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