Jama’at of two

بسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه ومن تبع هداه وبعد

.

Anas ibn Malik رضي الله عنه narrated:

أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أتى أم حرام , فأتيناه بتمر و سمن فقال : ردوا هذا في وعائه و هذا في سقائه فإني صائم
قال : ثم قام فصلى بنا ركعتين تطوعا , فأقام أم حرام و أم سليم خلفنا و أقامني عن يمينه

The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم came to Umm Haraam and she brought some dates and butter, (but the) Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: ‘Return this to its container and the other to its jug as I am fasting.’ (Anas said): He then led us in two Rak’at (voluntary) salah; Umm Haraam and Umm Sulaym stood behind us and He (made me) stand on his right hand side.

[Sunan Abi Da’wud, 608 and others – classed as saheeh in ‘Silsilah as-Saheehah’, 1/219]

.

From the many benefits of this hadeeth and its fiqh, Al-Albani رحمه الله تعالى wrote:

أن الرجل إذا أئتم بالرجل وقف عن يمين الإمام , و الظاهر أنه يقف محاذيا له لا يتقدم عليه و لا يتأخر , لأنه لو كان وقع شيء من ذلك لنقله الراوي , لاسيما و أن الاقتداء به صلى الله عليه وسلم من أفراد الصحابة قد تكرر

“That if a man is led in prayer by another man, he should stand to the right of the Imam (i.e. one leading the prayer). What is evident is that he stands in line with him (right next to him), neither forward (of him) nor behind him because if anything like this had occurred, then the narrator would have narrated it, especially since the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم led (many) Companions in prayer (individually).

باب يقوم عن يمين الإمام بحذائه سواء , إذا كانا اثنين
قال الحافظ في “الفتح” (160/2)  قوله : سواء أي لا يتقدم و لا يتأخر , و كأن المصنف أشار بذلك إلى ما وقع في بعض طرقه عن ابن عباس فلفظ : ” فقمت إلى جنبه ” و ظاهرة المساواة

(Imam al-Bukhari mentions this issue in his chapter): ‘Chapter: if there are two people praying then one stands equal next to the one leading the prayer.’ Al-Hafidh (ibn Hajar) said in ‘al-Fath’, 2/160; (regarding the saying of al-Bukhari) ‘equal’ means that he does not stand forward from the Imam nor just behind him. It is as if (al-Bukhari) is referring to what occurs in some of the narrations from Ibn Abbas (with the wording): ‘I stood next to him’ and that (apparently) means equal to him.

عبد الرزاق عن ابن جريج قال : قلت لعطاء : الرجل يصلي مع الرجل أين يكون منه? قال : إلى شقه الأيمن , قلت : أيحاذي به حتى يصف معه لا يفوت أحدهما الآخر قال : نعم قلت : أتحب أن يساويه حتى لا تكون بينهما فرجة ? قال : نعم و في ” الموطأ ” عن عبد الله بن عتبة بن مسعود قال : دخلت على عمر ابن الخطاب بالهاجرة فوجدته يسبح , فقمت وراءه , فقربني حتى جعلني حذاءه عن يمينه “

Abdur-Razzaq narrated from Ibn Juraij who said: I said to ‘Atta, “‘A man prays along with another man, where should he stand?’ He answered: ‘On his right hand side.’ So I asked: ‘Does he stand equal to him (so that he is) in line with him and not ahead of the other?’ He answered: ‘Yes.’ I asked: ‘Do you like it that they stand equal so there is no gap between them?’ He answered: ‘Yes’ and in ‘al-Muwatta’ from Abdullaah bin Utbah bin Mas’ood who said: I entered upon Umar bin al-Khattab during the morning (before Dhuhr) and found him in Ruku’, I stood (in prayer) behind him but he brought me forward and placed me next to him on his right side.’

قلت : و هذا الأثر في ” الموطأ ” ( 1 / 154 / 32 ) بإسناد صحيح عن عمر رضي الله عنه , فهو مع الأحاديث المذكورة حجة قوية على المساواة المذكورة , فالقول باستحباب أن يقف المأموم دون الإمام قليلا , كما جاء في بعض المذاهب على تفصيل في ذلك لبعضها – مع أنه مما لا دليل عليه في السنة , فهو مخالف لظواهر هذه الأحاديث , و أثر عمر هذا , و قول عطاء المذكور , و هو الإمام التابعي الجليل ابن أبي رباح و ما كان من الأقوال كذلك

I (Albani) say: This Athar in ‘al-Muwatta’ is with an authentic isnad from ‘Umar رضي الله عنه and (along with) the previously mentioned Ahadeeth are strong proof of the issue of equality (when standing in salah). As for the saying that it is mustahhab that the single person (following the Imam) should stand slightly behind the Imam, as is mentioned by some of the Madhahib (who have) broken down (and explained) this issue – (while) there being no evidence for it from the Sunnah (as) it opposes what is apparent from these Ahadeeth [e.g. Ahmad, 1/330, which is classed as saheeh in ‘Silsilah as-Saheehah’, 6060]; and the narration of ‘Umar and the previous statements that ‘Atta mentioned and the Imam and noble Tabi’ee Ibn Abi Rabah – and likewise the statements of others.

فالأحرى بالمؤمن أن يدعها لأصحابها و ما كان من الأقوال كذلك فالأحرى بالمؤمن أن يدعها لأصحابها معتقدا أنهم مأجورون عليها لأنهم اجتهدوا قاصدين إلى الحق , و عليه هو أن يتبع ما ثبت في السنة , فإن خير الهدي هدي محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم

It is more befitting for the Believer to leave those statements (of the Madhahib) to their respective founding companions. And (we) believe they are rewarded for it because they made ijtihad (while) intending the truth, and it is upon us to follow what is established from the Sunnah as (indeed) the best guidance is the guidance of the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم

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For complete details, see ‘Silsilah Ahadeeth As-Saheehah’, vol. 1, no. 141

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