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According to the rulings of

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Compiled and Edited bv Saleem Bhimii
Published bv
Islamic Humanitarian Service
153 Frederick Street, Suite 101
Kitchener, Ontario ' Canada, N2H-2M2
Telephone: (519) 576-7111
Fax: (519) 576-0129
e-mail: or
ISBN 1-894701-07-0
The printing of this booklet was made possible due to the
help of caring donors. We request the reader to recite a
Surah al-Fatiha in the memory of the following deceased
brothers and sisters:

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Bihar al-Anwr, Jolume 1, Page. 17
Table of Contents

1. The Meaning of Salat al-Jama`at 7
2. The Importance of Salat 7
3. The Importance of Salat al-Jama`at 8
4. The Arrangement of Salat al-Jama`at 9
5. The Disciplines of Salat al-Jama`at 10
6. The Qualifications of the Imam of Salat al-Jama`at 10
7. How to Join Salat al-Jama`at 11
8. When Can You Join Salat al-Jama`at? 12
9. Some Common Questions 12
10. Late Joiners 13
11 .Connections in Salat al-Jama`at 14
12. Emergencies in Salat al-Jama`at 15
13. Salat al-Jama`at for the Muslim Sisters 16
14. A Few Narrations Concerning Salat al-Jama`at 16
his |eeklet is an sinple guide fer these whe wish te have an elenentary
knewledge cencerning the rules ef Salat al-Jana`at. 1he rulings
cenpiled herein are |y ne neans exhaustive. hewever. they are eneugh
te ena|le a persen te jein and cenplete his er her prayers cerrectly.
1he rulings are in accerdance with the Islanic laws accerding te the rulings ef
Ayatullah al-Uzna al-Eaj as-Sayyid Ali al-Eusaini as-Seestani. nay Allah
pretect hin.
We pray that this shert werk helps the |elievers in their attenpts te understand
and participate in the Salat al-Jana`at. and that they are a|le te |enefit fren the
knewledge centained in this |eeklet.
We weuld alse like te extend eur thanks te the deners whe nade it pessi|le te
have this |eeklet printed nay Allah |SW1) reward then anply fer their
centri|utien te this ne|le preject.
Islanic Eunanitarian Service
2000 / 1+21 A.E.
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1he Meaning of Salt al-1am`at
alat al-Jana`at neans praying in congregation. with one person
leading. The person who leads is called the Inan. while those who
follow hin are called t he Ma`nun or Ma`nunin (plural). As for
the daily prayers. the nininun anount of people needed is two - one
Inan and one Ma`nun. For the Salat al- Junu`ah (Friday) there nust be
a nininun of five people. including the Inan.
There is no Salat al-Jana`at f or the Mustahab Salat with the
exception of Salat al- Istisqa`. or the invocation for rain: and for the Salat
of Fid. which are offered on the day of Fid al-Fitr and Fid al-Qurban.
which are nustahab during the tine of occultation of the 12
Inan (nay
our souls be sacrificed for hin).
1he Importance of Salt
The Salat is the nost inportant act of worship in Islan. and if it is
accepted by Allah (SWT). then all other acts of worship are accepted as
well. Eowever. if the Salat is not accepted. then all other actions also
will not be accepted. It has been narrated fron the 6
Inan. Ja`far ibn
Muhannad as- Sadiq. peace be upon hin. quoting his forefathers up to
the Messenger of Allah. peace be upon hin and his fanily. that he said:
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If there was a stream at the house of anv one of vou in which he washes himself
five times a dav. will there remain anv dirt on vour bodv? Jerilv. the likeness of
the Salt is the same as the stream. The person who establishes the ritual
pravers clears out his sins therebv. except for the sin that takes him out from the
faith that he believes in.' (Bihr al-Anwr. Jol. 82. Pg. 236)
1he Importance of Salt al-1am`at
In Islan. perhaps there is no other Mustahab act that carries such
benefits and results as Salat al-Jana`at. As for the inportance of it. we
quote one narration in which it has been nentioned that:
N If two people forn a Jana`at. the reward for one Rak`at will be
equal to one hundred and fifty prayers.
