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When Can I Join a Congregational Prayer?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Shaykh Farid Dingle

Question: Assalamu alaykum

The Imam was in the tashahud position in the last raka when I entered the mosque. Just after I said the opening takbeer before I had a chance to join the imam in the tashahud position, the imam said the first of the finishing salams.

Can I join a congregation after only one finishing salaam has been said before the second one?

And what about my situation? Have I caught the congregational prayer?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam,

The prayer is generally over once the imam utters the first salam, meaning saying assalamu alaykum. After that you could not join the prayer, because it is over.

In your scenario, you caught the group prayer because you joined before he said the first salams.

I pray this helps.

[Shaykh] Farid Dingle

Shaykh Farid Dingle grew up in a convert family in Herefordshire, UK. In 2007, he moved to Jordan to pursue traditional studies. Shaykh Farid continues to live in Amman, Jordan with his wife and kids. In addition to continuing his studies he teaches Arabic and several of the Islamic sciences.

Shaykh Farid began his journey in sacred knowledge with intensives in the UK and Jordan (2004) in Shafi’i fiqh and Arabic. After years of studying Arabic grammar, Shafi’i fiqh, hadith, legal methodology (usul al-fiqh) and tafsir, Sh. Farid began specializing in Arabic language and literature. Sh. Farid studied Pre-Islamic poetry, Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid, and Andalusian literature. He holds a BA in Arabic Language and Literature and continues exploring the language of the Islamic tradition.

In addition to his interest in the Arabic language Shaykh Farid actively researches matters related to jurisprudence (fiqh) which he studied with Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, and continues with Shaykh Amjad Rasheed.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.