Don’t Just Stand There!

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful…

Since the latecomer to the congregational prayer does not count the rak’ah unless he has joined during the rukoo’, some people believe that if they come after the rukoo’ there is no point in joining the prayer until the imaam stands back up for the next rak’ah, even if it means standing there looking around for a long time while the congregation makes tashah-hud!

Here’s why this is forbidden from a four-fold textual standpoint:

1) The generality of the hadeeth which is found in al-Bukhaaree and Muslim:

إنما جُعل الإمام ليؤتمّ به
“The imaam has only been appointed to be followed…”

2) And in one wording in al-Bukhaaree (722):

فلا تختلفوا عليه
“…So do not contradict him…”

The one who stands there waiting for the imaam to stand has not followed the imaam, in fact he has contradicted him!

3) In the same hadeeth:

فإذا كبّر فكبّروا
“…So if he makes takbeer (says: “Allaahu akbar”), then make takbeer…”

The one who stands there waiting for the imaam to rise has not made the takbeers that go with each movement, and thus has violated this order.

4) The clearest hadeeth in the issue: (if you were saying, “Well, that’s not clear enough for me…”)

إذا جئتم إلى الصلاة ونحن سجود فاسجدوا، ولا تعدّوها شيئًا، ومن أدرك الركعة فقد أدرك الصلاة
“If you have come to the prayer and we are prostrating, then prostrate, but do not count it (as a rak’ah), and whoever catches the rak’ah has caught the prayer.”

This hadeeth was collected by Aboo Daawood in his Sunan (893) from the narration of Aboo Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him).  Al-Albaanee graded it hasan (a sound hadeeth).

I don’t think the last narration leaves any room for confusion, does it?  May Allaah grant us success in following the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) in all our words and deeds, secret and open.  And Allaah knows best.

Written by: Moosaa Richardson

ST Archives: 02-15-2010

12 thoughts on “Don’t Just Stand There!

  1. As salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaah wa baraka tuh, would the safest position be to make up that rakah which was joined in the rukoo. Please explain if this matter falls under taking the easier of too options if both are halaal. This point is often used but I need clarity on it insha Allaah. Jazaka Allaahu khayran.

  2. What should the latecomer do when the congregation consists of two people [one being the Imaam]? I read a while back that pulling someone from the row to form a new row when the prayer has started is based upon weak and fabricated hadeeth, I am confused with regards to if this ruling [not permissible to pull someone from the row] applies when there are only two people. I cannot read Arabic so I couldn’t check [Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth ad-Da`eefah no. 921.] to see the wording of the hadeeth etc. Does tapping the shoulder come under the same ruling as pulling someone from the row? What is the correct way to get the brother to step back?

    • Adeel – may Allaah bless you – While the hadeeth about pulling someone back is not authentic, and Shaykh Al-Albaanee said that the third person should line up and let the imam direct the movements of the people in prayer, which has its basis in the Sunnah, one may argue that tapping the follower and getting him to step back leads to less additional movements in the prayer by less people, which is also a considerable goal. This does not mean we are trying to follow a weak hadeeth. Additionally In Saudi Arabia and many other Muslim lands I would assume, most people do not know or follow the fiqh of Shaykh Al-Albaanee in this issue, and they would be confused if you tried to implement this with them. You definitely do not want to confuse people in the middle of their prayer, and Allaah knows best.

  3. assalaam alaikum,

    I was wondering when it is better to stand up for someone who came in late during the prayer. Can he stand up after the first ‘assalaam alaikum’ of the imaam (as that would suffice to finish the prayer) or is it better to wait until the imaam has finished his tasleem completely.

  4. I have the same question as brother bilaal above with a few additions, If I am a latecomer and I get up to complete what I missed after the imams tasleem to the right only (he then does it to the left), then he makes sajood as sahw, do I sit back down? A brother used this as evidence to suggest, it would be better to wait for the imam to do salaam to both sides, before a latecomer making up what he missed of the salah, he also stated that if the tasleem to the right is wajib only, does that mean that if you weren’t a latecomer, you could just decide to break off from the congregational prayer after the imam has only given tasleem to the right, and has yet to make it to the left, or intentionally leave out other sunnah acts of the salah? Could you please mention some ulema who hold that waiting for both is better, or hastening to make up what was missed of the prayer after salaam to the right only is better, and the evidences they use, or books for further reading? It would be very beneficial. I apologise if my wording is not clear enough.

  5. Salaam Brother Moosaa,

    At my masjid, when people come while the Adhaan is being made, they just stand there until the Adhaan is done. After it is done, they then pray the Sunnah prayer. Is this correct? What does one do when they come in while the Adhaan is being made?

    • What is best is to listen to the athaan and repeat after it, and then send salaat and salaam upon the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam), and then make the du’aa’ for after the athaan “Allaahumma rabba hathiid-Da’wah…” As this is recommended and not obligatory, the one who begins praying two rak’ahs while the athaan is being called has not committed any sin. This is in normal circumstances. The scholars mention the Athaan of Jumu’ah as something different. Because listening to the athaan to repeat after it is recommended, but listening to the khutbah attentively is an obligation, a man should begin praying the two rak’ahs before sitting when arriving during the athaan of Jumu’ah in order not to place a recommended deed over an obligatory one, and Allaah knows best.

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