Jama'ah (Congregational) Prayer Tutorial

Bismillahi ar-Rahmani, ar-Rahim. Allahumma salli ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad. There is a lot of emphasis on Jama'a prayer because of the many benefits that it has. Spiritual, social, political and so on. It brings about a very positive spiritual atmosphere in a person's life, because it creates that bond, that networking, that good, correct environment that any healthy community needs.

Congregating and being together and uniting as one, is very, very important. And that is why it is so mustahab there are many riwayat and ahadith that speak about the participation in Jama'a prayer. So much so that there are some ahadith that say that if a certain amount of people were to participate in Jama'a prayer, even the angels, will not be able, would not be able to count the amount of rewards that each participant will receive. This is all due to the merits and the virtue of Jama'a prayer.

This short tutorial is going to explain how to join into Jama'a prayer once it is being performed. There are many rulings for Jama'ah prayer, but I will be only focusing on the rulings related to how to join into Jama'a prayer. So we have Ali with us, who is the Imam of Jama'ah and then we are going to have the Ma'moom.

Ma'moon means, the person who joins into or participates in Jama'ah prayer following the Imam, Ma'moom follower of the Imam. So, let us say in this scenario there is only one Ma'moom who wishes to connect into Jama'ah prayer and the recommended thing for this one Ma'moom to do is to be on the right side of the Imam and also because he is only by himself. It is recommended that he is a little bit, comes a little bit, forward. So much so that when he prostrates, it is around about the knee in the knee area of the Imam, when the Imam is prostrating.

If there are young children in the first line and they are neither Baligh nor they are in the age of tameez, then this is going to be a little bit of a problem. We have Zainul Abedin, my nephew, and Hassan, my son. Hassan, would be of that particular age. But let us say, for example, that he was also around about five, six years of age and there were three or four of them, for example, in the first line, we have got the Imam, we have got everyone else ready. Ibrahim is connected to the Imam, but there are a line of boys that are here. And let us say Sadiq wants to join in. Sadiq's prayer would not be valid because of the large gap that is going to be here. So the best thing for Sadiq to do if he wanted to join in is not to join in here, because of the large gap of four or five young children here. He would have to go around on Ibrahim's side, for example, and start praying Jama'ah from that side because it will be connected to the Imam.

Here we have only one child, one young child, and will that be an obstruction for someone else who wants to come in and join Imam Jama'ah prayer? The answer is no, because it is only one child and it is a small gap that is going to happen between the two people. There is still going to be a connection to the Imam, assuming that this was, for example, a long line.

So the Imam is ready to pray. They have done the Adhaan. They have done Iqamah and the Ma'moon[min] are ready to join into Salah. The Imam does his Takbir, he says Allahu Akbar and he starts with recitation. And then straight after that, the Ma'monin they follow by their Takbiratul Ihram.

In congregation prayer, the Imam recites the Fatihah and the surah on behalf of himself and on behalf of the Ma'monin. So, if we were to see that the Imam is reciting the Fatiha and there is a Ma'moom praying, and then we see, for example, someone wants to join in, what do they do? They just say Allahu Akbar and they continue joining in with it. They do not need to recite the Fatiha or catch up or anything else because the Imam is still reciting the Fatiha or the Surah after that.

The Imam is going to go into Ruqu' and then someone wants to join into the Jama'ah. Is he able to? The answer is yes. First of all, he does is Takbir. He pauses a little bit, then he goes down to Ruqu'. The reason why he has to pause, is because he needs to stop there at that time in order to do the Qiyam before the Ruqu'. And that is why he needed to do that. So can you repeat that again, please again Sadiq? The Takbir, he paused a little bit with the intention of Qiyam before Ruqu', and then he went for his Ruqu'.

The Jama' ah in Ruqu', and they are just about to finish and go up from Ruqu'. Is Sadiq able in this stage to join into Jama'ah? The answer is no, because the Imam is doing something totally different. And therefore he will not be reciting anything on behalf of the Ma'moom, because as we said in Jama'ah prayer, only the Fatiha and the Surah, the Imam is reciting on behalf of himself and on behalf of the Ma'moomin, those who are following him in Jama'ah. So what does he do in this scenario? He waits, he stands there or he sits down and he waits until the next Raka'.

