This is an additional question to my former post: What are the rulings of praying and follwing an Imam from outside a mosque when the mosque is crowded?

In hot days I witnessed during the taraweeh prayer in Ramadan a situation I wonder if it is halal:

Inside the mosque only a few rows were filled, while many people were praying on straw or prayer mats outside enjoying a fresher air instead of the sticky (warm) air inside the mosque.

Are those people sinning?: I mean is it sinful to pray in congregation following an Imam from outside a mosque while inside the mosque there's free space?

1 Answer 1


Brother i think this is not allowed, purely because you have to arrange the rows and connect them, and establish them one after another on the condition that the latter gets full, proof for this is the hadith of the prophet ﷺ:

It was narrated from Anas ibn Maalik that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Make your rows straight for I can see you behind my back.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 686; Muslim, 425.

This hadith shows the imprtance of straightening rows and making them firm, on after another, and no gap should be left whereas one or few persons make their own incomplete row by stepping back from a row before it is complete or they do it.

Hence to answer your question, let us look at this hadith from another angle, the prophet ﷺ was the imam for that congregational prayer, so could have seen the rows that were further away if he there were gaps and could have he advised them? The general answer is no but let us also take a look at these hadeeths:

It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Make your rows straight, stand shoulder to shoulder and close the gaps, and do not resist your brothers’ hands. Do not leave any gaps for the Shaytaan. Whoever complete a row, Allaah will reward him, and whoever breaks row, Allaah will forsake him. Abu Dawood said: What is meant by “Do not resist your brothers’ hands” is that a man should be easy-going if his brother pushes him forwards or backwards to make the row straight. (‘Awn al-Ma’bood). Narrated by Abu Dawood, 666; al-Nasaa’i, 819. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 620. source - https://islamqa.info/en/111783

What we understand here is that by saying gaps, is not only the gaps in horizontal, but also vertical, however the person can take enough amount of space for his head not hit the persons feet when they are prostrating, also see this hadeeth:

It was narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Straighten your rows, for straightening the rows is part of perfecting prayer.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 690; Muslim, 433. According to another report narrated by al-Bukhaari (723): “Straighten your rows, for straightening the rows is part of establishing prayer.” source - https://islamqa.info/en/111783

This also affirms how important it is to establish the rows correctly and this the validicity of the prayers of the ones who corrupt them is at risk, also, if you look at it from a person who has light understanding of how to understand a hadith, this will surely confirm that what i'm trying to prove is true:

1 – The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Pray as you have seen me praying.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari. source - https://islamqa.info/en/9276

And the word pray which the prophet ﷺ used in this hadith is "Salluu" which means to command in plural so we understand that every congregation has to pray in the same manner as the prophet ﷺ and the sahabas used to pray, and they didn't use to pray outside the mosque except in cases of necessity where the mosque was filled. Also note that the people who will be praying in the mosque and cannot bear it's "sticky" air, will bw there lnly for approximately 20 minutes, and if it goes beyond this, the imam is doing a mistake, because the obligatory congregational prayer has to be shortened. Hope that answers the question.

  • No the rows must not be connected and praying outside a mosque is valid in certain cases islamqa
    – user23533
    Commented Jul 9, 2018 at 7:26

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