الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين، أما بعد
Shaikh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said:
“It has preceded that if one reaches the Imaam whilst he is in a state of rukoo’, then the author of the text (of Zaad Al-Mustaqni’) made it clear that he should make the opening takbeer – and that it requites him for making the takbeer for the rukoo’ – and that if he makes takbeer for the rukoo’; then that is better.
However; if he reaches him in other than the rukoo’; such as his reaching the Imaam whilst he is sitting – or that he reaches him after he has arisen from the rukoo’, or that he reaches him whilst he is in prostration – then here he should make the opening takbeer; however – should he make takbeer for a second time or should he not make the takbeer?
The answer: is that this is a point of difference amongst the scholars:
- The saying of the first group is: that he should descend without making the takbeer.
- The saying of the second group is: that he should descend whilst making the takbeer.
So those that say: that he should descend whilst making the takbeer; then they do so under the pretext that: this is the same as if you had attained the rukoo’, so if you had attained the rukoo’; then you would be making a takbeer for the opening (of the prayer) and another for the rukoo’. Therefore – if you reached him whilst he was sitting; you make the takbeer for the opening, then you make (another) takbeer in order to sit.
As for those that say: he should descend without making the takbeer; then they say: because your transition from the standing to the rukoo’ is the transition from a pillar (of the prayer) to that which adjoins it, so it is a transition in its actual location (i.e to that which adjoins it).
However if you entered along with the Imaam whilst he was sitting; then your transition from standing to sitting is a transition to a pillar which doesn’t adjoin it. So since it is a transition to a pillar that doesn’t adjoin it; then there is no takbeer to be made here, because the takbeer is for when there is a transition from one pillar to the pillar which adjoins it – whilst here the pillar does not adjoin it – so one should not make the takbeer. And this is what is well known with the Fuqahaa (rahimahumullaah) that: he should descend without making takbeer.
However despite this we say: if a person were to make takbeer then there is no harm, and if he were to leave it then there is no harm – and thus we leave the choice for the person, because there is no clear proof for the differentiation between the rukoo’ and other than it.
Hence it is from that which is permissible for a person to say:
That the sitting does not adjoin the standing, however that which made me sit was the matter of following the Imaam. So now I have made the transition to a pillar (of the prayer) which is commanded to be transitioned to – however this is done out of following the Imaam – not with regard to the origin (of the affair).
This in no doubt assists the saying that one should make the takbeer.
So that which we see in this matter is the precautionary measure that one should make the takbeer.”
(Taken from: Sharh al-Mumti’ ‘alaa Zaad Al-Mustaqni’ vol 4 p.177-178)
 Translators note: Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) was asked concerning the same issues discussed above in a question:
“If the person who wishes to join the congregation comes for the prayer and the Imaam is bowing (in rukoo’); should he make a takbeer for the opening as well as for the rukoo’ or should he make the takbeer and make the rukoo’?”
The Shaikh replied:
“That which is worthier and a more precautionary measure is that he makes the takbeer with two takbeers; one of them being the opening takbeer – and it is a pillar (of the prayer) and it is a must that he comes with it whilst he is standing. The second being the takbeer for the rukoo’; he comes with it when he bends down for the rukoo’, so if he fears missing the rak’ah (unit of prayer); then the opening takbeer suffices him – in that which is more authentic from the two opinions of the scholars. This is because they are two aspects of worship which have become united at one time; hence the greater suffices over the smaller, and so suffices for this rak’ah with the majority of the scholars.” (See: Majmu’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawa’ah vol 11 p.244-245)
The Shaikh was asked likewise:
“If I come to the congregation in the Masjid and they are in the prayer and making the rukoo’; should I enter along with them in this situation by making the opening takbeer as well as a takbeer for the rukoo’? And should I recite the opening supplication or not?”
The Shaikh replied:
“If a Muslim enters the Masjid and the Imaam is in rukoo, then it is legislated for him that he enters along with him in that by making two takbeers. The first takbeer is for the opening (of the prayer) whilst he is standing, and the second is for the rukoo’ when he is going into the rukoo, and it is not legislated in this situation to recite the opening supplication and nor the recitation of soorah Al-Faatihah due to the restricted time…” (See: Majmu’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawa’ah vol 11 p.241)
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