Fasting is a shield for a person which protects them from Shaytan, Allah’s punishment and Jahannam. However, one needs to make sure the shield is not damaged in any way. Otherwise it will not be effective in doing its job. The actions that damage this shield and render it useless are sins like Backbiting, Lying, Evil Glance, Swearing, Nonsensical Conversation, Arguments, Slander, Haram Sustenance, and every other evil.
Besides the compulsory fasting in the month of Ramadan, one should try to fast during those days for which Rasoolullah (صلي الله عليه و سلم) has mentioned many rewards, for example:
Baihaqi reported on the authority of Salman Al-Farsi (Radhi Allah ‘Anh) that Prophet (‘Alaihi Salat was-Salam) delivered a sermon on the last day of the month of Sha’ban. In it he (‘Alaihi Salat was-Salam) said,
“O People! The month of Allah (Ramadan) has come with its mercies, blessings and forgivenesses. Allah has decreed this month the best of all months. The days of this month are the best among the days and the nights are the best among the nights and the hours during Ramadan are the best among the hours. This is a month in which you have been invited by Him (to fast and pray). Allah has honoured you in it. In every breath you take is a reward of Allah, your sleep is worship, your good deeds are accepted and your invocations are answered.
Therefore, you must invoke your Lord in all earnestness with hearts free from sin and evil, and pray that Allah may help you to keep fast, and to recite the Holy Qur’an. Indeed!, miserable is the one who is deprived of Allah’s forgiveness in this great month. While fasting remember the hunger and thirst on the Day of Judgement. Give alms to the poor and needy. Pay respect to your elders, have sympathy for your youngsters and be kind towards your relatives and kinsmen. Guard your tongue against unworthy words, and your eyes from scenes that are not worth seeing (forbidden) and your ears from sounds that should not be heard.
Be kind to orphans so that if your children may become orphans they will also be treated with kindness. Do repent to Allah for your sins and supplicate with raised hands at the times of prayer as these are the best times, during which Allah Almighty looks at His servants with mercy. Allah Answers if they supplicate, Responds if they call, Grants if He is asked, and Accepts if they entreat. O people! you have made your conscience the slave of your desires.
Make it free by invoking Allah for forgiveness. Your back may break from the heavy load of your sins, so prostrate yourself before Allah for long intervals, and make this load lighter. Understand fully that Allah has promised in His Honour and Majesty that, people who perform salat and sajda (prostration) will be guarded from Hell-fire on the Day of Judgement.
O people!, if anyone amongst you arranges for iftar (meal at sunset) for any believer, Allah will reward him as if he had freed a slave, and Allah will forgive him his sins. A companion asked: “but not all of us have the means to do so” The Prophet (SAAWS) replied: Keep yourself away from Hell-fire though it may consist of half a date or even some water if you have nothing else.
O people!, anyone who during this month cultivates good manners, will walk over the Sirat (bridge to Paradise) on the day when feet will tend to slip. For anyone who during this month eases the workload of his servants, Allah will make easy his accounting, and for anyone who doesn’t hurt others during this month, Allah will safeguard him from His Wrath on the Day of Judgement. Anyone who respects and treats an orphan with kindness during this month, Allah shall look at him with kindness on that Day. Anyone who treats his kinsmen well during this month, Allah will bestow His Mercy on him on that Day, while anyone who mistreats his kinsmen during this month, Allah will keep away from His Mercy.
Whomever offers the recommended prayers during this month, Allah will save him from Hell, and whomever observes his obligations during this month, his reward will be seventy times the reward during other months. Whomever repeatedly invokes Allah’s blessings on me, Allah will keep his scale of good deeds heavy, while the scales of others will be tending to lightness. Whomever recites during this month an ayat (verse) of the Holy Qur’an, will get the reward of reciting the whole Qur’an in other months.
O people!, the gates of Paradise remain open during this month. Pray to your Lord that they may not be closed for you. While the gates of Hell are closed, pray to your Lord that they never open for you. Satan has been chained, invoke your Lord not to let him dominate you.”
Ali ibn Talib (RAA) said: “I asked, ‘O messenger of Allah, what are the best deeds during this month’?” ‘He replied: ‘O Abu-Hassan, the best of deeds during this month is to be far from what Allah has forbidden’.”
“Verily evil glancing is an arrow from the poisonous arrows of Shaitaan. Whosoever fears Me (Allah) and refrains from it will receive from Me such Imaan, the sweetness of which he will taste (feel) in his heart.
Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said,
‘On the last night of Ramadhaan the fasting Muslims are forgiven.’ The Sahaabah radiyallahu anhum inquired,
‘O Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, is that the night of power?’ Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam replied,
‘No! But it is only right that a servant should be given his reward on having completed his duty’ [Ahmad]
In the name of Allah, Most Beneficient, Most Merciful
It is related that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said ‘If the one passing in front of the one praying knew what was against him, his waiting forty would be better for him than passing in front of him.’ [Bukhari] Abu al-Nadr, one of the sub narrators, said ‘I don’t know whether he said forty days, or months or years’. In a version narrated by al-Bazzar the hadith reads ‘forty autumns’.
The offence being as serious as it is, the scholars defined what constitutes passing in front of somebody praying. If the one praying is in an open space or a large mosque, the scholars differed concerning what is considered passing in front, both opinions being deemed strong and follow-able. One opinion is that it is passing by his place of prostration, such that if one where to pass in front of him but beyond his immediate place of prostration there would be no sin upon one. The other opinion, which is ibn Abidins preference, is that one would be considered passing in front if one is within the field of vision of the one praying if his eyes were fixed on his place of prostration.
