This question basically arose from Is it permissible to pause salah and do personal work and continue where you left?, which sounded to me a bit weird.
There are a few reasons which allow a person to interrupt his fard (obligatory) prayer (while the matter seems a bit more easier for nafl/sunnah prayers), some of them have been quoted in the answer of my former question: Can an Imam interrupt a prayer for some reason?.
I just read a fatwa of sheikh al-Albani (here's the link in Arabic) saying that there are two opinions on what one could do after the interruptions:
- continue from where you stopped: for example you performed one raka'a and lost your tahara and made wudu' and came back to re join the congregation and count this full raka'a as achieved.
- start from zero: assuming that the interrupted raka'a doesn't count as you've ended/interrupted your prayer and made it invalid. So in the example above you would join the congregation and consider your starting raka'a the one you could join it at after making wudu'.
I'd like to know which scholars or schools of thought hold the first opinion!
I'd appreciate if you could add an explanation on how this would be correctly done (conditions, which position to start or base on etc.)!