Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
خير المجالس أوسعها
The best gatherings are the most spacious
Have the commentators explained that it is better for the gathering to be more spacious and spread out rather than people being cramped and uncomfortable?
Imam Abu Dawud (rahimahullah) has recorded this Hadith.
(Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 4787)
The meaning is just as you have explained.
‘Allamah ibn Raslan (rahimahullah) explains, ‘The best gatherings of dhikr, Salah etc. are those gatherings that have space for people to offer all the postures of Salah comfortably. When the place is constrained, a person will be unable to make ruku’ and sajdah properly. Another benefit of a spacious gathering, is that if someone enters, one can make space for him to sit. [If the space is constrained, this will not be possible.]
(Sharh Ibn Raslan, Hadith: 4820, Badhlul Majhud)
‘Allamah Munawi (rahimahullah) states that the meaning of ‘spacious’ will differ from person to person and place to place.
(Faydul Qadir, Hadith: 4029)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar