بســـم اللــه الرحــمــن الـرحـــيــم
▪️Forming rows between pillars▪️
Our Shaykh, Muhammad ibn Hizaam -may Allaah preserve him- was asked the following question:
The questioner says: What is the ruling on praying in a row that is disconnected by intersecting pillars?
Abu Dawood and others reported from Abdul Hameed ibn Mahmood, that he said: ‘I prayed with Anas ibn Malik one Friday, and we were forced against the pillars (due to the crowd of people). So we went forwards and backwards (to avoid praying between pillars). Anas then said: “We used to avoid it during the time of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ).”
i.e. Forming rows between pillars; so as to avoid creating bent and disconnected rows.
Similarly, Ibn Maajah narrated from the Hadeeth of Qurrah ibn Iyaas, that he said:
“We were forbidden from forming rows between pillars at the time of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), and we would be forced away from them physically.”
i.e. They were prohibited from praying between pillars and columns.
So the least that could be said regarding this, is that it is disliked (Makrooh). But if the rows become disconnected, it may even reach the level of being Haraam, based on the previous evidences.
But if there’s an urgent need; perhaps the Masjid is cramped, then the people of knowledge have said that it’s okay to pray between the pillars, just as it happened in the era of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him), who said:
فاضطررنا إلى الصلاة بين السواري
‘We had no choice but to pray between the pillars’
But as Anas said, ‘We used to avoid it during the time of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ),’ one should avoid this as much as possible, unless it’s too difficult (i.e. Avoiding it would cause tightness and discomfort amongst the other worshippers), in which case, there is nothing wrong with praying between pillars. This is from the angle of necessity (Dharoorah), and it’s necessary in tight and cramped settings.
T.N: This doesn’t apply if a person is praying alone.
Abu Ishaq Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ba Alawi
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