Fatwa Number: 144
Category: Fatwas about Salât (Prayer)– Congregational Salât (Prayer).
The ruling concerning praying behind an imam who prays the compulsory prayer before its prescribed time
If the compulsory prayer was performed before its prescribed time, is it permissible to pray with Al-Djamâ‘a (i.e. Congregation of Muslims in the Mosque) with the intention of supererogation and then pray the compulsory prayer when its prescribed time arrives, or that is impermissible?
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers until the Day of Resurrection. This being so said:
It is permissible to pray a supererogatory prayer with an imam who prays the compulsory prayer before its prescribed time and then re-pray it when that time arrives, according to the principle that allows differentiating intentions [between the imam and the person who follows him in the prayer], which is proven by numerous evidences, and for the hadith of Abû Dharr رضي الله عنه narrated by Muslim that he said: the Prophet of Allah صَلَّى اللهُ عليه وآله وسَلَّم told me: “How would you act when you are under the rulers who would delay the prayer after its prescribed time, or they would render the prayer as a dead thing by delaying it beyond its prescribed time? I said: What do you command? He said: observe the prayer at its prescribed time, and if you can perform it along with them do so, for it would be a supererogatory prayer for you.”(1) And it is not hidden that performing the prayer beyond its prescribed time by delaying it is like performing it before its time by advancing it.
The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ ; and our last prayer is all the praises and thanks are to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and prayers of Allah are to Muhammad and his Family, Companions and Brothers until the Day of Resurrection.
Bâb Az-Zuwâr on: Al-Muharram the 28th, 1424 H.
Corresponding to: May the 02nd, 2002 G.
(1) Reported by Muslim (1/290) (648), from the hadith of Abû Dharr رضي الله عنه.