Q: If a person does not find a place (to pray) inside the Prophet’s -sallahu alayhi wa salaam- masjid and consequently prays outside and ahead of the imam (not parallel or behind him) is his prayer correct? Also does he receive the reward of 1000 prayers?
A: If he is forced to do so, due to the inability to find easy access in entering the masjid due to it being full. Likewise if he does not find a space except outside the masjid and in front of the imam, in this case the scholars allow this. He obtains the reward of praying in congregation if Allah wills, however the reward for prayer in this masjid, it being (the reward of)1000 prayers, then no. He does not obtain this. Some scholars like Ibn Taymiyyah allow this if he’s forced (has no other option), they say his prayer is valid, but the reward of 1000 prayers he does not obtain.
Translated by Najeeb Al Anjelesi