Congregational(Jammat) Prayer with Broken Rows

Discussion in 'Usul al-Fiqh' started by sherkhan, Aug 3, 2020.

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  1. sherkhan

    sherkhan Veteran

    Similar assertion made by Mufti Shams ul-Huda Misbahi sahib in the video that I posted earlier.

    He states that 'no gap' is among the wajibat of saff and not a wajibat of salah; so salah will be valid with karaha if social distancing is followed. Uzr arises out of government stipulation for social distancing (otherwise the masajids could be closed down).

    My only quibble was that some of the government guidelines had been misinterpreted.
    FaqirHaider likes this.
  2. FaqirHaider

    FaqirHaider اللَه المقدر والعالم شؤون لا تكثر لهمك ما قدر يكون

    I had forgotten this video thank you, for the reminder.

    The summary is :
    1. Saf-Bandi is sunnah mu'akadah, to break it is makruh-tahrimi (sinful and necessary to repeat) , this is the Opinion of Ala Hazrat.

    2. Under necessity , having a 1ft gap will not affect the prayer, repetition is not needed, as it is not among the wajib of salah.

    3. If government makes a law in which one must obey to their law on social distancing or else they will prevent their right to pray , (as is the case in many states in the USA, and UK), then it will suffice to pray with social distance regardless of a set length granted one is praying in MAKAN-E-WAHID, which means a closed off room or area. (small masjid / musala).

    4. HUGE Mosques (Haramain Sharifayn) are exempt from this exception and do not quality under MAKAN-e_WAHID, socially distancing enough that a person or sheep can pass through will break the prayer , as Huge Mosques fall under category of Prayer in the Open fields.

    Point 1 is the opinion of Ala Hazrat
    Points 2-4 is the ijtihad and fatwa of Mufti Ismail Ziaee

    Please correct me if I am wrong and in fact point 1-4 are Ala Hazrat's verdict as well.

    Keeping these in mind, my issue was I personally do not feel there is "uzur" for point 2 with the current situation since "masks suffice" to met that uzur.

    additionally I would like examples of such "necessary condition," perhaps I am mistaken and this does qualify enough for that.

    The solution I provided seems an adequate solution, except in the case the Government demands social distancing, and threatens with an ultimatum either to pray with social distancing in place or pay a penalty/revoke the right to congregate , in that case they should go with the fatwa in the video as it is a necessity. This was the case in Pakistan Mufti Muneeb mentioned.
  3. AMQadiri

    AMQadiri Seeker

    Mufti Ismaeel Ziaee with reference to AlaHazrat radhi Allah ta'ala anh on distancing in the sufoof

  4. FaqirHaider

    FaqirHaider اللَه المقدر والعالم شؤون لا تكثر لهمك ما قدر يكون

    The simple solution for those who feel the need to follow "ihtiyat" with COVID is to wear a mask while praying, there is no need to wear a mask and social distance, this is overkill and unnecessary. Fresh wudu should wipe off any pathogens on the hands, and wearing a mask should prevent any nasal or saliva droplets from leaving a "sick or asymptomatic" individual.

    This will not compromise the fundamentals of prayer, the Imam can lead the prayer without the need of a mask as he is by the mehrab 6ft away (socially distanced), then everyone else can be next to each other, with masks and fresh wudu so as to eliminate the "possibility" of any pathogenic spreading. EVEN if there are individuals in the saf who neither are wearing gloves nor masks, they are at low risk of getting pathogens as they would have to be exposed to the nasal mucus or saliva of a sick person, to prevent this one can simply have a system of one maskless person per 3-6 masked people between each per saf.

    Those who oblige having gaps in their sufs, may be "potentially" avoiding getting pathogens (germs), or sickness (mercy) but they ironically have invited with "certainty" the biggest germ to replace it, Shaytan, and additionally by doing so they have not only cut off one means of mercy but two (the mercy from a proper saf).

    Here are some hadith to show the emphasis of a proper saf.

    Ibn 'Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

    وعَن ابن عُمرَ رضيَ اللَّه عنهما، أَنَّ رسولَ اللَّهِ صَلّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وسَلَّم قالَ: "أَقِيمُوا الصُّفُوفَ وَحَاذُوا بَينَ المنَاكِب، وسُدُّوا الخَلَلَ، وَلِينُوا بِأَيْدِي إِخْوَانِكُمْ، وَلا تَذَرُوا فَرُجَاتٍ للشيْطانِ، ومَنْ وصَلَ صَفًّا وَصَلَهُ اللَّه، وَمَنْ قَطَعَ صَفًّا قَطَعهُ اللَّه" رواه أبُو دَاوُدَ بإِسناد صحيحٍ

    "Arrange the rows in order, stand shoulder to shoulder, close the gaps, be accommodating to your brothers, and do not leave gaps for Satan. Whoever joins up a row, he will be joined to Allah (i.e., to the Mercy of Allah); and whoever cuts off a row, he will be cut off from Allah (i.e., from His Mercy)."

    Reference : Abu Dawud 1091

    Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

    "Stand close together in your rows, keep nearer to one another, and put your necks in line, for by Him in Whose Hands my soul is, I see the Satan entering through the opening in the row like Al- hadhaf (i.e., a type of small black sheep found in Yemen)."

    وعن أنس، رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ ‏ "‏رصوا صفوفكم، وقاربوا بينها وحاذوا الأعناق فوالذي نفسي بيده إني لأرى الشيطان يدخل من خلل الصف، كأنها الحذف‏"‏ ‏
    (‏‏(‏حديث صحيح رواه أبو داود بإسناد على شرط مسلم‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏

    Reference : Abu Dawud - Riyad as-Salihin 1092

    Nu'man Ibn Bashir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

    حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا غُنْدَرٌ، عَنْ شُعْبَةَ، ح وَحَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الْمُثَنَّى، وَابْنُ، بَشَّارٍ قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ جَعْفَرٍ، حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ، عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ مُرَّةَ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ سَالِمَ بْنَ أَبِي الْجَعْدِ الْغَطَفَانِيَّ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ النُّعْمَانَ بْنَ بَشِيرٍ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ "‏ لَتُسَوُّنَّ صُفُوفَكُمْ أَوْ لَيُخَالِفَنَّ اللَّهُ بَيْنَ وُجُوهِكُمْ ‏"‏ ‏.‏

    I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: Straighten your rows, or Allah would create dissension amongst you.

    Reference : Sahih Muslim 436

    Narrated Anas Ibn Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) :

    حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْوَلِيدِ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ، عَنْ قَتَادَةَ، عَنْ أَنَسٍ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ سَوُّوا صُفُوفَكُمْ فَإِنَّ تَسْوِيَةَ الصُّفُوفِ مِنْ إِقَامَةِ الصَّلاَةِ ‏"‏‏.‏

    The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Straighten your rows as the straightening of rows is essential for a perfect and correct prayer. "

    Reference : Sahih al-Bukhari 723

    Jabir Ibn Samurah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying:

    حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ النُّفَيْلِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا زُهَيْرٌ، قَالَ سَأَلْتُ سُلَيْمَانَ الأَعْمَشَ عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ سَمُرَةَ، فِي الصُّفُوفِ الْمُقَدَّمَةِ فَحَدَّثَنَا عَنِ الْمُسَيَّبِ بْنِ رَافِعٍ، عَنْ تَمِيمِ بْنِ طَرْفَةَ، عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ سَمُرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ أَلاَ تَصُفُّونَ كَمَا تَصُفُّ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ جَلَّ وَعَزَّ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قُلْنَا وَكَيْفَ تَصُفُّ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ قَالَ ‏"‏ يُتِمُّونَ الصُّفُوفَ الْمُقَدَّمَةَ وَيَتَرَاصُّونَ فِي الصَّفِّ ‏"‏ ‏.‏

    Why do you stand in rows as the angels do in the presence of their Lord? We asked: how do the angles stand in rows in the presence of their Lord? He replied: they make the first row complete and keep close together in the row.

    Reference : Sunan Abi Dawud 661

    Jabir bin Samurah As-Suwa’i (May Allah be pleased with him) said:

    حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا وَكِيعٌ، حَدَّثَنَا الأَعْمَشُ، عَنِ الْمُسَيَّبِ بْنِ رَافِعٍ، عَنْ تَمِيمِ بْنِ طَرَفَةَ، عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ سَمُرَةَ السُّوَائِيِّ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏"‏ أَلاَ تَصُفُّونَ كَمَا تَصُفُّ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ عِنْدَ رَبِّهَا ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْنَا وَكَيْفَ تَصُفُّ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ عِنْدَ رَبِّهَا قَالَ ‏"‏ يُتِمُّونَ الصُّفُوفَ الأُوَلَ وَيَتَرَاصُّونَ فِي الصَّفِّ ‏"‏ ‏.‏

    “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘Will you not form your rows as the angels form their rows before their Lord?’ We said: ‘How do the angels form their rows before their Lord?’ He said: ‘They complete the first row and they stand close of one another in the line (leaving no gaps between one another).’”

    Reference : Sunan Ibn Majah Dawud
    Arabic reference : Book 5, Hadith 1045

    Know that no gap it means means, barely any gap.
    Not to be confused by the overly literal understanding of the Salafi camp with regards to proximity ie: feet to feet meaning literally that each foot, shoulder, and knee must be touching the same adjacent points flanking the musalli.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  5. sherkhan

    sherkhan Veteran

    Mufti Akhtarul Qadri's fatwa briefly touches upon it. Infection can only be transmitted between a infected/carrier/host (whether symptomatic or asymptomatic) and a healthy/uninfected recipient. It's true that at this point nobody is carrying a real-time infection status report; but that doesn't mean that every one will/can spread infection. There is a "fear" that if an infected person were to join the congregation then it "may" spread through various means (currently infection is being "assumed" that it can even spread through air without aerosol effect). Instead of certainty (based on confluence of all enabling factor), we are talking about "assumption", "models", "fear", "probability" etc. At this point, even science is as unsure as blind darts game. If you know conditional probability 101, chances on an event occurring is product/multiplication of individual independent enabling factors/event (i.e. the overall probability ends up being low, since each p(i) < 1).

    Yes, there are circumstantial evidences, good practices etc.; but these alone do not guarantee that infection will/will not happen. What Mufti sahib was hinting is that no one can be "absolutely sure" that congregating will lead to rise in infection. No one knows for sure if anyone in congregation is actually infected or an asymptomatic super-spreader. There is high level of "fear" but lack of certainty.

    Guiding fiqh maxim is that certainty can't be overruled by doubt. Exceptions from uzr/umum al-balwa etc can't be based on dubious/imagined facts.

    I am not a luddite or an anti-science proponent; but I will demand same exactitude of science (and government ruling) as others demand of the Truth.


    I will give you an example.

    When I spoke to Mufti Shamsul Huda Misbahi sahib, he told me that UK authorities will fine masajids £20,000 if they are found to be violating any of the social distancing rules. Hence to avoid the greater danger, all wajibats/faraids of salah that run foul of social distancing guideline will have to be suspended.

    All fine, but let's check facts. There is no such penalty provision (£20k fine) stipulated by the UK government. Somebody has misinformed Mufti sahib (who hasn't personally read the actual official guideline released by the government). The guidelines (before the updated 27th July release) don't even force everyone to be wearing masks (which the masajids are enforcing with uninhibited zeal).

    Now tell me what is the validity of ruling if the assumption (about fine/punishment) is actually incorrect.


    An aside.

    Other day, I took off my mask while performing jumuah in the masjid (I had it on all the time, except during the actual rakahs). My discomfort with mask (despite the fatwa of excuse from Mufti sahib and others) is that the government hasn't made in compulsory (and no body has bothered to read the official guideline). In the absence of necessary condition for excuse, if I still follow the excuse I would only be nullifying my own salah.

    One of the muqtadi walks up to me and tell me how I am endangering everyone in the masjid and how I might be responsible for the closure of masjid. I ignore him to avoid creating a scene, but I can't help noticing that there was another person next to the said muqtadi who had just performed his salah wearing a half-pant, no cap, exposed back etc. He felt no indignation at violation of propriety by the other person, but was outraged by my temporary lack of mask!

    Talk about priorities!
    ghulam-e-raza likes this.
  6. AbdalQadir

    AbdalQadir time to move along! will check pm's.

    What about 'real (not imagined) fear' of catching the virus, regardless of what the authorities say?

    Serious question with no insinuations.

    I'm confused too. The data is all over the place, both the statistical data and its implications, as well as real life experience of people in our circles, and mainstream media news reportage.
  7. sherkhan

    sherkhan Veteran

    Mufti Mehmood Akhtarul Qadri's fatwa. He clarifies that the distancing is valid only if there is real (not imagined) fear of punitive action by authorities:

  8. sherkhan

    sherkhan Veteran

    You will find many online fatwas from sunni ulemas here. Take your pick!

    I personally spoke to Mufti Shams ul-Huda Misbahi sahab and he sent me this clip:

    Dr Jalali sahab's fatwa:


    I am personally not comfortable with social distancing during fardh salah. How can just 2-5 minutes of normal saff during fardh salah enhance the infection risk?
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  9. Tālib ul-Haq

    Tālib ul-Haq New Member

    It is a principle in fiqh that the Shariah gives importance to the prohibitions greater than the importance it gives to the obligations.

    The prayer in congregation is wajib and gaps between the people attending is makrooh tahreemi thus importance is given to the prohibition and it is said that the congregational prayer with gaps is not permissible.

    Congregational prayers with gaps are therefore not permissible and the prayers established in this way will need to be reperformed.

  10. Tālib ul-Haq

    Tālib ul-Haq New Member

    Due to Covid19 guidelines, masajid across the world are having to stipulate rows to have minimum of 1m distancing between those praying.

    Based on the gaps being created is this prayer still considered jammat or should one pray alone?

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