Praying Behind Imam


Question: How do I know if I caught the rak’a with the Imam?
Answer: 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
You have caught the unit of prayer (rak’a) with the Imam if you reach the minimum bowing while the Imam is still bowing. The minimum bowing is such that your hand could reach your knees [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah].
Ibn ‘Umar is narrated to have said, “If you reach the Imam while he is bowing, and you bow before he rises, you have caught (i.e. that cycle of prayer). If he raises before you bow then you have missed it” [Abd al-Razzaq, Musannaf].
Summary

If you are reasonably sure that you reached the minimum bowing whilst the imam has not raised from the bowing – you have caught that unit of prayer with the Imam.The basis is that the Imam is in the bowing position. If you are not sure that he left that position, assume that he hadn’t.Hope this helps.

Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences