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Is Catching the Ruku

considered Catching the


Prayer?
Is Catching the Ruk considered Catching the Prayer?

‫ﺑﺴﻢ اﻟﻠﻪ اﻟﺮﺣﻤﻦ اﻟﺮﺣﻴﻢ‬

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abdir Razzaq the former teacher in the


Haraam of Mecca, and a teacher at Darul Hadith requested
Shaykh Abdur Rahman Al-Mua’limee to write a research paper
about this issue.

The Evidence for this subject:

Shaykh Abdur Rahman mentioned that the first issue of


argument is the fact that standing for the obligatory
prayers is a must . Imam Al-Bukhari in his book [ reading in
the Prayer] “Standing is must according to the Quran and the
Sunnah. Allah said: “ And stand before Allah with obedience
[and do not speak to others during
the Salat (prayers)].”[2:238]

Narrated `Imran bin Husain:

had hemorrhoids, so I asked the Prophet (‫ )ﷺ‬about the


prayer. He said, “Pray while standing and if you can’t, pray
while sitting and if you cannot do even that, then pray
lying on your side.”[ 1117].
This is some of the evidence that Imam Al-Bukhari mentioned
that supports standing for the prayer being an obligation
for the Imam and those following him. Moreover, Imam Al-
Bukhari mentioned evidence that Fatihah is to be read, and
the latecomer has to make up what he missed.

In a summary, the issue of differing in whether or not


catching the Ruku is considered catching the prayer or not
is based on the five pieces of evidence from the Sunnah.

1-Abu Hurairah reported the Messenger of Allah (‫ )ﷺ‬as


saying; when you come to pray while we are prostrating
ourselves, you must prostrate yourselves, and do not reckon
it anything (rak’ah) he has been present at the prayer.[ Abu
Dawud in his Sunnan#893]

2- The Messenger of Allah (‫ )ﷺ‬said: Whoever catches a Rakah


while the Imam is in Ruku before he straightens his back has
caught the prayer. [ Sunan Ad-Daraqutni#1/346,347, Ibn
Khuzaymah 1595]
3- The Messenger of Allah (‫ )ﷺ‬said:”Whoever catches up with
a Rak’ah of the prayer, then he has caught up with the
prayer.”[Al-Bukhari 850/Muslim607]

4- Abu Bakrah said that he came to the mosque when the


Prophet (‫ )ﷺ‬was bowing. So I bowed outside the row (before
joining it). The Prophet (‫ )ﷺ‬said; May Allah increase your
eagerness! But do not do it again.[Al-Bukhari 783]

5- Imam Al-Bukhari mentioned that a large number of the


companions considered catching the Ruku catching the prayer
and there wasn’t any known differing among them in this
issue and the majority of the scholars followed them in this
issue.

These were the proofs that Shaykh Abdur Rahman Al-Mua’limee


took from Shaykh, Al-Imam Al-Bukhari [may Allah have mercy
on them both] for his discussion. There were a total 4
ahadith for this topic and Shaykh Abdur Rahman explained
them all in detail;

Hadith explanation by Shaykh Abdur Rahman Al-Mua’limee

Abu Hurairah reported the Messenger of Allah (‫ )ﷺ‬as


saying; when you come to pray while we are prostrating
ourselves, you must prostrate yourselves, and do not
reckon it anything (rak’ah) he has been present at the
prayer.[ Abu Dawud in his Sunnan#893]

The isnad for this hadith is

Abu Dawud——Muhammad ibn Yahya Fari— Sa’eed ibn Al-


Hakam—Nafi’ ibn Yazeed—Yahya ibn Abi Sulayman—Yazid ibn Abil
‘Attab and Ibn Maqbari—Abu Hurayrah….

Yahya ibn Abi Sulayman solitarily narrated this hadith on


Yazid ibn Abil Attab and Saeed Al-Maqbari. Imam Al-Bukhari
said that Yahya was Munkar Al-Hadith, and there wasn’t any
evidence that Yahya heard hadith from Yazid or Al-Maqbari.
Imam Al-Bukhari and Ibn Madani considered this a breakage in
the chain.

Shaykh Abdur Rahman mentioned that Abu Hatim, Al-Bayhaqi and


Ath-Thahabbi all considered Yahya ibn Sulayman weak in
hadith as well. Moreover, he mentioned that Ibn Khuzaymah
mentioned this hadith in his Sahih collection and mentioned
he stated: “I don’t know Yahya for having a praise or a
criticism, but I only mentioned the hadith because no
scholars differed over it.

The conclusion of this hadith with Shaykh Al-Mua’limee was


it was unacceptable from Yahya who only himself, narrated
this hadith,and although Abu Dawud mentioned this hadith in
his Sunan, with the condition of only mentioning hadith
suitable as proof, then perhaps Abu Dawud mentioned it as it
wasn’t a rejected Hadith on this topic; as the majority of
jurists accepted this act and considered catching the Ruku;
as catching the prayer.

The Messenger of Allah (‫ )ﷺ‬said: Whoever catches a


Rakah while the Imam is in Ruku before he straightens
his back has caught the prayer. [ Sunan Ad-
Daraqutni#1/346,347, Ibn Khuzaymah 1595]

The isnad for this hadith is;

Ibn Khuzaymah—Essa ibn Ibrahim—Ibn Wahab—Yahya ibn


Humaid––Qura ibn Abdir Rahman—Ibn Shehab—Abu Salamah ibn
Abdir Rahman —Abu Hurayrah….

