Straightening the Rows for the Prayer – its Rulings and Understanding

الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين، أما بعد

 

Imaam An-Nawawee (rahimahullaah) stated:

“And from the Sunan which have become disregarded and heedless in regard to, is the straightening of the rows and being close together within them, and yet he (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam) would attend to carrying that out himself, and would be plentiful in encouraging it and commanding with it.”[1]

 

The Understanding of What is Meant by Establishing and Straightening the Rows

 

Straightening of the rows in the prayer is: that none of those praying should be forward of others, and to be close together in the rows in that there should be no gap left within them.[2]

 

An-Nawawee (rahimahullaah) said: “The intent of straightening the rows is: completing the first of them and then the next; and to fill the gaps and that those who are standing are of parallel adjacency within it so that: the chest of anyone is not forward or anything else from him – over that of the one who is next to him. The second row should not be initiated until the first is complete, nor should one stand in a row until that which is before it is complete.”[3]

 

Al-Haafidh Al-‘Iraaqi (rahimahullaah) said: “The scholars have mentioned some issues concerning the meaning of establishing the row:

The first of them: it is to attain upright straightness and evenness outwardly, just as it is required inwardly.

The second of them: so that Satan cannot penetrate between them and so corrupt their prayer through whisperings, as has come concerning that in the hadeeth.[4]

The third of them: what is in that from fine appearance.

The fourth of them: in that is their ability to manage themselves in their prayer despite the abundance of their assemblage. So if they are close together; then the Masjid will have the holding capacity for all of them, and yet if they do not do that; then it will become constricted upon them.

The fifth of them: so that some of them should not become busied with looking at others – to that which would otherwise have caused them to become busied with if they were divergent, and if they are lined up in formation, then some of their faces are hidden from others – as well as many of their movements, and so some of them are facing the backs of others.”[5]

 

Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “Indeed the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) commanded with:

Straightening the rows and their being close together (within them).

And to fill the gaps.

And to complete the first (row) and then the next.

And that the Imaam be in the middle.

And that they be in close proximity – meaning the rows. Five Sunan.”[6]

 

The Command to Straighten the Rows Before the Commencement of the Prayer

 

:عَنْ أَبِي مَسْعُودٍ رضي الله عنه قَالَ : كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَمْسَحُ مَنَاكِبَنَا فِي الصَّلاةِ وَيَقُولُ

(( اسْتَوُوا، وَلا تَخْتَلِفُوا فَتَخْتَلِفَ قُلُوبُكُمْ ))

On the authority of Abee Mas’ood (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said:

The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) would touch our shoulders at the (time of) prayer and he would say:

 

((Stand straight, and do not differ lest your hearts should differ…))[7]

 

An-Nawawee (rahimahullaah) said: “his saying: ((would touch our shoulders)) meaning: he would straighten/arrange our shoulders in the rows and would make us equally straight within them.”[8]

 

:عنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ رضي الله عنه عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ

(( سَوُّوا صُفُوفَكُمْ، فَإِنَّ تَسْوِيَةَ الصَّفِّ مِنْ تَمَامِ الصَّلاةِ ))

On the authority of Anas bin Maalik (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:

((Straighten your rows, for indeed the straightening of the row is from the perfection of prayer.))[9]

 

 

:عنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ رضي الله عنه قَالَ: أقيمت الصلاةُ، فأقبلَ علينا رسولُ الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- بوجهه ، فقال

(( أَقِيمُوا صُفُوفَكُمْ وَتَرَاصُّوا، فَإِنِّي أَرَاكُمْ مِنْ وَرَاءِ ظَهْرِي ))

On the authority of Anas bin Maalik (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said:

The iqaamah was made for the prayer, so the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) turned to us with his face, then he said:

 

((Straighten your rows and be close together; for indeed I see you from behind my back.))[10]

 

Ash-Shawkaanee (rahimahullaah) said: “His saying: ((Straighten your rows)) – in it is that straightening the rows is obligatory.”[11]

