Rush To Join The Prayers: Following The Way Of The Prophet
Islamic Perspectives - Muslim Journals
& Information - By Adil Salahi
the importance of offering the obligatory prayers in
congregation at a mosque, the Prophet’s (peace be upon
him) companions were always keen to join the
congregation at his mosque. They had the added
incentive of having the Prophet leading the prayer.
Today, when we have the opportunity of joining a
prayer led by an imam who has a fine voice and recites
the Qur’an well, we are eager to attend such a
congregational prayer. The Prophet’s companions were
able to join the best imam that ever led a prayer.
Hence, they were always keen to be on time,
particularly when they learned that being present as
the imam begins the prayer earns greater reward.
Therefore, whenever they felt that they were late or
about to miss a part of the prayer, they rushed to
join it. In their speed, they might sometimes be
noisy. This is inappropriate.
Abu Qatadah, a companion of the Prophet, reports:
“We were offering a prayer with the Prophet when he
heard noises made by some people. When he finished, he
asked them what was the matter. They said that they
were rushing to join the prayer. He said: ‘Do not do
that again. When you come to prayer, you should remain
calm and maintain propriety. Whatever you catch up of
the prayer is fine, and whatever you have missed you
can then complete.’” (Related by Al-Bukhari).
The Hadith is very clear. The Prophet tells us that
it is inappropriate to make noises when a
congregational prayer is in progress, not even the
sort of noise that a few people making haste to join
the prayer produce. An air of decorum, humility and
decency should always be maintained in the mosque,
especially during prayer. When some people are praying
and others are in the mosque, the latter should not
disturb the worshippers by speaking aloud or making
noises. The Hadith we are discussing today disallows
rushing to join a congregational prayer.
What a person who feels that he may miss the
congregational prayer can do is to walk fast, but not
in a way that gives the impression that he is in great
hurry. He should remember that God grants him the
reward of being in worship while walking to the
mosque, provided that he has no other business than to
offer his prayers. Every step he makes while walking
earns a reward. So, there is no rush. If he misses
part of the congregational prayer, he joins wherever
the imam has reached then when the imam finishes his
prayer; latecomers complete what they have missed.
Suppose one joins after the congregation has completed
two rak’ahs in a 4-rak’ah prayer. When the imam
finishes the prayer, he immediately stands up to
complete his prayer to four rak’ahs.
A question is often asked: do the two rak’ahs he
prayed with the imam count as his last two, or his
first two. Scholars differ in their views on this
question. The view supported by stronger evidence is
that what he prayed with the imam counts as his first
part of his prayer. What he prays after the imam has
finished is the complement that he has to make. Thus,
if a person prays one rak’ah with the imam in Isha
prayer, he has to offer his second, third and fourth
rak’ahs. The first one of these three counts as his
second. He reads the Qur’an aloud and sits for his
first tashahhud after it. He then rises to offer his
third and fourth rak’ahs reading the Qur’an in secret.