Missing rukoo with Imam
Question: I have a question about salah in congregation. Praying in congregation at the mosque, i was standing beside a man who when the imam went to sujood and said allahu akbar, he would also would go to sujood. But when the imam got up from sujood, he was still in sujood, and the imam went to the 2nd sujood, he got up and went down to 2nd sujood. And than the imam got up up from sujood and sat for the first sitting of athahiyat, this man beside me was still in sujood. After some time he got up from sujood and sat, but as soon as he sat the imam got up from sitting by saying allahu akbar.
This man stayed sitting to read athahiyat. The imam said allahu akbar and went to ruku, and stood straight and said "sami allahu leman hamida", this man got up from sitting and missed the ruku with the imam, and he just read fatiha and went to ruku and etc.................... his prayer was not inline with ours, he was falling behind. 1st question is: Is it permissible for you to prolong your ruku and sujood more than the imam? 2nd question is: Did this individual miss a rakah by not doing the ruku with the imam while in the same prayer? Answer:
ﺑﺴﻢ اﷲ اﻟﺮﺣﻤﻦ اﻟﺮﺣﯿﻢ
It is important to note that the prayer of this specific individual was contrary to the Sunnah. Hence, we should abstain from praying in such a manner and respectfully teach people how to pray according to the Sunnah. In addition, we should concentrate on our own prayers to such an extent that we are unaware of what others are doing around us; and this is the demand of Khushoo and Khudoo (concentration and humility) in prayer. Allah ﺗﻌﺎﻟﻰ describes the believers as “those who humbly concentrate in their prayers.” (Surah Al-Muminoon, verse 2)
As for your first question: It is not permissible to prolong one’s rukoo more than the Imam’s. The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “ The Imam has been appointed to be followed, so when he bows, then you bow, and when he lifts his head, then you lift your heads, and when he says, ‘Sami Allahu liman Hamidah,’ then say, ‘ Rabbana wa lakal hamd…’” (Bukhari, Hadith 688). We can deduce from this Hadith that one should not tarry in following the Imam nor precede him. If the Imam lifts his head from the rukoo to go into the standing position, or he lifts his head from the sajdah to go into the sitting position, then the follower (muqtadi) should conform to whatever the Imam does, even if he did not finish reading the tasbeehs, three times.1
As for your second question: By merely missing a rukoo, that does not entail missing a whole rakah, because one rakah consists of the following: standing (qiyam), rukoo, and two sajdahs. Nevertheless, if he misses a whole rakah, less than a rakah, or many rakahs, but he makes up whatever he had missed, either before the Imam completes his prayer (by saying salam) or after the Imam completes his prayer, then the follower’s (muqtadi) prayer will be valid.2 For example: if he missed a rukoo, he will make that up, then follow the Imam in whatever position he is in, completing his prayer with the Imam.
However, if the follower (muqtadi) finishes making up what he had missed, then he realizes that the Imam has completed his prayer, then the follower (muqtadi) will complete his prayer, alone.
And Allah ﺗﻌﺎﻟﻰ knows best
Written by Mohammad Ahsan Osmani
1 Fatawa Hindiya: p. 100, v. 1 (DKI); Mirqatul Mafateeh: p. 93, v. 3 (Maktaba Imdadia)
2 Raddul Muhtar: p. 344-345, v. 2 (Maktaba Imdadia); Fatawa Hindiya: p. 103, v. 1 (DKI)