Praise be to Allah Alone and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, his family and Companions. To continue,The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta has read the inquiry submitted by the Director of Administrative Affairs at King
to His Eminence
of the Committee. Bearing the number 989 and dating 4/4/1405 AH, the inquiry provides: "What is the ruling
if upon entering the Masjid (mosque), a Muslim finds no place in the row, can he pull a person from the row to stand beside him?
Due to the repeated occurrence of this problem, I had lengthy discussions with many people during which I mentioned the answer Your Eminence has provided in this regard. However, a number of questions were raised:1. What is the evidence from the Qur'an and Sunnah (whatever reported from the Prophet) that indicates the impermissibility of pulling someone back from (Part No. 8; Page No. 9) the row in which they are standing? 2. What is a person supposed to do if they happen to not find a place in the row and is unable to stand on the right side behind the Imam due to the fact that the Prayer is almost finished? Should he start Prayer alone or should he pull someone back to stand beside him in Prayer?
A: If, upon entering the Masjid, a Muslim finds no space in the row to stand in and is unable to stand on the right side of the Imam, he has to wait for someone else to join him in another row. If there is no one to join him, he has to offer Salah in another congregation otherwise he may pray alone after the Imam of the present congregation announces Taslim (salutation of peace ending the Prayer). There is no sin upon him if he does so. Allah (Exalted be He) says,
So keep your duty to Allâh and fear Him as much as you can
The Prophet (peace be upon him) is also reported to have said,
When I command you to do anything, do of it as much as you possibly can...
The reason is that Salah is one of the acts of worship which are based on the religious principle of Tawqif (a religious text and not personal opinion). The Hadith which prohibits praying alone behind the row has been classified as authentic. But the Hadith which provides:
Won't you join them in the row or pull one man of the row to constitute another row.
Has been classified as Da`if (weak). Moreover, if someone is pulled from the row, a space in this same row will be made. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has ordered us to straighten, complete (Part No. 8; Page No. 10) and block the gaps in rows upon standing for Salah.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.