prompting and confusion while in the prayer
I get confused a lot concerning how many rakats I perform,
even though I pray in a loud voice in order to remember what
I have recited. However, I still get doubts. When I finish
the prayer, I feel that I have missed a rakah, prostration
or sitting, even though I try very hard not have doubts during
my prayer. But still this is without benefit. I hope you will
guide me to what will benefit me in such a case. Do I have
to repeat the prayer when I have such confusion? Is there
some supplication that I can make at the beginning of the
prayer that will remove such confusion?
You must fight against such devilish prompting and be cautious
about them. You must increase your seeking of refuge in Allaah
from the accursed Satan. Allaah has said, "Say: I seek refuge
with [Allaah] the Lord of Mankind, the King of Mankind, the
God of Mankind, from the evil of the whisperer who withdraws
from his whispering..." to the end of the surah (Soorah an-Naas).
Allaah also says, "And if an evil whisper comes to you from
Satan, then seek refuge with Allaah. Verily, He is All-Hearer,
All Knower" (al-A'raaf 200). If you have finished your prayer
or ablution and then such doubts come to your mind, then turn
away from them and don't give them any attention. Consider
your prayer and ablution as proper and sound. If doubts come
to you while you are praying, such as whether you have prayed
three or four rakats, then consider them as three and finish
your prayer, making two prostrations of forgetfulness before
the salutations at the end of the prayer. This is what the
Prophet (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) ordered one who had
similar doubts to do.
seek refuge in Allaah for ourselves and you from Satan.