Brother is asking is it necessary to join the feet in the congregation ? Brother has written that Sheikh Bakr Abu Zaid (rahimahullah) wrote that it is not necessary to join the ankles, but what is meant by these narrations is standing together.
The word ‘necessary’ that you used, we would say that implementing the sunnah be it small or big it is neccessary so that we earn extra rewards. There is no doubt that there are many acts that if you leave in the Salah, your salah wouldn’t become invalid. It is sunnah of the messenger to join shoulder to shoulder and feet to feet. It wouldn’t be said that leaving this sunnah would make your salah invalid. But it would be said that there is something missing in your salah, there is no doubt about it. Why ? People fail to understand that.. Actually, this is an historical issue, most people left studying ahadith of the messenger for several years. And everyone would busy oneself with studying the fiqh books of their own madhab shortening the thick books, then explaining the shortened ones, then shortening the concise ones, and so on.. they lived on this Read the ahadith so you would know .. Anas radiyallahu anh said,”Everyone of us used to put his shoulder with the shoulder of his companion and his foot with the foot of his companion.” Once, at the end of his life time, he went somewhere and performed salah Someone asked, “What do you find has changed in us since the time of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alayhi was allam)?”
ما أنكرت شيئا إلا أنكم لا تقيمون الصفوف
“I do not find anything except that you do not straighten your rows.” (Bukhaari)
It is narrated in the hadith, “Straighten your rows, for straightening the rows is part of perfecting prayer.” (Bukhari)
Meaning that if one does not implements the method of straightening the line, the salah would not be perfect. “Straighten your rows, for straightening the rows is part of perfecting prayer.” So Anas radiyallahu anh said: “I do not find anything except that you do not straighten your rows.”
” Ankles with Ankles”
This is precisely what has been narrated. And ankle is the point upto which the feet is washed in wudhu.
“Shoulders with Shoulders”
They used to join the ankles and the shoulders. He sad:
” ولو فعلت ذلك بأحدهم اليوم لنفر كأنه بغل شموس “
“but if you were to practice this today, a person would flee (from you) like a restless mule.” (Ibn Abi Shaybah)
Isn’t it true ? When you try to join, few people run away just due to their madhab.
How should we join ?
Brother has written that Sheikh Bakr Abu Zaid (rahimahullah) wrote that it is not necessary to join the ankles, but what is meant by these narrations is standing together.
The method of the sahaba in standing together was that they would stand in their places in such a way that .. ankles, shoulders and in one narration even the knee would meet. When you would prostrate, the knees would meet as well!
Not that you try to join knee to knee while standing.. But one should not leave gaps in between ..
Because the beloved messenger said, “Straighten your rows …and fill in the gaps for the Satan passes through what is between you like small sheep.” (Ahmad and Tabrani)
Now you reflect, is it necessary or not ?
Sheikh Bakr Abu Zaid had not yet completed his book, “لا جديد في احكام الصلاة”
He used to visit me at my home as well, we would meet often.. He told me at Sheikh Rifaie’s home, “How is this possible ? How can ankles join?!” I replied, “You have been brought up in such a way that your ankles don’t join We, alhamdulillah, were taught this from childhood. I made him stand and do it. So, he said, “Yea, but it causes much difficulty.” I said, “Did the shoulders meet or not ?”
on the contrary, those who purposefully leave excess gaps.. No!
However, he wrote what he wrote and passed away, اللهم اغفر له وارحمه
But a scholar of Sunnah would be forced to say after going through these narrations that this must be the method of Salah. Just like Badiuddin Shah Rashdi (rahimahullah) acknowledged this..
Actually, if you see how our legs are.. But in Salah, we should position our toe towards the qiblah. If you and the brother next to you stands in this way, the ankles would surely meet. It would meet atleast in certain positions. But it is not meant that one should stick oneself to the one beside.
They say staying away from each other in the congregation does not matter..
Rather, as Sheikh Ibn Al Uthaimeen said:
له في جميع الصلاة وليس معنى ذلك أن يلازم هذا الإلصاق ويبقى ملازماً
“It does not mean that he should continue this joining and remain so for the whole salah.”
Allah’s messenger said, “تراسوا” (cling together )
Rassu means to cling together as the bricks are layed and cemented together, top and bottom – left and right. Rassu is not possible by leaving gaps!
But because people donot have the understanding of these ahadith, they keep following blindly whatever they were taught.
When I first when to Jama Masjid (Delhi), I found that they have designed the floor in such a way that there would be so much gap that two men could adjust easily in between two men!But they have have purposefully made as such due to their madhab..
وصل اللهم على نبينا محمد