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When Does a Latecomer Stand to Complete the Missed Rakāts?

Photo ibnbasheer23 - DarusSalam Foundation (Lombard, IL)
Photo ibnbasheer23 – DarusSalam Foundation (Lombard, IL)

By Mawlana Muhammad ibn Suleman Chothia
In collaboration with Mufti Muhammad Mahdi


If a person missed a rak’ah or rak’āts of fard salāh, should a person stand up to complete his salāh after the first or second salām of the Imām? Some people do it after the first salām and others do it after the second salām. Which is correct?


حامدا ومصليا ومسلما

There seems to be some confusion on this issue for quite some time. Therefore a detailed answer will be needed to clarify the issue with the help of Allah Ta’ala.

First and foremost, the vast majority of scholars agree that the last sitting (qa’dah akhīrah) in salāh is compulsory. They differ concerning the amount that is compulsory.[1] The Hanafi scholars state that it is fard to sit in the last qa’dah for the duration of time it takes to recite the tashahhud.[2] This is established in the following hadith.

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud رضي الله عنه said that the Messenger of Allahﷺ caught hold of his hand and taught him the tashahhud of salāh. He then narrated the well-known du’a of tashahhud. The end of the hadith states,

“When you say this (the tashahhud), or complete (sitting the duration of) it, then you have finished your prayer. If you wish to stand up you may do so, and if you wish to sit you may do so.”[3]

They also state that the salāt wa salām [durūd Ibrāhīmiyyah], du’a, and salām are not fard in salāh, since there is the option of standing up [according to] this hadith. They explain that the first two (durūd Ibrāhīmiyyah and du’a) are sunnah muakkadah[4] while salām is wājib.[5] The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,

“The key to prayer is purification, and its sacredness (begins) with the takbīr, and its release is the taslīm (saying salām).”[6]

Based on this, the following laws are deduced:

If a masbūq (one who has missed a rak’ah or more) gets up after he recites the tashahhud (or sitting the duration of its recital), then his salāh will still remain valid as all the farā’id [have] been completed. However, this will be impermissible and makrūh tahrīmī[7] since the Messenger ﷺ commanded us to follow the Imām in many ahadith. For instance he said,

“The Imām was appointed to be followed, so do not differ from him.”[8]

He also expressly prohibited from exiting the salāh before the Imām in the following hadith:

Anas رضي الله عنه reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ one day led us in the salāh and when he completed the salāh he turned his face towards us and said, “O People, I am your Imām, so do not precede me in bowing and prostration and in standing and turning (faces on pronouncing salām), for I see you in front of me and behind me.”[9]

Therefore, it is wājib to follow the Imām till the salām and makrūh tahrīmī to get up before it.[10]

N.B. All the Hanafi scholars agree that a makrūh tahrīmī act is prohibited in Shari’ah in a mandatory manner. It is compulsory to refrain from a makrūh tahrīmī act and it is a sin to commit it. [11] Rather, Imam Muhammad, a formulator of the Hanafi school of thought, is of the opinion that both harām and makrūh tahrīmī are similar in the level of prohibition and the severity of punishment.[12]

If the masbūq gets up after the first salām when the Imām begins saying the second salām, his salāh will still be valid. [13] However, standing before the completion of the second salām would be khilāf al-awlā (not the best option) unless his standing was due to a valid reason, like [for example] the fear of someone passing in front of him.[14] The reason behind this not being the best option is mentioned below.

The Hanafi [jurists] have clearly stated that the masbūq should stand up after both salāms when it becomes evident that the Imām will not perform sajdah sahw.[15] So the first reason for this delay is to ensure there is no sajdah sahw on the Imām.

Al-Mughīrah bin Shu’bah رضي الله عنه narrated,

“We reached the people while they had already stood in salāh. Abd al-Rahmān bin ‘Awf رضي الله عنه was leading them and he had already completed a rak’ah with them. When he realised that the Prophet ﷺ was there, he started to retreat, but the Prophet ﷺ motioned to him to continue. So he led them in salāh. [So the Prophet ﷺ and I prayed one rak’ah behind him.] After he made salām, the Prophet ﷺ stood up and I stood up and we completed the rak’ah that we had missed.”[16]

From the above it is quite clear that one should stand after both salāms, however due to a valid reason one may stand before completion of both salāms.

