The Affection of the Prophet Towards His Followers
Abu Qatadah Al-Harith bin Rib’i (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “I stand up to lead prayer with the intention of prolonging it. Then I hear the crying of an infant and I shorten the prayer lest I should make it burdensome for his mother.”
In this Hadith, shortness of prayers stands for recitation of short Surah of the Noble Qur’an in prescribed congregational prayers. Sahih Muslim has made this clear by saying that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) would recite short Surah on hearing the crying of a baby.
In short, this Hadith mentions the affection which the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) had for his followers. Its importance can be judged by the fact that he made a demonstration of it even in the prescribed prayers.
And Allah Knows Best!