The Prescribed Prayer: Chapter Two (cont.)

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It is Sunnah that Al-Musallee, the worshiper, should put a Sutrah, marker, in front of him during Salaah, so as to prevent people from crossing in front of him, and to protect his eyes from what is beyond the marker. For this the Prophet has been reported as saying:

"Whenever anyone of you pray, he should pray to a Sutra and should get close to it." (Abua Daawuud)

The Sutrah could be anything lawful that the Musallee puts in front of him, even the end of the prayer rug. The Prophet said:

"Whenever anyone of you prays he should put something in front of him. If he can't find anything, he should put a stick, and if there is no stick, he should make a line, then nothing will harm him." (Ahmad)

However, if one is following the Imaam, the Imaam's Sutrah suffices him. After the worshiper has erected a Sutrah, it is prohibited for anyone to cross between the Musallee and his Sutrah. In Hadeeth,

"If the person (crossing between the Musallee and his Sutrah) knows what is on him (of the sin), it would be better for him to stop forty (days, months, or years) than to cross." (Al-Bukhaaree)

This is why the Musallee is allowed to shove away anything passing in front of him -- be it human or animal.

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