How should a latecomer join the jamaat
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
The latecomer or masbooq should join the jamaat immediately and should not wait for the Imam to come to a particular point. For example, some people will wait for the Imam to conclude the sajdah and start the salah from the following rakaat.
This is against the Sunnah of the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam. The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam has said ‘When one of you come for salah and the Imam is in a particular state (rukn of salah), then do what he is doing’. (Sunan Tirmizi p.103 v.1)
If the Imam is in ruku or in the sajdah position, then the latecomer should say ‘Allahu Akar’ raising his hands up to the ears in the standing position and then without folding his hands below the navel he should join the Imam in the ruku or sajdah position.
The reason for this is that hands are folded below the navel if there is some recitation to follow. As there is no recitation here, the hands should not be folded below the navel.
Finally, the latecomer will have to say Allahu Akbar first to join the Salah. This is known as Takbir Tahrimah, which is fardh and then it is sunnah to say Takbeer again when going into the ruku or sajdah position.
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham