Sunday, June 19, 2011


The Prophet (pbuh) said: “When one of you prays, pray towards a Sutrah. Stand close to it & do not let anyone pass between you & it.” [Aboo Daawood, The Book Of Prayer, Hadeeth 698; Ibn Maajah, The Book of Establishing The Prayer & Its Sunan, Hadeeth 954]

This text is general regarding taking a Sutrah – irrespective of whether it is in the Masjid or home, for men or women. Some people do not adopt this Sunnah, so we find them praying without a Sutrah. This Sunnah is repeated by a Muslim many times during the day dan night – for the Sunnah Ar-Rawaatib, Ad-Duhaa, Tahiyaat Al-Masjid and Al-Witr prayers. For a woman it is repeated when she prays her obligatory prayers at home. As for the congregational prayers, the Imaam is the Sutrah for those behind him.

* Issues Regarding The Sutrah *

1 ➲ The Sutrah can be whatever the person praying sets in from of him when he is facing the Qiblah – such as a wall, stick or pillar. There is no limit to its width. It should be at least the height of the back of a saddle (about a hand span. [Aboo Daawood, The Book Of Prayer, Hadeeth 685 Ibn Maajah, The Book of Establishing Te Prayer and Its Sunan, Hadeeth 945]

2 ➲ The space from the feet to the Sutrah should be about three arm-spans so that there is sufficient room for sajdah. [Al-Bukharee, The Book Of Prayer, Hadeeth 506]

3 ➲ The Sutrah has been legislated for the Imaam as well as for the person praying alone, for the obligatory and options prayers alike. [Aboo Daawood, The Book Of Prayer, Hadeeth 698]

4 ➲ The Sutrah of the Imaam is the Sutrah of the people praying behind him. It is permissible to walk between the lines of the people praying (i.e. in front of them) if there is a need. [At-Tirmidhee, The Book Of Prayer, Hadeeth 335]

* Benefits of observing this Sunnah *

1 ➲ It protects the prayer from being broken.

2 ➲ When someone passes in front of praying, it cuts or reduces the value of the prayer. Things that break the Salaah, when they pass between the one praying and his Sutrah, are a female pass the age of puberty, and a black dog. [Ibn Maajah, The Book Of Establishing The Prayer and Its Sunan, Hadeeth 949]

3 ➲ The person praying provided a space for the people to pass by, thereby not giving them a need to pass directly in front of him.

4 ➲ It protects the eyes from wandering and looking around, because the person using the Sutrah would always focus his sight to the area before his Sutrah. In this way, it is easier to contemplate on the meanings of the prayer.

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