Is it allowed to pray on soft surface and on cloth or carpet?
I read somewhere from TabarAni(needs verification) that Abdullah ibn Masood refused to pray or prostrate on anything but the earth
Majma’ al-Zawa’id by, Volume 2 page 57 Hadith 2272:
وعن أبي عبيدة أن ابن مسعود كان لا يصلي أو لا يسجد إلا على الأرض.
“Abu Ubaidah narrates that the companion Ibn Mas’ud never prayed or prostrated except on the soil”
I also got these quotes(unverified) Hazrat Ibn Tayyimia said:
Praise be to the Lord of the Worlds, as for the Salat on the prayer mats on which the Salat Performer prays, that is NOT from the Sunnah of the SALAF of Muhaajireen or Ansar and Nor from the Sunnah of Tabi’een after them; on whom is the blessing/favor of Allah on the promise of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh&f) BUT INFACT all of these people PRAYED in the MOSQUE on SOIL. Not even One of them ever took a PRAYER MAT / CARPET to pray on for their Salat. And it is narrated from Abdul Rahman ibn Mahdi:
When the CARPETS/PRAYER MATS (first) came to Madinah then Malik ordained about confiscating them (or forbade people from using them) and then it was said to him, that is Abdulrahman ibn Mahdi.
So He said: And Truly Know! that verily the CARPET / PRAYER MAT in OUR mosque is a BI’DAH (Innovation). And (this is) in the Sahih (tradition) from Abi Sa’eed al-Khudri in the tradition of Eitikaaf al Nabi (s)”
Mujmoo al Fatawa by Ibn Taymeeya Volume 22 page163 Online Link: http://arabic.islamicweb.com/Books/taimiya.asp?book=381&volume=22&page=163
I also found some unverified quotes from Ahle Hadith scholars Shawkani and Wahiduzzaman who cringed the idea of praying on cloth or a soft surface.
So what was the practice of Sahaba in this issue?