 

:عَنِ النُّعْمَانِ بْنِ بَشِيرٍ رضي الله عنهما قَالَ: سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ

(( لَتُسَوُّنَّ صُفُوفَكُمْ أَوْ لَيُخَالِفَنَّ اللَّهُ بَيْنَ وُجُوهِكُمْ ))

On the authority of An-Nu’maan bin Bashir (radhiyallaahu ‘anhumaa) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) say:

((You will straighten your rows; or Allaah will cause separation between your faces.))[12]

 

Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said: “This is a threat, and there is no threat except upon carrying out something forbidden or abandoning something obligatory, and so the view that straightening the rows is obligatory is a strong view. Al-Bukhaaree (rahimahullaah) stated a heading based upon that with his saying: ‘Chapter: the sin of the one that does not complete the rows.’”[13]

 

عن النُّعْمَانَ بْنَ بَشِيرٍ رضي الله عنهما قال: كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يُسَوِّي صُفُوفَنَا حَتَّى كَأَنَّمَا يُسَوِّي بِهَا الْقِدَاحَ ، حَتَّى رَأَى أَنَّا قَدْ عَقَلْنَا عَنْهُ ثُمَّ خَرَجَ يَوْمًا فَقَامَ حَتَّى كَادَ يُكَبِّرُ ، فَرَأَى رَجُلا بَادِيًا صَدْرُهُ مِنْ الصَّفِّ ، فَقَالَ

(( عِبَادَ اللَّهِ، لَتُسَوُّنَّ صُفُوفَكُمْ أَوْ لَيُخَالِفَنَّ اللَّهُ بَيْنَ وُجُوهِكُمْ ))

On the authority of An-Nu’maan bin Bashir (radhiyallaahu ‘anhumaa) who said:

The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) would straighten our rows – such that it was as though he was straightening an arrow shaft with it, until he saw that we had comprehended it from him. Then he came out one day, so stood [to pray] until he was about to make the takbeer, when he saw a man whose chest was clearly protruding from the row, so he said:

 

((Servants of Allaah; you will straighten your rows, or Allaah will cause separation between your faces.))[14]

 

Standing Shoulder to Shoulder and Ankle to Ankle – This is the Sunnah

 

:عَنْ أَنَسِ رضي الله عنه عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ

(( أَقِيمُوا صُفُوفَكُمْ، فَإِنِّي أَرَاكُمْ مِنْ وَرَاءِ ظَهْرِي ))

وَكَانَ أَحَدُنَا يُلْزِقُ مَنْكِبَهُ بِمَنْكِبِ صَاحِبِهِ وَقَدَمَهُ بِقَدَمِهِ

On the authority of Anas (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) who said:

((Straighten you rows, for indeed I see you from behind my back.))

 

And so one of us would adjoin his shoulder with the shoulder of his companion, and his foot together with his foot.[15]

 

:عَنْ اَلنُّعْمَان بْن بَشِير رضي الله عنهما قال: أَقْبَلَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ – صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – عَلَى النَّاسِ بِوَجْهِهِ فَقَالَ

(( أَقِيمُوا صُفُوفكُمْ – ثَلَاثًا – وَاَللَّهِ لَتُقِيمُنَّ صُفُوفكُمْ أَوْ لَيُخَالِفَنَّ اَللَّهُ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ ))

قَالَ: فَرَأَيْت الرَّجُلَ يُلْزِقُ مَنْكِبه بِمَنْكِبِ صَاحِبِهِ وَرُكْبَتَهُ بِرُكْبَتِهِ صَاحِبِهِ وَكَعْبَهُ بِكَعْبِهِ

On the authority of An-Nu’maan bin Bashir (radhiyallaahu ‘anhumaa) who said:

The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) turned to the people with his face, then he said:

 

((Straighten your rows – thrice – By Allaah; you shall straighten your rows; or Allaah will cause separation between your hearts.))

