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Praying in Jamat – does standing with shoulder to shoulder necessary

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Darulifta-Deoband.com
Most of the time while saying prayers in Jamat, we are told to stand with shoulder to shoulder in line. My query is whether is it necessary or just to ensure that not much space is left in between and all namazee are in line is enough. To my mind this what perhaps is meant is shoulder to shoulder, as otherwise saying Namaz in Jamat is perhaps inconvenient. Kindly clarify.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

(Fatwa: 1484/1393/B=11/1434)

It is called to stand shoulder to shoulder in order to straighten the row and not to leave an empty space in between; otherwise in the real sense touching shoulder to shoulder physically is not necessary:
قال العلامۃ الکشمیري: الحاصل المراد ھو التسویۃ والاعتدال کیلا یتأخر ویتقدم، فالمحاذات بین المناکب إلزاق الکعاب کنایۃ عن التسویۃ، (معارف السنن 2/298)
وقال الشیخ السھارنفوري في البذل: بالإلزاق المحاذاۃ، فإن إلزاق الرکبۃ بالرکبۃ والکعب بالکعب في الصلاۃ مشکل (4/330)
وقال ابن حجر في فتح الباري: والمراد بتسویۃ الصفوف اعتدال القائمین بھا، أو یراد بھا سد الخلل في الصف (2/207، دار المعارف بیروت)

Allah knows Best!

Darul Ifta,
Darul Uloom Deoband

This answer was collected from the official ifta website of Darul Uloom Deoband in India.

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