Fiqh-us-Sunnah Volume 2, Supererogatory Prayer, Fiqh 2.129A.

Section : Stepping over others’ necks in the mosque.

At-Tirmizhi reports that the people of knowledge dislike that one should “step over the necks of the people” on Jumu’ah and they were very strict in this regard. ‘Abdullah ibn Busr says: “A man came and he was stepping over the necks of the people while the Prophet was delivering khutbah of Jumu’ah. He said to him: ‘Sit down. You have harmed the people and have come late.”‘ This is related by Abu Dawud, an-Nasa’i, Ahmad, and Ibn Khuzaimah, and others call it sahih.

This ruling does not apply to the imam or one who finds an opening and cannot reach it, save by going over the people. If one wants to return to his place after leaving it due to some necessity, he may do so on the condition that he does not harm the people. ‘Uqbah ibn al-Harith relates: “I prayed the ‘asr in Medinah behind the Prophet and then he stood and hurried off, stepping over the people, to go to some of the apartments of his wives. The people were afraid because of his rushing away in this manner. When he came out and found them amazed at leaving them in such a hurry, he said: ‘I remembered some gold that was in my possession and I hated that it should remain with me, so I ordered it to be distributed.”‘ This is related by al-Bukhari and an-Nasa’i.

And when he returned he would make a similar supplication, but instead of saying: “from seeing harm having come to our property and family,” he would mention family first and then property. This is related by Ahmad and Muslim.

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