More on ‘Anza (Hadith No. 373)
There was a Hadith on ‘Anza (spear-headed stick) way back. We learnt that it was used to dig up the soil. Today, we learn another use inshaAllah.
Narrated Abu Juhaifa:
I saw Allah’s Apostle in a red leather tent and I saw Bilal taking the remaining water with which the Prophet had performed ablution. I saw the people taking the utilized water impatiently and whoever got some of it rubbed it on his body and those who could not get any, took the moisture from the others’ hands. Then I saw Bilal carrying an ‘Anza (a spear-headed stick) which he planted in the ground. The Prophet came out tucking up his red cloak, and led the people in prayer and offered two Rakat (facing the Ka’ba) taking ‘Anza as a Sutra for his prayer. I saw the people and animals passing in front of him beyond the ‘Anza.
So ‘Anza was also used as a sutra for prayer. Sutra is a screen that a person uses to define his prayer space, such as a wall, door etc. The bare minimum requirement for sutra is: that it should be as tall as the length of one hand. So anything can be used that fits this criterion. It is not allowed to pass by/walk in front of a person who’s praying. But placing a sutra in front of him changes the ruling. Quote:
“I saw the people and animals passing in front of him beyond the ‘Anza.”
Lesson: make sure you always have a sutra when praying in public, so that people find it convenient to pass by.
One more thing, a sutra in front of the Imaam is enough for the whole congregation.