Yahya ibn Humaid is the only person who narrated this hadith
on Qura ibn Abdir Rahman on Ibn Shehab[Az-Zuhri].Imam Al-
Bukhari mentioned the Yahya ibn Humaid was unknown and that
no one should rely on his hadith. Also, Imam Ad-Darqutni
graded Yahya as being a weak narrator. Imam Ibn Yunis
mentioned this hadith in his book, The history of Egypt, and
said this was the only hadith the Yahya ibn Humaid was known
for and that it had many breakages in the chain.

Also in the chain is Qura ibn Abdir Rahman and Imam Ahmed
and Abu Zur’a both mentioned that he was munkarul Hadith.

Another issue with this hadith was the extra wording ‘before
he straightens his back…”

The 3rd hadith is collected in the Muwatta of Imam Malik and


is authentic;

The Messenger of Allah (‫ )ﷺ‬said: “Whoever catches up


with a Rak’ah of the prayer, and then he has caught up
with the prayer.

This hadith unlike the previous one mentioned that whoever


catches up with with a Rak’ah of the prayer has caught up
with the prayer and the wording, “ Before he[the Imam ]
straightens his back” wasn’t mentioned. Shaykh Abdur Rahman
Al-Mua’limee mentioned that Imam Malik and group of Imams
collected this hadith by way of Zuhri. The extra wording is
meaningless.

The meaning of the hadith, “Whoever catches up with a Rak’ah


of the prayer, and then he has caught up with the prayer.”
Implies that if a person catches one rakah from Fajr then he
has caught it, and the one who catches one rak’ah from any
prayer of the five has caught that Salah.

Abu Bakrah said that he came to the mosque when the


Prophet (‫ )ﷺ‬was bowing. So I bowed outside the row
(before joining it). The Prophet (‫ )ﷺ‬said; May Allah
increase your eagerness! But do not do it again.

This hadith is authentic. Shaykh Abdur Rahman Al-Mua’limee


said there were some discrepancies about the saying of some
Imams, “ If Abu Bakrah didn’t consider catching the Ruku as
catching the prayer then why did he hasten to do so?”
It’s very well possible that he didn’t want to lose out on
the reward of praying with the Prophet [‫ ]ﷺ‬instead of
missing the Ruku’. This is the kind of good thoughts we
should have about the companions.

The 2 nd argument scholars bring from this hadith is the


Prophet [‫ ]ﷺ‬agreed with Abu Bakrah’s action and didn’t order
him to complete his prayer or redo it. This isn’t a strong
argument as the wording in Al-Bukhari reads, “May Allah
increase your eagerness! But do not do it again.” Those word
signal the Prophet[‫ ]ﷺ‬was praising Abu Bakrah for his
eagerness, and he telling him not to do it again shows he[‫]ﷺ‬
didn’t want Abu Bakrah to miss out coming to the prayer in
tranquil, non-rushing state.

In the narration of Abu Dawud its reported, When the


Prophet (‫ )ﷺ‬finished his prayer, he said: which of your
bowed without the row, and then went to the row? Abu Bakrah
said; it was I.[#684]

If we examine this extra wording in the hadith found in Abu


Dawud and the wording in Al-Bukhari then it’s possible that
the Prophet[‫ ]ﷺ‬waited until everyone finished their prayers,
and after he finished his he made Thikr. Moreover, there’s
no solid evidence on which Rak’ah that Abu Bakrah caught. It
could have been the 1st or the 2nd. With this the Prophet knew
his companions would stand up and complete their prayers, so
he waited and then asked,”Who from you bowed outside the
row..”

In summary, there are some narrations that show all the


companions didn’t consider catching the Ruku’ catching the
prayer. Abu Hurayrah said: “ Your Rak’ah isn’t counted until
you join the Imam standing before Ruku’[1]

Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri said: None of you should go into


Ruku until you’ve read Al-Fatihah.”
Imam Ali Ibn Al-Madeeni said: Those who consider it’s not
obligatory for those following behind the Imam to read Al-
Fatihah say catching the Ruku is catching the Rakah of that
prayer. Others who say it’s a must for those praying behind
the Imam to read Al-Fatihah say that joining the Imam while
he is in Ruku isn’t considered catching the prayer.

Abu Hurayrah said: Read Al-Fatihah silently to yourself and


don’t count a Rak’ah of the prayer until you’ve joined the
Imam while he’s standing [before going into ruku.]

It outwardly seems to be a contradiction when we say


catching the Imam in Ruku is catching that Rak’ah of the
prayer ,for the command of reading Al-Fatihah and standing.
The majority of the scholars say catching the Imam while
he’s bowing is catching that Rakah of the prayer; however,
is this enough to make a specific ruling for the text that
says Al-Fatihah is must, and it’s a must to stand for the
prayer when one has the ability to do so!

Nothing from the commands of the prayer are dismissed unless


there is a legitimate reason acceptable by the Shari’ah.
Those who come late to the prayer often times are just lazy.
And when they arrive they don’t do the Takbir except when
the Imam does it. Also other come late for the reason they
were fiddling with their clothes. I don’t deny the majority
of the scholars for this issue have strong evidence, but for
me, it’s better to pray a complete prayer as the text
specified.i.e the obligation to read Al-Fatihah and start
the prayer off standing.

Taken [ ‫[ “ﻫﻞ ﻳﺪرك اﻟﻤﺄﻣﻮن اﻟﺮﻛﻌﺔ ﺑﺈدراﻛﻪ‬/‫ﻣﺠﻤﻮع رﺳﺎﺋﻞ اﻟﻔﻘﻪ‬


‫ ]اﻟﺮﻛﻮع ﻣﻊ اﻹﻣﺎم ؟‬by (Shaykh Abdur Rahman Al-Mua’limee1386H)

Translated and arranged by

Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle

Doha, Qatar 1439h©


Academic/Khateeb in Doha, Qatar [May Allah preserve her]

[1] ” [ reading behind the Imam , Imam Al-Bukhari]