Joining ankles, heels and exaggerated stance in Salah is Extremism

 stance salah

{jb_quote}Amongst the things which have been added, is the new stance for the salah which has no source, is what we see from some musaleen {those who line up for the salah}: adjoining to the one to his right, if he is on the right side of the line, and the one to his left, if he is on the left side of the line, is such a manner that he adjusts his heels to joins his ankles to the ankles of the one beside him...the meaning of it is to have tranquility throughout the salah, and to be comfortable within it, and not to push nor rub against the shoulders of the one next to him...{/jb_quote}

Extremism in Joining Ankles in Prayer!

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salih al-'Uthaymin (RA)

س234: ما المعتمد في إقامة الصفوف؟ وهل يشرع للمصلي أن يلصق كعبه بكعب من بجانبه؟ أفتونا مأجورين؟

الجواب: الصحيح أن المعتمد في تسوية الصف محاذاة الكعبين بعضهما بعضاً، لا رؤوس الأصابع، وذلك لأن البدن مركب على الكعب، والأصابع تختلف الأقدام فيها، فهناك القدم الطويل، وهناك القدم القصير، فلا يمكن ضبط التساوي إلا بالكعب .

وأما إلصاق الكعبين بعضهما ببعض فلا شك أنه وارد عن الصحابة –رضي الله عنهم- فإنهم كانا يسوون الصفوف بإلصاق الكعبين بعضهما ببعض ، أي أن كل واحد منهم يلصق كعبه بكعب جاره لتحقق المحاذاة وتسوية الصف، فهو ليس مقصوداً لذاته لكنه مقصود لغيره كما ذكر بعض أهل العلم، ولهذا إذا تمت الصفوف وقام الناس ينبغي لكل واحد أن يلصق كعبه بكعب صاحبه لتحقق المساواة، وليس معنى ذلك أن يلازم هذا الإلصاق ويبقى ملازماً له في جميع الصلاة .

ومن الغلو في هذه المسألة ما يفعله بعض الناس من كونه يلصق كعبه بكعب صاحبه ويفتح قدميه فيما بينهما حتى يكون بينه وبين جاره في المناكب فرجة فيخالف السنة في ذلك، والمقصود أن المناكب والأكعب تتساوى

Question: What is the relied-upon position regarding the straightening of the rows (sufuf)? Is it prescribed for the praying person to join his ankle (ka'b) to the ankle of the person next to him? Please give us the fatwa, may you be rewarded.

Answer: That which is correct is that the relied-upon position regarding the straightening of the row is that the ankles should be in line with each other, not the ends of the toes, and that is because the body is supported upon the ankle, and the feet differ in regard to the toes, because some feet are long, and some feet are short. So it is impossible to ensure straightness except by the ankles (i.e. by the ankles being in line with each other).

As for joining the ankles to the ankles of the others, then no doubt this is reported from the Sahabah, radhiyallahu 'anhum, for they would straighten the rows by joining ankles, that is, every one of them would join his ankle with the ankle of his neighbour to ensure being line, and the straightness of the row. So it is not meant as an aim in itself, but rather as a means of achieving another aim, as some of the people of knowledge have mentioned. Therefore, when the rows are completed and the people are standing, it is befitting for every one of them to join his ankle to the ankle of his companion to ensure straightness. It does not mean that he should continue this joining and remain so for the whole salah.

{jb_bluebox}From the extremism that has occurred with regard to this issue is what is done by some people in that one of them will join his ankle to the ankle of his companion, and he will spread his feet so far apart until there is a gap between his shoulder and the shoulder of his companion, so he will oppose the Sunnah by doing that. But the aim is that the shoulders and ankles should be in line with each other.{/jb_bluebox}

Source: Islamic Verdicts on the Pillars of IslamIslamic Verdicts on the Pillars of Islam

La Jadeed Fi Ahkaamis Salah

Shaykh Bak'r Ibn Abdullah Abu Zaid

Note: The following is a translation by Shaykh Yusuf Estes of the first chapter of the book "La Jadeed Fi Ahkaamis Salah (There is nothing new in the injunctions of Salah)" by Shaykh Bak'r Ibn Abdullah Abu Zaid, the entire book (and importantly the 1st chapter) can be downloaded and read from the following link:

Regarding the straightening of the rows there are three sunnahs:

{jb_bluedisc}1{/jb_bluedisc} Establishing the row and consolidating it, where no ones' chest or anything from them protrudes out {compared to} to those who are on his side, Hence there will be no crookedness in the line.


From amongst the expressions for straightening the rows are: "Istawoo" i.e. straighten your lines, "istaqeemoo" i.e. be straight, upright, "i'tadiloo" i.e. align yourselves, and "aqeemoo saf" i.e. establish the rows. And this establishing of the row, can be accurately implemented by commanding alignment between the necks, shoulders, knees and ankles. It is clear from the guidance of the Prophet {salallahu alahi wa salam} that these expressions were all used interchangeably.


{jb_bluedisc}2{/jb_bluedisc} Filling the gaps, to the point where there is no space in it.


From amongst the ways of expressing this {is by saying}: "sudu'l khalal" i.e. fill the gaps, and "do no not leave a space for the shaytan." This sunnah can be precisely implemented by consolidating the lines, i.e. by saying "taraasoo"


{jb_bluedisc}3{/jb_bluedisc} Connecting the first rows and the completion of it.


This is expressed in the following ways: "atimoo'saf al awal fal awal" i.e. complete the rows, the first one, then the one behind it, and "whoever connects a row, Allah will connect him {by His mercy} and whoever breaks {from} a row {by not filling the gap}, Allah will cut him off " {by cutting him off from His overall mercy} (see: "Awn Al Ma'bood Fee Sharh Sunan Abu Dawud").

And within these sunan {plural of sunnah} there are many other abandoned sunan; like making dua and asking forgiveness for the first row three times, then those behind twice, the imam coming to the end of the row to straighten it, sending someone to check upon the lines {see: sunan At-Tirmidhee}, and so forth, all from the guidance of the Prophet {salallahu alahi wa salam} way in achieving these three sunan for the lines by: straightening it, filling the gaps and consecutively completing the ranks, beginning with the first one, then the second, then the third and so forth.

All this is indicates that straightening the rows has a very important role in establishing the salah, beautifying it, and perfecting it. In this, there is great merit and reward, in addition to binding the hearts and bringing them together as the ahadeeth bears witness to. And this blessed ummah distinguishes itself, and it is unique, in that its' rows for the salah are like that of the angels, wa alhamdulillah rabil a'lameen.

{jb_bluebox}Amongst the things which have been added, is the new stance for the salah which has no source, is what we see from some musaleen {those who line up for the salah}: adjoining to the one to his right, if he is on the right side of the line, and the one to his left, if he is on the left side of the line, is such a manner that he adjusts his heels to joins his ankles to the ankles of the one beside him. This type of stance is something extra from what has been narrated, and also in it {this stance} is extremity in practicing the sunnah. This stance is contradictory for two reasons: Firstly: Joining the feet and adjusting until they are stuck to each other is a clear mistake, apparent burden, new understanding in which there is extremity in practicing the sunnah, severe tightness, bothering oneself with what has not been legislated, preoccupying oneself by trying to fill the spaces when raising up from sujood, and losing the ability to direct the toes towards the qiblah {see: "Fath Al-Bari, vol 2, pg. 344, chapter: directing the toes towards the qiblah" i.e. in sujood"}. And also {in this stance} is the taking of the spot from the one who preceded him to it, in addition to seizing the place of the feet of other without any right. And all of this is making a sunnah out of what has not been legislated. Secondly: whenever the Prophet {salallahu alahi wa salam} ordered the alignment between the shoulders and the ankles, he would also order the alignment between the "necks" as in the hadeeth of Anas {radiallahu anhu} as narrated in the sunan of An Nasa'i {pg 813}. All this meaning: straightening the row, making it parallel and the even, and filling the gaps, does not mean to literally "join or stick {ilzaaq}", for indeed joining neck to neck is impossible, joining shoulders to shoulders in every standing is clearly burdensome, joining knee to knee is also impossible, and joining ankle to ankle is to a certain extent unattainable in addition to it being burdensome, difficult, and busying oneself in every rakat, which is clear and apparent.{/jb_bluebox}

{jb_brownbox}Therefore, it is clear that aligning is in four cases: the neck, the shoulders, the knees and the ankles - all from one door. The intention behind it being to encourage the establishing of the rows, consolidating it, making it straight and even without any crookedness or spaces, and by this the goal of the legislator {Allah} is achieved.{/jb_brownbox}

{jb_bluebox}Al Hafidh ibn Hajar says "what is meant by straightening the rows is to be aligned upright in a common manner, or what is meant by it is to fill the gaps..... " { "Fath ul-Bari" the explanation of saheeh Al Bukhari, vol. 2, pg. 242}. And this is the fiqh of the ahadeeth for straightening the rows, as in the hadeeth of ibn Nu'man ibn Bashir {radiallahu anhu} who said "the Messenger of Allah (may peace-be upon him) used to straighten our rows as one would set an arrow upright, until we thought that we had understood. One day he turned with his face whereby he saw a man whose chest was bulging out from the row, so he said: straighten your rows or Allah would create dissension amongst you," {sunan Abu Dawud}. This is the sahabahs {may Allah be pleased with them} understanding of straightening the rows: Standing straight and filling the gaps, not sticking the ankles together. This is why when imam Al Bukhari said in his naming the chapter: Chapter joining the shoulder to shoulder and foot to foot in the line, and Nu'man ibn Bashir said: "saw that a man would join his ankle to the ankle of his companion". Al Hafidh ibn Hajar said "what is intended by this is to greatly emphasize the straightening of the rows and filling the gaps." { "Fath ul-Bari" the explanation of saheeh Al Bukhari, vol. 2, pg. 242}{/jb_bluebox}

The proof of Al Hafidh ibn Hajar untainted understanding of the hadeeth from Bukharis' title of the chapter, is Nu'man ibn Bashir statement, as also recorded in the Saheeh of ibn Khuzaymah (nos.160), the Sunan of Ad Darqutanee (vol. 1, pg. 282), and in the Sunan of Abu Dawud where Nu'man ibn Bashir said "I saw {that} a man would join his shoulder to the shoulder of his companion, his knees to his knees, and ankle to ankle" {this is the wording of the hadeeth as it came in the Sunan of Abu Dawud}.

Thus, joining knees to knees is impossible, hence, it becomes clear that the meaning of the hadeeth is encourage and emphasize filling of the gaps and straightening of the rows, and not the actual joining and sticking. This is why Al Khataabee said about the hadeeth that has been narrated by Ibn Abbas {radiallahu anhu} from the Prophet {salallahu alahi wa salam} that he said "the best of you are those of you who have the most gentle shoulder in salah" {Abu Dawud and others. It is hasan according to al- Albaanee, Saheeh ul-Jaami no. 3264) }, "the meaning of it is to have tranquility throughout the salah, and to be comfortable within it, and not to push nor rub against the shoulders of the one next to him" {Mu'aalim As Sunan, and Awn Al Ma'bood Fee Sharh Sunan Abu Dawud: vol.2 pg. 369}

This concept can be further explained by using the example of the narrations of the different wordings for "at tawaruk" in salah, {i.e. to sit with the left upper thigh on the ground and the right foot being upright, in the last at tashahud}, as in the hadeeth of Abi Hameed As Sa'dee {radiallahu anhu} who said about the Prophet {salallahu alahi wa salam} "and he would sit on his bottom". This manner of expression is a type where a general word or phrase is used, however, only part of that word or phrase is intended; "itlaq al kul wa iradtul ba'd". For it is impossible for the one who does the "tawarruk" to place his whole bottom on the ground, this is why in other wordings of the hadeeth it says: "he sat on his left side", "he put his left leg on the ground", "he sat on his left side mutawarrikan". Thus, it is not possible that a person of intelligence to derive from the wording "and he would sit on his bottom," the ability to sit his whole bottom on the ground, for this is impossible naturally and conceptually, just as the case for the wordings for being straight as has been mentioned before. Look at the hadeeth about the merits of salah in its time, for it is as ibn Daqeeq said in "Al Ahkam" {vol. 2, pg. 38}, "it has never been narrated from any of them (the salaf) that they used to be extreme (yushadid) in this, to the extent that {they say that} the first takbeer should take place exactly at the beginning of the time of the salah {to get the blessings of praying the salah in its time}"

And Allah is most knowledgeable about His rulings.


Shaykh Saleh Al-Fawzan (HA)

The Imam and the ones led behind him ought to be cautious to straighten rows, for the Prophet said:

{jb_bluebox}"Straighten your rows, for the straightening of a row is part of the perfection of prayer" (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim){/jb_bluebox}

In another hadith the Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) said:

{jb_bluebox}"Straighten your rows or else Allah will alter your faces."(Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)  {/jb_bluebox}

Thus, when standing for congregational prayer, Muslims should straighten their rows so that their shoulders and ankles become aligned, leaving no Space between one another, for the Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) said in this regard:

{jb_bluebox}"Straighten your rows and stand close to one another" (Related by Al-Bukhari){/jb_bluebox}

This hadith means that the ones led in prayer ought to stand close to one another, leaving no gaps between them for Satan.

The Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) has always been greatly concerned with straightening rows and making the ones led in prayer stand close to one another, which indicates how important and useful it is.

{jb_brownbox}This does not mean that people should widen between their feet in a way that disturbs those standing beside them, as mistakenly done by some ignorant peopJe. Such people thus leave gaps in rows, causing harm and annoyance to those standing next to them without having any legal proof supporting such an act.{/jb_brownbox}

Therefore, Muslims should pay more attention to such issues and care for straightening their rows in prayers, following the example of the Prophet (PBUH) and ensuring the perfection of their prayer; may Allah guide us all to whatever He likes and pleases.

Source: A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence (Volume 1) Source: A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence (Volume 1) 


Ustadh Abu Eesa Niamatullah (HA)

It seems that the issue of the Prayer lines does indeed require some clarification. The good thing about this chapter of Fiqh is that it is often a very good example of illustrating how many practising Muslims do not appreciate the Maqâsid of our Deen (i.e. the aims and objectives).

Firstly a sample of a few of the hadith on this issue from a total of over one hundred on this chapter alone:

{jb_bluebox}The Prophet (sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said –“Straighten your lines or Allah will cause conflict amongst you.” (Muslim 128, Tirmidhi 227){/jb_bluebox}

{jb_bluebox}“Prepare your lines – (repeated three times) – for by Allah you must straighten your lines or of a surety Allah will cause conflict between your hearts!”{/jb_bluebox}

{jb_bluebox}(Nu’man b. Basheer the narrator then said) ‘I saw a man thereby join his shoulder to the shoulder of the one next to him, his knee to his knee and his ankle with his ankle.” (Abu Dawud 657, Bukhari ta’liqan){/jb_bluebox}

{jb_bluebox}“Prepare the lines, align your shoulders, close the gaps, make easy your arms for your brothers, and do not leave any gaps for the Devil. Whoever connects a line, Allah will keep him and whoever cuts off a line, Allah will cut him off.” (Abu Dawud 662, al-Nasa’i 818){/jb_bluebox}

{jb_bluebox}“Straighten and tighten your lines, bring them close and align your necks. By the One Whom my soul is in His Hand, indeed I can see the Devil entering the gaps in your rows as if they were small black lambs.” (Abu Dawud 663, al-Nasa’i 814){/jb_bluebox}

{jb_bluebox}“Straighten your lines for indeed straightening of the lines is from the completion of the Prayer.” (Bukhari 723, Muslim 124){/jb_bluebox}

And they go on and on and on.

