Friday Khutba

Rows During Prayer

15. December 2022

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

One of the biggest worships of Islam is prayer. The five daily prayers are like columns that hold a building. Performing the prayer in congregation is a part of performing the prayer. The Quran mentions: “Be watchful over the Prayers, and over praying with the utmost excellence, and stand before Allah as would utterly obedient servants.”[1] In performing the prayer correctly and in congregation, there is a sense of unity and togetherness and the formation of the essence of community. It is stated in the hadith that the prayer performed in congregation causes a greater reward than the prayer performed alone: “Praying in congregation is twenty-seven degrees better than praying alone.”[2]

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

In addition to performing the prayer in congregation, it is also important to perform it in rows. For this reason, the Messenger of Allah (saw) paid great attention to the order of the rows and would not start the prayer without putting the rows in order. Rasulullah (saw) said, “Let your wise and mature pray immediately behind me, then those who trail behind them, and then those who trail behind them.” After mentioning this three times he warned us by saying “Avoid the hustle and bustle of the market places.”[3]. While forming the rows by paying attention to these warnings, it has been sunnah to rank the congregation gradually, starting with the wise ones, then the boys, older women and girls. Our Prophet (saw) often warned the Companions about the order of the row and said: “Why do you not stand in rows as the angels do before their Rubb?” The Sahaba asked, “O Messenger of Allah! how do the angels stand in rows before their Rubb?” Rasulullah (saw) then replied “They complete each row beginning with the first and filling all the gaps.”[4] In another hadith he stated: “Surely I see the devil coming among you like a black sheep through the gap in the line.

Dear Jama’ah!

All this shows that the rows of salah must be in order. As a matter of fact, the Prophet (saw) said, “If the rows are not straightened in the prayer, Allah will cause dissension amongst the worshippers, thus making them turn their faces away from each other.” Failure to comply with the prayer row conditions causes many spiritual diseases. Praying by paying attention to the rows puts the congregation in the position of angels. Knowing this, the Messenger of Allah (saw) aligns the rows from right to left, pushing or pulling those who are forward or outward from their chests; He would fill in the gaps so that there would be no gaps in between and then start the prayer. The Companions created such rows that their clothes were always torn from their shoulders. Today, we witness that this sensitivity is about to disappear in congregational prayers in our mosques. Although it is an excuse for the community to stay away from the conditions of rows during salah due to the pandemic for more than two years, those mandatory conditions have now ended. From now on, a congregation should be formed in accordance with the row conditions determined in the sunnah and all kinds of unconcerned behaviour should be avoided. Adults, then young people and then children, no space should be left in such a way that the shoulders touch and squeeze each other, and there should not be a line in the back line while there is space in the front line.

[1] Surah En’am 6:72

[2] Buhârî, Ezan, 30

[3] Müslim, Salât, 122

[4] Müslim, Salât, 119

Khutba: Rows During Prayer

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