Is it necessary when saying the tasleem at the end of the prayer to intend by saying this tasleem to exit the prayer? Is my prayer valid if I do not do that?.
Praise be to Allaah.
the worshipper does not have to intend exiting the prayer when saying the tasleem; if he says the tasleem without intending that, it is acceptable. This is the view of the majority of fuqaha’ among the Hanafis, Shaafa‘is and Hanbalis.
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: He should intend when saying the tasleem to exit the prayer. If he does not have that intention, then Ibn Haamid said that his prayer is rendered invalid, and this is the apparent meaning of the statement of ash-Shaafa‘i, because it is uttered at one of the two ends of the prayer, so having the intention is essential, as is also the case with the takbeer (at the beginning of the prayer).
What was narrated from Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) is that it does not render his prayer invalid, and this is the correct opinion, because the intention to pray covers all of the prayer, and the salaam is part of it. And because if it were obligatory to form the attention when saying the salaam, there should have been some text to specify that, as with the opening takbeer, and because it is an act of worship. So it is not required to form the intention to exit the prayer, as is also the case with other acts of worship.) Drawing an analogy between the end of the prayer and the beginning is not correct; the intention is regarded as essential at the beginning so that it covers all other parts of the prayer, unlike the ending. Hence there is a differentiation between the beginning and end in all acts of worship. Continue reading