All the words used for commanding the Muslims to be straight and orderly in their lines share very similar meanings; I’tadilû, Sawwû, Istawû, ‘Addilû, Russû, Aqîmû and then more specifically Qâribû and Hâdhû.

Sounds like a confused Brazilian second eleven!

The key then to understanding all these very clear narrations is to recognise the objective behind them. Everyone agrees that the line must be as straight as possible and that everyone should be standing as close together as possible – this is a matter of agreement amongst the scholars. But as for the ruling of such a line?

{jb_brownbox}To straighten up the Prayer line (called a Saff in Arabic) is considered to be Mustahab (recommended) by the massive majority of the Scholars.{/jb_brownbox}

{jb_brownbox}A few of the ‘Ulema such as Imam al-Bukhari believed it to be obligatory in of itself i.e. that one would be punished if he did not stand in line correctly as the above hadith require. A few later scholars supported this opinion amongst them al-Shawkani.{/jb_brownbox}

{jb_brownbox}Ibn Hazm went even further as he often does and considered it to be an obligation from the Salâh itself so if one doesn’t keep straight and close the gaps in the line, his prayer in invalidated (Muhalla 4/52).{/jb_brownbox}


Ok so that’s the general stuff dealt with but what about the little details?

Interestingly if one takes a look at all the ahadith and athâr narrated on this subject, one finds a huge amount of emphasis on the straightening of the line and the aligning of peoples’ chests and bodies but not much for the feet.

{jb_bluebox}In the Sunan of al-Nasa’i we find authentic reports showing the Prophet (sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) entering in between the lines, and going from one end to another end, pulling the Companions forwards and backwards so that their shoulders and necks would align up, and that they were close together (Kitab al-Imamah).{/jb_bluebox}

This makes absolute sense. One can clearly see that to try and ensure the feet are to be touching full contact with your neighbour all the time will still leave large gaps between the upper parts of the body. In fact, the hadith mentioning all such aligning and especially the statement of Nu’man b. Basheer where he saw the Sahabah putting their ankles and shoulders together to create a solid straight line are meant to be understood in a more holistic fashion.

{jb_brownbox}Ibn Hajr says (al-Fath, 2/273), “The intention behind that is to exaggerate in the issue so as to straighten the row and close its gaps.”{/jb_brownbox}

And that is also why none of the early scholars or the Madhahib made it obligatory for a person’s ankle to be touching his neighbour’s ankle as long as the row is straight and they are as close as possible, with the shoulders touching and both shoulders and necks in a straight line – so as if one was to go to the end of the line and look down it, one wouldn’t see people sticking out unless due to their larger size etc.

The two Caliphs Sayyidina ‘Umar and Sayyidina ‘Uthman (radhy Allahu ‘anhum) would delegate specific people from the front row to go round the entire congregation straightening up everyones’ rows, physically bringing people backwards and forwards. Only until they returned with the ‘full Ok’ would they then start the prayer.

In fact, Bilal and ‘Umar even used to hit the peoples’ legs to make them stand straight and close in their lines but as ibn Hajr again said, this does not indicate that putting the feet together is an obligation for these two companions were well known to discipline people if they left what they believed to be Sunnah!

And as Anas (may Allah be pleased will all these blessed Companions) complained that people would run away from them like wild donkeys if they attempted to make full contact with their feet in the Saff, and that was THEN. So what are you guys complaining about now? I’m glad we still even STAND in a line!

All of the above shurooh of these hadith are not from my own pocket but has been taken from the Sharh Sunan al-Nasa’i of Sheikh ‘Ali b. ‘Âdam al-Îtûbî, Sharh Sunan Abu Dawûd of Imâm Badr al-Dîn al-‘Ainî, ‘Awn al Ma’bûd of al-‘Adhîmabâdî, Fath al-Bârî of Ibn Hajr, Badâ’i al-Sanâ’i of al-Kasâni, al-Muhalla of ibn Hazm, Bidâyat al-Mujthahid of Ibn Rushd, al-Mabsût of al-Sarakhsi, as well as other Fiqh texts of the other Madhabs – may Allah shower His immense Mercy upon our great and blessed scholars, Ameen!

