Praying between the pillars of the masjid

Reference: Fataawa Islaamiyyah – Volume 1, Page 303

Question: Is it permissible to break the row in the congregational prayer with the masjid’s pillars, if it is full of worshippers?

Response: There is no doubt that it is preferable that the rows be tightly formed, [the worshippers] standing next to each other, not far apart; and this is from the Sunnah.

The Prophet ﷺ ordered [the Companions] to form up tightly and to close up the gaps. And the Companions (radhi-yAllaahu ‘anhum) used to avoid the rows between the pillars, because doing so caused some of the ranks to be separated from others. But if there is a need for it, as in the question, due to the masjid being crowded with worshippers, then there is no objection in such a situation for them to form rows between the pillars, because exceptional circumstances are governed by special rulings, and necessity and need also have special rulings.

He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004. He currently resides in Birmingham, UK.

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