Some Hanābila[17] scholars were of the view that if the masbūq stands before the second salām, his fard salāh would become nafl. Others even said it will become completely null and void.[18] All the scholars agree that it is desirable to practice the Deen in such a manner that our ibādah etc is valid according to all the reputable scholars wherever possible.[19] Therefore, this is another reason to delay getting up until after both salāms.

And Allah Ta’ala knows best.

May Allah عزّ و جل grant us the ability to perform our five times daily salāh behind an Imām from the very first takbīr. امين يا ربّ العلمين.


12th Rajab, 1437 / April 18th, 2016




[1] Mawsūah Fiqhiyyah Vol.15 Pg.267-8

[2] al-Durr al-Mukhtār m’a Radd al-Muhtār Vol.2 Pg.168-170

( ومنها القعود الأخير قدر ) أدنى قراءة ( التشهد )

[3] Sunan Abu Dawud #970

[4] So leaving them out would be makrūh. [I’lā al-Sunan Vol.3 Pg.151]

[5] Tanwīr al-Absār m’a Radd al-Muhtār Vol.2 Pg.181 & 193

(لها واجبات ) ( ولفظ السلام)

[6] Abu Dawud #61, Tirmidhi #3

[7] See Aap ke Masā’il aur Unka Hall Vol.3 Pg.481

وأما إذا قام المسبوق إلى قضاء ما عليه بعد فراغ الإمام من التشهد قبل السلام فقضاه أجزأه وهو مسيء أما الجواز فلأن قيامه حصل بعد فراغ الإمام من أركان الصلاة وأما الإساءة فلتركه انتظار سلام الإمام لأن أوان قيامه للقضاء بعد خروج الإمام من الصلاة فينبغي أن يؤخر القيام عن السلام. (بدائع الصنائع 1:424)

( وكره تحريما ) أي قيامه بعد قعود إمامه قدر التشهد لوجوب متابعته في السلام. (رد المحتار 2:420)

[8] Bukhari #722 and Muslim #414

[9] Muslim #426

[10] Unless he had a valid Shar’ī reason. For instance, his period for masah (wiping) on his leather socks would end before the Imām makes the salām. So if the amount of time tashahhud can be read elapsed, the muqtadi may say salām before the Imām and exit the salāh in such a scenario.

ولا يقوم المسبوق قبل السلام بعد قدر التشهد إلا في مواضع إذا خاف وهو ماسح تمام المدة لو انتظر سلام الإمام أو خاف المسبوق في الجمعة والعيدين والفجر أو المعذور خروج الوقت أو خاف أن يبتدره الحدث أو أن تمر الناس بين يديه ولو قام في غيرها بعد قدر التشهد صح ويكره تحريما لأن المتابعة واجبة بالنص قال صلى الله عليه وسلم إنما جعل الإمام ليؤتم به فلا تختلفوا عليه وهذه مخالفة له إلى غير ذلك من الأحاديث المفيدة للوجوب. (فتح القدير1:400)

ولو قام قبل السلام هل يعتد بأدائه إن قبل قعود الإمام قدر التشهد لا وإن بعده نعم وكره تحريما إلا لعذر كخوف حدث وخروج وقت فجر وجمعة وعيد ومعذور وتمام مدة مسح ومرور مار بين يديه. (الدر مع الرد 2:421)

[11] Radd al-Muhtār Vol.1 Pg.261 المكروه تحريما ممتنع شرعا منعا لازما

The ruling of makrūh tahrīmī: It is necessary to refrain from it. Denying its impermissibility without evidence is misguidance. Committing it without a valid (Shar’ī) excuse or evidence necessitates blame and punishment. [al-Mūjaz fī Usūl al-Fiqh Pg.45]

صرح العلامة ابن نجيم في رسالته المؤلفة في بيان المعاصي بأن كل مكروه تحريما من الصغائر. (رد المحتار 2:182)

[12] The only difference is if one denies the prohibition of a harām act he becomes a kāfir while the one who denies the prohibition of a makrūh tahrīmī act does not. He is, however, considered a fāsiq. Imām Abu Hanifah and Abu Yusuf, along with agreeing with this difference, were of the opinion that the prohibition of makrūh tahrīmī is a notch below the prohibition of harām and the punishment will be less severe in comparison to it.