So, conclusion?

{jb_brownbox}Folks – never diss the Imams. When the Madhabs all agree on something, it’s no joke. None of the four Madhabs require the Musallî to join his feet with the next man throughout Salâh. Rather it is a recommended action for the majority of scholars if it allows one to achieve a good solid straight line with no gaps and it causes no harm or disturbance to the neighbour.{/jb_brownbox}

If the line produces a gap at the upper end of the bodies by joining the feet then that’s no good. But if you can join your shoulders and produce a comfortable yet tight line with only a little gap between the feet or even the feet touching each other at a 45 degree angle then that’s ok too. To point the feet straight to the Qiblah is not an obligation in the Salâh for any Madhab, and is recommended according to the majority.

If you are able to try and do what the Sahabah used to try and do at the beginning of their Salâh which is to put the feet together, make the feet straight too, and get the rest of the legs and shoulders touching each other too, then you’ll be a superstar and you’ll have done something which 1400 years of the Muslims have not been able to do without someone running off as if the Prince of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot had just started.

Remember too that to disturb the next man in your Salâh is a major issue. You will be sinning and be punished for this because this is Harâm. But if you leave trying to touch his feet and concentrate in just closing the gaps between the shoulders, you’ll have obtained a better and more worthwhile Sunnah and Allah knows best.

We have to seriously think about our priorities in the Salâh. It might be a cliché now but it really is more important to concentrate on the Salâh itself rather than the position of the feet for there is no evidence making their position an obligation of the Salâh whereas everything else is! Forget looking at his feet and just make sure you’re all standing straight in the same line and that should be good enough insha’Allah.

So have I confused you all even more?

Ok, this is what I do in the prayer. If the next man wants to stand close to me feet to feet, I will oblige him. If he doesn’t, then I’ll at least make sure that I am not standing so as to leave any gaps between our shoulders. I’ll usually look down and the feet will be virtually touching anyway if the gaps at the shoulders are closed. If my companion doesn’t want his feet anywhere near mine then fine. It is not allowed to move around after him in the Salâh without a real Shar’i reason otherwise the Salâh becomes void. And we don’t want that now do we?

It’s all about being easy with the People and being balanced in our Deen, without compromising that which is dear and sacred to us. There is no need to take extremes in our ‘Ibâdah, for often we’ll be stuck close to each other in one mosque and then we’ll be a bit more relaxed in another mosque. And maybe one day you might even actualise the lovely hadith of the Prophet (sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) when he said:

{jb_bluebox} “The best of you are those with the easiest shoulders in the Prayer.”  (Abu Dawud 653){/jb_bluebox}

What this means is that if someone wants to have a bit of a breather in the line, you’ll loosen up for him. Also, you allow yourself to be moved by someone who wants to straighten the line further. Also it means you can move to close a gap somewhere or even relax to let someone else move. Also, if someone reckons he can fit in to your line to avoid standing alone by himself in a second line, you can let him in.

The hadith shows both that the original state of those in the line would be a nice tight unit and it also shows that the tight unit is a flexible one when the time comes round for it to be so.

Just like Islam really.


If after all that, for all those who are still not satisfied, for those who’d really really like to feel the flesh of the next Miskeen’s foot full on contact, bones to bones and all that, then here are my final few suggestions:


{jb_bluedisc}1{/jb_bluedisc} Have a shower. Being stinky is not conducive to a close contact.


{jb_bluedisc}2{/jb_bluedisc} Change your perfume. Try ‘Higher’ by Dior. Or ‘Aqua di Gio’. If you’ve got that on, you can close contact me anytime.


{jb_bluedisc}3{/jb_bluedisc} Dry your feet with some tissue after Wudhu (do NOT use the face towels like some guys do). No-one likes their nice dry feet to be splattered with your soaking ones.


{jb_bluedisc}4{/jb_bluedisc} Change those dirty white sport socks! Not only is it not cool to wear them with your sandals and stuff, but they are very uncool next to our black woollen Pringles.


