Muslims are advised not to jump the row (saff) and sit wherever they find a vacant space when they visit mosques to offer prayers. Despite this, the fact is that jumping the row in mosques in a major issue. Moreover, the problem gets multiplied during Friday prayer in Okhla.
Regulars at mosques in Okhla lamented that it is very common to see people coming late and trying to make their way at the front row for reasons best known to them. “Though Islam suggests its followers not to jump the row there are many people, including elderly with flowing beards, doing this regularly in mosques. They are seen coming late and trying to get at the first row or if a small boy is sitting they will try to acquire his space forcibly. And when stopped, chances are high that it could lead to altercation,” said Noushu Ali, an Okhla resident.
He said many people don’t make effort to stop such people as they know it might create a heated argument in the mosque and lead to fight even in some cases after the prayer is over.
Once there was a fight in an Okhla mosque as a young boy inadvertently walked in front of a man who was offering prayer, he said. However, things were normalized with the intervention of other devotees.
“Jumping of the row is against the spirit of Islam. There is mention about it in Hadeeth,” said Islamic scholar Waris Mazhari.
All told, it has been observed that most of the people who turn up at mosques on Friday maintain the decorum by sitting wherever they get vacant space. It is only a handful who create nuisance by jumping and trying to make ways by requesting people sitting there to give them space so as to offer sunnah prayer and make ways for themselves.
The best thing, according to some residents, would be to remind people in the mosque before the prayer.