The Virtues of Completing the Gaps in Prayer
The questioner inquires about people who have a bad habit of leaving gaps between them in the prayer lines and also do not complete them. What is the ruling of such act?
In the name of Allah, we praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright.
Most of scholars have agreed that straightening the lines in Prayer is prescribed. Sheikh Ibn Taimiyah (may Allah have mercy upon him) even said that if the congregation (jma`ah) does not straighten their rows, then they are sinning.”
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Keep your rows straight (during prayer in congregation), for keeping the rows straight is part of the perfection of prayer.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Abu Mas`ud Al-Ansari (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) would place his hands upon our shoulders when we would form rows for As-Salat (the prayer) and say, “Stand in straight rows and do not differ among yourselves, or else your hearts will differ due to disaccord. Let those be nearest to me who are mature and endowed with understanding (of the religion), then those who are nearest to them in these respects and then those who are nearest to them”. (Muslim)
Nu`man Ibn Bashir narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to straighten our rows as it lie were straightening an arrow with their help until be saw that we had learnt it from him. One day he came out, stood up (for prayer) and was about to say: Allah is the Greatest, when he saw a man, whose chest was bulging out from the row, so he said: Servants of Allah, you hint straighten your rows or Allah would create dissension amongst you.” (Muslim)
It was narrated that Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “I arrived at Medina and was asked whether I found any change since the days of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him). I said, “I have not found any change except that you do not stand in alignment in your prayers.” (Al-Bukhari)
For more information about the ruling of straightening and completing the lines and gaps in prayer, watch this interesting talk with Dr. Muhammad Salah.
Source: Huda Youtube Channel.