Making a Row for Prayer between Pillars

Making a Row for Prayer between Pillars Feature

By Muhaddith, Shaykh, Allamaa’ Muhammad Nasiruddeen al-Albaani
Translated by Abbas Abu Yahya

In ‘Fath al-bari’ 1/477:
‘Al-Muhib at-Tabari said: a group of scholars disliked making a row between pillars due to the mention of a prohibition of doing so, as for what is disliked then it is if the Masjid is not cramped, the wisdom behind this is either due to a row being disconnected or it is a place where shoes are placed.’

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Making a Row for Prayer between Pillars Feature

Making a Row for Prayer between Pillars

by Muhaddith, Shaykh, Allamaa’ Muhammad Nasiruddeen al-Albaani

الصلاة بين السواري

للشيخ محمد ناصر الدين الألباني

 سلسلة الأحاديث الصحيحة

Translated by Abbas Abu Yahya

” كنا ننهى أن نصف بين السواري على عهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، ونطرد عنها طردا “.

‘We were prohibited from forming a row for prayer between the pillars at the time of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- and we would keep away from them completely.’

Collected by Ibn Majah 1002, Ibn Khuzaimah 1/, Ibn Hibban 400, Al-Hakim 1/218 al-Bayhaqi 3/104 and Tayyalisi 1073 from the way of Haroon Abi Muslim who said Qatada narrated to us from Muwaweeyah bin Qurra from his father who said: [the narration].

Al-Hakim said: ‘Its Isnaad is Saheeh.’ And Dhahabi agreed with him.  I [Albaani]say: This narrator Haroon is Mastoor[1] (unknown) as Hafidh mentioned, however, it has a supporting narration from the Hadeeth of Anas bin Malik which strengthens it,  which is narrated by Abdul Majeed bin Mahmood who said :

‘I prayed with Anas bin Malik on the day of Juma, so we moved towards the pillar then we moved forward and moved back, so Anas said:

كنا نتقي هذا على عهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم

‘We would keep away from these [I. e. Pillars] at the time of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam.’

Collected by Abu Dawood, Nisa’ee, Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibban and Al-Hakim and other than them with an authentic chain as I explained in ‘Saheeh Abi Dawood’ 677.

I [Albaani] say: This hadeeth is a clear text in abandoning of making a row between pillars, and what is obligatory is to move forward or move back.

Ibn al-Qassim narrates in ‘al-Mudowana’ 1/106 and al-Bayhaqi  3/104 from the way of Abi Ishaaq from Ma’adi Karib from Ibn Mas’ood that he said:

” لا تصفوا بين السواري “.

‘Do not make rows between pillars.’

Al-Bayhaqi said:

” وهذا – والله أعلم – لأن الأسطوانة تحول بينهم وبين وصل الصف “.

‘And this – Allaah knows best – is because the pillars come between them and connecting the row.’

Malik said:

” لا بأس بالصفوف بين الأساطين إذا ضاق المسجد “.

‘There is no problem with making rows between pillars if the Masjid has a lack of space.’

In ‘al-Mughni’ by Ibn Qadama 2/220:

‘It is not disliked for the Imam to stand between pillars, but it is disliked for those praying behind the Imam, this is because it breaks the rows.  It was disliked by Ibn Mas’ood and Nakha’ai, it has been narrated from Hudayfah and Ibn Abbas. It was given as a concession by Ibn Sireen, Malik, those who followed opinions and bin al-Mundhir, because there is no evidence to  prohibit forming rows between pillars.

We also have what is narrated from Muwaweeyah bin Qurrah…., because pillars break a row , if the row is short,  meaning the length of what is between two pillars, then it is not disliked to form a row there, the pillar does not disconnect the row.’

In ‘Fath al-bari’ 1/477 : 

‘Al-Muhib at-Tabari said: a group of scholars disliked making a row between pillars due to the mention of a prohibition of doing so, as for what is disliked then it is if the Masjid is not cramped, the wisdom behind this is either due to a row being disconnected or it is a place where shoes are placed.’

Qurtubi said:

‘It has been narrated that the reason for the dislike of forming rows between pillars is that it is a prayer area for the believing Jinn.’

I [Albaani] say: also what takes the ruling of the pillars is a large Mimber (the place from where the Khateeb delivers the Khutbah) which has many steps, since it breaks the first row and also sometimes the second row. al-Ghazali said in ‘al-Ihyaa’ 2/139:

‘Indeed the [large] Mimber  disconnects some of the rows. Indeed the first row is the one which is connected which is in front of the Mimber and the two ends of the row are disconnected.

Thawri used to say:

‘The first row is the one in front of the Mimber, it is the one facing the Mimber because it should be connected and  also because the person sitting in the row faces the Khateeb and listens to him.’

I [Albaani] say: Indeed a Mimber can disconnect a row if it opposes the Mimber of the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- since it had the steps/ levels so the likes of which would not disconnect a row, because the Imam would stand beside the lowest step of the Mimber.

So it is from calamities to oppose the Sunnah in how the Mimber should be in what falls into the  prohibition which occurs in this hadeeth.

Likewise what disconnects the row is placing a heater which is placed in some Masajid,  it is placed in a certain way which results in disconnecting a row, without the Imam of the Masjid or anyone from the worshippers in there paying any attention to this prohibition  due to the people firstly being far from having an understanding of the Deen and secondly them not having a concern of keeping away from that which Allaah prohibited and disliked.

It is necessary to know that everyone who strives to place a long Mimber which breaks/splits the rows or places a heater which breaks splits the rows then it is feared that a lot of what the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said applies to him,  in his saying:

” … ومن قطع صفا قطعه الله “.

‘….. Whoever breaks a row then Allaah breaks him. ‘

Collected by Abu Dawood with an authentic chain as I have explained in ‘Saheeh Abi Dawood’ no. 672′

[Taken from Silsilah Ahadeeth Saheehah No. 335]

[1] T.N. – Mastoor is a term in the science of Hadeeth. It is a form of Majhool (unknown) a term used for unknown narrators.  Mastoor is when two or more narrators are mentioned in a chain but they are not trustworthy.

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