Islam PRAYER: Preventing someone from passing in front of a praying person

Friday, December 07, 2018

It is permissible to keep someone from passing in front of a person who is praying.

If a praying person has a Sutrah in front of him, then it is allowed for him to prevent any human or animal from passing in front of him. If a person passes in front of him from beyond the Sutrah, then the person in Salah is neither to prevent the passer-by nor will he be harmed by him.

Abu Saleh as-Saman said: “I will narrate to you what I heard and saw from Abu Sa’id al-Khudri. One day I was with Abu Sa’id and he was offering Salah on Friday facing something which concealed him from the people when a young man from the tribe of Mu’ait came and tried to pass in front of Abu Sa’id. He pushed him back. He tried again and Abu Sa’id struck him harder. The two scuffled. The man went to Marwan to complain. Abu Sa’id also went to Marwan. Marwan asked: ‘What has happened between you and the son of your brother that caused him to complain?’ Abu Sa’id said: ‘I heard the Prophet (SAW) say: ‘If any of you prays toward a sutrah and someone tries to pass in front of you, then turn him away. If he refuses, use force for he is a devil.”’ This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Passing of anything does not invalidate the prayer 

The Salah is not invalidated by anything (passing in front of the praying person).

‘Ali, ‘Uthman, ibn al-Musayyab, ash-Sh’abiy, Malik, ash-Shaf’i, Sufyan al-Thauri and the Hanafi scholars are of the opinion that the salah is not invalidated by anything which passes in front of a person. This is based on the hadith recorded by Abu Dawud from Abu al-Waddak who says: “A young person tried to pass in front of Abu Sa’id while he was praying. Abu Sa’id held him off and then the young man tried again. Abu Sa’id pushed him off. This happened three times and when [Abu Sa’id] finished [the prayer], he said: ‘The salah is not invalidated by anything but the Messenger of Allah said: ‘Repulse [the person who is trying to pass in front of you] to the best of your ability for he is a devil.’”

The following acts are permissible during the prayer 

Crying, moaning, or groaning, regardless of whether it is due to a fear of Allah or to any other reason (e.g., a moan due to some pain or injury that one cannot contain), is permissible. This is based on the Qur’anic verse: “When the revelations of the Merciful were recited unto them, they fell prostrating and adoring.” This verse is general and includes one who is praying.

‘Abdullah ibn ash-Schikhir relates: “I saw the Messenger of Allah praying and his chest was ‘buzzing’, like the buzzing of a cooking pot, due to crying.” This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa’i, and at-Tirmizhi. The latter classifies it as sahih.

‘Ali reports: “There was no horseman among us at the battle of Badr save al-Miqdad ibn al-Aswad. I saw that not one of us was standing save the Messenger of Allah who was praying under a tree and crying until the dawn.” This is related by Ibn Hibban.

‘Aishah relates the incident that occurred during the fatal illness of the Prophet (SAW). The Messenger of Allah said: “Order Abu Bakr to lead the people in prayer.” ‘Aishah responded: “O Messenger of Allah, Abu Bakr is a very soft-hearted man and he cannot control his tears, and if he recites the Qur’an, he cries.” ‘Aishah later admitted: “I said that only because I hated that the people should blame Abu Bakr for being the first to take the place of the Messenger of Allah.” The Messenger of Allah said: “Order Abu Bakr to lead the people in salah. You women are like the companions of Yusuf.” This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Ibn Hibban, and at-Tirmizhi who calls it sahih. The fact that the Prophet insisted that Abu Bakr lead the salah after he was informed that he would be overcome by weeping proves that it is permissible to cry while praying.

‘Umar prayed Fajr and recited Surah Yusuf, and when he reached the verse “I expose my distress and anguish only unto Allah,” he raised his voice in crying. This is related by al-Bukhari, Sa’id ibn Mansur, and ibn al-Munzhir. In ‘Umar’s raising his voice in crying is a refutation of those who say that crying invalidates the salah if it causes a sound from the mouth, regardless of whether it is due to the fear of Allah or not. They argue that sound from the mouth due to crying is like speaking, but this is not acceptable as crying and speaking are two different things.

Turning to a side due to some need 

Ibn Abbas relates: “The Messenger of Allah would turn to his right and left he would not turn his head to see behind him.” This is related by Ahmad.

Abu Dawud records that when the Prophet (SAW), “he looked toward a valley because he had sent some horsemen to guard the valley.”

Anas ibn Sireen says: “I saw Anas ibn Malik lift his eyes to something while he was praying.” This is related by Ahmad.

Unnecessary Turning during Prayer 

Turning to look at something without any genuine need is disliked, for it is against the etiquettes of humility while facing Allah in Prayer.

‘Aishah says: “I asked the Messenger of Allah about turning in salah and he said: ‘It is the portion that the Satan steals from the slave’s prayer.’” This is related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari, an-Nasa’i, and Abu Dawud.

Abu ad-Darda’ narrates from the Prophet: “O people, be careful about turning for there is no salah for the one who turns. If you must do it, do it in the voluntary prayers and not in the obligatory prayers.” This is related by Ahmad.

Anas relates that the Messenger of Allah said to him: “Be careful about turning during the salah as turning in the salah is disastrous. If you must do it, then do it in the voluntary prayers but not in the obligatory prayers.” This is related by at-Tirmizhi who calls it sahih.

In the hadith of al-Harith al-Ash’ari, the Prophet Sallallahu Alehi Wasallam said: “Allah gave Yahya, son of Zakariyah, five commands that he was to abide by and was to order the tribe of Isra’el to abide by...” One of them was, “Verily, Allah orders you to pray, and when you pray, do not turn for Allah looks to the face of His slave in salah as long as he does not turn.” This is related by Ahmad and anNasa’i.

Abu Zharr reported that the Prophet said: “Allah faces the slave while he is in the salah and keeps facing him as long as he does not turn. If [the slave] turns, [Allah] turns away from him.” This is related by Ahmad and by Abu Dawud who said its chain of narrators (Isnad) is sahih. The preceding hadith is concerned with turning the face during the salah. If one turns the whole (upper) body away from the Qiblah, then the salah is invalidated, for not fulfilling the requirement of facing the Qiblah. On this point, there is no difference of opinion.

Killing a Snake, Scorpion or other Harmful Animals 

If killing these would only require a small action on the part of the person in salah, then there is no harm in doing it. Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: “Kill the snake and the scorpion during the Salah.” This is related by Ahmad, at-Tirmizhi, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa’i, and Ibn Majah. The hadith is Hasan Sahih.

To be continued