Fatwa ID: 04082
If a person started praying and he was supposed to be praying Zuhr. He realized after 1 rakah, that he made intention for Asr. Should he break his salah after the first rakah or should he finish two rakats then make Salam and read his Zuhr?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
The intention for an obligatory (Fard) prayer cannot be changed after it has started [Radd al-Muhtar, 2/95]. Therefore, if one intends the wrong obligatory prayer, he must restart the prayer with the correct intention. So repeating the prayer in this situation is correct.
While a voluntary (nafl) prayer requires the intention for prayer, the intention does not need to be specific, and can instead be unspecific (mutlaq) [Bada’iʻ al-Sana’iʻ 1/127, Al-Hidayah, 1/298]. Hence, if there is enough time to complete the obligatory Zuhr prayer after it, the person may complete two rakʻaats voluntary prayers and then make Salam.
Only Allah knows best
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham