاعَتَهُ وَارْفَعْ دَرَجَتَه after that.

Ruling on forgetting tashahhud

According to the fatwas of the marja's, if a praying person forgets tashahhud and realizes it before ruku' in the next rak'a, he should immediately sit down and recite tashahhud and then continue the prayer. According to the fatwas of Sayyid Muhammad Rida Gulpayigani, Sayyid Abu l-Qasim Khoei, Mirza Jawad Tabrizi and Lutf Allah Safi Gulpayigani, in such a case, the praying person must perform two prostrations of sahw after the end of the prayer. If a praying person realizes that he has not recited tashahhud in the previous rak'a, he should recite tashahhud after completing the prayer, and according to the obligatory precaution, he should perform two prostrations of sahw for the forgotten tashahhud.


References

  • The material for this article is mainly taken from تشهد in Farsi WikiShia.