Thursday 27 July 2023

Etiquette of joining a prayer - already in progress

The five daily obligatory prayers form an important ritual of every Muslim around the world, for offering these five prayers has been ordained by Allah on all adult (sane and mentally healthy) men and women. We have already published a number of posts on As Salat, its etiquettes and how to offer one's prayer. 

Although, one can offer prayer anywhere when it is time, however, it is preferred that these are offered in a masjid in congregation. In this regard, we share a hadith attributed to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ about the etiquette of joinnig a prayer in the masjid that has already started.

This Hadith is mentioned in Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī  (Book 11 - Friday Prayer /  كتاب   الجمعة / Chapter 18: To go walking unhurriedly / باب الْمَشْىِ إِلَى الْجُمُعَةِ ) as Hadith 908, given herein under:

حَدَّثَنَا آدَمُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ أَبِي ذِئْبٍ، قَالَ الزُّهْرِيُّ عَنْ سَعِيدٍ، وَأَبِي، سَلَمَةَ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم‏.‏ وَحَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْيَمَانِ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا شُعَيْبٌ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي أَبُو سَلَمَةَ بْنُ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ، أَنَّ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ "‏ إِذَا أُقِيمَتِ الصَّلاَةُ فَلاَ تَأْتُوهَا تَسْعَوْنَ، وَأْتُوهَا تَمْشُونَ عَلَيْكُمُ السَّكِينَةُ، فَمَا أَدْرَكْتُمْ فَصَلُّوا، وَمَا فَاتَكُمْ فَأَتِمُّوا ‏"‏‏.

Narrated by Abu Huraira: Heard Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) saying, "If the prayer is started do not run for it but just walk for it calmly and pray whatever you get, and complete whatever is missed. "

The etiquette, as told by the Prophet (ﷺ) of Allah, is to be joined in, if already started, by walking calmly to the masjid and joining the congregation and pray whatever remaining part of the prayer is left. It is generally seen that men start to run to catch the prayer if it has already started. In doing so, they make hurried entry and forgetting to make intention and at least ready the takbir and the opening few verses.  In fact, He should stand calmly, and say "الله أكبر Allah Ho Akbar", called Takbeer-e-Tehrima. Thereafter read the ثـنــــاء sanah and then join with the Imam of whatever part he is leading the congregation.

Remember, if someone joins the prayer while the Imam is in prostration, he prostrates with the Imam but he does not count it as Rak’ah/ cycle, and if he joins the prayer while the Imam is in Rukoo', he bows down (makes Rukoo') and counts it as a Rak’ah / cycle as he has reached the Imam while the latter is in Rukoo'.

Some people are seen hurrying to the prayer and even before joining in the rows, they bow down (if the congregation is in rukoo state) which is not advisable. It is narrated by narrated by Abu Bakrah  may  Allah be pleased with him that he reached the Prophet (ﷺ) while in Rukoo’, and he performed the Rak’ah (bowed down) before reaching the row (of the people standing in line in prayer).  Thereupon, the Prophet (ﷺ) told him, "May Allah increase your zeal, but do not do that again (meaning do not bow down before reaching the row)."

Those who want to know how to offer the prayer, may please read our earlier post: How to offer Salah/Daily prayer.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

Please refer to our reference page: Sunnah and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to know more about sunnah of Prophet of Allah. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references as given below. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

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