N If there are three people. the reward for one Rak`at will be equal
to six hundred prayers.
N If there are four people. the reward for one Rak`at will be equal to
one thousand two hundred prayers.
N If there are five people. the reward for one Rak`at will be equal to
two thousand four hundred prayers. and such does the reward
nultiply. that if there are nore than ten people in the Jana`at. then if
all the skies were paper. all the seas were ink. all the trees were pen s.
and all the nen. Jinn. and Angels got together as scribes to record the
reward of one Rak`at. they would not be able to do it.
In the sane narration. it is nentioned that the Takbir (Allahu Akbar)
that the believers say after the leader of the Salat is better and nore
beloved to Allah that sixty thousand Haii and lnrah. and better than this
world and all that is in it sixty tines over! Fach Rak`at that the believer
perforns in Jana`at is better than offering one hundred thousand dinars
in charity to the poor. and his saidah is better than if he was to free one
hundred slaves.
It has been enphatically reconnended that all obligatory Salat. with
special enphasis on Salat al-Fair. Maghrib and Isha be offered in
congregation. More stress has been laid upon those who live in the
neighbourhood of a Masiid. and upon those who can nornally hear the
Adhan fron their hones.
It is therefore. reprehensible to underestinate or ignore Salat al-
Jana`at. and according to the Islanic rulings. it is not pernitted to keep
away oneself fron the Salat al-Jana`at unduly. nor is it proper to
abandon it without a iustifiable excuse.
It is further Mustahab to wait for sone tine until the Salat al-Jana`at
begins with the intention to participate in the Salat. since a short
congregational Salat is better than a prolonged Salat offered alone. It is
also better to wait for the Salat al-Jana`at to be established. even if it is
offered after the prine tine rather than to pray alone. In fact. if a person
realizes that the Salat al -Jana`at has been established but he has already
read his Salat. it is Mustahab to repeat the prayers again in Jana`at.
1he Arrangement of Salt al-1am`at
The Inan of the Jana`at stands in front of those who are following
hin. The followers are beh ind hin. forning straight lines - each standing
close to the other one`s shoulders. As for the distance between the rows.
according to Ihtiyat Mustahab. it should be iust enough to allow the
person to perforn Saidah.
When there are only two people in Sala t al-Jana`at. the Inan and
the Ma`nun. then it is Mustahab that the Ma`nun position hinself iust
behind the Inan on his right side. although. he can also stand in line with
the Inan. When there are nany followers. according to Ihtiyat Waiib.
the followers nust not stand beside the Inan . rather they nust be behind
The standing place of the Inan conpared to that of the Ma`nun
should not be higher than the span of four closed fingers. But the place
where the followers stand could be higher than that of the Inan. Of
course. the height nust be reasonable enough to naintain the appearance
of Salat al-Jana`at.
There nust not be a large distance or obstruction between the Inan
and the Ma`nun. If the Ma`nun is standing exactly behind the Inan.
then his forehead in Saidah should fall iust behind the feet of the Inan.
Sinilarly. there nust not be any gap or obstruction between the lines.
If during the course of the Salat al-Jana`at. a person finds that he is
distanced fron the preceding line by a foot or nore. then since he is
isolated fron the Jana`at. he should change his intention fron Salat al-
Jana`at to Furada` (single prayer) and continue his prayers as such.
1he Disciplines of Salt al-1am`at
For the Imm: the Inan nust consider the fact that sone o f the
participants in the Jana`at nay be weak or aged. and as such. he should
avoid lengthy Surahs. Qunut. Ruku`. and Suiud. Eis pace nust be
noderate so as to suit followers of all ages.
In those Salat in which the Surahs are to be read aloud (Salat al-F air.
Maghrib and Isha). the Inan is expected to raise his voice so as to
becone reasonably audible (heard by the followers).
