Joining the prayer in Ruku
Fatwa No: 81674

Question

I HAVE READ IN HADITH THAT THERE IS NO SALAT IF NOT RECITED SURAH FATIHA. IF ONE JOINS IN RUKU WILL HE HAVE TO REPEAT THE RAKAT? SOME PEOPLES SAY NOT TO REPEAT THE RAKAT. WHAT IS TRUE IN THE LIGHT OF QURAN AND HADITH?

Answer


Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

Whoever finds the Imam who leads the prayer, in the position of Ruku (bowing down) and bows down with him he can count that Rak'ah a valid one, and he is not obliged to repeat it. The evidence for this is the Hadith reported from Abu Hurairah he said that the Prophet Muhammad (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: " If you come to the prayer while we are in the position of prostration (in prayer), you should prostrate with us but do not count it as a valid Rak'ah. And whoever catches up with us while in the position of Ruku, (i.e. before standing up from Ruku), he has caught up with the prayer" . [Saheeh Ibn Hibban; Al-Mustadraq]
Thus, leaving the recitation of Sur al- Fatiha does not affect his prayer either because its recitation is not compulsory for the one who follows the Imam as it is the opinion of a group of scholars, or because the meaning of Hadith which orders the recitation of Surah al-Fatiha is specified by the Hadith which is mentioned above.
However, the majority of the Muslim scholars believe that the Rak'ah is valid and then can be counted by the one who catches up with the Imam in the position of Ruku.
Other scholars believe that if one catches up with Ruku has not made a valid Rak'ah, and has then to repeat it. The basis for their viewpoint is that the recitation of Sura al-Fatiha is compulsory for both Imam (leader) and Mamoom (who follows the Imam in prayer). But this viewpoint is weak.

Allah knows best.

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