Rules Pertaining to Missing Raka’ats
(From Beheshti Zewar)
1. A laahiq is that muqtadi who misses a few or all his rakaats after having joined the jama’at, irrespective of whether he has an excuse or not. Example where he has an excuse: he falls asleep in his salaat and thereby misses a few rakaats, or he is unable to make ruku and sajdah because of the large number of people, or his wudu breaks and while he is gone to make his wudu he misses a few rakaats. (In salaatul khauf, the first group is regarded as the laahiq. Similarly, the muqeem who follows an imam who is a musafir and who is making qasr, is regarded as a laahiq after the completion of the salaat of the imam). Example where he has no excuse: he goes into ruku or sajdah before the imam and even comes up before him, on account of which his rakaat is not considered to be valid. With regard to that rakaat, he will be regarded as alaahiq. It is wajib on the laahiq to complete the rakaats which he had missed first. After completing them, he should join the jama’at if it is still in progress, if not, he should offer the balance of his salaat as well.
2. The laahiq will also be regarded as a muqtadi for the rakaats which he had missed. That is, just as a muqtadi does not make qira’at but merely stands silently, the laahiq will also do this. And just as the muqtadidoes not make sajdah-e-sahw when he makes any mistake, so is the case with the laahiq.
3. The masbuq, i.e. the one who has missed a few rakaats, should join the imam and offer whatever is left of his salaat with the jama’at. Once the imam completes his salaat, the masbuq should stand up and complete the rakaats which he had missed.
4. The masbuq has to offer his missed rakaats as a munfarid with qira’at. And if he makes any mistake in these rakaats, it is also necessary for him to make sajdah-e-sahw.
5. The masbuq should offer his missed rakaats in the following order: he should first offer those rakaats in which there is qira’at and then those which have no qira’at. As for the rakaats which he has offered with the imam, he should sit for them accordingly. That is, after counting the rakaats, he should make his first qa’dah after the one that is second. He should make his last qa’dah after his third rakaat if the salaat is a three rakaat salaat (such as maghrib). Examples: a person joined the jama’at for zuhr salaat when three rakaats had already been completed. When the imam makes salaam at the end of the salaat, this person should stand up and offer the three rakaats which he missed in the following manner: in the first rakaat he should recite Surah Faatihah, another Surah, make his ruku and sajdahs and then sit down for his first qa’dah. He has to sit down because this rakaat is regarded as his second rakaat after combining it with the rakaat that he had offered with the imam. Thereafter, he should offer his second rakaat and recite Surah Faatihah and another Surah in it as well. After this second rakaat he should not sit down because this rakaat is regarded as his third rakaat after joining it to the previous two. Thereafter, he should offer his third rakaat without reciting another Surah after having recited Surah Faatihah because this rakaat was not a rakaat of qira’at. After this rakaat, he should sit down because this is his last qa’dah.
6. A person is a laahiq and a masbuq as well. Example, he joined the jama’at after a few rakaats and after joining in, he also misses some rakaats. He should first offer those rakaats which he missed after joining, i.e. in which he was a laahiq. However, he should offer these as if he is following the imam, i.e. he should not make qira’at and he should offer his salaat in the same order as that of the imam. Thereafter, if the jama’at is still in progress, he should join it. If not, he should also offer the balance of his salaat after having read those rakaats in which he was a masbuq. Example: a person joined the asr salaat after one rakaat. Upon joining the jama’at, his wudu broke so he went to repeat his wudu. In the meantime, the salaat ended. He should first offer those three rakaats which he missed out after having joined the jama’at. Thereafter, he should offer the one rakaat which he had missed before joining the jama’at. He should offer those three rakaats as a muqtadi, i.e. he should not make qira’at and he should sit down after the first of those three rakaats. This is because this is the second rakaat of the imam and he (imam) had sat in this rakaat. Thereafter, he should not sit in the second rakaat because this is actually the third rakaat of the imam. Thereafter, he should sit down in the third rakaat because this is actually the fourth rakaat of the imam and he had sat in this rakaat. Thereafter, he should offer that rakaat which he had missed before joining the jama’at, and he should also sit in this rakaat because it is his fourth rakaat. He also has to make qira’at in this rakaat because he is a masbuq in this rakaat and a masbuq is regarded as a munfarid in the rakaats which he missed.
7. It is sunnah for the muqtadis to follow the imam in all the postures without any delay. The takbeer-e-tahreemah, ruku, standing after ruku, sajdahs – all have to be carried out with the imam. In other words, every act has to be carried out simultaneously with every act of the imam. However, if the imam stands up from the first qa’dah before the muqtadis could complete their at-tahiyyaat, the muqtadis should complete their at-tahiyyaat first and then stand up. Similarly, if the imam makes salaam in the last qa’dah before the muqtadis could complete their at-tahiyyaat, they should complete their at-tahiyyaat first and then makesalaam. However, if the muqtadis have not read their tasbeehs in the ruku and sajdahs, they should still stand up with the imam.