عن أبي حازم بن دينار أن رجالًا أتوا سهل بن سعد الساعدي وقد امتروا في المنبر مم عُودُه، فسألوه عن ذلك، فقال: والله إني لأعرف مما هو، ولقد رأيته أول يومٍ وُضع، وأول يوم جُلس عليه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، أرسل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إلى فلانة -امرأة من الأنصار قد سماها سهل-: «مُرِي غلامَك النجارَ أن يعمل لي أعوادًا أجلس عليهن إذا كلمتُ الناس» فأمرته فعملها من طرفاء الغابة، ثم جاء بها، فأرسلت إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، فأمر بها فوضعت ههنا، ثم رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم صلى عليها وكبر وهو عليها، ثم ركع وهو عليها، ثم نزل القهقرى، فسجد في أصل المنبر ثم عاد، فلما فرغ أقبل على الناس، فقال: «أيها الناس، إنما صنعت هذا لتأتموا ولِتَعَلَّموا صلاتي».
[صحيح] - [متفق عليه]
المزيــد ...

Abu Hāzim ibn Dinār reported: Some men came to Sahl ibn Sa‘d as-Sā‘idi. They were wondering what kind of wood the Pulpit was made of. So, they asked him about that, and he said: "By Allah, I know what it is made of. I saw it the first day it was set up and the first day the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) sat on it. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) sent to so-and-so - a woman whose name was mentioned by Sahl - telling her: 'Tell your carpenter slave to make me something of wood that I can sit on when I speak to the people.' So, she told him, and he made it from Tamarisk wood from Al-Ghābah (a place near Madīnah). Then he brought it and it was sent to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), who commanded that it be set up here. Then, I saw the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) ascend it and pray on it, and say the takbīr while he was on top of it; then he bowed when he was on top of it, and then he came down backward and prostrated at the base of the Pulpit; then he went back. When he had finished, he turned to people and said: 'O people, I only did this so that you can follow me in prayer and to learn how I pray.'"
Sahih/Authentic. - [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Explanation

Abu Hāzim, Salamah ibn Dinār, a Tābi‘i, related that some men came to Sahl ibn Sa‘d as-Sā‘idi, a young Companion, and engaged in dispute and argument regarding the kind of wood the Pulpit was made of. They asked Sahl, and he said: By Allah, I know what it is made of, I saw it the first day it was set up and the first day the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) sat on it. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) sent to so-and-so - a woman whose name was mentioned by Sahl - telling her: "Tell your carpenter slave to make me something of wood that I can sit on when I speak to the people." He meant that he should collect wood and arrange them into something that can be used for sitting while speaking to the people. She instructed him to make it from Tamarisk wood from Al-Ghābah. Then, he brought it, and she sent it to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), who ordered it be placed right here. This means the Pulpit was placed in the very place where Sahl talked to this group of men. Then, I saw the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) ascend it and pray on it, and say the takbīr - the takbīr of ihrām - while he was on top of it; then he bowed when he was on top of it, and then he came down backward and prostrated at the base of the Pulpit, next to the bottom step; then he went back, i.e., to the steps of the Pulpit after rising from the second prostration. He did this again until he finished the prayer. The purpose of doing so was to teach people the manner of his prayer. He did on the Pulpit what could be done thereon, like standing and bowing down, and on the ground what could not be done on the Pulpit, like prostrating and sitting. This little amount of ascending and descending from the Pulpit would not prejudice the objective of prayer or its proper practice. Little movement does not invalidate the prayer. Plus, the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) did it to show people how to pray correctly and that it is permissible to do this. When he had finished, he turned to the people and said: O people, I only did this so that you can follow me in prayer and imitate me and learn how I pray. That is he (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) prayed on the Pulpit in that way for the purpose of teaching people, as they saw all his acts and movements, unlike if he had prayed on the ground, in which case only those near him would have been able to see him. This also indicates that it is permissible for a person praying behind the Imām to look at him if needed.

Translation:
View Translations
1: It is recommended for the preacher to use a pulpit or something similar to help him better convey his message and be heard by the people.
2: It is permissible to pray on the pulpit, and the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) explained the reason for this by enabling the people to follow his example and learn his prayer. So, it is disliked for the Imām to pray on a high place without need for something similar.
3: Prayer is still valid when the Imām and those praying behind him stand on different levels of height.
4: It is permissible to make little movement during the prayer. Two steps would not invalidate the prayer. But it is more appropriate to avoid doing this without need.
5: It is permissible to pray on wood.
6: It is permissible to teach people the acts of prayer by actual practice. This does not detract from the prayer, nor does it make prayer an act of worship with two intentions. Rather, it is like raising one's voice in takbīr to make people hear it.
7: He who does something unusual should explain the reason to his companions.
8: It is permissible for a person praying behind the Imām to look at him for the purpose of learning. This does not contradict the humility and focus required in prayer.
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