Es-selamu Aleykum Mufti Ebrahim, I have posted this question due to the fact that in the masjids I see so called ?salafis? to walk few steps ( sometimes maybe four or five) to go close to the wall or some pillar inside the masjid. This happens when they are late to join the fard prayer from the beginning and after those who are praying disperse for praying sunnah prayer after the fard paryer is finished and they have to make up the missed rakats. When I asked one student who studied in Medina and is also ?salafi? what is the meaning of this to much walking, he replied that the Sutra is waajib. This walking seems to me like they are doing Amali-kathir which invalidates the prayer. Does the amali-kathir which invalidates the prayer is supported by hadith, if so, would you also put the hadith in answer.
Sutra is a stick which is fixed in front of a worshipper as a barrier in order that the people or anything may not pass through the space between the worshipper and the stick.
The stick in front of the Imaam is also the sutra of the followers. In other words, none is allowed to pass through the open lines between the followers and the Imaam. This is the view of the four Madhaahib and none of the four Imaams have said it is Waajib. There is, however, no bar for going beyond the stick.
Abu Juhayn [Radhiallaahu anhu] reported that Rasulullah [Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam] said, ?Had the passerby infront of the praying place known what is against him (of sins), it would have been forty (times) better for him to wait than to pass beyond its front.? One of the narrators, Abu Nazar [ra] says that he did not know whether the prophet Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam said 40 days or 40 months or 40 years.
The stick must not be less than one arms length in height and one finger’s hold in diameter.
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai