Missing Rakats in Congregational Prayers

Relevant Material

Rules Pertaining to Missing Raka’ats
(Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanwi)


Q. If I miss the first 2 raka’ts of Maghrib Salaat with Jamaat, how do I complete my Salaat? Do I have to recite a longer Surah in the first raka’t?

A. After the Imaam’s Salaam, in the first raka’t which you will perform, recite Thana, Ta-awwuz, Tasmiyah and a Surah (or some aayaat). The Surah should be longer than the Surah which you will recite in the next raka’t, or of more or less equal length. After this one raka’t, sit and recite Attahiyaat, then rise to perform the second raka’t in which there will be qiraa’t.


Q. A person misses one raka't of Maghrib Salaat. What should he recite when fulfilling his missed raka't?

A. If the Masbooq (the late comer) has missed one raka’t of Maghrib, then when he stands up to fulfill the raka’t he should recite Thana, Ta-awwuz, Tasmiah, Surah Faatiha and a Surah.


Q. If I join the Fajr Jamaat in the second raka’t, then while waiting in Tashahhud for the Imaam to make Salaam, should I recite Durood and Dua as well?

A. When you sit with the Jamaa’t in the Qa’dah, you should recite only Attahiyaat, not Durood. After Attahiyaat remain sitting silently until the Imaam begins his second Tasleem. Then you will rise.


Q. If one misses the first three raka’ts of Asr or Isha’, how does one complete the Salaat?

A. Perform one raka’t (i.e. after the Imaam’s salaam), sit, recite Attahiyaat, rise and perform another raka’t. In both these raka’ts qiraa’t will be recited. In the last raka’t recite only Surah Faatihah, and complete the Salaat as usual.


Q. A musalli joins the Jamaat Salaat in the 4th raka’t. How should he complete the three raka’ts which he has missed?

A. After he rises to complete his Salaat (i.e.after the Imaam has ended the Salaat), the Masbooq has to recite Thana and Qiraa’at as he would in the first raka’t. After this raka’t, he will sit and recite Attahiyaat. Then he rises, and in this raka’t he will again recite Qiraa’at (Surah Faatihah and a Surah). After this raka’t he will rise into the last raka’t and recite only Surah Faatihah.


Q. If a musalli joins the Zuhr Jamaat in the third raka’t, how does he complete his Salaat after the Imaam’s Salaam?

A. Just as the Imaam makes the first Salaam, the Masbooq (Late-comer) should get up, recite Thana, Ta-awwuz, Surah Faatihah and a Surah. In this raka’t he will sit and recite Tashahhud. After Tashahhud, he rises into Qiyaam, recites Tasmiyah, Surah Faatihah and a Surah. He completes the raka’t and after Sajdah rises into Qiyaam. In this last raka’t he should recite only Tasmiyah and Surah Faatihah and complete his Salaat.


Q. A Masbooq (one who has missed a rakaat or more) joined the congregational prayer during Tashahhud, but the Imaam stood up before he (the Masbooq) could finish reciting Attahiyaat. What should he do in this case? Complete Attahiyaat or rise with the Imaam?

A. In the Kitaab, Raddul Mukhtaar it is stated that the Masbooq (in this case) must complete the recitation of Tashahhud, and then join the Imam.


Q. When should the Masbooq stand up to complete the raka’ts he has missed — after the first Salaam or after the second Salaam?

A. While there is a view that the Masbooq should stand up after the first Salaam, the more authoritative and accepted view to which our Senior Ulama adhere, is that the Masbooq should stand up after the second Salaam, not the first Salaam. This is the view which also appears in our Kitaabus Salaat as well as in most of the authoritative Fataawa Kitaabs of our Akaabireen (Senior Ulama).


Q. When should the Masbooq stand to perform his missed raka’ts – after the Imaam’s first or second Salaam?

A. The masbooq should stand up just as the Imaam is about to make the second Salaam. It is not necessary to wait for the completion of the second Salaam. The rule in this regard is that the Masbooq should stand when he realizes that there is no Sajdah Sahw. Thus when the Imaam begins to make the second Salaam, he will understand that there will be no Sajdah Sahw. However, another valid view is to stand after the Imaam’s second Salaam.


Q. If one manages to join the Jamaa’t just as the Imaam begins the first Salaam, will the Salaat be valid?

A. If one joins before the Imaam said the Meem of the word Assalamu, then the Salaat will be valid otherwise not.


Q. I joined the Jamaat Namaaz after the Imaam made one Salaam. Is my Salaam correct?

A. Your joining the Jamaat after one Salaam is not valid. You will have to re-perform your Salaat afresh.


Q. As a latecomer enters the Tashahhud position, the Imaam makes Salaam. Does this musalli have to recite the whole of Attahiyaat before getting up to complete the raka’ts he had missed?

