1. Assalamoalikum. When 2 men hug each other, is there any proper procedure to follow? Do we hug a person’s right shoulder first? 2. When arriving late to a congregational prayer, do we say Allah Hu Akbar, then read the Thana, then go to the position of the Imam?
1. The Arabic word for hugging is “Mu’aanaqah” which means to make your neck meet the neck of another. Thus the desired method of mu’aanaqah is for both people to keep their bodies pert, with only their necks meeting. While making it from the right side would be preferred on account of beginning with the right-side in everything being sunnah, yet some Ulama have mentioned that making Muaanaqah on the left could be said to be preferred as it results in the hearts coming closer physically and spiritually.(Ahsanul Fatawa Vol.8 Pg.411). However the preferred method is from the right and the added benefit of it is that the entire bodies are not pressed together.
2. If the Imam is in Ruku or the first sajdah, then if you think that you will get the Imam in that posture after reading Thana, then you should read it. If you think that the Imam would have left that posture by then, then don’t read thana, but rather join him straight away. If he is in the second Sajdah or in any of the two sittings, then join him straight away without reading Thana. (Raddul Muhtaar Vol.1 Pg.488-H.M.Saeed, Bahr Vol.1 Pg.329, Ahsanul Fatawa Vol.3 Pg.275.)
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai