*Mistake 1:* Reciting Surat al-Fatiha fast without pausing after each
verse.

The Prophet (SAW) used to pause after each verse of this surah. (Abu
Dawood)

*Mistake 2:* Sticking the arms to the sides of the body, in rukoo’ or
sujood, and sticking the belly to the thighs in sujood.

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘Let not one of you support himself
on
his forearms (in sujood) like the dog. Let him rest on his palms and
keep
his elbows away from his body.’ (Sahih Muslim). The Messenger of Allah
(SAW)
used to keep his arms away from his body during rukoo’ and sujood that
the
whiteness of his armpits could be seen (Sahih Muslim).

*Mistake 3:* Gazing upward during prayer.

This may cause loss of concentration. We are commanded to lower our
gaze,
and look at the point at which the head rests during sujood. The Prophet
(SAW) warned: ‘Let those who raise their gaze up during prayer stop
doing
so, or else their sights would not return to them. i.e. lose their
eyesight].’ (Muslim)

*Mistake 4:* Resting only the tip of the head on the floor during
sujood.

The Prophet (SAW) said: ‘I am commanded to prostrate on seven bones the
forehead and the nose, the two hands [palms], the two knees, and the two
feet.’ (Sahih Muslim) Applying the above command necessitates resting
the
forehead and the nose on the ground during sujood.

*Mistake 5:* Hasty performance of prayer which does not allow repose and
calmness in rukoo’ or sujood.

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) saw a man who did not complete his rukoo’
[bowing], and made a very short sujood [prostration] ; he (SAW) said:
‘If
this man dies while praying in this manner, he would die upholding a
religion other than the religion of Muhammad.’ Abu Hurairah (RA) said:

‘My beloved friend, Muhammad (SAW) forbade me to perform postures of
prayer
copying the picking of a rooster; (signifying fast performance of
prayer),
moving eyes around like a fox and the sitting like monkeys (i.e. to sit
on
thighs).’ (Imam Ahmad & at-Tayalisi) The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:

The worst thief is the one who steals from his own prayer.’ People
asked,
‘Messenger of Allah! How could one steal from his own prayer?’ He (SAW)
said: ‘By not completing its rukoo’ and sujood.’ (At Tabarani &
al-Hakim).

To complete rukoo’ is to stay in that posture long enough to recite
‘Subhana
rabbiyal Adtheem’ three times, SLOWLY, and ‘Subhana Rabbiyal-a’ala’
three
times, SLOWLY, in sujood. He (SAW) also announced: ‘He who does not
complete
his rukoo’ and sujood, his prayer is void.’ (Abu Dawood & others)

*Mistake 6:* Counting tasbeeh with the left hand

The Prophet (SAW) used to count tasbeeh on the fingers of his right hand
after salah. Ibn Qudamah (RA) said: ‘ The Messenger of Allah (SAW) used
his
right hand for tasbeeh.’ (Abu Dawood). The above hadeeth indicates
clearly
that the Prophet (SAW) used only one hand for counting tasbeeh. No
Muslim
with sound mind would imagine that the Prophet (SAW) used his left hand
for
counting tasbeeh.

Aa’ishah (RA) said that the Prophet (SAW) used his left hand only for
Istinjaa’, or cleaning himself after responding to the call of nature.
He
never used it for tasbeeh. Yasirah (RA) reported: The Prophet (SAW)
commanded women to count tasbeeh on their fingers.

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘They (the fingers) will be made to
speak, and will be questioned (on the Day of Resurrection. )’
(At-Tirmidhi)
. The above Hadeeth indicates that it is preferable to count tasbeeh on
the
fingers of the right hand than to do so on masbahah (rosary).

*Mistake 7:* Crossing in front of a praying person.

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) warned: ‘Were the one who crosses in front
of a
praying person to know the consequences of doing so, he would have
waited
for *forty better than to cross in front of him.’ (Sahih Bukhari and
Muslim). *The forty in the tradition may be days months or even years.
Allah knows the best.