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Why straightening of row is important in congregation prayer (II)

otherwise he would continue being perverted up to the end of the prayer. This is not good at all. The Prophet (pbuh), according to Ibn…

otherwise he would continue being perverted up to the end of the prayer. This is not good at all. The Prophet (pbuh), according to Ibn ‘Umar, was warning about such attitude. He said: “Be pliant in the hands of your brethren” (Abu Dawud). He also said: “The best of you are those whose shoulders are soft in prayer” (Abu Dawud).
Nu’man bn Bashir (R.A) narrated the nature of the Sahabas’ standing in the row during the time of Prophet (PBUH). He said: “I saw companions; each man joining his shoulder, knee and ankle with that of next to him” (Abu Dawud). This is not narrated from Nu’man alone, but the same was recorded from Anas bn Malik. He said: “Every one of us put his shoulder to the shoulder of his companion and his foot to the foot of his companions” (Bukhari).
It is true that these narrations were not directly said or the action of the Prophet himself (pbuh), but they are part and parcel of the Prophetic Sunnah for being a typical example of his approbation! The narrations are clear that in forming good and straight rows, which would please Allah, four things should be maintained, thus, the straightness of necks, chests, ankles and knees.  
One may wonder how some of our people perceive the issue of straightening the row! If one wants to observe the Sunnah, he might be accused by violating the custom that every person should be left to stand independently! At this point, the word of Anas bn Malik may be recalled. He said after describing the right pattern of performing a row: “If you want to do the same today, people would bolt as if they were balky mules!”
As for the closeness of the rows, the distance between them should not be too far apart. The first row should be some inches ahead of the next. Despite the existence of incomplete rows inside the mosque, some people have the habit of following the Imam outside the mosque or following him while they are at their houses or in front of them, leaving a very wide distance between the mosque and where they stand. This is ultimately wrong.
Abu Sa’id had reported that the Prophet (pbuh) perceived a tendency among his companions to stand in the back rows. He said to them: “Come forward and be close to me, let those come after you follow your lead. Remember if people continue to fall behind, Allah put them behind” (Muslim). He also said: “Complete the front row, then the one that comes next, and if there is any incompleteness, let it be in the last row”.
In some mosques, children often join the congregational prayer, which is good and a sign of the early sense of devotion. But unfortunately the elders send them out on the ground that they make noise! This is not a proper excuse. For the children used to attend the prayers with the Prophet (pbuh) and he did not ever shut down the door on their face! He eventually guided the congregation to draw the elders up in line and draw the youth behind them. If the children made so much noise, let them be inserted in between the elders. This would definitely make them quite and have them learn the proper Salat right from their childhood!
Ahmed Murtala, Department of Islamic Studies, B.U.K. <[email protected]>  08032906184

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