My Islamic teacher recently told me that the first tashahhud in Dhuhr, ‘Asr, Maghrib and ‘Ishā is not wājib. It is just Mustahabb. Can you confirm if this is true?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
The Ruling on the First Tashahhud
The First View:
Obligatory, and it is the speech of al-Layth, Aḥmad, Abī Thawr, Isḥāq and Dāwūd. They said: If the Tashahhud is left off deliberately, then his Ṣalāh is void, and if left off unintentionally then he must prostate for forgetfulness (Sajdah Sahū), and he is rewarded for his Ṣalāh.
Their proof is: Ḥadīth Rifāʿah رضي الله عنه, and in it:
“ فَإِذَا جَلَسْتَ فِي وَسَطِ الصَّلاَةِ فَاطْمَئِنَّ وَافْتَرِشْ فَخِذَكَ الْيُسْرَى ثُمَّ تَشَهَّدْ ثُمَّ إِذَا قُمْتَ فَمِثْلَ ذَلِكَ حَتَّى تَفْرُغَ مِنْ صَلاَتِكَ ”
“When you sit in the middle of the prayer, do it completely (so that you are at rest) and spread your left thigh; then recite the tashahhud. Then if you get up (again), do in a similar way until you finish your prayer.”
SUNAN ABŪ DĀWŪD (860), GRADED ḤASAN BY ASH-SHAYKH AL-ALBĀNĪ.
Likewise Ḥadīth Ibn Masʿūd رضي الله عنه that is mentioned by the author (al-Imām ʿAbdul Ghanī al-Maqdisī, Author of ʿUmdatul-Aḥkām), and in it:
” وَإِذَا قَعَدَ أَحَدُكُمْ فِي الصَّلاَةِ فَلْيَقُلِ التَّحِيَّاتُ لِلَّهِ “
“When anyone of you sits during his prayer, he should say: ‘At-taḥiyyātu lillāhi’”
Also: Persistence of the Prophet ﷺ upon that along with his saying:
” صَلُّوا كَمَا رَأَيْتُمُونِي أُصَلِّي “
“Pray as you have seen me praying.”
The Second View:
Sunnah, and it is the view of Malik, ath-Thawrī, al- Awzāʿī, Abū Ḥanīfā and ash-Shāfiʿī. Rather it is said: It is the view of the scholars in general.
Their proof: Ḥadīth of ʿAbdullāh bin Buḥaynah رضي الله عنه and it has preceded in no. 107, and in it:
” أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم صَلَّى بِهِمُ الظُّهْرَ فَقَامَ فِي الرَّكْعَتَيْنِ الأُولَيَيْنِ لَمْ يَجْلِسْ.”
“Once the Prophet (ﷺ) led us in the Ẓuhr prayer and stood up after the second Rakʿah and did not sit down.”
And when he completed the prayer,
“He prostrated twice”
And the evidence from the Ḥadīth:
That the Prophet ﷺ compensated for it (the first Tashahhud) with Sujūd as-Sahū, for if it were obligatory, then he would have not compensated with Sujūd as-Sahū. Rather this inference that Sujūd as-Sahū does not compensate except for the prescribed acts lesser than the Wājib, is not obvious through it. As mentioned by Ash-Shawkānī
The Preponderant View
The First View, that it is obligatory. So if one leaves it off (the first Tashahhud) unintentionally, it is compensated for with Sujūd as-Sahū, and this is the preference of Ibn Rajab and ash-Shawkānī.
So what if one leaves it off deliberately, then does it invalidate one’s Ṣalāh ?
Ash-Shawkānī said: It has come before us more than once, that violation of the Wājibāt (Requirements) does not necessitate invalidation of the Ṣalāh , and that which necessitates it (invalidation) is the violation of the Conditions and the Pillars.
I (Shaykh Zayd al-Waṣṣābī حفظه الله) say: And this is that which is correct and Allah knows best.
– Chapter of Tashahhud, Book of the Ṣalāt, Miskul-Khitām Sharḥ ʿUmdatil-Aḥkām (1/576-577)
– Authored by Our Shaykh Abū ʿAbdullāh Zayd bin Ḥasan bin Ṣaliḥ al-Waṣṣābī al-ʿUmarī حفظه الله
– Translated by Abu Āsiyah Muzaffar غفر الله له ولوالديه with the Shaykh’s permission