[Video]: The Ruling Regarding The Barrier for A Praying Person (Al-Sutrah) | Shaykh ʿAbdul-ʿAzīz ibn Bāz

The Ruling Regarding The Barrier for A Praying Person (Al-Sutrah) | Shaykh ʿAbdul-ʿAzīz ibn Bāz

The Questioner:

May Allāh reward you with good. What is the ruling regarding taking a barrier (al-sutrah) as it relates to the praying person? And if the praying person can ensure that no one will pass in front of him, like if he were praying in the desert for example; then what is the ruling as it relates to taking a barrier (al-sutrah) for this individual?

Shaykh ʿAbdul-ʿAzīz ibn Bāz:

“The taking of a barrier (al-sutrah) is a Sunnah. The Prophet (ﷺ) used to take a barrier (al-sutrah) even when he was out in the desert and while he was travelling. So the Sunnah is to take a barrier (al-sutrah).

And it should be the size of the back of the saddle, approximately an arm’s length or what is similar to an arm outstretched in front of him as in a chair or staff which is upright like a saddle; like a vessel placed in front of him that reaches up to his shin or the length of an arm or a quarter of an arm or whatever is similar to that.

Due to his statement (ﷺ): ‘The like of the back of a saddle is sufficient for one of you.’ And in another wording: ‘If the like of the back of a saddle was in front of one of you, then certainly the woman, the donkey and the black dog will break his prayer.’ Meaning if one of those things passes in between him and it.

So what is intended is that whenever the barrier (al-sutrah) was approximately an arm’s length or whatever is similar to that, then whatever passes in front of him will not harm his prayer so long as they pass behind it. As for passing between him and the barrier (al-sutrah), then in this case it disrupts his prayer; the woman, the donkey, and the black dog just as it has been confirmed in the ḥadīth of the Prophet (ﷺ):

‘The prayer of the Muslim individual is disrupted if there is nothing in front of him the size of the back of a saddle; the woman, the donkey and the black dog.’ This is how it has been authentically reported from him (ﷺ). However, if the barrier (al-sutrah) was a wall or a pillar then in this case it will suffice him.

If someone were to pass between him and the barrier (al-sutrah) he should prevent him [from passing] due to his (ﷺ) statement: ‘If one of you prays towards something which conceals him from the people, and then someone wishes to pass in front of him, then he should redirect him [elsewhere]. Then if he refuses he should fight him since he is a devil.’ Its authenticity is agreed upon.

And if whatever is passing is not a donkey or a dog or a woman; even a man, a young boy should be prevented; even an animal should be prevented like a sheep or other than that if it is possible to prevent it. It should be prevented if it is possible. But if whatever is passing overcomes him it will not harm his prayer unless it is a donkey, dog or woman; a full grown woman.

As for the young girl then the young girl does not disrupt the prayer. And for this reason there is another wording which states: ‘the woman who menses.’ Meaning that she has reached puberty.”

The Questioner:

May Allāh reward you with good. What if he was in the desert for example or he is sure there is no one to pass in front of him?

Shaykh ʿAbdul-ʿAzīz ibn Bāz:

“And even if he is sure, the Sunnah is to take a barrier (al-sutrah).”

Translated By: Abul-Layth Qāsim Mutiva

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