 

So I saw an individual adjoin his shoulder with the shoulder of his companion, and his knee with the knee of his companion, and his ankle with his ankle.[16]

 

Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar (rahimahullaah) said: “It can be deduced by this hadeeth of An-Nu’maan that the intent of the ‘ankle’ in the aayah of wudhu is the bone projecting out on both sides of the (lower) leg, and it is at the point where the shin and the foot meet, and it is that which is possible to adjoin with the one next to him. In contrast to the one who holds that the intent behind the ankle is the rear part of the foot – and it is an obsolete saying which is attributed to some of the Hanafees.”[17]

 

Al-‘Adheem Abaadi (rahimahullaah) stated a quote in Al-Mughni: “So these Ahaadeeth contain within them a clear proof of the importance of straightening the rows, and that it is from the perfection of the prayer. Likewise that none should lag behind others, nor should some of them be infront of others, and that one should adjoin his shoulder to the shoulder of his companion and his foot to his foot and his knee to his knee. However; today this Sunnah has been abandoned, and were you to do so today; the people would flee like wild donkeys.”[18]

 

Shaikh Al-Albaanee said in his discussion of this topic after citing the previously mentioned hadeeth:

(( أَقِيمُوا صُفُوفكُمْ – ثَلَاثًا – وَاَللَّهِ لَتُقِيمُنَّ صُفُوفكُمْ أَوْ لَيُخَالِفَنَّ اَللَّهُ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ ))

قَالَ: فَرَأَيْت الرَّجُلَ يُلْزِقُ مَنْكِبه بِمَنْكِبِ صَاحِبِهِ وَرُكْبَتَهُ بِرُكْبَتِهِ صَاحِبِهِ وَكَعْبَهُ بِكَعْبِهِ

((Straighten your rows – thrice – By Allaah; you shall straighten your rows; or Allaah will cause separation between your hearts.))

 

So I saw an individual adjoin his shoulder with the shoulder of his companion, and his knee with the knee of his companion, and his ankle with his ankle.[19]

 

“In these two hadeeth there are some important points of benefit:

Firstly: The obligation of establishing the rows and of straightening them and being close together within them, since the command is in accordance to that, and the origin in it is an obligation – except if there is an inference as is stipulated in Usool. Yet the inference here further confirms the obligation, and it is his saying (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam): ((Or Allaah will cause separation between your hearts.)) So the like of this threat; then it cannot be said in that which is not obligatory – as is not hidden.

Secondly: The aforementioned straightening; then it is done by adjoining the shoulder with the shoulder, and the edge of the foot with the (other) foot. Since this is what the companions (radhiyallaahu ‘anhum) did when they were commanded to establish the rows and to be close together within them…

It is regrettable that this Sunnah – by way of the straightening – has been neglected by the Muslims; rather they have dissipated it – except for a few from amongst them. For indeed I do not see it with any group from them except for the people of Hadeeth, for I saw them in Makkah in the year 1368H ardent upon holding on to it – as with other than it from the Sunan of Al-Mustafa (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam), in contrast to other than them from the followers of the four madhabs.”[20]

 

Shaikh Zaid bin Haadi Al-Madkhali (rahimahullaah) said: “The person praying should make the ankle of his leg of straight equivalence to the ankle of the leg of his brother in the position of standing, whilst adjoining his shoulder to his shoulder – being of straight equivalence with him. So with this noble act in the rows, great affairs are actualized which is the intent and the purpose of The Legislator, and they are the straight uprightness of the limbs in order for the uprightness of the hearts, as well as to close the doors through which the devils enter from in order to corrupt the prayer of those who are praying.”[21]

 

Differing Between the Hearts and Faces Arises Due to Not Straightening the Rows

 

