Questioner: Assalaamu ‘alaykum

Dr Sharof: Wa’alaykumu ssalaam

Questioner: If there is a person who prayed with the congregation but did not catch up with all the rak’aat, by the time he stands to make up for the missed rak’aat, can I join him (with the intention of praying an obligatory prayer) so that he becomes my Imaam?

Dr Sharof: Yes, some of the scholars opine that there is nothing wrong about it, but we hold that it is wrong; do not join him. If you are in that position and a person joins you, tranquilly push him aside to make him understand. The reason is that he started the prayer as a Ma’muum praying behind the Imaam; when the Imaam finished the prayer he became a Munfarid (the one praying individually without an Imaam), so how will he suddenly become the Imaam?

Some of the scholars, for example Shaykh Ibn Baaz –rohimohuLlaah–opined that it is not wrong. He likened this issue with the situation in which the Prophet was praying alone without any follower and then a Companion later joined him, but the cases are different. There is nothing wrong with a person starting his prayer alone without the intention of leading the prayer as the Imaam, and then someone else joins him (making him to become the Imaam), unlike this case whereby a Mahmuum becomes a Munfarid and (later) becomes the Imaam. You know this case is far (from the example sighted).

How about if it is Jumu’ah prayer? If there is a person who caught up only one rak’ah and he stands to make up for the remaining one rak’ah of the prayer, and then another person joins him; (if you’re in such situation) do not allow him (to join you). Do not allow him to join you; he should pray alone.

[SOURCE: The tape titled, “Explanation of Muwattoh of Imaam Maalik” VENUE: Lagos Island]

Transcribed by Aboo Aaishah Al Odeomeey