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Should One Fold the Hands When Joining the Congregation as a Latecomer

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Maulana Syed Johir Miah


When joining Salah as a لاحق, is it necessary, preferred, etc to fold the hands when standing if the Imam is in ruku or Sajdah, etc?

As far as I remember in Shami, it mentions that any standing which has no dhikr in it, a person should leave their hands by their side?

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


The latecomer is called masbooq and he should join the jamaat immediately and should not wait for the Imam to come to a particular point.  

For instance, some people will wait for the Imam to conclude the sajdah and start the salah from the following rakaat. This is incorrect and they should join the imam immediately, regardless of what posture the imam is at such as; ruku, sajdah, tashahhud.

Sayyiduna Anas ( رضى الله عنه ) relates that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said إذا جاءَ أحَدُكُمْ إلى الصَّلاةِ فَلْيَمْشِ عَلى هِينَتِهِ فَما أدْرَكَ صَلّى وما سُبِقَهُ أتَمَّ

“If one of you comes to the prayer, let him walk according to his position. Whatever he catches, he should pray and what has preceded him, he would complete.”

If the Imam is in ruku or in the sajdah position, then the latecomer should say ‘Allahu Akbar’ raising his hands up to the ears in the standing position and then without folding his hands below the navel he should join the Imam in the ruku or sajdah position.

The reason for this is that hands are folded below the navel if there is some recitation to follow.  As there is no recitation here, the hands should not be folded below the navel.

All the Fuqahaa are unanimous that the hands should be let loose on the side after standing up from Ruku though there is a difference of opinion with regards to its reasoning.  Some are of the opinion that this standing after Ruku is not of a reasonable amount which is required for the hands to be folded. 

Only Allah knows best

Written by Maulana Syed Johir Miah

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham


Sharhu Ma’anil Athar, Hadith 2320, 397/1, A’lamul Kutub, 1414 H.

Raddul Muhtar, 360/1 

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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