Stepping over Others sitting in the Masjid
By Ibn `Uthaymeen
In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-'ālamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam is His Messenger.
`Abdullah Ibn Busar (radiyallāhu`anhu) said: A man came and started stepping over the people one Friday when the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) was delivering the khutbah, and the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said to him: “Sit down, for you have annoyed (people).” [Abu Dawud (1118) and Ibn Majah (1115); Classified as sahih by al-Albāni in Sahih Abi Dawud.]
In this hadith there is a prohibition on stepping over people when coming to Solāh al-Jumu`ah (Friday Prayer).
There are to views held by the scholars concerning the matter of Stepping over Others sitting in the Masjid. One is makruh and the other is harām.
1 – The first view it is Makruh.
Ibn Hajar Al-`Asqalani (rahimahullāh) said: “The majority is of the view that it is makruh in the sense that it is better not to do it. This is the well-known view of the Shafi`ies and is the view of the Hanbalis.” [See: Fathul-Bāri, 2/392; Kashshaf al-Qina’, 2/44; al-Majmu’, 4/466]
Imām Mālik held it is makruh stepping over others sitting in the Masjid when the Khatib is on the minbar. Imām Mālik: “It is makruh to step over people when the imām has come out and has sat on the minbar. Whoever steps over people then is the one of whom the hadith speaks. But before that there is nothing wrong with it if there is a gap in front of him, but he should be polite in doing it.” [`Al-Mudawwanah (1/159)]
2 – The second view it is harām of stepping over others in all cases, whether on Fridays and at other times.
The hadith of `Abdullah Ibn Busar (radiyallāhu`anhu) in which he reported, who said:
“A man came and started stepping over the people one Friday when the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) was delivering the khutbah, and the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said to him: “Sit down, for you have annoyed (people)”.”
[Narrated by Abu Dawud, 1118; Ibn Mājah, 1115; classified as sahih by Al-Albāni in Sahih Abu Dawud.]
At-Tirmidzi (rahimahullāh) said: “This is what is to be followed according to the scholars. They regarded it as makruh for a man to step over people on Friday, and they were very strict with regard to that. “
A number of scholars regarded as more likely to be correct, such as Ibn Al-Mundhir, Ibn `Abd Al-Barr, Al-Nawawi, and Shaikh Al-Islam Ibn Taimiyyah, as stated in ‘Al-Ikhtiyarat Al-Fiqhiyyah, p. 81’, and others. Among contemporary scholars who held this view is Shaikh Ibn `Uthaymeen.
Ibn Al-Mundhir (rahimahullāh) said, explaining the reason why he said it is harām: “It is because causing annoyance is harām, whether it is a little or a lot, and this is causing annoyance, as it says in the sahih hadith in which the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) said to one whom he saw stepping over people: ‘Sit down, for you are causing annoyance’.” [Al-Majmu’, 4/467.]
Ibn `Abd Al-Barr (rahimahullāh) said: “The words of the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) to the one who was stepping over people on a Friday, “You are causing annoyance,” indicate that stepping over people is an annoyance, and it is not permissible to annoy a Muslim under any circumstances, on Friday or at any other time.” [Al-Tamhid (1/316)]
Imam An-Nawawi (rahimahullāh) said: “The favoured view is that stepping over people is harām, because of the hadith on this issue.” [Rawdat al-Talibin (11/224)]
Shaikh Ibn `Uthaymeen said: “Stepping over people is harām during the khutbah and at other times, because the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said to a man whom he saw stepping over people: “Sit down, for you are causing annoyance.” That is even more forbidden if it happens during the khutbah, because it is causing annoyance to people and distracting them from listening to the khutbah, even if he is moving towards a gap.” [Fatawa wa Rasā`il al-Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, (16/147)]
And Allāh Almighty Knows best.
[Via Islam Q&A]