عن النُّعْمَانَ بْنَ بَشِيرٍ رضي الله عنهما قال: كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يُسَوِّي صُفُوفَنَا حَتَّى كَأَنَّمَا يُسَوِّي بِهَا الْقِدَاحَ ، حَتَّى رَأَى أَنَّا قَدْ عَقَلْنَا عَنْهُ ثُمَّ خَرَجَ يَوْمًا فَقَامَ حَتَّى كَادَ يُكَبِّرُ ، فَرَأَى رَجُلا بَادِيًا صَدْرُهُ مِنْ الصَّفِّ ، فَقَالَ

(( عِبَادَ اللَّهِ، لَتُسَوُّنَّ صُفُوفَكُمْ أَوْ لَيُخَالِفَنَّ اللَّهُ بَيْنَ وُجُوهِكُمْ ))

On the authority of An-Nu’maan bin Bashir (radhiyallaahu ‘anhumaa) who said:

The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) would straighten our rows – such that it was as though he was straightening an arrow shaft with it, until he saw that we had comprehended it from him. Then he came out one day, so stood [to pray] until he was about to make the takbeer, when he saw a man whose chest was clearly protruding from the row, so he said:

 

((Servants of Allaah; you will straighten your rows, or Allaah will cause separation between your faces.))[22]

 

Imaam An-Nawawee (rahimahullaah) said: “Its meaning is that enmity and hatred will be cast among you as well as a differing of the hearts, as is said that: ‘so and so’s face changed towards me.’ Meaning: there became apparent to me from his face a dislike for me, and his heart changed towards me. Since their differing in the rows is a differing of their outwardness, and the outward differing is a reason for inward differing.”[23]

 

Shaikh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said regarding this hadeeth: “Meaning: between the viewpoints in your outlook – such that your hearts will differ, and this is without doubt a threat to the one who leaves off straightening, due to this; some of the people of knowledge hold the obligation of straightening the row. They corroborate that with: the command of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) with it, and his threat over contravening it, and so something which has come with a command for it; as well as a threat over its contravention, then it is not possible for it to be said that: it is merely a Sunnah (optional procedure).

Due to this; the outweighing view in this issue is the obligation of straightening the rows, and that if the congregation do not straighten the row; then they are sinful, and this is what is apparent from the speech of Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah).”[24]

 

Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen said likewise: “Indeed the straightening in close adjacency is a perfect reason for harmony and not differing, because if the person comes forward from his brother; then no doubt there will be something in the heart towards him. Due to this the Messenger (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam) said: ((do not differ lest your hearts should differ…)). Thus he made the differing of the hearts on the basis of the differing of the bodies, as for if there happens to be a person beside you who is eager upon being equally parallel to you – with precision, you will find that you will have harmony towards him and love him, and you say: ‘this one has no pride in him that he should be forward of me or lags behind me, rather he has made me like unto himself.’

In short: The Legislator has indeed legislated the congregation for the purpose of harmonious accord of the hearts and for their convention, and the fact that the Islamic Ummah is one group.”[25]

 

One Should Not Stand With His Legs Wide Apart – nor Should He Cause Harm to Those Next to Him

 

Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said: “A person; if he widens that which is between his feet to the extent of an arm; then he will open and so widen what is between the two shoulders with his companion. So the one who does so is in opposition to that which Anas (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) mentioned by way of the practice of the companions (radhiyallaahu ‘anhum).”[26]

 

Shaikh bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) said: “It is obligatory upon those praying to arrange the rows and to fill the gaps by being close together and join the foot with the foot – without some of them causing harm to others.”[27]

 

Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said: “And from the excess in this affair which is done by some people by way of him joining his ankle with the ankle of his companion, and so he opens his two feet in that which is between them until there is a gap in the shoulders between him and his neighbour. So he opposes the Sunnah in that, whilst the intent is that the shoulders and the ankles should be equal.”[28]

 

The Shaikh said likewise: “However; some of the people; you will find him attempting to join his ankle with the ankle of his companion, as for what is above – then there is a gap between them both; as he has opened his two legs, and so it is necessarily the case that he will open (widen) that which is between the two shoulders.

