Category: Prayer (Salaat)
Fatwa#: 38899
Asked Country: United Kingdom

Answered Date: Oct 04,2017

Title: Praying sitting down in the first row

Question

Assalamu  'Alaykum Wa Rahmatyllah Wabarkatuhu
 

Respected Mufti sahib. As Salaamo Alaykum. First and foremost please excuse me for taking your valuable time.

The followings matter is going on since last week of Ramadan some of regular worshippers have already approached, few responsible members of  the masjid without success. Your guidance is urgently needed to stop disobedience to Allah. 

I want to add the followings to give you the full picture. I am 85 years disabled old man. The prayer hall in our masjid is at an angle of about 30 degrees to the qibla. The first row is shortest, enough for 10 to 12 musallis. At end of the row 3 to 4 disabled people used sit on chairs, leaving a gap about 10 + cm between each chairs and more than 60 cm at the end of the first row  ( left side end of first row ). I hardly ever saw any person occupy this empty corner. Since the beginning  of me going to this mosque, I noticed that this valuable space remained empty, wasted. According to my understanding, Allah has ordered us not to leave a gap, within and after of each row. I used to use this empty space I started to put my chair and prayed my namaaz. 

On some occasions I requested the closest musallis to come closer to my chair and not leave any empty space between my and their chairs. Instead ( some times ) they move towards right leaving a greater gap at the end or row. My request of closing gap at the end of row and in between chairs. This appeared to cause resentment. some times I arrived a little late just before the Imam has said the takbeer ( never after the namaz has started), and proceed to occupy the empty space at the end of first row, causing some people to move slightly to give me room enough to pass. enabling me to obey Allah's rules.                                                                                             

My actions may have annoyed some people, and they may had complained to the management about my actions. The management made a rule of 2 chairs only allowed in first row and 4 chairs only in all other rows  and placed sticker on the wall instructing worshipers to follow this rule. To my surprise the sticker at end "JazakAllah for your cooperation" . How can anyone seek Allahs blessing by disregarding his orders! Which that whoever comes first should occupy the space regardless of whether he is disabled, blind or healthy. 

For a few days I preferred to disagree with this rule, and occupied the empty space at the end of the first row. this may have caused GUT ACHE, at last week of Ramadan the conspired between hierarchy of the masjid . They then placed a pedestal and a small folding table to block ( & stop ) me) praying on the empty space. This forcefully stopped me praying on the remaining empty space.

You can see from the attached photo the space in question. Please advise on this, is it correct for the masjid to enforce a rule like this. 

At my old age I do not want to obtain Allah's displeasure. If all or some of above understanding of me is wrong/ different to Allah's rules please let me know, to enable me to do Istighfar and ask forgiveness to whoever I may have caused harm.  

 Once again I request to forgive me , taking your valuable time

May Allah grant you great blessings. I could not attach the photos to this question you can see them at the Google Drive link below 

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BwweHNqY6yjBWU9BSkVTMWhqNEk?usp=sharing

 

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

In principle, one may pray in whichever section of a masjid one wishes.

A person sitting down can also pray wherever he wishes. However, he should do so in consideration of the other congregants.

The Fuqaha have advised those sitting down to pray in an area which will not cause inconvenience to the other congregants.[1]  

If there is a gap in the first row wherein you are able to pray properly without causing inconvenience to anyone, you should do so.

Filling the gaps in the rows is, in reality, following the instructions of Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم). He says,

«أَتِمُّوا الصَّفَّ الْأَوَّلَ ثُمَّ الَّذِي يَلِيهِ، وَإِنْ كَانَ نَقْصٌ فَلْيَكُنْ فِي الصَّفِّ الْمُؤَخَّرِ» 

“Complete the first row, then the one behind it, and if any row is to be left incomplete let it be the last row.”[2]

Furthermore, we advise you to speak to the masjid committee members in a diplomatic manner and find out the reason of placing the pedestal. Perhaps there may be a reason they want that space unoccupied. Discuss with them your concerns and make an effort to resolve this issue amicably.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Saad Haque

Student Darul Iftaa
New Jersey, USA

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.



[1] الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (1/ 569)

قال في المعراج: الأفضل أن يقف في الصف الآخر إذا خاف إيذاء أحد. قال - عليه الصلاة والسلام - «من ترك الصف الأول مخافة أن يؤذي مسلما أضعف له أجر الصف الأول» وبه أخذ أبو حنيفة ومحمد، وفي كراهة ترك الصف الأول مع إمكانه خلاف اهـ أي لو تركه مع عدم خوف الإيذاء، وهذا لو قبل الشروع؛ فلو شرعوا وفي الصف الأول فرجة له خرق الصفوف كما يأتي قريبا.

[2] سنن النسائي ٨١٨

الآثار لمحمد بن الحسن (1/ 195)

مُحَمَّدٌ، قَالَ: أَخْبَرَنَا أَبُو حَنِيفَةَ، عَنْ حَمَّادٍ، قَالَ: سَأَلْتُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَنِ الصَّفِّ الْأَوَّلِ، أَلَهُ فَضْلٌ عَلَى الصَّفِّ الثَّانِي؟ قَالَ: إِنَّمَا كَانَ يُقَالُ: «لَا تَقُمْ فِي الصَّفِّ - يَعْنِي الثَّانِي - حَتَّى يَتَكَامَلَ الصَّفُّ الْأَوَّلُ» قَالَ مُحَمَّدٌ: وَبِهِ نَأْخُذُ، لَا يَنْبَغِي إِذَا [ص:197] تَكَامَلَ الْأَوَّلُ أَنْ يُزَاحَمَ عَلَيْهِ؛ فَإِنَّهُ يُؤْذِي. وَالْقِيَامُ فِي الصَّفِّ الثَّانِي خَيْرٌ مِنَ الْأَذَى

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