I prayed Salathul ishaa immediately after the adhan was over and before the prayer had taken place in the masjid thinking that i will not be able to reach the masjid for the congregation. But later , I was able to reach the congregation prayer. What is it that i must do? Should I pray again from the Masjid?
Shaykh Al Uthaymeen was asked :
The one who have prayed the obligatory prayer alone and then find a congregation, does he repeat the prayer with them ?
Shaykh has answered, If a person prayed alone and then find a congregation after completion of his prayer (alone) then he has fulfilled the obligation with his first prayer. But it is desired for him to repeat the prayer with that congregation for the saying of the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) : “If you two have prayed in your residence and come to the congregation in the masjid, then pray with them and it will be voluntary prayer for you” [Abu Dawud (575, 576), Trimidhi (219) and others].
So we say, he will pray with the people who have gathered and the second prayer will be a voluntary prayer for him and the first prayer is obligatory prayer for him (means he will intend to pray voluntary prayer while entering in congregation).
[Majmoo` Fatawa wa Rasaail Ibn Uthaymeen – 15/48]
Translator’s Note : Attending the congregation is obligatory, the above situation is permitted if the person has an excuse for praying alone like he is far from the masjid or he is ill or he is a traveller etc.
Answered by : Shaykh Al Uthaymeen Rahimahullah
Translated by : AbdunNoor Al Hindi