Salah is not invalidated by anything (passing in front of the praying person).
‘Ali, ‘Uthman, ibn al-Musayyab, ash-Sh’abiy, Malik, ash-Shaf’i, Sufyan
al-Thauri and the Hanafi scholars are of the opinion that the Salah is not
invalidated by anything which passes in front of a person. This is based on the
hadith recorded by Abu Dawud from Abu al-Waddak who says: “A young person tried
to pass in front of Abu Sa’id while he was praying. Abu Sa’id held him off and
then the young man tried again. Abu Sa’id pushed him off. This happened three
times and when [Abu Sa’id] finished [the prayer], he said: ‘The Salah is not
invalidated by anything but the Messenger of Allah said: ‘Repulse [the person
who is trying to pass in front of you] to the best of your ability for he is a
FOLLOWING ACTS ARE PERMISSIBLE DURING THE PRAYER
Crying, moaning, or groaning, regardless of whether it is due to a fear of Allah or to any other reason (e.g., a moan due to some pain or injury that one cannot contain), is permissible. This is based on the Qur’anic verse: “When the revelations of the Merciful were recited unto them, they fell prostrating and adoring.” This verse is general and includes one who is praying. ‘Abdullah ibn ash-Schikhir relates: “I saw the Messenger of Allah praying and his chest was ‘buzzing’, like the buzzing of a cooking pot, due to crying.” This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa’i, and at-Tirmizhi. The latter classifies it as Sahih. ‘Ali reports: “There was no horseman among us at the battle of Badr save al-Miqdad ibn al-Aswad. I saw that not one of us was standing save the Messenger of Allah who was praying under a tree and crying until the dawn.” This is related by Ibn Hibban.
relates the incident that occurred during the fatal illness of the Prophet
Sallallahu alehi wasallam. The Messenger of Allah said: “Order Abu Bakr to lead
the people in prayer.” ‘Aishah responded: “O Messenger of Allah, Abu Bakr is a
very soft-hearted man and he cannot control his tears, and if he recites the
Qur’an, he cries.” ‘Aishah later admitted: “I said that only because I hated
that the people should blame Abu Bakr for being the first to take the place of
the Messenger of Allah.” The Messenger of Allah said: “Order Abu Bakr to lead
the people in Salah. You women are like the companions of Yusuf.” This is
related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Ibn Hibban, and at-Tirmizhi who calls it Sahih.
The fact that the Prophet insisted that Abu Bakr lead the Salah after he was
informed that he would be overcome by weeping proves that it is permissible to
cry while praying. ‘Umar prayed fajr and recited Surah Yusuf, and when he
reached the verse “I expose my distress and anguish only unto Allah,” he raised
his voice in crying. This is related by al-Bukhari, Sa’id ibn Mansur, and ibn
al-Munzhir. In ‘Umar’s raising his voice in crying is a refutation of those who
say that crying invalidates the Salah if it causes a sound from the mouth,
regardless of whether it is due to the fear of Allah or not. They argue that
sound from the mouth due to crying is like speaking, but this is not acceptable
as crying and speaking are two different things.
TO A SIDE DUE TO SOME NEED
Ibn Abbas relates: “The Messenger of Allah would turn to his right and left he would not turn his head to see behind him.” This is related by Ahmad. Abu Dawud records that when the Prophet Sallallahu alehi wasallam prayed, “he looked toward a valley because he had sent some horsemen to guard the valley.” Anas ibn Sireen says: “I saw Anas ibn Malik lift his eyes to something while he was praying.” This is related by Ahmad.
TURNING DURING PRAYER
Turning to look at something without any genuine need is disliked, for it is against the etiqettes of humility while facing Allah in Prayer. ‘Aishah says: “I asked the Messenger of Allah about turning in Salah and he said: ‘It is the portion that the Satan steals from the slave’s prayer.’” This is related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari, an-Nasa’i, and Abu Dawud.
ad-Darda’ narrates from the Prophet: “O people, be careful about turning for
there is no Salah for the one who turns. If you must do it, do it in the voluntary
prayers and not in the obligatory prayers.” This is related by Ahmad. Ana
relates that the Messenger of Allah said to him: “Be careful about turning
during the Salah as turning in the Salah is disastrous. If you must do it, then
do it in the voluntary prayers but not in the obligatory prayers.” This is
related by at-Tirmizhi who calls it Sahih. In the hadith of al-Harith
al-Ash’ari, the Prophet Sallallahu alehi wasallam said: “Allah gave Yahya, son
of Zakariyah, five commands that he was to abide by and was to order the tribe
of Isra’el to abide by...” One of them was, “Verily, Allah orders you to pray,
and when you pray, do not tum for Allah looks to the face of His slave in Salah
as long as he does not turn.” This is related by Ahmad and anNasa’i.
Zharr reported that the Prophet said: “Allah faces the slave while he is in the
Salah and keeps facing him as long as he does not turn. If [the slave] turns,
[Allah] turns away from him.” This is related by Ahmad and by Abu Dawud who
said its chain of narrators (isnad) is Sahih. The preceding hadith is concerned
with turning the face during the Salah. If one turns the whole (upper) body
away from the qiblah, then the Salah is invalidated, for not fulfilling the
requirement of facing the qiblah. On this point, there is no difference of
A SNAKE, SCORPION OR OTHER HARMFUL ANIMALS
If killing these would only require a small action on the part of the person in salah, then there is no harm in doing it. Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet Sallallahu alehi wasallam said: “Kill the snake and the scorpion during the Salah.” This is related by Ahmad, at-Tirmizhi, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa’i, and Ibn Majah. The hadith is hasan Sahih.
A FEW STEPS DUE TO SOME NECESSITY
‘Aishah said: “The Messenger of Allah was offering Salah in the house and the door was locked. I came and knocked on the door and he walked over to open it for me and then he returned to his place of prayer. The door was in the direction of the qiblah.” This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa’i, and atTirmizhi. The latter calls it hasan. It may be observed that in this hadith, he did not turn away from the qiblah either in opening the door, or in returning to his place. This is supported by what has been related that the Prophet would pray and if anyone knocked on the door, he would open the door provided the door was in the direction of the qiblah or on his right or on his left, but he would not turn his back to the qiblah. This is related by ad-Daraqutni.
ibn Qais relates: “Abu Barzah Al-Aslami was at al-Ahwas, at the bank of a
river, and he prayed while holding the reins of his horse. The horse started
going back, and he (i.e. Abu Barzah) followed the horse. A man from the
Khawarij said: ‘O Allah, be rough on this man, see how he is doing his prayer.’
When Abu Barzah finished his prayer, he said: ‘I heard your statement.
Certainly, I participated in six or seven or eight battles with the Prophet,
and I am certainly aware of his leniency. Certainly, I would rather restrain my
animal than let him run off loose as that would have caused me a great deal of
trouble.’ It was ‘Asr prayer that Abu Barzah offered, and he prayed two
rak’at.” This is related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari, and al-Baihaqi.
Concerning taking a lot of steps, Ibn Hajr says in Fath al-Bari: “The jurists are agreed that taking many steps invalidates an obligatory prayer. They interpret the hadith of Abu Barzah as referring to taking just a few steps.”