Shaykh Abdul-Muhsin Al-Abbaad was asked:


We hope from you a clarification on how the latecomer to prayer should sit if he finds the Imam in the last rak’ah? Does he supplicate [as if he is in] the first or last Tashahhud?


“If the latecomer comes while the Imam is in the last Tashahhud, then he sits like how the Imam sits and how the congregants who are not latecomers. He sits mutawarrik as comes in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). So the Imam sits in mutawarrik form, and those behind him, and the latecomer. He should not consider himself to be in the first Tashahhud. Rather he performs the Tashahhud, sends salah on the Prophet (ﷺ), supplicates, and increases in supplication until the Imam makes Tasleem.

So he follows the Imam in the manner of sitting, and in Tashahhud, and sending salutations upon the Prophet (ﷺ). And he chooses what he wills from supplication as come from the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). That does not mean he sits in Tashahhud and is silent. Rather he does what the Imam does”. End quote. [Sharh Sunan Abi Dawood no. 128]

This is in relation to when a person arrives late to the prayer and misses some of it.

Translated by

Faisal bin Abdul Qaadir bin Hassan
Abu Sulaymaan

In relation to joining the prayer when the Imam is in the last tashahhud, Shaikh Bin Baz (may Allah have mercy upon him) passed the fatwa that a person should join the congregation in this state as he mentioned,

“When a person comes while the Imam is reciting the final Tashahhud, it is recommended to join him due to the generality of the following Hadith in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: When the Iqamah (call to start the Prayer) has been pronounced, do not run to it, but walk in tranquility and pray what you are in time for, and complete what you have missed. (Agreed upon by Al-Bukhari and Muslim) Also, there is no harm in sha’a-Allah (if Allah wills) if they start another congregation.” End quote. [Reference]

Also Shaikh Ibn ul-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy upon him) also took that view in Majmoo’ Fatwaa wa Rasaail (15/47). However he added that if someone knows that he will be able to pray a second jama’ah in full, whether in that masjid or another, he should not join but instead pray the second jama’ah.

And Allah Knows Best

Faisal bin Abdul Qaadir bin Hassan
Abu Sulaymaan