The Sunnah is to be close together and to be equally straight – as is possible, and in a way that does not cause harm, because being close together in a way in which causes harm also without doubt has not been stated in the legislation, however the act of being close through which the gaps are filled; then this is what is desired.”[29]

 

The Practice of the Companions in Straightening the Rows

 

Ibn ‘Abdil-Barr (rahimahullaah) said: “As for the straightening of the rows in the prayer; then the narrations concerning it are plentiful through many authentic means (of transmission), all of them being firmly established in the command of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) with regard to straightening the rows, as well as the practice of the rightly guided Caliphs of that after him. This is that concerning which there is no differing amongst the scholars.”[30]

:عَنْ أَنَسِ رضي الله عنه عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ

(( أَقِيمُوا صُفُوفَكُمْ، فَإِنِّي أَرَاكُمْ مِنْ وَرَاءِ ظَهْرِي ))

وَكَانَ أَحَدُنَا يُلْزِقُ مَنْكِبَهُ بِمَنْكِبِ صَاحِبِهِ وَقَدَمَهُ بِقَدَمِهِ

On the authority of Anas (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) who said:

((Straighten you rows, for indeed I see you from behind my back.))

 

And so one of us would adjoin his shoulder with the shoulder of his companion, and his foot together with his foot.[31]

 

 

From Abee ‘Uthmaan an-Nahdee who said: ‘Umar would command with straightening the rows, then he would say: “move forward O so and so.”[32]

 

From Naafi’ who said that ‘Umar would order some men to straighten the rows, so when they would come and inform him that the rows were straight; he would make the takbeer.[33]

 

In a report from ‘Abdur-Razaaq: ‘Umar would send a man who would straighten out the rows, so he would not make the takbeer until he would come to him and inform him that the rows have become straight.[34]

 

Aboo ‘Uthmaan said: “I saw ‘Umar (bin al-Khattaab) – when he would proceed forth for the prayer, he would look at the shoulders and the feet.”[35]

 

From Abee Sohail bin Maalik from his father who said: I was with ‘Uthmaan bin ‘Affaan, then the prayer was commencing (i.e. the iqaamah) whilst I was still speaking to him in that he should assign (something) for me. So I did not cease speaking to him whilst he flattened out the pebbles (on the ground) with his shoes, until some men came to him – and he had authorized them with straightening the rows. So they informed him that the rows had indeed been straightened, so he said to me: “straighten up in the row” then he made the takbeer.[36]

 

Aboo ‘Eesaa at-Tirmidhee said: it has been reported from ‘Umar (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) that he would authorize some men with the task of straightening the rows, and so he would not make the takbeer until being informed that the rows had been straightened.

 

It is reported from ‘Ali and ‘Uthmaan that they would both take that upon themselves, and both of them would say: ‘stand straight’ and ‘Ali would say: ‘move forward O so and so, move back O so and so.’[37]

 

Common Questions Related to This Topic

 

Q: Does the row start from the right or from behind the Imaam?

A: Shaikh bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) said: “The row starts from the middle from what follows the Imaam.”[38]

 

Q: Some of the Mosques have a short carpet, in that the edges of the rows do not have a carpet, is it for the person who is praying to make a row in the second row (due to this)?

A: Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said: “This is a problem in reality, the like of this – then those responsible over the Mosque should try to complete the carpets, if it cannot be, and if the one who is praying will be affected by this void place in that he will lose Khushoo’ (humility and attentiveness) due to the hardness of the ground, or due to the presence of soil for example; then there is no harm if he makes a row in the second row. Yet if he will not be affected; then let him stand in the row – and for him will be the reward.”[39]

 

Q: Are the words for the straightening of the rows Tawqifiyyah (bound by textual evidence)?

A: Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said: “In any case they are not Tawqifiyyah, yet compliance with that which the text has come with takes precedence.”[40]

 

Q: Should the Imaam utter words for straightening the rows if he finds that they are already straight?

