Many women are not used to praying their obligatory prayers in a group setting. Educate yourself by reading the basic rulings related to praying with the imam inshaAllah.
Rulings Related to Praying Behind the Imam
The guiding principle when praying behind the imam is that one must follow the imam in whatever position he is in and one cannot do something different.
In the Hanafi madhhab, anyone who is praying behind the imam does not recite the Qur’an aloud. However, followers do say the opening takbir, the related dhikr in each position, the tashahhud, the salawat, and the final salam in a lowered voice.
- When the imam gives says the opening takbir (Allah akbar), one says the opening takbir (Allah akbar) in an audible voice.
- One says the opening supplication in a lowered voice (Subḥānakal-lahumma wa biḥamdika wa tabārakas-muka wa taʿālā jadduka wa lā ilaha ghayruka).
- One remains quiet while the imam recites the Qur’an. One does not recite Sūrat al-Fātiḥa behind the imam or any surah. Upon the imam finishing Sūrat al-Fātiḥa, one says ‘Amīn to oneself in a lowered voice.
- When the imam says the takbir (Allahu akbar) to bow (ruku’), one says the takbir in a lowered voice and bows with the imam. While in the bowing position, one says the related dhikr (Subḥāna rabbīl-ʿaẓīm) three times.
- One continues to follow the imam in whichever position he is in, taking care to say the related dhikr in the bowing position, when standing up from bowing, when prostrating, when sitting between prostrations, and when sitting for the tashahhud and salawat.
- When the imam gives the final salam (As-salāmu ʿalaykum wa raḥmatuLlah), one says it with him and turns the face to the right and left, providing that one has finished saying the tashahhud.
Method of Joining the Group Prayer as a Latecomer
A latecomer (masbuq) is anyone who joins the prayer after the imam started the prayer. A person who has missed any rakaat and then joined the imam should continue the prayer with the imam to its end. Once the imam turns to say the final salaam, the latecomer does not follow the imam but should stand up and complete the missed number of rakaat.
- To join the prayer as a latecomer, one makes the opening takbir (Allah akbar) whilst standing in an audible voice.
- Thereafter, one joins the imam in whichever position the imam is in, even if it means following the imam in prostration or the final sitting.
- If one joined during the bowing position (ruku’) in the first cycle of prayer (rak’a), then one caught the first cycle of the prayer. One does not need to make up anything when the imam gives the final salam.
- If one joins during the bowing position (ruku’) in the second cycle of the prayer (rak’a), then one caught the second cycle of the prayer. However, when the imam gives the final salam, one stands and makes up the first cycle before giving the final salam. The same principle would apply to the other rakaat but the rulings can become more complicated the later one joins. Please ask a teacher or scholar for the related rulings.