If the one praying is in a room or a small mosque then one will be sinful for passing in front regardless of how far in front of him one is. Ibn Abidin defines a small mosque as being forty cubits.
However, is the one passing in front always to blame?
The possible scenarios that may occur are four,
1. The one passing has an alternative to passing in front and the one praying did not pray in a place where he is in people’s way.
-In this case the sin is only on the one passing.
2. The one passing has no alternative to passing and the one praying was in a place where he would be in people’s way.
-The sin in this case is solely on the one praying.
3. The one passing has an alternative to passing in front and the one praying was in a place where he would get in people’s way.
-The sin is on both of them.
4. Neither does the one passing have an alternative nor is the one praying in people’s way. -The sin is on neither of them.
In all of these cases the one passing in front would be free from sin if the one praying were to keep a sutra in front of him. A sutra is an object of about a cubit in height that one places in front of one as one prays.
One last scenario that is relevant to mention is that if someone prays near the entrance of the mosque or without filling in the gaps in the row in front, one can walk in front of him to fill in the gaps. [Radd al-Muhtar, 1:427, Dar Li Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi]
Looking now to the question at hand, if the mosque is considered a large mosque then there is no problem at all as there is no harm in walking in front of somebody by a few metres in a small mosque. If it is not a large mosque then there still is no sin on the men as they are walking to fill in the rows which they can not do with out walking in front of the women.
Al-Agharr ibn Yasar al-Muzani said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,
“O people! Turn in repentance towards Allah and ask His forgiveness. I turn towards Him a hundred times a day.”
Anas said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, addressed us with a speech whose like I have never heard.
He said, ‘If you were to know what I know, you would laugh little and weep much.’
The Companions of the Messenger of Allah covered their faces and sobbed.”
A beautiful explanation by our Hazrat, shaykhul Hadith mawlana Yusuf Motala Saheb damat barakatuhum.
“Many people get very charged up and excited at the mention of many ahadeeth and just cannot resist labelling anything they do not know or agree with as “DHAEEF”, meaning “WEAK”, without even knowing and understanding what the term means and implies especially if it is a narration from “Fazaile Aamal” written by Shaikhul-Hadeeth Molana Zakariyyah Kandhalvi rahimahullah.
Firstly: The literal meaning of hadeeth is a “statement”. Any statement is literally a “hadeeth”. In Islamic literacy , hadeeth is implied to be a statement by or regarding Rasoolullah sallallaho alaihe wasallam.
But in the Quran it also says
هل اتك حديث موسى ..
“Did the hadeeth of Musa (alaihissalaam) reach you?”
It also says
هل اتك حديث ضيف ابراهيم المكرمين
“Did the hadeeth of the honourable guests of Ibraheem (alaihissalaam) reach you?”
This is why in books of haddeth , there are statements or sayings of Rasoolullah sallallaho alaihe wasallam , of sahaabah , of tabi’eens and even people after them.
Secondly. The term saheeh or dhaeef is used to describe the status of the chain of narration and not just the text. Hence in many cases although the chain by which a hadeeth has been narrated is weak but the subject contained therein is sound and supported by other narrations or even Quran.
انما بعثت معلما
“I have been sent as a teacher”, has been classified as dhaeef but the message contained therein is supported by the Quran where Allah says about the prophet sallallaho alaihe wasallam ,
ويعلمكم ما لم تكونوا تعلمون .
“He teaches you what you did not know”.
So the prophet sallallaho alaihe wasallam was obviously a teacher as well.
Thirdly-Whether a hadeeth and a narration is saheeh(authentic) or dhaeef (weak) is not an absolute and divine classification but rather the opinion of a muhaddith regarding a particular narration as there is not and cannot be a single narration about which Allah or his beloved prophet have stated that this is saheeh or dhaeef.Hence there are many narrations which are classified as saheeh by one scholars but dhaeef or weak by another.
Fourthly- if a hadeeth is unacceptable and ought to be rejected because it is weak and in Fazaaile Aamal and the author Shaikhul-Hadeeth Molana Zakariyya is criticised for including it in his book , then virtually every other book of hadeeth apart of Bukhari and Muslim will need to be done away with as well, because Sheikh Zakariyyah did NOT make up those narrations but rather just quoted them from other original books of hadeeth compiled over a thousand years ago by great Muhadditheen, like Imam Tirmidhi , Abu Dawood , Ibn Majah etc. They were all considered to be amongst the greatest Muhadditheen ever in the ummah.
So if they thought it permissible and necessary to present dhaeef narrations in their compilations then why have people a thousand years down the line got problems.
So rejecting dhaeef hadeeth merely because they are dhaeef is NOT the way of the pious ancestors -salaf saliheen but against the practice of the salaf-saliheen , as long as they do not contradict the Quran and other saheeh narrations ,and even then sometimes there is a reasonable explanation or interpretation to justify their inclusion in a book to support or prove a point and doesn’t necessarily mean that it should be rejected and ignored altogether.
Athough, preference is given to Quran and then saheeh hadeeth in all matters but many scholars have also stated that,
“A dhaeef hadeeth is still better than no hadeeth” and better than the opinion of someone.
This was also the stand of Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal rahimahumullah.
“It is better to sit alone than in company with the bad; and it is better still to sit with the good than alone.
It is better to speak to a seeker of knowledge than to remain silent; but silence is better than idle words.”
"Surely, the true religion in Allah's sight is Islam" (3:19)