A: Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said: “If he (the Imaam) turns and finds the rows are straight and close together, and that the people are equally straight in their places; then that which is apparent is that he does not say to them to: ‘straighten’, because it would be a command of something which has already been fulfilled – except if he desires: be firm upon that. Since these words have for them their meanings, they are not words that are to be said just like that for no benefit.”[41]

 

Q: Should the Imaam face the congregation when straightening the rows?

A: Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said: “The Imaam should face the people with his face when straightening the rows, this is from the Sunnah. As for if he does not pay attention or that he glances to the right and the left, then this is inadequacy without doubt, however it can avail by way of it. Meaning: if a person has his face to the receiver (microphone) which receives the voice for the speaker, and he commands them to straighten; then there occurs what is desired. However; what is better is that he faces the people with his face, so that the people come to know the importance the Imaam attaches to straightening the rows.”[42]

 

Q: If the iqaamah for the prayer is given, and the people are straightening the rows, and in the first row something of a gap appears, so someone in the second row comes to forward to occupy a place in the first row – and maybe restrains the people with his hands to widen the space in which he seeks to stand. Should the people of the first row prevent the like of this one who is entering or should they leave him even though he may be making the place tight for them?

A: Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said: “It is impermissible for this one who is entering that he should restrain the people with his hands to enter into the gap which they were preparing to fill, because in that is hostile infringement upon others, and hostile infringement is forbidden. As for if there is a large gap and is not filled by those in the first row; then there is no harm at that time that this one comes forward and stands in that place – with the condition that the place is spacious enough for him and no suppression occurs with that upon those who are standing in the first row.”[43]

 

Q: Movement within the prayer in order to fill any gaps – does this affect the prayer or not?

A: Shaikh bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) said: “Filling them is legislated and movement in that is legislated and does not affect the prayer. So if there is a gap in the row and the person draws his brother in order to come close until the gap is filled, or that a person comes from behind him – from the row next to theirs and so fills the gap – then all of this is legislated. That does not affect the prayer, rather it is from the completion of the prayer and its perfection, since the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) commanded with filling the gaps in the rows.”[44]

 

In Conclusion

 

Shaikh Al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) said:

“In short; I appeal to the Muslims – and in particular to the Imaams of the Mosques – who are ardent upon following him (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and in order for the acquisition of the virtue of reviving his Sunnah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) – that they implement this Sunnah and are ardent upon it and that they call the people to it. So that they can all unite upon that – altogether, and so with that; they will be saved from the threat of: ((Or Allaah will cause separation between your hearts.)).”[45]

 

 

_______________________________________

[1] I’aanah at-Taalibeen 2/28

[2] Mawsu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah 11/354

[3] Al-Majmu’ Sharh al-Muhadhab 4/226

[4] Shaikh Rabee’ bin Haadi (hafidhahullaah) said: “The Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) would say: “stand straight” – and so they (the companions) would straighten themselves in the rows and adjoin the ankles with the ankles, and he would command them with filling the gaps. The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) likewise informed that these gaps are infiltrated by the devils, when the devil enters between you and your brother in the row; what does he do? Why does he enter? In order to busy you and to whisper to you and distract you. I have experienced – by Allaah – some of the youth praying and they adjoin the ankle to the ankle, you will find comfort in your prayer as well as tranquility, and yet if a person moves away and leaves a gap between him and his brother in the row; Satan enters in this gap, and due to that there will be its effect by way of inattentiveness/forgetfulness and whisperings and a separation between the faces.” (See: Sharh ‘Aqeedah as-Salaf Ashaab al-Hadeeth p.283)

[5] Tarh at-Tathreeb fee Sharh at-Taqreeb 2/326

[6] Al-Mustadrak ‘alaa Majmu’ Fataawa 3/121 (See also: Mukhtasar al-Fataawa al-Misriyyah p.59)

[7] Reported by Muslim (no.432)

[8] Sharh Saheeh Muslim 4/116

[9] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no.690) and Muslim (no.433)

[10] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no.719) and Muslim (no.434)

[11] Nayl al-Awtaar 6/109

[12] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no.717) and Muslim (no.436)

[13] Majmu’ Fataawa 13/22, the heading can be found in Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree in Kitaab al-Adhaan chapter 75 hadeeth 724.

