If a person who has not performed the sunnah of the morning prayer (fajr) arrives at the congregation performing the fard, should he perform the sunnah prayer or follow the congregation?

The Details of the Question

If a person who has not performed the sunnah of the morning prayer (fajr) arrives at the congregation performing the fard, should he perform the sunnah prayer or follow the congregation?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

According to Hanafis, if there is no fear of missing the congregation, he should perform the sunnah of the morning prayer (fajr) at the door of the mosque and then join the congregation. By doing this, he gets the opportunity to combine two virtues. If this person is afraid of missing the congregation, he joins the fard prayer with the imam because the thawab of the congregation is greater and the threat of leaving the congregation is more binding. (Zuhayli, İslam Fıkhı, II,280)

If a person misses the two-rak’ah sunnah of the morning prayer and cannot perform it, he does not make up for it before the sun rises because it remains absolute nafilah. It is makruh to perform it after the fard of the morning prayer. According to Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Abu Yusuf, it holds true even after the sun has risen because what is essential in sunnah prayers is not to perform them as qada since qada is related to wajib prayers. The Prophet (pbuh) made up the sunnah of the morning prayer together with the fard prayer when the sun rose following the night he was resting on his journey. Only the sunnah of the prayer without the fard is not performed as qada. Accordingly, the two-rak’ah sunnah of the morning prayer cannot be performed as qada unless the fard has also been missed. (Zuhayli, ibid, II, 280)

According to Imam Muhammad, it is mustahab to make up the two-rak’ah sunnah of the morning prayer until the time of zawal because the Prophet (pbuh) performed the two-rak’ah sunnah of the morning prayer on the morning of the famous night of Ta’ris, where they fell asleep in the valley, after the sun had risen. (Zuhayli, ibid, II, 280)

According to Shafiis, Malikis and Hanbalis, if the fard prayer has been started, a person no longer performs nafilah prayers. He performs the fard by following the imam. (Zuhayli, ibid, II, 278) Shafiis and Hanbalis state that the sunnah of the morning prayer can be performed after the fard of the morning prayer... According to Malikis, it is makruh tanzihi.

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