Date : 15-05-2014

Question :

How valid is the Hadith: “One who fills a gap in a prayer row, Allah will recompense him/her, but one who doesn`t, Allah won`t recompense him/her,” and in what form does such an act happen to entail dispraise and punishment ?

The Answer :

Praise be to Allah, peace and blessings be upon Prophet Mohammad.

The aforementioned Hadith was narrated by Abu Dawood and others who reported it from Abdullah bin Omar who reported it from the Prophet (PBUH), and it is a sound Hadith as said by Al-imam Al-nawawi. Ibn Hijr (may Allah have mercy on his soul) said: “The Hadith is intended for over-adjustment of prayer rows and filling of their gaps, and there are many Hadiths that tackled this matter encouraging worshipers to fill gaps in prayer rows.” {Fatih Al-Bari, vol.3/pp.77}.

The Hadith means that Allah deprives those who needlessly abandon their places in prayer rows from His reward and mercy since one reaps what one sows. {Al-Mannawi, vol.2/pp.75}.

The Hadith urges Muslims to fill the gaps in prayer rows one by one , and prefers doing so.

On the other hand, the dispraise doesn`t convey the sense of prohibition for Muslim scholars interpreted it within the frame of missing the reward from Allah. Al-Haitami (May Allah have mercy on his soul) said: “ Straightening rows is desirable, and a duty for every praying person. It is intended for lining up properly on a straight line, filling the gaps that may be found in that row, standing closely, and joining shoulder-to-shoulder. Moreover, it is disliked for a worshiper to do otherwise. [Al-Minhj Al-Qaweem, pp.190]. And Allah Knows Best.