[14] Reported with this wording by Muslim (no.436)

[15] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no.725). In the Musnad of Aboo Ya’laa (no.3720) there occurs an addition in which Anas (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) said: “Indeed I saw that one of us would adjoin his shoulder with the shoulder of his companion, and his foot together with his foot; and were you to attempt to do that today; you will see one of them (behaving) as though he were an unruly mule.”

[16] Reported by Aboo Dawood (no.662) and it was declared Saheeh (authentic) by Shaikh Al-Albaanee in his Saheeh Sunan Abee Dawood (no.662). This hadeeth clearly illustrates that the joining of the feet is done based upon the alignment of the ankles – not based upon the tips of the toes as is sometimes misconceived, Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said in this regard: “What is correct is that the object of reliance in straightening the row is the adjoining of the two ankles – some of them to others – not the tips of the toes. That is because the body is mounted upon the ankles, whilst the feet differ with regard to the toes, since there is a long foot and there is a short foot; so it is not possible to accurately determine the straightening except by way of the ankle. As for adjoining of the two ankles – some of them to others – then there is no doubt that it is mentioned from the companions (radhiyallaahu ‘anhum). They used to straighten the rows by joining of the two ankles – some of them to others – meaning that each of them would adjoin his ankle to the ankle of his neighbour in order to actualize adjoining and the straightening of the row.” (See: Majmu’ Fataawa 13/51-52)

[17] Fathul Baaree 2/273-274

[18] ‘Awn al-Ma’bood 2/363

[19] Reported by Aboo Dawood (no.662) and it was declared Saheeh (authentic) by Shaikh Al-Albaanee in his Saheeh Sunan Abee Dawood (no.662)

[20] Silsilah al-Ahaadeeth as-Saheehah 1/71-73 – with abridgment.

[21] Afnaan an-Nadiyyah 2/78

[22] Reported by Muslim (no.436)

[23] Sharh Saheeh Muslim 4/118

[24] Sharh al-Mumti 3/10

[25] Fath Dhil Jalaal wal-Ikraam be-Sharh Buloogh al-Maraam 4/482

[26] Majmu’ Fataawa 13/28

[27] Majmu’ Fataawa 12/200

[28] Majmu’ Fataawa 13/52

[29] Majmu’ Fataawa 13/53

[30] Al-Istidhkaar 5/712

[31] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no.725)

[32] Al-Musannaf ‘Abdur-Razaaq (no.2459)

[33] Muwatta (no.376)

[34] Al-Musannaf ‘Abdur-Razaaq (no.3437)

[35] Al-Musannaf ‘Abdur-Razaaq (no.2436)

[36] Al-Muwatta (no.377)

[37] Reported by Tirmidhee under hadeeth number 227

[38] Majmu’ Fataawa 12/205

[39] Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhaaree 2/360

[40] Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhaaree 2/355

[41] Majmu’ Fataawa 13/57. The Shaikh said elsewhere regarding this: “His utterance of it (the words) despite the rows being straight – then there is no benefit in it, nor is this from the words with which one worships with – such that it should be said he should utter them even if the row is straight. Rather; it is not to be said – except due to a reason, so if he sees it (the row) to be curved – then so; if not then no. Some of the common masses think this statement is from the recommended acts of the prayer, so you will find one of them praying with just a single individual, then he will say: ‘straighten up’ – and he is beside him, and yet there is no need for this statement.” (See: Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhaaree 2/354)

[42] Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhaaree 2/355

[43] Majmu’ Fataawa 13/58

[44] Majmu’ Fataawa 12/202

[45] Silsilah al-Ahaadeeth as-Saheehah 2/73

*The material used to compile this article was taken in part from the work: Taswiyah as-Sufoof – Diraasah Fiqhiyyah Hadeethiyyah.

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply