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Joining a prayer in progress

If a man enters the masjid while the imaam is praying, should he join the imaam immediately in whatever position he is in and start prayin...

If a man enters the masjid while the imaam is praying, should he join the imaam immediately in whatever position he is in and start praying, or should he wait to see whether the imaam is going to sit or stand?

The correct answer is that which is indicated by the evidence (daleel): he should join the imaam no matter what part of the prayer he has reached – prostrating, standing, bowing or sitting. The evidence is the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him): "The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: 'If you come to the prayer and we are prostrating, then prostrate, but don't count it, and whoever catches a rak'ah has caught the prayer.'" (Sunan Abi Dawood, 893; Saheeh Sunan Abu Dawood, 792). Mu'aadh said: "The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: 'If one of you comes to prayer and the imaam is in a certain position, then do as the imaam is doing.'" (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 591; see also Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 484). Also, there is the general meaning of the hadeeth: "Whatever you catch up with, pray."

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M Junaid Tahir
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