Home > Salah, What You Should Do In The Following Situations? > Traveller joining congregation without knowing if imaam is also a traveller. What he should do?

Traveller joining congregation without knowing if imaam is also a traveller. What he should do?

If a traveller comes

upon a congregation

praying, and he does not

know if the imaam
is also a traveller (so that

he can join the prayer

with the intention of

shortening it),
or he is a resident (so that he can pray the complete prayer behind him), what should
he do?

 

 
According to the strongest opinion, he should act on the basis of what he sees of signs
of travel on the imaam, such as clothing or travel gear.

 

If it appears to him that the
imaam is a resident, then he should pray the complete prayer behind him.

 

The evidence for this is the report narrated by Ahmad from Ibn Abbaas, who was
asked: ―What is the reason why a traveller prays two rak‘ahs if he is alone and four
rak‘ahs if he prays behind a resident?‖ He said: ―That is the sunnah.‖ According to
another report he said: ―That is the sunnah of Abu‘l-Qaasim.‖ (Al-Haafiz did not

comment on this hadeeth in al-Takhlees, 2/50, but Ahmad Shaakir classed its isnaad
as saheeh in his commentary on al-Musnad, 3/260).

 

If he assumes that the imaam is a traveller, and prays two rak‘ahs with the intention
of praying a shortened prayer, then after salaam (completion of the prayer) he
discovers that the imaam is in fact a resident and that these two rak‘ahs were the
third and fourth prayed by the imaam, in this case he should stand up, pray two more
rak‘ahs to complete the prayer, and do sujood sahw (an extra two prostrations).
(Al-Majmoo‘ li‘l-Nawawi, 4/356).

 

There is no harm done by any speaking or asking
that were necessary for the sake of his prayer.

 

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