The Prescribed Prayer: Chapter Two (cont.)
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ISTIKHLAAF (TAKING THE PLACE OF THE IMAAM)
An Imaam may ask someone to take his place
in leading the prayer: for instance if he wants to update his Wuduu, or
if something happens to him while he is leading Salaah. It is reported
that 'Umar bin Khattaab grabbed Abdur Rahmaan bin 'Uaf to take his position
as Imaam the day he was stabbed.
LINING UP FOR SALAAH
It is Sunnah that the worshippers should line
up correctly toe to toe and shoulder to shoulder and filling up any gaps
in the lines before starting Salaah. The Imaam should not start Salaah
until he is satisfied with the lining up. According to Nu'umaan bin Basheer,
the Prophet (s.'a.s.) took extraordinary care to see that the rows were
properly aligned, and it seems as if he would set arrows straight with
their help. He did so persistently till his companions realized the importance
of the proper alignment in Salaah. He saw a man with his chest protruding
from the rows, he stopped and said:
"O people, keep your rows straight and
balanced, otherwise Allah might turn your hearts one against the other."
JAMAA'AH BEGINS WITH ONE PERSON
The word Jamaa'ah means group, and
is from the root Jama'a, to collect, but in terms of Salaah, it
is a group that begins with one person, whether the person is an adult
or minor, male or female.
To form a Jamaa'ah in Salaah, if there
is a person and the Imaam, that person stands on the right side of the
Imaam. If there are two people in addition to the Imaam, they both should
stand behind the Imaam. The lines in Jamaa'ah begin from the center of
the line behind the Imaam, who stands in front of Al-Mihraab, the
niche, and then fill up from both right and left.
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