In this scenario, the congregation have just finished their two sajdahs or even their Tashhud, and they are going to now stand up and Sadiq wants to join in. If this was the second Raka', then Sadiq can do his Takbir and join into the salah without any problem. Why? Because the Imam is reciting Fatiha and a surah. However, if this was the third or the fourth, Raka' would Sadiq be able to join in? If he is able to recite the Fatiha and the Surah during the time that the Imam is reciting the Subhaniyat three times, which is Subhanallahi walHamdo Lillahi wa la Ilaha illaho Allahu Akbar. Or he might be reciting the Fatiha, will Sadiq have enough time to recite Fatiha and the Surah? If he can, then that is absolutely fine.

If he can not, which would be the normal scenario, what he needs to do is to walk into the Jama'ah and then when he is in Jama'ah they are doing their Ruqu'. For example, this could be the fourth Raka', for example, this could be the fourth Raka' and he wants to join in. It could also be the third Raka' and he wants to join in. It does not matter. The third. The fourth. As long as there is a Qiyam and the Imam is standing, the person can join into Jama'ah.

So he is joining into Jama'ah. If you see what he done, he did, which was the correct scenario. He waited until they were in Ruqu'. He done his Takbeer. He paused, then he went down. This would be the best way to join in if they were in the third or the fourth Raka'. Do that again, please Sadiq. So they are doing their Ruqu' and this is the third or fourth Raka'. He does his Takbeer he pauses a bit, then he goes down for Ruqu'.

So the Jama'ah is in Ruqu' and Sadiq wants to join in and he realizes that the Imam has finished his Dhikr and he is about to raise his heads, can Sadiq join? The answer is no. The only time when Sadiq can join in, when the imam is in Ruqu' is, if he has enough time to recite the dhikr in Ruqu' as well. So if they were going up, then, of course, he can not do the Takbeer and join into the Jama'ah.

Let us say, for example, the Jama'ah are still in their Ruqu'. Now Sadiq wants to join in and he sees that the Imam is finishing off his Dhikr. What Sadiq does is he announces that he is going to join into Jama'a. So he would say Ya Allah or he would say Inna Allaha ma'a as-Sabereen, announcing to the Imam that I am going to join in, can you please prolong your dhikr in the Ruqu' enough for me to be able to do the Taqbeer and the pause after the Taqbeer and then the Ruqu' fixated enough for him to also do one of the dhikrs.

I'm sorry that I am not able to cover all aspects of Jama'ah prayer, but if we were to say that the Jama'ah there in the second Raka' going up for the third Raka' and Sadiq, who joined in a little bit late, was in his first Raka' wanting to go up for his second Raka'. Does he recite the Tashahhud while they are reciting their Tashahhud? The answer is no. He sits in this position. He does not sit in the Tashahhud position. He sits in this position because he is going up to recite the Fatiha and the Surah while they go up to start their third Rakat.

The Salah is about to finish and they are doing their Tashahhud about to enter into their Taslim. Are you able to enter into Jama'ah at this last stage? The answer is, yes. It is also rewardable for you to do so and you will receive the merits of participating in Jama'ah prayer as well. So all Sadiq needs to do is he walks in, he sits down, the Imam is doing the Taslim and Sadiq now stands up and commences his Salah on his own.

InshaAllah, my brothers and sisters have benefited from this tutorial and the reward of all of this goes to those brothers and sisters who did request for me to demonstrate how to join into Jama'ah prayer.

We need to encourage our brothers and sisters wherever we are to go to the Masjid, sit in the masjids, participate in Jama'ah prayer, promote the participation of Jama'ah prayer and it is a simple thing to do, but the reward is abundant.

May we all anticipates the betterment of ourselves through worshipping Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala and doing so with all sincerity. Wa al-Hamdulillah Rabb Al-Alameen, wa as-salat wa as-salam ala Sayyidina Muhammad wa alihi at-tahereen.