{jb_bluedisc}5{/jb_bluedisc} Close contact is hard enough as it is but with scaly dry cracked feet? That hurts our soft feet so try some 50:50 WSP Ointment, available from all good Pharmacists.


{jb_bluedisc}6{/jb_bluedisc} Stinky damp athletified foot? Think again Jose. Try some Miconazole cream in-between those toes and Miconazole powder for your dirty socks, available from all good Pharmacists. Try close contact again after 4 weeks.


{jb_bluedisc}7{/jb_bluedisc} Or try standing at the end of the line only. That way, where exactly is he going to move to? He’ll keep on going and you can follow him all the way down until he gives up Miskeen and starts to cry.


{jb_bluedisc}8{/jb_bluedisc} Are you reading out aloud again? Who do you prefer listening to – Sudais or Tony Christie? Exactly. If you can be quiet for once during the Imam’s recitation, maybe he’ll let you stand a tad closer.


{jb_bluedisc}9{/jb_bluedisc} What’s with all the scratching and itching and stuff? Be like a rock as the Sahabah used to be and maybe the next man won’t even notice you. Then you can stand in between his legs if you can fit.


{jb_bluedisc}10{/jb_bluedisc} Wear one of those really baggy Egyptian thawbs – you know, the ones where you can’t see your feet anyway and more importantly, neither can he. Then just move in on the sly under thawb cover and before you know it, you’ll have close contact.


{jb_bluedisc}11{/jb_bluedisc} If you play footie then you’ll know about the ‘Magic Spray’. Use the branded PR Freeze spray on the next guy and then you can even stand on his foot if you wish. Available from all good Pharmacists.


{jb_bluedisc}12{/jb_bluedisc} Played Twister before? Neither have I but I think if you put your foot in between his two feet and then twist it round his left shin a few times, he’ll have to be Houdini’s dad to get away from that one. Don’t try this on anyone bigger than you though.


{jb_bluedisc}13{/jb_bluedisc} Have you checked those grotty rotten toenails? Be a bit original and try painting on a few attractive designs. Remember the rules though – no stars, no stripes, no crosses and only Henna. Doh! Not many options left there then.


{jb_bluedisc}14{/jb_bluedisc} Still struggling on your own? You need the team approach – your mate one side and you on the other and keep progressing inwards for close contact until he’s well and truly squashed. That’ll teach him.


{jb_bluedisc}15{/jb_bluedisc} If you’re a group then ever better. Stand altogether at one end and keep pushing inwards till the old faithful end up in the Wudhu-khana. Now that’ll definitely teach them.


{jb_bluedisc}16{/jb_bluedisc} Now if you really really care about the ‘Sunnah’ then put your money where your mouth (or fingers I suppose in our case) is. It’s time to start paying off the Musalleen. Once they realise you’ll give a nugget for each close contact per prayer, you’ll soon have a solid and obedient line – for ever. Hanafi or not. Start saving guys…


{jb_bluedisc}17{/jb_bluedisc} Maybe you’re just pushing your luck with the old faithful of the front line. Try the last line with all the kids because they love playing close contact. They’ll let you stand on their feet if you let them nudge, kick and poke you in Sujûd. Deal? Done.


{jb_bluedisc}18{/jb_bluedisc} Good old brute force. During the Iqâmah, warn next man that if he moves his foot from yours even once during the prayer, you’re going to make his blood halâl and drink it before Fajr the next morning and break your fast with it the next evening too. That should do the trick. If you’re too small for that then what the hell are you doing in our front line anyway?!


{jb_bluedisc}19{/jb_bluedisc} Why don’t you pray by yourself and make a whole new line? Problem solved! And it fits your Usul that to try and fulfil a lesser Sunnah means leaving all the other Wajibat and Sunan of the Saff as well!


{jb_bluedisc}20{/jb_bluedisc} Finally, the perfect solution. Never go to a mosque ever again. Ever. Just watch out though in case the ‘Amr bil Ma’ruf boys come round and burn your house down…


Should we join the feet in salah?

Shaykh Mohammad Yasir (HA)