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His wudoo’ was invalidated after saying the tasleem to his right; is his prayer valid or must he repeat it?

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Publication : 05-04-2015

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Question

If I invalidated my wudoo’ immediately after saying the tasleem to my right – i.e., I turned to the right, said the salaam then my wudoo’ was invalidated – do I have to repeat the prayer?

Praise be to Allah.

The majority of scholars are of the view that the second tasleem in the prayer is mustahabb (encouraged). The Hanbalis are of the view that it is obligatory in an obligatory prayer. It says in al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah (11/314): 

The first tasleem to exit from the prayer whilst sitting is obligatory according to the Maalikis, Shaafa‘is and Hanbalis. The Hanbalis also regard the second tasleem as obligatory, except in the case of the funeral prayer and naafil (supererogatory) prayers, because the final part of the sitting in which the salaam occurs is obligatory. End quote. 

More than one of the scholars narrated that there was scholarly consensus that the second tasleem is not obligatory. 

Al-Qurtubi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

There was no difference of opinion, among those scholars who say that the tasleem is obligatory and those who say that it is not obligatory, concerning the fact that the second tasleem is not obligatory, apart from the report from al-Hasan ibn Hayy which says that he regarded both tasleems as obligatory. Abu Ja‘far at-Tahhaawi said: we did not find anyone among the scholars who is of the view that the second tasleem is obligatory, apart from him.

End quote from Tafseer al-Qurtubi (1/362) 

An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

The prominent scholars are unanimously agreed that only one tasleem is obligatory, but if a person says only one tasleem, it is mustahabb for him to say it to the front, but if he says two tasleems, then he should say the first to his right and the second to his left, turning in each case until his cheek can be seen by the one who is sitting beside him. This is the correct view.

End quote from Sharh Saheeh Muslim (5/83) 

Ibn Rajab (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

The majority of those who say that there should be two tasleems are of the view that if the worshipper limits it to one tasleem, that is sufficient and his prayer is valid. Ibn al-Mundhir stated that there was consensus on this point among those scholars from whom he acquired knowledge.

End quote from Fath al-Baari by Ibn Rajab (5/213) 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

If a person limits it to one tasleem, is that sufficient? The answer is: This is also a matter concerning which the scholars differed. Some of them said that it is sufficient and others said that it is not. Some of the scholars said that one is sufficient in the case of a naafil prayer but not in the case of an obligatory prayer. 

So there are three opinions, but to be on the safe side one should say two tasleems, because if a person says two tasleems, not one of the scholars will say that his prayer is invalid, but if he says only one tasleem, then some of the scholars will say that his prayer is invalid, and it is well-known that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) instructed us to err on the side of caution with regard to matters in which the evidence is not clear. 

End quote from ash-Sharh al-Mumti‘ (3/211-212) 

Based on that, if a person said one tasleem then his wudoo’ was invalidated, his prayer is valid and he does not have to repeat it, according to the more correct scholarly opinion, based on what is mentioned above. 

But if his wudoo’ was invalidated before completing the tasleem on his right by saying “as-salaamu ‘alaykum”, then his prayer is invalid and he has to repeat it, because his wudoo’ became invalidated during one of the obligatory acts of the prayer, so the prayer is no longer valid. 

An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

The tasleem is one of the pillars or essential parts of the prayer without which it is not valid and nothing else can take its place. The minimum that is to be said is “as-salaamu ‘alaykum”; if even a single letter is omitted from this phrase, his tasleem is not valid.

End quote from al-Majmoo‘ (3/475) 

For more information, please see the answers to questions no: 154587 and 105297

And Allah knows best.

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