This subject is one that is a bit close to my heart because it is an issue that tends to bother me at least 5 times a day when I pray in the Masjid.

For some reason people don’t know how to stand during prayer. The Messenger of Allah would tell the Sahaba before every prayer that they should close the gaps… that their shoulders and ankles (or side of the feet if you will) should be touching so as to close the gaps. That they should not leave gaps between themselves so that Shaytan does not come between them and break their unity.

Allah describes it in the Quran as standing like a solidly built wall. The Prophet of Allah would tell the people that this is how the Angels stood in the presence of Allah.

He would often warn that whoever connects a line Allah connects to him and whoever breaks a line (row) Allah disconnects from him.

It saddens me when I go to a Masjid and find that the worshipers all stand apart from each other. I used to see this most in areas in Egypt where the Army had built living quarters for their officers. They would come to the Masjid to pray but would stand apart from each other as if their rank meant anything in front of Allah. Allah only cares for one’s level of piety and obedience to him… not their rank or position.

It also upsets me when I travel abroad and find the older gentlemen from Indian or Pakistani background not closing the gaps and praying 10 cm apart from each other… When I would try to instruct them in what is correct they would turn their faces and say that it is a sunnah and not necessary… Where on earth would they get that idea? And since when was the Sunnah not necessary?

The diagram above indicates what the correct way of standing is and the incorrect forms of standing (or at best flawed methods of standing).

Shoulders should be aligned with feet so that no gaps can form.

And Allah knows best.

October 10, 2010