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How to Join Salatul-Jama’ah

1. If someone could not be present at the start of Salatul-Jama’ah, he may join it at any Rak’ah he please, and he would still get its reward. The condition for joining the Salat is that; it should be before the Imam finished a Ruku, as he is to catch him in Ruku, so that it can be counted a Rak’ah for him.

2. If the Musalli joined the Jama’ah in the third Rak’ah of Salatuz­Zuhr, for example, he would perform with them the third and the fourth Rak’ahs, though, for him, these two Rak’ahs would be his first1 and second. So, he would have to recite Al-Fatihah and a Surah in both of them. If there was not enough time, he is to recite only Al-Fatihah, and, when the Jama’ah Musallis finish their fourth Rak’ah, he is to continue to perform his third and fourth Rak’ahs individually.

3. If the person who wants to join the Jama’ah knows that there is not enough time to allow the recitation of Al-Fatihah, it is preferred to wait until the Jama’ah Musallis enter the Ruku, then he would make his Niyyah Takbiratul-Ihram, and go to the Ruku with them.

4. If the Musalli joined the Jama’ah without knowing which Rak’ah was being performed by the Jama’ah, the second or the third, for example, he would have to recite Al-Fatihah and another Surah, if time was enough for both. Otherwise, recitation of Suratul-Fatihah alone would be satisfactory.

Discussion

Q1. If you entered a mosque and saw the Musallis in the Sujud position, would it be correct if you joined them in the Sujud, or not?

Q2. If the Musalli joined the Jama’ah Musallis in their fourth Rak’ah, what should he do when they have finished this Rak’ah?

Q3. If you joined the Jama’ah Musallis in their second Rak’ah, which they finished by the Tashahhud, would you follow them in that, or not? Why?

  • 1. The Hanafis, the Malikis and the Hanbalis say that the part of the Salat which the Musalli joins the Jama'ah is regarded to be the end of his Salat, so, if he caught them at the last Rak'ah of Salatul-Maghrib, he would also regard it to be the last Rak'ah of his Salat, then he would perform a Rak'ah, in which he recites Al-Fatihah a Surah, and the Tashahhud, then another Rak'ah in which he recites Al-Fatiha and a Surah. The Shafi'is and the Imamis say: The part in which the Musalli joins with the Imam is regarded as the beginning of his Salat, not its end.