ان الحرام و المكروه التحريمي على رأيه (محمد) متساويان في حرمة فعلهما ووجوب العقاب به. وإنما الفرق بينهما بأن المنع في الأول بالقطعي وفي الثاني بالظني. فلا يظهر إلا في حق العلم دون العمل. وعلى هذا يحمل ما نقل عن محمد “إن كل مكروه حرام”. وأما على رأيهما فالمكروه التحريمي أدون من الحرام في حق العمل أيضا حتى يستوجب فاعل الحرام العقاب بالنار وفاعل التحريمي عقوبة دونه كحرمان الشفاعة ونحوه. (السعاية في كشف ما في شرح الوقاية 2:276)

( ويشاركانهما)  أي الايجاب وكراهة التحريم الافتراض والتحريم ( في استحقاق العقاب بالترك ) لما هو مطلوب من كل ( وعنه)  أي التشارك في استحقاق العقاب بترك ما هو المطلوب من كل  ( قال محمد كل مكروه حرام نوعا من التجوز )  في لفظ حرام  ( وقالا على الحقيقة )  المكروه  ( الى الحرام اقرب)  منه الى الحل وانما قلنا مراد محمد ذلك  ( للقطع بان محمدا لا يكفر جاحد المكروه والوجوب )  كما يكفر جاحد الفرض والحرام فلا إختلاف بينه وبينهما في المعنى كما يظن ويؤيده ما ذكر غير واحد انه ذكر محمد في المبسوط ان ابا يوسف قال لابي حنيفة اذا قلت في شيء اكرهه فما رايك فيه قال التحريم وياتي في هذا ايضا ما في لفظ محمد للقطع ايضا بأن ابا حنيفة لا يكفر جاحد المكروه (التقرير والتحبير 2:103)

[13] See Kifāyat al-Mufti Vol.3 Pg.437 and Aap ke Masā’il aur Unka Hall’ Vol.4 Pg.526

[14] Fath al-Qadīr Vol.1 Pg.400, Fatāwa Hindiyyah Vol.1 Pg.91

وكذا إذا خاف المسبوق أن يمر الناس بين يديه لو انتظر سلام الإمام قام إلى قضاء ما سبق قبل فراغه كذا في الوجيز للكردري (الهندية)

[15] Fath al-Qadīr Vol.1 Pg.400, Bahr al-Rā’iq Vol.2 Pg.662, Fatāwa Hindiyyah Vol.1 Pg.91 , Radd al-Muhtār Vol.2 Pg.419-421

وينبغي أن يصبر حتى يفهم أنه لا سهو على الإمام. (الدر المختار)

قوله ( وينبغي أن يصير الخ ) أي لا يقوم بعد التسليمة أو التسليمتين بل ينتظر فراغ الإمام بعدهما كما في الفيض والفتح والبحر

 قال الزندويستي في النظم يمكث حتى يقوم الإمام إلى تطوعه أو يستند إلى المحراب إن كان لا تطوع بعدها ا هـ

 قال في الحلية وليس هذا بلازم بل المقصود ما يفهم أن لا سهو على الإمام أو يوجد له ما يقطع حرمة الصلاة ا هـ (رد المحتار)

[16] Muslim #81 and Abu Dawud #152. Ārif Billah Hazrat Mawlana Shah Hakīm Muhammad Akhtar has listed standing after both salāms as a sunnah in his [book] Aik Minute Ka Madrasah, Lesson 51.

[17] Followers of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal

[18] Al-Insāf Vol.2 Pg.222-223, Mawsūah Fiqhiyyah Vol.37 Pg.163. There is another opinion that his iqtidā will break but not his fard. Imam Shafi’ī has also considered it mustahab for the masbūq to stand after both salāms. [See Al-Majmū Vol.3 Pg.464, Mawsūah Fiqhiyyah Vol.37 Pg.163]

[19] See Sharh Nawawi on Sahih Muslim Vol.2 Pg.23, Manāsik Mulla Ali Qari Pg.218, Durr Vol.1 Pg.304

فان العلماء متفقون على الحث على الخروج من الخلاف اذا لم يلزم منه اخلال بسنة أو وقوع فى خلاف آخر. (شرح مسلم)

قال العلامة ملا علي قاري: والخروج عن الخلاف مستحب بالإجماع.

يندب للخروج من الخلاف لا سيما للإمام لكن بشرط عدم لزوم ارتكاب مكروه مذهبه. (الدر المختار)


Courtesy of Fiqh ul Islam: The Pristine Understanding of The Deen

Note: This article was edited for spelling, grammar, and style in addition to a new title.

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