What Does A Latecomer Do? Also: About Durr al-Mukhtar, & Imam al-Haskafi

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

I wanted to know what the proper method is for joining in on a jama3a prayer. For example, if I came late to a jama3a prayer and the imam was on the second ruka’a when I start with them, do I do tashahud after my sujood? (considering the fact that this would be my first ruka’a but the jama3a’s second) What about if the imam is doing sujood when I enter late, should I wait till he stands up for the next rukaa or join in with the sujood? How many ruka’s do I make up if I missed the first part of the second raka’a but joined in with the sujood? It’s easier to follow when I join the jama3a as they start their third rakaa but it’s always been confusing for me when joining them during their second rukaa…i would greatly appreciate some clarification on the hanafi ruling for this.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam,

In the Durr al-Mukhtar SharhTanwir al-Absar, Imam ` Ala ’ al-Din al-Haskafi explains the principle regarding this, and then gives an example:

“The latecomer… makes up the beginning of his prayer in terms of recitation, and the end of his prayer in terms of the tashahhud.

Therefore, someone who has caught one rakat in other than the fajr prayer needs to perform two rakats with the Fatiha and a sura [f: or its equivalent, which is 3 short verses], between which he sits for the tashahhud, and adds a fourth rakat in a 4-rakat prayer in which he only recites the Fatiha, and does not sit before it. ”

This may be a little terse, but if you understand the principle, and then the example, it should clear things.

If you prayed 1 rakat of a 4-rakat prayer with the imam, when you get up:

You are in your first rakat in terms of recitation, so you recite both the Fatiha and a sura; it is the second rakat you are praying, so you sit for the tashahhud;

Then, you are in your second rakat in terms of recitation, so you recite both the Fatiha and a sura; this is your third rakat overall; [if it is maghrib, you sit for your final sitting here]

Then you are in your third raka in terms of recitation, so you only recite the Fatiha; it is your final rakat overall, so you sit for the final sitting.

If you prayed 3 rakats of a 4-rakat prayer with the imam, when you get you:

You are in your first rakat in terms of recitation [see the principle outlined by Imam al-Haskafi, above], so you recite both the Faitha and a sura [or its equivalent]; it is the final rakat you are prayer, so you sit for the tashahhud, after which you send blessings on the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) using the Salawat al-Ibrahimiyya, and recite a dua, even if very short. [Note: reciting a dua at the end of the prayer, before the salams is a confirmed sunna in the Hanafi school.]

Note: The Durr al-Mukhtar [‘The Chosen Pearl’] is one of the central late texts of the Hanafi school . Its author, Ala ’ al-Din al-Haskafi was the Grand Mufti of Damascus during the 11th Islamic century, and his works, particularly the Durr, profoundly influenced all texts that came after it. Numerous super commentaries were written on the Durr, the most famous being the Hashiya of al-Tahtawi and the Hashiya of Ibn Abidin (named Radd al-Muhtar). The latter is the primary reference for fatwa in the Hanafi school everywhere the Hanafi school is practiced . [Note: the Indo-Pak scholars often refer to Ibn Abidinas “al-Shami” and to his Hashiya as “al-Shamiyya” or “FatawaShami” . ] Ibn Abidin had great admiration for the work of Ala ’ al-Din al-Haskafi: he authored at least 4 commentaries on his works, and even named his son after him: Ala ’ al-Din Abidin. Ala ’ al-Din wrote a completion on his father’s Hashiya, and authored a beautiful manual on worship, belief and halal& haram:al-Hadiyya al-Ala’iyya, which is being annotated and translated at present.

Ibn Abidin wrote his magnificent Radd al-Muhtar, the central reference for fatwa positions in the Hanafi school across the lands, as detailed  marginal glosses (hashiya) on Durr al-Mukhtar. He said: 

al-Durr al-Mukhtar, the commentary on Tanwir al-Absar, has flown through the lands, and circled the cities, and become more known than the sun at mid-day, until people have busied themselves with it, and it has become their recourse. It is most deserving of being sought, of the school (madhhab) being on it… for it contains more well-verified rulings, and sound details than many a longer work…” [Radd al-Muhtar, 1: 2]

Walaikum assalam,

Faraz Rabbani.

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