How Do I Make up Missed Units in Congregational Prayer?
  • Question

    If I joined Asr prayers in jamaat, and the imam has already finished 3 raka’ats, I only get the last raka’ats, how do I complete my first 3 raka’ats?

    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question. May Allah bless you for your concern regarding matters surrounding the prayer.

    When one joins the imam in congregational prayer, missing one or more raka’ats, one should complete the missed raka’ats individually, after the imam completes the congregational prayer.

    “Perform, whatever you catch [with the imam in congregation] and complete what you have missed.” (Bukhari)

    Learned Islamic jurists have described various methods to make up the missed raka’ats. However, the general principle in this matter is that the raka’ats that one is making up individually are considered the first raka’ats according to recitation (of a surah or passage of the Qurʾan) and they are considered one’s final raka’ats according to position (tashahhud, sitting and standing). (See I’ela al Sunan, Ma’ani al Athar with narrations from Musnad Aḥmad)

    So in your case, after the imam makes salams, you will stand up, recite Al-Fatihah and a passage of the Qurʾan, then sit down for tashahhud after the two prostrations, then get up, recite Al-Fatihah and a passage of the Qurʾan completing this unit with its prostrations. Thereafter get straight up again for your final raka’at, this time only reciting Al-Fatihah. Thereafter you will complete your salah as normal, ending with two salams.

    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
    Hadith of the Day Imam
    Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Director of Mathabah Institute
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