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The Blessings Upon the First Row During Congregational Prayers


روي أنه رأى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في قوم تأخرا فقال لهم: تقدموا فائتموا بي وليأتم بكم من بعدكم. لا يزال قوم يتأخرون حتى يؤخرهم الله.

It is narrated that [once] the Prophet (pbuh) saw in some people the intention to stand behind1 [during the prayer congregation]. He said to them: Come forward [to the first row], follow me [in your prayers] and let those who come after you follow you [in the rows of the congregation]. [Remember,] some people shall persistently continue to stand in the later rows till God shall delay them2 [in bestowing His mercy upon them]3.

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General Notes:

  1. That is, they appeared to have decided to take a position in the hind rows even though the front row had not yet been fully filled.

  2. That is, those in the front rows shall be granted God's mercy before those standing in the hind rows.

  3. Here, the Prophet (pbuh) instills the desire among the believers to join the earlier rows in the prayer congregation. Joining the earlier rows is possible only through a firm commitment and desire to reach the congregation in time, which, in turn, is the result of one's continual attentiveness and thoughtfulness towards prayers.The Prophet (pbuh) has warned the people that if they are not mindful of reaching their prayers in time and are guilty of carelessness in answering the call of the prayer, then God too shall delay His mercy and blessings for them.

Notes on the Text of the Narrative

This narrative or a part of it with some variations has been reported in Muslim (narrative no. 438), Abu Dawood (narrative no. 679), Nissaiy (narrative no. 795), Ibn Maajah (narrative no. 978), Ahmad ibn Hanbal (narrative no. 11158, 11310 and 11529), Ibn Hibban (narrative no. 2156), Ibn Khuzaymah (narrative no. 1560 and 1612), Nissaiy's Sunan al-Kubraa (narrative no. 870), Bayhaqiy (narrative no. 4978 and 4979), Abu Ya`laa (narrative no. 1065 and 1181) and Abd al-Razzaq (narrative no. 2453). The preferred text is taken from Muslim's narrative no. 438.

In another version of Muslim's narrative no. 438, the words "رأى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في قوم" (i.e., 'the Prophet (pbuh) saw in some people') have been reported as "رأى رسول الله صلى الله عليه سلم في أصحابه" (i.e., 'the Prophet (pbuh) saw in his companions'); while in the same narrative, these words have also been reported as "رأى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قوما في مؤخر المسجد" (i.e., 'the Prophet (pbuh) saw some people at the back of the mosque').

In some narratives, as in Ahmad ibn Hanbal's narrative no. 11158, the words "فائتموا بي وليأتم بكم من بعدكم" (i.e., 'follow me and let those who come after you follow you') have been reported as "ائتموا بي يأتم بكم من بعدكم" (i.e., 'follow me, those that come after you shall follow you').

In some narratives, as in Ibn Khuzaymah's narrative no. 1612 the words "لا يزال قوم" (i.e., 'some people shall continue') have been reported as "لا يزال القوم" (i.e., 'these people shall continue').

In some narratives, as in Ibn Hibban's narrative no. 2156, the word "يتأخرون" (i.e., 'they shall stand behind') has been replaced with "يتخلفون عن الصف الأول" (i.e., 'they shall hold back from the first row').

In some narratives as in Abu Dawood's narrative no. 679, the words "عن الصف الأول" (i.e., 'from the first row') have been added after the words "يتأخرون" (i.e., 'they shall stand behind'); while in Abu Ya`laa's narrative no. 1181, the word "عني" (i.e., 'from me') has been added in place of "عن الصف الأول" (i.e., 'from the first row').

In some narratives, as in Ibn Hibban's narrative no. 2156, the words "حتى يؤخرهم الله" (i.e., 'till God shall delay them') have been replaced by "حتى يخلفهم الله في النار" (i.e., 'till God shall leave them behind in the Fire').

In some narratives, as in Abu Dawood's narrative no. 679, the words "في النار" (i.e., 'in fire') have been added after the words "يؤخرهم الله" (i.e., 'God shall delay them'); in some narratives, as in Ahmad ibn Hanbal's narrative no. 11310, the words "يوم القيامة" (i.e., 'on the Day of Judgment') have been added in place of "في النار" (i.e., 'in Fire').

In some narratives, as in Ibn Khuzaymah's narrative no. 1560, the referred incident has been reported as under:

 Ø¯Ø®Ù„ رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فرأى ناسا في مؤخر المسجد فقال: ما يؤخركم؟ لا يزال أقوام يتأخرون حتى يؤخرهم الله عز وجل. تقدموا. فأتموا بي وليأتم بكم من بعدكم.

Once the Prophet entered [the mosque] and at finding some people [standing] at the back of the mosque, he said: What is it that holds you back? People shall continue to stand back till God shall delay them [in bestowing upon them His mercy]. Come forward. Follow me and let those who come later follow you.

(This write-up is prepared by the Hadith Cell of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi)

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Last Updated on Sunday, 12 December 2010 19:14