Answered according to Shafi’i Fiqh by Shafiifiqh.com

Shafiifiqh.com has received many questions pertaining to the rulings of Qunut in Salatul-Fajr (the dawn prayer). In this question and answer fatwa with Shaykh Taha Karaan, he answers the following questions:

1) Is the Salah valid if one does not make qunut – in other words what is the mu’tamad hukm on the qunut?

2) Should the one making Salah make sajdatus sahu if he does not perform qunut?

3) What does one do behind a Hanafi Imam?

May Allah almighty bless Shaykh Taha for his time and efforts amin!

Is Qunut in Fajr Obligatory? What about behind a Hanafi Imam?

Question:

Is the Salah valid if one does not make qunut – in other words what is the mu’tamad hukm on the qunut?

Answer:

The qunut is regarded as a sunnah of the ab’ad type. What this means is that omitting it would not invalidate the salah, but its omission would be compensated for by making the sajdat al-sahw (the prostration of forgetfulness).

Question:

Should they make sajdatus sahu(the prostration of forgetfulness) if not performed.

Answer:

The general rule would be to make sajdat al-sawh on account of the omission of the qunut.

However, when following an imam who does not make the qunut (a Hanafi imam, for example), two questions arise:

  1. Firstly, should one read the qunut on your own behind the imam?
  2. Secondly, would sajdat al-sahw have to be made independently after the imam’s salam?

Should one read the qunut on your own behind the imam?

The position of our madhhab is that one may make the qunut on your own provided you are able to join the imam in his first sajdah. If reading the qunut would delay you to the point where you would only join the imam after he has completed his first sajdah, the qunut should be left out and one should rather join the imam. (Mughni al-Muhtaj 1:362)

When considering whether one would or would not manage to catch up with the imam in his first sajdah, it should not be imagined that the entire qunut has to be read, from Allahumma hdina fi man hadayt … up to the salawat. The rule about the qunut is that any du’a would suffice as qunut, even if it is as brief as Allahumma ghfir li (Oh Allah forgive me). Even a verse from the Qur’an containing du’a would suffice. (Tuhfat al-Muhtaj 2:65) Needless to say, a qunut as brief as this would definitely allow one to join the imam in his first sajdah.

Would sajdat al-sahw have to be made?

On this point the opinions of our fuqaha differ. The mu’tamad (relied upon) position of the madhhab is that whether one has managed to make a qunut on one’s own or not, sajdat al-sahw would still have to be made after the imam makes salam. (Mughni al-Muhtaj 1:362)

Opposed to the above mu’tamad position there are two alternative positions in the madhhab:

  1. Ibn al-Muqri’ would appear to hold the view that where one has actually managed to make a qunut independently behind the imam, sajdat al-sahw need not be made. (Mughni al-Muhtaj 1:362)
  2. Al-Qaffal al-Marwazi, al-Isnawi and al-Suyuti take the position that sajdat al-sahw does not need to be made at all on account of the omission of qunut behind a Hanafi imam, for example. (al-Ashbah wa l-Naza’ir p. 437) According to this view, a Shafi’i praying behind a Hanafi imam will omit the qunut along with the imam and will not make sajdat al-sahw when the imam makes salam.

Although these two views are not the mu’tamad positions of the madhhab, it would be perfectly valid, and even encouraged, for individuals to practice upon them.

And Allah Knows Best

Answered by Shaykh Taha Karaan

Dar Al-Ulum Al-Arabiyyah wal-Islamiyyah

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