Masa’il Related to Joining and Not Joining the Jama’at


Bahishti Zewar, Fiqh, Part 2-Salat and its virtues / Sunday, August 31st, 2008

1. If a person reaches the musjid of his area or the musjid
nearest to his home at a time when the jama’at is over, then it is mustahab
for him to go to another musjid with the intention of getting the jama’at over
there. He also has the choice of returning home, getting his house-folk together
and making jama’at with them.

2. If a person has already offered his fard salaat
alone at home and then sees that the same fard salaat is being offered
with jama’at, he should go and join that jama’at. This is on condition that it
is the time of zuhr or esha. He should not join the jama’at if it
is the time of fajr, asr or maghrib. This is because it is
makruh
to offer nafl salaat after fajr and asr salaat.
And as for maghrib salaat, it is makruh because it will be
considered to be a nafl salaat and we do not get a nafl salaat of
three rakaats.

3. If a person has already commenced with offering his
fard salaat
and the jama’at also commences with the same fard salaat,
then the following rules will apply: if that fard salaat is a two rakaat
salaat, such as fajr salaat, then the rule is that he should break his
salaat and join the jama’at if he has not made the sajdah for the first
rakaat as yet. If he has made the sajdah for the first rakaat and has not
made the sajdah for the second rakaat as yet, he should still break his
salaat and join the jama’at. And if he has already made the sajdahs for
the second rakaat, he should complete both the rakaats. If it is a three rakaat
salaat, such as maghrib salaat, then the rule is that if he has not made
the sajdah for the second rakaat as yet, he should break his salaat. If
he has already made the sajdah for the second rakaat, he should complete
his salaat and should not join the jama’at because it is not permissible to
offer a nafl salaat of three rakaats.

If it is a four rakaat salaat, such as zuhr, asr, and
esha, then the rule is that if he has not made the sajdah for the
first rakaat, he should break his salaat. If he has made the sajdah, he
should sit down after the second rakaat, read the at-tahiyyaat, make
salaam
, and join the jama’at. And if he has commenced with his third rakaat,
but has not made the sajdah for it as yet, he should break his salaat. If
he has made the sajdah, he should complete his salaat.

In those instances where he completed his salaat, he should
not join the jama’at if it is a fajr, asr or maghrib salaat. For
zuhr and esha salaats he should join the jama’at. In those
instances where he has to break the salaat, he should make one salaam
while standing.

4. If a person has already commenced with a nafl salaat
and the jama’at commences, he should not break his salaat. Instead, he should
make salaam after the second rakaat even if he has made an intention for
four rakaats.

5. If a person has already commenced with the
sunnat-e-mu’akkadah
of zuhr or jumu’ah, and the jama’at
commences, then the zaahir-e-madh’hab is that he should make salaam
after two rakaats and join the jama’at. But the majority of the jurists feel
that it is better to complete the four rakaats. And if he has already
commenced with the third rakaat, then it is necessary to complete the
full four rakaats.

6. If the jama’at for fard salaat has already
commenced, a person should not commence with any sunnah salaat provided
that he fears that he will miss a rakaat. However, if he is certain or confident
of not missing any rakaat, then he should offer the sunnah salaat. For
example, the fard salaat of zuhr commences and he fears that if he
had to occupy himself with the sunnah salaat he would miss a rakaat of
the fard salaat. He should therefore leave out the sunnah-e-mu’akkadah
before the fard salaat. After offering the fard of zuhr and
jumu’ah, it will be better for him to offer the sunnah-e-mu’akkadah
that is normally offered after these two salaats first, and then to offer those
that are normally read before these two salaats.

As for the sunnahs of fajr salaat, since they
are more important, the rule in regard to them is that even if the fard
salaat
has commenced, he should offer the sunnah salaat first. This
is on condition that he has the hope of getting at least one rakaat of the
fard salaat
. But if he has no hope of getting at least one rakaat, he should
not offer the sunnah salaat. If he wishes, he could offer it after
sunrise.

7. A person offering the sunnah of fajr salaat
fears that if he had to offer this salaat with full consideration of all the
sunnahs
and mustahabs of salaat, he will not get the jama’at, he
should suffice with the fard and wajib acts of salaat and leave
out the sunnahs and mustahabs.

8. The sunnah salaats that are being offered while the
fard salaat is in progress should be offered at a place that is separate
from the musjid (main jama’at area) irrespective of whether they are the
sunnahs of fajr or of any other salaat,. This is because it is
makruh-e-tahrimi
to offer any other salaat at the place where a fard
salaat
is being offered. If there is no such place, it should be offered in
the musjid but in some corner away from the saff.

9. If a person gets the last qa’dah of the jama’at and
does not get any of the rakaats, he will still receive the reward of the
jama’at.

10. If a person gets the ruku of any of the rakaats
with the imam, it will be regarded as if he got that rakaat. And if he
does not get that ruku, it will be regarded as though he did not get that
rakaat.

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