Subject : Ruling on Following the Imaam upon Offering an Additional Rak`ah
Fatwa Number : 3059
Date : 26-03-2015
Classified : Congregation (Group) Prayer
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

If an Imaam stood to add a fifth Rak`ah and the Ma`moomeen (those praying behind the Imaam) were split into: 1- a group which is certain that he had performed four Rak`ahs, and remained sitting until they offered Tasleem with him.2- a group which is certain that he had performed four Rak`ahs, but followed him in performing a fifth Rak`ah.3- a group which is uncertain or arrived late and followed the Imaam. Which group is right?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

If an Imaam stood up to perform an additional Rak`ah out of forgetfulness, but remembered offering it, then he should return to Tashahood and perform the two prostrations of forgetfulness. The Ma`moomeen should warn him, so if he was doubtful about the additional Rak`ah, then he isn`t allowed to go back to Tashahood unless they were too many (They warned him that he is standing up to offer an additional Ra`kah).

If he didn`t go back to Tashahood, then his prayer is invalid and it is forbidden for the Ma`moomeen to follow him because if they did, their prayer becomes invalid as well. However, if they have split and didn`t agree on one opinion, then the Imaam relies on what he thinks is most likely, namely the lesser number of Rak`ahs, and disregards them.

Those who are certain that the Imaam is standing up to perform an additional Rak`ah are forbidden from following him, so they either offer Tasleem or keep sitting and offer Tasleem with him, which is better. If they followed him in offering a fifth Rak`ah, then their prayer is invalid. However, those who aren`t certain that he is standing up to perform an additional Rak`ah, should follow him in what he thinks is most likely since he is there to be followed.

As for those who arrived late and didn`t realize that the Imaam was standing up to offer an additional Rak`ah, this extra Rak`ah counts for them. However, if they realized that it was an additional Rak`ah, then they shouldn`t follow him in order to make up their missed Rak`ahs since following him will render their prayer invalid.

In conclusion, the prayer of those who performed a fifth Rak`ah knowingly is considered invalid; whereas,the prayer of those who kept sitting for Tashahood until the Imaam finished the fifth Rak`ah, or offered Tasleem is considered valid. As regards the Imaam, if he was certain that he had performed a fifth Rak`ah (an extra Rak'ah), then his prayer is considered invalid. And Allah knows best.



Warning: this window is not dedicated to receive religious questions, but to comment on topics published for the benefit of the site administrators—and not for publication. We are pleased to receive religious questions in the section "Send Your Question". So we apologize to readers for not answering any questions through this window of "Comments" for the sake of work organization. Thank you.