Prayer is the cornerstone of religion. In this context, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Prayer is the cornerstone of religion…” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Islam is built upon five pillars: testifying that there is no true god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, performing Prayer, paying the Zakah, making the pilgrimage to the Sacred House (Hajj), and fasting the month of Ramadan.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)

Also, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, warned against ignoring offering Prayers in their due times. Prayer has a certain time in which a Muslim should offer it. Allah says, “Worship at fixed hours hath been enjoined on the believers.” (An-Nisa’: 103)

We would like first to say that the one who joins the congregational prayer or Jama`ah after the first Rak`ah is to complete offering the prayer after the Imam recites the final Talseem.

With the above in mind, we would like to highlight the kinds of Muqtadis (followers in prayer) as follows:

(a) Mudrak

(b) Masbuq

(c) Lahiq

(a) Mudrak : The Mudrak is the follower who joins the congregation from the very beginning and remains with the Imam throughout the prayer till the end.

(b) Masbuq : He is the follower who joins the congregation after one or more rak’ahs have been performed (which is the case referred to in the first question)

(c) Lahiq : He is the follower who joins the congregation from the beginning, but then loses one or more rak’ahs due to the breaking of wudu, or going to sleep, or the occurrence of Hadith Akbar (major impurity) or is unable to perform ruku or Sajdah Sahv due to an unusual rush of the people.

Regulations Concerning Masbuq:

The Masbuq after joining the congregation has to perform the remaining prayer with the Imam. After the Imam has pronounced salutation and brought the prayer to an end, the Masbuq should stand up and complete his missed rak’ah(s) independently, in the following way:

1. First of all he should complete those rak’ah(s) that he missed.

2. He should sit in Qadah keeping in mind the rak’ah or rak’ahs that he has performed with the Imam. For instance, a person who joins the congregation during the Zuhr prayer, after three rak’ahs have been performed, should stand up after observing one (the fourth) rak’ah behind the Imam and then complete the remaining three rak’ahs independently as follows:

(a)   He should start with al-Fatihah, recite an additional passage and sit in the first Qadah after Sajdah to complete two rak’ahs (the first being the one he has observed with the Imam).

(b) He should stand up after reciting Tashahhud in the usual manner and begin his third rak’ah with al-Fatihah, which is to be followed by an additional passage, but should not sit in the Qadah.

(c) In the last rak’ah he should only recite al-Fatihah and sit in the final Qadah and complete his prayer in the usual way.