Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
One person with the imam would constitute a congregational prayer even if the other person is a child or a woman.
Sheikh Sayyed Sabiq states in his well-known book, Fiqh Us-Sunnah:
One person with the imam constitutes a congregational prayer even if the other person is a child or a woman.
Ibn Abbas says: “I stayed with my Aunt Maymunah and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) got up to pray during the night. I got up to pray with him and stood on his left and the Prophet took me by my hand and put me on his right side.”
Sa`id and Abu Hurairah both reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whoever gets up during the night and wakes up his spouse and they pray two rak`ahs together, they both will be recorded among those (men and women) who remember Allah much.” (Abu Dawud)
Abu Sa`id narrates that a man entered the mosque, and the Prophet and his companions had already prayed. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Who will give charity to him by praying with him?” So, a man from the people stood and prayed with him. (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and at-Tirmidhi) Ibn Abi Shaybah relates that it was Abu Bakr who stood and prayed with the man.
At-Tirmidhi uses this hadith as proof that a group can pray in congregation in a mosque in which the congregational prayer had already been performed. He says that this is the opinion of Ahmad and Ishaq. Other scholars say that they should each pray individually and this is the opinion of Sufyan, Malik, Ibn al-Mubarak and Ash-Shaf`i.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.