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Skipping main jamaat to join a person later on

Fatwaa ID: 745

Question:
Salam alaikum w rahmatollahi respected Muftis.
If one can pray in a set jamat time, but desires to pray with their friend which can not make the set jamat time as to increase ajr of that person, would the former be sinful? I know the Prophet SAWS mentioned in a hadith that praying with someone is giving them sadaqah, but I do not recall/fully understand the entire context of it. Jazakallhakhair

Clarification:
Good question – we do not have a masjid close to my university and a Musallah does the purpose, and we gather in it in solid numbers alhamdulillah. But if the answer is different for a proper mosque and a musallah, then please inform me.

Clarification: there is an appointed Imam and 5 times regular Jama’at at scheduled time in the Musalla

Answer:
In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

We take note of the details of your query. We understand that a set congregation takes place for each of the salaahs. You should join that congregation. The more people, the greater the reward.

As for your friend who is unable to join the set timing, you should not leave out the set congregation to join him. Instead, you should perform your salaah with the set congregation and then join him later for Zuhr and ‘Ishaa prayers with the intention of nafl. For Maghrib, it will be unadvisable to join but if you do, then you will add a fourth rak’ah when he makes salaam. By joining him afterwards with the intention of nafl salaah, he will receive the reward of congregation and you will receive the reward of nafl. This is the meaning of the Hadith that you are referring to. See the following,

عن أبي سعيد الخدري رضي الله عنه: أن رجلاً دخل المسجد وقد صلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بأصحابه، فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: من يتصدق على هذا فيصلي معه؟ فقام رجل من القوم فصلى معه.
A man entered the masjid after Rasulullaah ﷺ had already led the Sahaabah (R) in salaah. Rasulullaah ﷺ asked, “Who will give charity to this person by performing salaah with him?” One of the Sahaabah (R) got up and prayed with him. [Musnad Ahmad]

We see in the above Hadith that the Sahaabi (R) had already performed salaah in the set congregation with Nabi ﷺ. He then prayed behind the other man who came late with the intention of nafl, as there is no repeating of fardh salaah.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York
https://askthemufti.us/

08/08/1444 AH – 02/28/2023 CE | AMG3-3442

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين

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