“The Prophet used to make his she-camel sit across and he would pray facing it (as a Sutra).” I asked, “What would the Prophet do if the she-camel was provoked and moved?” He said, “He would take its camel-saddle and put it in front of him and pray facing its back part (as a Sutra). And Ibn ‘Umar used to do the same.” (This indicates that one should not pray except behind a Sutrah).
Again, one should not pray except behind a sutrah. As to why, you’ll get the answer in the next few days inshaAllah.
Read similar Hadith under Camel-Sutrah.
Narrated Yazid bin Al ‘Ubaid:
I used to accompany Salama bin Al-Akwa’ and he used to pray behind the pillar which was near the place where the Quran’s were kept I said, “O Abu Muslim! I see you always seeking to pray behind this pillar.” He replied, “I saw Allah’s Apostle always seeking to pray near that pillar.”
-> A pillar can be taken as a sutra. It’s a sunnah.
I saw the most famous people amongst the companions of the Prophet hurrying towards the pillars at the Maghrib prayer before the Prophet came for the prayer.
-> After the Maghrib adhaan (call for prayer), and before the Maghrib salah, hasten to pray two nawafil. Mostly because there ain’t much time in between the adhaan and salah. :)
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:
The Prophet entered the Ka’ba along with Usama bin Zaid, ‘Uthman bin Talha and Bilal and remained there for a long time. When they came out, I was the first man to enter the Ka’ba. I asked Bilal “Where did the Prophet pray?” Bilal replied, “Between the two front Pillars.”
‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar said, “Allah’s Apostle entered the Ka’ba along with Usama bin Zaid, Bilal and ‘Uthman bin Talha Al-Hajabi and closed the door and stayed there for some time. I asked Bilal when he came out, ‘What did the Prophet do?’ He replied, ‘He offered prayer with one pillar to his left and one to his right and three behind.’ In those days the Ka’ba was supported by six pillars.” Malik said: “There were two pillars on his (the Prophet’s) right side.”
Read also: Inside the Ka’bah.
Narrated ‘Aun bin Abi Juhaifa:
that he had heard his father saying, “Allah’s Apostle came to us at mid-day and water was brought for his ablution. He performed ablution and led us in Zuhr and ‘Asr prayers with an ‘Anza planted in front of him (as a Sutra), while women and donkeys were passing beyond it.”
Read about ‘Anza here.
Imaam’s sutra is enough for the whole congregation and anything passing beyond that sutra does not disturb one’s prayer, as already discussed under Hadith no. 474.
Narrated Anas Ibn Malik:
Whenever the Prophet went for answering the call of nature, I and another boy used to go after him with a staff, a stick or an ‘Anza and a tumbler of water and when he finished from answering the call of nature we would hand that tumbler of water to him.
Details under Hadith no. 154.
Narrated Abu Juhaifa:
Allah’s Apostle came out at midday and offered a two-Rak’at Zuhr and ‘Asr prayers at Al-Batha and an ‘Anza was planted in front of him (as a Sutra). He performed ablution and the people took the remaining water left after his ablution and rubbed their bodies with it.
Narrated Sahl (bin Sa’d):
The distance between the Musalla of Allah’s Apostle and the wall was just sufficient for a sheep to pass through.
That is the minimum distance required between a person praying and his sutra. The saff-carpets in mosques use this criterion as well. See:
There have been a few corrections in Hadith no 472. Mistakes were due to my lack of knowledge. Don’t forget to check it out.
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:
Whenever Allah’s Apostle came out on ‘Id day, he used to order that a Harba (a short spear) to be planted in front of him (as a sutra* for his prayer) and then he used to pray facing it with the people behind him and used to do the same while on a journey. After the Prophet , this practice was adopted by the Muslim rulers (who followed his traditions).
This Hadith shows us the importance of having a sutra in front of the Imaam while he leads a congregation in prayer. When praying alone, one should also try to develop the habit of defining his prayer space by keeping a sutra in front of him.
*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.
Narrated ‘Aun bin Abi Juhaifa:
I heard my father saying, “The Prophet led us, and prayed a two-Rak’at Zuhr prayer and then a two-Rak’at ‘Asr prayer at Al-Batha’ with an ‘Anza (planted) in front of him (as a Sutra) while women and donkeys were passing in front of him (beyond that ‘Anza).”
The words “beyond that ‘anza” are of immense importance here. A woman passing in front of a man whose praying invalidates his prayer. It’s not because women are impure (najis) but scholars have said that it’s because she’s a temptation for men. [Ref: islmaqa.com, no. 12717]
It was reported from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Saamit that Abu Dharr said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘If any one of you stands up to pray, then he has a sutrah [an item placed in front of a praying person as a “screen”] if he has something the height of the back of a saddle in front of him. If he does not have something the height of the back of a saddle in front of him, then his prayer is invalidated if a donkey or a woman or a black dog passes in front of him.’” I [‘Abd-Allaah] asked, “O Abu Dharr, what is the difference between a black dog and a red or yellow dog?” He said, “O son of my brother, I asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) the same question, and he said, ‘The black dog is a shaytaan (devil).’” (Narrated by Muslim, 510).