A. Yes, he has to recite the whole of Attahiyaat.


Q. When the Masbooq performs the missed raka’ts of Maghrib, Isha or Fajr, should he recite the qiraa’t audibly or silently?

A. He has the choice to recite it either audibly or silently. If he recites it audibly, it should be in a low voice which is sufficient for him to hear.


Q. Should a late-comer joining the Jamaat recite Thana?

A. If it is a Sirri [silent] Salaat (Zuhr or Asr), or if you join in the third or fourth raka’at of Fardh which is Sirri, then after Takbir Tahrimah recite Thana. If it is a Jahri [loud] Salaat and the Imaam is reciting Qiraa’t, then don’t recite Thana. Recite it in the first raka’t after the Imaam has ended the Salaat. In the first instance where you have recited Thana upon joining in a Sirri Salaat, repeat Thana when you fulfil your missed raka’ts.


Q. A musalli joins the jamaat in the first raka’t after the Imaam has commenced the qira’at. Should he recite Thana?

A. He should not recite Thana. Only if the Imaam has not yet commenced the qira’at, should he recite Thana.


Q. If one joins the Jamaat Salaat while the Imaam is reciting Qiraa’at, should Thana be recited?

A. If it is a Jahri Salaat, i.e. the Qira’at is recited audibly, then the latecomer should not recite Thana. If it is a Sirri (Silent) Salaat, Thana should be recited.


Q. A person misses one raka’t of Jamaa’t Salaat. In the last raka’t the Imaam after reciting Tashahhud mistakenly goes into the fifth raka’t. He and the muqtadis complete the fifth raka’t, and the Imaam makes Sajdah Sahw. What should the masbooq muqtadi who had missed one raka’t do when the Imaam rises to perform the fifth raka’t?

A. The Masbooq muqtadi should not follow the Imaam in the fifth raka’t. When the Imaam rises towards the fifth raka’t, the masbooq should get up and complete his raka’t and make his own Salaam.


Q. If a Masbooq commits an error whilst behind the Imaam, should he perform Sajdah Sahw?

A. There is no Sajdah Sahw for the Masbooq (late-comer) if he commits any error whilst behind the Imaam, i.e. before the Imaam has terminated the Salaat. Thus, if in the Imaam’s last raka’t, after Tashahhud he recites Durood Ibraaheem, Sajdah Sahw is not necessary.


Q. Is it permissible to form a Jamaat with a Masbooq?

A. According to the Hanafi Math-hab it is not permissible to make Iqtida’ (to follow) a Masbooq. However, this is permissible for Shaafis.


Q. Is it permissible for a latecomer to join a Masbooq in Salaat?

A. You may not join a Masbooq (one who is performing his missed raka’ts after the Imaam has completed the Salaat) to form a jamaat. If you have missed the Jamaat, then perform Salaat alone if there is no one to join you. In terms of the Hanafi Math-hab joining a Masbooq is not valid. This, however, is permissible for Shaafi’s.


Q. How should the Takbirs of Eid Salaat be recited by a person who joins the last after the Imaam has recited the Takbeers?

A. 1. If one joins the Eid Salaat after the imam has already recited the Eid Takbeers of the first Raka’t, then (a) If one has confidence that after reciting the Takbeers one will be able to unite with the imam in Ruku, then make the Niyyat for the Salaat and recite the Takbeers in Qiyaam. (b) If one fears that by reciting the Takbeers in Qiyaam one will not be able to unite with the imam in Ruku then immediately after Niyyat, join the Imam in Ruku and recite the Takbeers (silently) in Ruku instead of the normal Ruku Tasbeeh, but do not raise the hands (in Ruku) while reciting the Takbeers. If the imam emerges from Ruku before you could complete the Takbeers join him. The balance of the Takbeers are waived. 2. If one has missed a complete Raka’t of the Eid Salaat, it should be fulfilled as follows: After the imam makes the Salaams, rise and recite Qiraat. After the Qiraat recite the Takbeers and complete the Salaat as usual.


Q. If a musaafir joins the Jamaat after having missed three raka'ts, how should he complete the Salaat?

A. When a musaafir joins a Jamaat behind a muqeem Imaam (i.e. the Imaam is not a Musaafir), then the musaafir should perform the full four raka’ts with the Imaam. If the musaafir missed three raka’ts, he should perform the three raka’ts after the Imaam makes his Salaam to end the Salaat, in the same way that a muqeem will do.


Q. A person joined the Jamaa’t in Zuhr or Asr in the Imaam’s last raka’t. The Imaam is a musaafir. How should this Masbooq who is not a musaafir complete the Salaat?

A. This Masbooq when fulfilling the missed raka’ts, should not recite Qiraa’t in the first two raka’ts which he performs alone. He should remain in Qiyaam for a minimum duration of three Tasbeehs. In the last raka’t he has to recite Qiraa’t. He is known as Laahiq-Masbooq.