How to join a Salah in Jamaat late?

If you have to join a Salah (Namaz) late in Jamaat, whether in the Masjid or at home, there is a certain protocol to follow, which is explained below.

Arriving late at the mosque when the Salah has already begun does not mean that you have missed the opportunity to pray with Jamaat, you can join even if you have missed one, two, three, or even all four Rakat. Here is how to join.

What does missing a Rakat mean?

One does not miss any Rakat if he joins the Salah before Ruku. However,  if Ruku has been performed, that Rakat is missed and shall be offered later. Here are different scenarios of late arrival and details of how to offer the remaining prayer.

How to join a Salah in Jamaat late?

Before the Ruku of 1st Rakat

If you arrive at the mosque and the first Ruku is yet to be performed, you haven’t missed any Rakat of Namaz. You can join the Salah with Jamaat immediately and end it with the Imam, just like any other prayer.

Missed 1st Rakat

If the Ruku of the first Rakat has been performed, you have missed the 1st Rakat. This is how to join a Salah with Jamaat before the Ruku of the 2nd Rakat;

  • Complete the Salah behind Imam and stand up when he ends it by saying, Salam.
  • 1st: Offer that one Rakat and complete the Rakat till the recitation of Surat Fateha and Quran, make Ruku and sajood.
  • 1st: After making sajood, you will sit down in Tashahhud and complete the prayer till Salam.

Missed 2 Rakat

If you join the Namaz with Jamaat when the Ruku of the 2nd Rakat has been performed, you shall offer two Rakats later in this way;

  • Complete the Salah behind Imam and stand up when he ends it by saying, Salam. 
  • If you are praying Fajr, you will start the Salah and complete it till the end as you pray alone. For Duhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha, follow this;
  • 1st: Offer the first missed Rakat starting from the beginning till the recitation of Surat Fateha and Quran, and make ruku and sajood. 
  • 1st: If you are praying Maghrib, you will sit down in Tashahhud and then stand up to complete the Salah. No need to sit down here for Fajr, Duhr, Asr, and Isha.
  • 2nd: Stand up and offer the 2nd missed Rakat starting from the beginning till the recitation of Surat Fateha and Quran, make ruku and sajood.
  • 2nd: After making sajood, you will sit down in Tashahhud and complete the prayer till Salam.

Missed 3 Rakat

If you join the Salah with Jamaat when the Ruku of the 3rd Rakat has been performed, you shall offer three Rakats later in this way.

  • Complete the Salah behind Imam and stand up when he ends it by saying, Salam. 
  • If you are praying Maghrib, you will start the Salah and complete it till the end as you pray alone. For Duhr, Asr and Isha, follow this;
  • 1st: Offer the first missed Rakat until the recitation of Surat Fateha and Quran, and make ruku and sajood. 
  • 1st: Sit in Tashahhud and then stand up to complete the Salah. 
  • 2nd: Offer the 2nd missed Rakat from the beginning till the recitation of Surat Fateha and Quran, make ruku and sajood.
  • 3rd: Stand up and offer the 3rd missed Rakat by reciting Surat Fateha only then make ruku and sajood. There is no need to recite the Quran in the 3rd Rakat.
  • 3rd: After making sajood, you will sit down in Tashahhud and complete the prayer till Salam.

Missed 4 Rakat

If you join the Salah with Jamaat when the Ruku of the 4th Rakat has been performed, you shall follow these guidelines;

  • Complete the Salah behind Imam and stand up when he ends it by saying, Salam.
  • You will start the Salah and complete it till the end as you pray alone because you have missed all 4 Rakat.

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