Enormities: Passing In Front Of Someone Performing The Prayer

This is another article in the chapter Probable Enormities from the classical manual on Sharia called Reliance of the Traveller. The articles are posted one by one in the order they are given in the book.

PASSING IN FRONT OF SOMEONE PERFORMING THE PRAYER
p75.27 The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,
“If someone passing in front of a person performing the prayer knew of the penalty for it, it would be better for him to wait for forty en: a variant has, “a hundred years”].”
(A: In front means within the length of the person’s prostration, or the distance to the barrier he is using (def; f7) if it is not far.)
(Munawi:) Ibn Daqiq al. ‘Eid says: “A Maliki scholar has distinguished four situations respecting the sin of the person praying and the person who passes in front of him [n: given P, the person praying, and Q, the person passing in front of him]:
(1) Q sins but not P when P is praying behind a barrier in a place that is not a commonly used walkway and Q passes in front of him when there is another alternative (A: meaning another route, since to stop and wait is not considered an alternative, though it is superior);
(2) P sins but not Q when P is praying in a commonly used walkway without a barrier, or at a considerable distance from one, and Q has no other alternative but to pass in front of him;
(3) both P and Q sin when P is praying in circumstances like (2) above, if Q has an alternative route but passes in front of P anyway;
(4) and neither P nor Q sin when P is praying in circumstances like (1) above, if Q has no alternative and passes in front of P.”
(Fayd aI-Qadir sharh al-Jami’ al-saghir (y91), 5.338)

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