Praying while Facing a Barrier (Sutra)
1- It is related that Abdullah Ibn Omar said, "The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to have a spear in front of him, and would pray facing it."1
2- It is related that Abi Juhayfa said, "I heard my father said, 'The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) came to us at midday and water was brought for his wudu' (ablution). He performed wudu' and led us in the Zuhr and 'Asr prayers with an 'Anza (short spear) planted in front of him (as a sutra/ barrier), while women and donkeys were passing behind it.'"2
3- It is related that Abu Salih As-Samman said, "I saw Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri praying on the day of Jumu'a towards something which was acting as sutra for him. A young man from the Banu Mu'ayt wanted to pass directly in front of him. Abu Sa'id pushed him in the chest. The young man looked round but saw no other way to go except in front of him. So he tried to pass again and Abu Sa'id pushed him harder than the first time. So he insulted Abu sa'id and then went to Marwan and complained to him about what Abu Sa'id had done to him.
Abu Sa'id came in behind him into the presence of Marwan who said, Abu Sa'id, what is this going on between you and your nephew?' he said, 'I heard the Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) saying: "When one of you is praying towards something using it as a sutra and someone tries to pass directly in front of him, he should push him away. If he persists, use force for he is nothing but a shaytan (devil)."3
() Sahih Al-Bukhari – Kitab Al-Salat (894), Sahih Muslim – Kitab Al-Salat (105)
() Sahih Al-Bukhari – Kitab Al-Salat (994), Sahih Muslim – Kitab Al-Salat (305)
() Sahih Al-Bukhari – Kitab Al-Salat (905), Sahih Muslim – Kitab Al-Salat (505)