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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." (Muslim)

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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