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Monday 19 February 2024

14 Most Common Mistakes During Salaah And How To Correct Them

There are common errors or mistakes Muslim make when performing salaah. Many Muslim neglects these errors due to their insufficient knowledge about perfecting their prayer, and without furthering to know whether they are doing it according to the Sunnah.

Salaah is the second of the five pillars of Islam after accepting the Oneness of Allah, and it is the most important one. Allah (SWT) made it fard (obligatory) on every Muslims. Salaah will be the first to be questioned on the Day of Judgment.

And be constant in prayer, and spend in charity, and bow down in prayer with all who thus bow down. (Quran Al-Baqara 2:43)

When you have finished As-Salat (the prayer – congregational), remember Allah standing, sitting down, and lying down on your sides, but when you are free from danger, perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat). Verily, the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours. (Quran An-NIsa 4:103)

We at Muslimhowto have compiled 14 most common mistakes in salaah and how to correct them base on authentic sayings of The Prophet (peace be upon him):

1. Prayer of Naafil after the Iqammah Is Being Announced

When you hear the iqammah, it is very important to stop any supererogatory (Naafil) prayers without salaam, and join the row for the prescribed prayer.

It was narrated that Abu Hurairah (RA) said: the messenger of Allah said: “when the iqamah for prayer is said, there is no prayer except the prescribed prayer”.[1]

2. Lifting the Gaze Whilst Praying 

Lifting the gaze when praying is prohibited either looking right or left. Look mainly at the point where the forehead is to be placed. This is a sign of lack of concentration in Salaah.

It was narrated that Anas Ibn Maalik (RA) said, the prophet said: “what is matter with people who lift their gaze to heaven whilst praying? “And he spoke sternly concerning that, until he said: “they should stop that, or else their eyesight will be snatched away”. [2]

3. Not Raising Hand in the Opening Takbeer

It is obligatory to raise both hands at the beginning of every prayer. Many Muslim fail or forget to do this due rushing to catch up with elapse rak’a with the Imam. Failure to do this will nullify your entire prayer.

Narrated Abdullah bin Umar (RA) said: “I saw Allah’s messenger opening the prayer with takbeer and raising his hands to the level of his shoulders at the time of saying the takbeer, and on saying the takbir for bowing he did the same”.[3]

4. Hasty Performance of Prayer in Rukoo’ or Sujood

Rukoo' or sujood is an essential part of salat. These positions should be performed accurately by bowing and prostrating in a slow pace. Rushing to perform rukoo or sujood may result in prostrating or bowing in the wrong way.

Abi Qatadda (RA) related that the messenger of Allah said: And the worst of thieves is the one who steals his prayer”.
They said; “how does he steals his prayer, messenger of Allah ?” He replied, “He does not ruku or sajda properly”.[4]

5. Lifting the Foot during Sujood

Improper sujood in salaah is by placing either the left or right foot on each other or sometimes playing with it. One must make sure the tip of the feet is placed on the floor.

Ibn Abbas (RA) reported that the messenger of Allah said: “I have been commanded to prostrate myself on seven bones:  on the forehead” – and then pointed with his hand towards his nose, hands, feet, and the extremities of the feet. [5]

6. Racing With the Imam, or Moving With Him in Congregational Prayer

The Imam is the leader when performing salaah in a congregation. Everyone at his back should follow him. Do not contest with the Imam in prayer. Wait for him to say or do something before doing so.

It was narrated that Anas bin Malik (RA) said; “the messenger of Allah led us in prayer one day, then turned to face us and said “I am now your Imam, so do no tend to bow or prostrate or stand or leave before I do. I can see you in front of me and behind me”. [6]

7. Proceeding To Mosque for Prayer with Rush

Narrated Abu Huraira (RA) The Prophet said, “When you hear the iqama, proceed to offer the prayer with calmness and solemning and do not make haste. And prayer whatever you able to pray and complete whatever you have missed. [7]

8. Waiting for the Imam Until He Stands To Start In Prayer

When you enter the mosque and you find the Imam at any stage of prayer. You do not have to wait for him to return to standing position. All you need to do is, make an opening takbir, then join him in that position.

Abdullah Ibn Mughafal (RA) the messenger for Allah said; “whoever founds me in a state of ruku, standing or in sujood let it be with same position which I am in”. [8]

9. Raising the Voice in Dhikr after Salaah (Prayer)

Dhikr is an act in Islam that involves the recitation of prayer (either by moving the tongue or in silently in the heart) to glorify God. Raising one’s voice after salaah can make others who are still praying to lose concentration in their recitation.

Narrated Abu Sa’id al-Khdri (RA) the messenger of Allah said: “LO! Every one of you is calling his lord quietly. One should not trouble the other and one should not raise the voice in recitation or in prayer over the voice of the other”.  [9]

10. Not Bend Properly In Rukoo

Ibn Umar (RA) reported: “the messenger of Allah , when he stood up for prayer, used to raise his hands apposite the shoulders and then recited takbir (Allah-o-Akbar), and when he was about to bow he again did like it and when he raised himself from the ruku’ (bowing posture) he again did like it, but he did not do it at the time of raising his head from prostration.” [10]

11. Praying In a Garment That Does not Cover the Shoulders

Any clothing that does not cover the shoulder (armless or singlet) should not be worn when performing salaah.

Narrated Abu Huraira (RA) the prophet said: “None of you should offer prayer in single garment that does not cover the shoulder”. [11]

12. Praying In A Place Which There Are Images

Narrated Anas (RA) Aisha had had a thick curtain (having pictures on it) and she screened the side to her: “Remove it from my sight, for its pictures are still coming to my mind in my prayers”. [12]

13. Crossing In Front Of a Praying Person

When you notice someone praying, do not cross in front of the person; rather place a sutra (a long object) in front of the person before crossing.

Abu Juhaim (RA) said: “the messenger of Allah said: “ if the one who passes in front of a person who is praying knew (burden of sin) that is on him, standing for forty would be better for him that passes in front him”. [13]

14. Prostrating Like A Dog

Anas Ibn Malik (RA) reported: The Prophet of Allah said: “Be straight in prostration and let none of you put his forearms on the ground like a dog.” [14]


With all the above common mistakes and their corrections, you might have seen the once you often make. Do not feel bad, all you need is istigfar (seeking forgiveness) from Allah; surely Allah is oft-forgiving.

May Allah accept our salaah and good deeds so we will not be among the loser on the Day of Judgement. Aameen.

Allah knows best.

[1] (Sahih Muslim)
[2] (Sunnah Abu Dawud 913)
[3] (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 12, Number 702)
[4] (Ibn Majjah, Book 9, Number 9.23.75)
[5] (Sahih Muslim: Book 004, Number 0994)
[6] (Sahih Muslim: Book 4, Number 0857)
[7] (Sahih Bukhari: Volume 1, Book 11, Number 609)
[8] (Sunnah Abu Dawud: The Book Of Saht (The Prayer) 605)
[9] (Sunnah Abu Dawud 1332)
[10] (Sahih Muslim: Book 4, Number 0759)
[11] (Sahih Bukhari: Volume 1, Book 8, Number 355)
[12] (Sahih Bukhari: Volume 7, Book 72, Number 842)
[13] (Ibn Majjah Book 9, Number 9.10.37)
[14] (Sahih Muslim 493, Sahih Bukhari 788)

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