When the Inan in Ruku` learns. that a newconer wishes to ioin the
Salat al-Jana`at. it is Mustahab for hin to prolong his Ruku` to twice his
usual duration. and then get up without waiting for another one who
night want to ioin in.
For the Ma'mm: The lines should be straight. with each person
standing close to another - shoulder to shoulder. As long as there is a gap
in any one line. that spot should be filled before naking a new line. and it
is Makruh for a person to stand alone. It is Mustahab that after the line:
~' .
is read. the followers rise and get ready to start the Salat. It is Makruh for
the followers to recite any of the supplications. Tasbih or Takbir. in such
a way that the Inan can hear then. When a Ma`nun wishes to ioin the
Inan in Ruku`: but fears that the Inan nay rise before he can ioin. he
can nake a polite appeal by saying:
`. = . or =
signaling to the Inan that he wishes to ioin. After the signal. he should
not waste any tine and ioin otherwise it night inconvenience the other
participants. Ee should then pronounce the Takbiratul Ihran loudly so
the Inan becones aware that the appellant has ioined.
1he Qualifications of the Imm of Salt al-1am`at
One who leads the prayers is called the Inan. and he nust be:
1. Baligh (Adult) neaning that he has attained the age of responsibility
and puberty: and fo r Men. it is one who has conpleted 15 lunar years.
or has seen in hinself the signs of puberty or adulthood.
2. Sane (Aqil)
3. Shi`a Ithna Asheri (believes in the nastership of the 12 Imms)
+. Adil (Just) neaning that he does not connit the naior or ninor sins .
5. Legitinate birth.
6. Able to recite correctly.
A wonan can lead the Salat only if all the followers are wonen:
however. if all of the followers are nen or there is a congregation of nen
and wonen. then the Inan nust be a nan.
How to 1oin Salt al-1am`at
Make the niyyat (intention) that you are praying behind and
following the Inan who is leading the Salat. It is not necessary to know
his nane. however. you should know that you are following that
particular Inan. Your Salat will not be counted as Sala t al-Jana`at if
you do not nake the intention of following the Inan this is inportant.
The follower nust say the Takbiratul Ihran (`.. =) after the
Inan. so as to naintain his Salat al-Jana`at.
Listen to the Imm
In the first two Rak`at. th e Inan will read Surah al-Fati ha and one
nore conplete Surah of the Eoly Qur`an. If you are praying the Salat of
Fair. Maghrib and Isha. then the Inan will be reciting these Surahs out
loud. thus. you should keep silent. and listen to his recitation. In the Salat
of Zuhr and Asr. the Inan will be reciting in a quiet whisper and you
will not recite anything out loud. however. it is Mustahab that you recite
any Dhikr of Allah such as:
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Recite Evervthing Else in 1am`at
Apart fron the two Surahs which the Inan alone will recite. you
nust independently recite all the other things in the Salat. You nust pray
the Dhikr of Ruku. Suiud. Tashahhud. Salan. and all the Takbirs. etc.
So renenber. that a Ma`nun is exenpted fron reading only the
two Surahs in the first two Rak`at.
Follow the Imm
As was prev iously nentioned. the Ma`nun nust say the Takbitatul
Ihran (the first .` . =,, after the Inan has said it. If you say it
sinultaneously with the Inan or before. then there will be no Jana`at for
Then. in every act. follow the Inan. When the Inan goes into
Ruku` Suiud. or rises. do it either with hin or after h in: but do not
precede hin. This is inportant as far as the acts are concerned.
Eowever. in the case of the recitations like the Dhikr in Ruku`. Suiud.
Qunut. etc.. you nay precede the Inan. even the Salan to conplete the
If you forgetfully ris e fron Ruku` or Suiud before the Inan. you
nust return to the Ruku` or Saidah position (as the case nay be) provided
that the Inan is still in that position.
When Can You 1oin Salt al-1am`at?
You can ioin the Salat at any stage before the Inan rises fron
Ruku`. After the Inan has risen fron Ruku`. you will not be able to ioin
hin until he stands for the next Rak`at.
