Latecomer to the Prayer Acting as Imaam for Another Latecomer

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih Al-‘Uthaymeen

Question: In the name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy. Noble Shaykh, he who is making up that which he has missed from the prayer, is it permissible that he lead another person?

Shaykh ‘Uthaymeen: Meaning, the latecomer who enters along with the Imaam during the prayer. Then he stands to make up that which he missed; can someone else complete their prayer along with him (acting as Imaam)?

Questioner: Then a chain reaction begins.

Shaykh: The scholars have differed in this matter. From them there is he who says that this is not correct and it is not correct that anyone should complete their prayer with (i.e., following) him. From them there is he who says that it is correct, but it opposes that which takes more precedence. This is the view which is closer to that which is correct; that it is correct but it opposes that which takes precedence, and it is closer to Bid’ah than it is to the Sunnah. This is because the companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, would not do this. If a man missed some of the prayer he would stand and make it up by himself.

Moreover, this would lead to—as you mentioned—a chain reaction. For one will pray along with one who is making up what he missed; and perhaps he—meaning the one who entered the prayer—will have missed something so he makes it up after he (the first man) completes his prayer, and a third man enters, and a fourth etc. In this case, it would be very clear that it is a Bid’ah.

Translated by Raha ibn Donald Batts

Source: Silsilah Liqaa’aat Al-Baab Al-Maftooh (no. 12)

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