Fatwa ID: 02100
Answered by Ustadha Mahdiyah Siddique
If someone made an error and only read 2 in congregation not knowing whether the Imam was traveller or not. Then is qadah necessary? If so, how many rakats?
In response to your question;
If the Imam was a traveller and only prayed 2 rak’ahs of what was supposed to be a 4 rak’ah salah then the follower (if a resident and not also traveller), should pray the complete salah as per his usual routine.
This can be derived from the narration of Imran bin Husayn, he said; I went out on an expedition with the Messenger of Allah (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) and I was present with him at the conquest. He remained 18 days in Makkah and prayed only 2 rak’ahs (at each prayer) and he said: ‘O you who live in the town, pray 4 (rak’ah), for verily we are travellers.’ (Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadīth no. 1229, p1313, Al-Kutub Al-Sitta: Darussalam).
Furthermore, in another narration it has been narrated by Ibn Abbas, he said Allah the Exalted has prescribed for you, through the tongue (by the words) of your Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam), 4 rak’ahs while resident and 2 rak’ahs while travelling and 1 rak’ah, at the time of danger. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadīth no. 1247, p1315, Al-Kutub Al-Sitta: Darussalam).
After the travelling Imam completes his salah with salaam, the resident follower is to stand back up and continue with completing his salah.
If you were not a traveller and only prayed 2 rak’ahs of what was to be 4 rak’ah salah, then 4 rak’ah qadha is necessary.
Only Allah Knows Best
Written by Ustadha Mahdiyah Siddique
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham