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How to Make up Missed Units in Congregational Prayer

Question

If I joined Asr prayers in jamaat, and the imam has already finished 3 rakaats, I only get the last rakaat, how do I complete my first 3 rakaats?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

May Allah bless you for your concern regarding matters surrounding the prayer.

When one joins the imām in congregational prayer missing one or more raka’āts, one should complete the missed raka’āts individually, after the imām completes the congregational prayer.

Perform, what ever you catch [with the imam in congregation] and complete what you have missed” (Ṣaḥīh al-Bukhārī)

Learned Islamic jurists have described various methods to make up the missed raka’āts. However, the general principle in this matter is that the raka’āts that one is making up individually are considered the first raka’āts according to recitation (of a surah or passage of the Qurʾān) and they are considered one’s final raka’āts according to position (tashahhud, sitting and standing). (See I’elā al Sunan, Ma’āni al Āthār with narrations from Musnad Aḥmad, Tabrāni and Musannaf ibn Abī Shaybah)

So in your case, after the imām makes salāms, you will stand up, recite fātiha and a passage of the Qurʾān, then sit down for tashahhud after the two prostrations, then get up, recite fātiha and a passage of the Qurʾān completing this unit with its prostrations. There after get straight up again for your final rakāh, this time only reciting fātiha. There after you will complete your salāh as normal ending with two salāms.

And Allah Knows Best.

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