You can not ioin the Inan while he is in Saidah. nor can you ioin
when the Inan stands up after conpleting the Ruku`.
Some common Questions
Q. Can I ioin when the Imm is reciting the second Srah?
A. Yes.
Q. Can I ioin when he is in Qunt?
A. Yes. you can ioin. and perforn the Qunut as well.
Q. How do I ioin when the Imm is in Ruk?
A. Make your intention. say the Takbiratul Ihran a nd go straight into
Ruku`. This will be counted as your first Rak`at.
Q. How can I ioin when the Imm is in the third or fourth Rakat?
A. In the third or fourth Rak`at. the Inan does not usually read Surah al-
Fatiha nor is there a second Surah. he will usually recite Tasbihatul
Arbah. Therefore. if you ioin hin while he is standing. you nust read at
least Surah al-Fati ha you can not sinply keep silent. Therefore. if you
believe that you will be able to read at least Surah al-Fati ha before the
Inan goes into Ruku` and rises. you nay ioin while he is standing.
Eowever if you believe that al-Fati ha nay take a longer tine to read and
that you nay niss the Ruku` with the Inan. then do not ioin while the
Inan is standing. In this case. ioin hin when he g oes into Ruku`. It is
always advisable to ioin the Salat al-Jana`at in Ruku` if the Inan is in
the third of fourth Rak`at.
Q. If I ioined Salt al-Jamat in the third Rakat of the Imm. then what
do I read in the next Rakat which will be mv second. but the Imms
A. You will treat it as your second and read Surah al-Fati ha and another
Surah. and do your best to reach the Inan while in Ruku`. If you find
that there would not be enough tine for the second Surah and Qunut. then
Surah al-Fati ha alone will suffice.
Q. Should mv Salt be the same as the Imms?
A. No. you can pray Salat al-Maghrib. for exanple. behind an Inan who
is leading Salat al-Isha. and vice versa.
Q. hhat happens if a voung child is standing in one of the rows? Does
our Salt become void?
A. No. as long as the child is a Munnayiz. neaning he can distinguish
between good and bad. and as long as the people around hin do not have
knowledge if his Salat has becone void. their Salat al-Jana`at is correct.
Late 1oiners
It is Mustahab to be present in Salat al-Jana`at fron its very start. If
fact. there is a great reward in being able to say the Takbiratul Ihran
innediately after the Inan has said it. and before he connences the
recitation of Surah al-Fati ha.
Eowever. if due to sone unavoidable circunstance. you reach late.
then you will read as nany Rak`at of Jana`at as available. and conplete
the balance on your own.
For exanple. if you reach Salat al-Asr when the Inan is in his
second Rak`at. then you will ioin. and when the Inan is in his last
Rak`at. you will change your Salat to Furadah (single). and conplete the
renaining one Rak`at alone.
When it is your first Rak`at and the Inan`s second. then according
to Ihtiyat. after the two Saidah. you nust sit in a position. flexi ng your
legs. keeping fingers and feet on the ground. and listen to the Tashahhud
being recited by the Inan (this position is referred to as Taiafi).
Sinilarly. when it is the last Rak`at of the Inan but you still have
the balance to conplete. it is Mustah ab that you flex your legs with your
fingers and feet still on the ground and wait until the Inan has finished
reciting the Salan and then stand up to conplete the Salat alone.
When a person arrives so late that he finds the Inan is in his last
Tashahhud. he would still be able to obtain the reward of Jana`at. Ee
should nake the intention. say the Takbiratul Ihran and sit to ioin the
Tashahhud. Then when the Inan has conpleted his Salat with the
Salan. he should rise to begin the first Rak`at and he does not have to
nake the intention or say the Takbir again.
Connections in Salt al-1am`at
The first person standing directly behind the Inan in Salat al-
Jana`at is connected to the Inan and so are the people next to hin.
Eowever. as the first line extend s. people standing further away fron the
Inan are connected sideways.
Connections nust always be naintained in Salat al-Jana`at. for if it
breaks. then there will be no Salat al-Jana`at. For exanple. if a person
standing in the second. third or any subseq uent line loses all connection
with no one in front of hin or by his sides. his Salat al-Jana`at ceases to
exist. and he nust continue his Salat by neans of Furadah. Eowever. if
he has soneone by his either side who is in turn properly connected with
soneone else in front. then his Salat al-Jana`at will be valid.
If anyone is praying Salat al- Qasr. he should try to avoid standing in
the first line. since if he chooses to renain seated after two Rak`at. he will
becone an obstruction to the people connected to hin. rendering their
Salat al-Jana`at invalid and void. Eowever. if he innediately rises again
to ioin Salat al-Jana`at. then the connection will be resuned and no harn
is done to the other believers around hin.
If a traveler prays in the second or any subsequent line. no harn will
be done to the believers standing next to hin even if he renains seated
after the conpletion of two Rak`at. This is because people in the
subsequent lines nornally have nore than one source of contact and
Emergencies in Salt al-1am`at
A. If the Inan`s Salat becones void due to any reason. the Ma`nun
behind hin nay steadily step forward to lead. provided that he fulfills
the qualifications for leading the Salat. Other followers will change
their intention to fo llow the new Inan.
If no one goes forward to continue the Salat al-Jana`at. then the
followers will convert their Salat to Furadah and conplete the Salat
on their own.
B. If soneone faints or collapses during the Salat al-Jana`at. then the
people standing n ext to hin nay break their Salat to attend to hin.
provided that there is no one else to help hin fron anongst those
who have not ioined the Salat.
C. If the Salat of anyone in the first line becomes void, he must get out of
the line immediately. He must neither continue nor sit down, since it
will be a distraction, and may render the Salat al-Jama`at of the others
following him in the same line as void. When he moves out, there will
be a gap, and thus the other people next to him must gradually move
sideways to reduce or fill in the gap.
D. If for any reason. the Salat al-Jana`at ceases to exist. the Ma`nun
nust not break their Salat. they nust sinply change the intention
fron Jana`at to Furadah and continue until conpletion.
F. If due to sone reason. the Ma`nu n has to abandon the Salat al-
Jana`at. then he can do so and change to Furadah. Eowever. one
cannot ioin the Jana`at with an intention of later breaking it.
Salt al-1am`at for the Muslim Sisters
Muslin wonen nay ioin Salat al-Jana`at. but they wil l keep their
position behind the nen. Although in Salat al-Jana`at. no obstruction
between the Inan and Ma`nun is pernitted. the wonen are pernitted to
stand behind barriers such as a partition. wall. curtain. etc. and be part of
the Salat al-Jana`at. Th e wonen are also pernitted to have their own
Salat al-Jana`at in which a lady Inan can lead as long as there are only
wonen in the Jana`at. Eowever. she will not stand in front. but will
position herself in the center of the first line. and those follow ing her will
forn the first line by standing by her sides.
A Few Aarrations Concerning Salt al-1am`at
1) The Holy Prophet, peace be upon him and his family, said: 'Verily, when
one of Allah`s servants establishes the Salat in congregation and asks Him
something which He does not grant him, Allah will be ashamed until He
fulfills it.

2) Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Rida, peace be upon him, said: 'The excellence of
the congregation Salat compared to a solitary Salat, is one Rak`at to two
thousand Rak`at.

3) The Holy Prophet, peace be upon him and his family, said: 'One prayer
of a man in congregation is worthier than his forty years of prayers at home

4) Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, peace be upon him, said: 'The person who
abandons the congregation (Salat) without having an excuse, and only for
unwillingness or in order to avoid attending the gathering of Muslims, has
no Salat (his Salat will not be accepted).

5) Once a blind man came to the Prophet of Allah, peace be upon him and
his family, and said that there was not anyone to take him to the Masiid to
attend the congregational Salat with him (the Prophet), when he heard the
call to prayer. The Holy Prophet, peace be upon him said, 'Stretch a rope
from your house upto the Masiid and attend the congregational Salat.

' . -