Things that invalidate prayer

Things that invalidate prayer

Primary things that invalidate prayer are as follows:

1 - To speak while performing a prayer.

To speak in prayer whether by mistake, deliberately or sleepily, whether a little or much, invalidates prayer.

2 - To eat or drink something while performing a prayer.

The prayer is invalidated if a person puts something even as small as a sesame into his mouth and swallows it. If something as big as a chickpea that has remained between teeth before the prayer is eaten while performing a prayer, the prayer is invalidated. To put something like a chewing gum into the mouth and to chew it without swallowing it also invalidates wudu. There is no drawback to feeling the taste of the sweet in the throat eaten before the prayer. 

3 - To laugh loudly enough to hear oneself. 

If a person laughs loudly enough for the people next to him to hear him, both his prayer and wudu are invalidated. Smiling does not invalidate prayer or wudu.   

4 - To turn one's chest from the direction of the qiblah.   

5 - To greet someone or to reply the greeting of someone while performing a prayer whether deliberately or by mistake.

6 - To be busy with something that causes the onlookers to think definitely that he is not performing a prayer; for instance, combing his hair. In fiqh, it is called amal kathir, which means a major deed, a deed that prevents prayer. The deeds that cause the onlookers to think that he might not be performing a prayer do not invalidate prayer. Such a deed is called amal qalil, that is, a minor deed, a deed that does not invalidate wudu.    

7 - To weep loudly by remembering a worldly affair or to moan or groan due to some pain or trouble. However, if a person weeps due to remembering Paradise and Hell, it does not invalidate prayer since it occurs due to awe. The following is stated in a hadith: "A person who obeys God Almighty by crying enters Paradise by laughing; a person who commits a sin by laughing enters Paradise by crying."

8 - To try to cough though one does not feel like coughing and to growl.

9 - To blow a candle, lamp, etc.

10 - To say, "yarhamukallah" (bless you) to a person who sneezes.

11 - To read a verse of the Quran in order to reply somebody.

12 - To say, "inna lillah" when one hears some bad news and "alhamdulillah" when he hears some good news.    

They are things that are contrary to breaking off the relationships with the outer world in prayer.

13 - If a person who has made tayammum sees water while performing a prayer, his prayer is invalidated.

14 - If the sun rises while a person is performing a prayer, his prayer is invalidated.

According to some scholars, the prayer performed while the sun is rising is not invalidated but becomes a supererogatory prayer. If it is the fard of the morning prayer, it is regarded to have been missed and it needs to be performed again. 

* According to Imam Shafii, the morning prayer performed while the sun is rising is valid; it is not invalidated.  

15 - If the valid period of mash performed on khuffs ends while performing a prayer, that prayer is invalidated.

16 - To change the meaning of a verse by reading it wrongly.

17 - Women and men performing a prayer side by side.

Such a prayer is invalidated only if the woman and the man are following the same imam or the woman is following the man she is standing next to.  

Therefore, women perform prayers in the back lines in the mosque; they do not stand in the same line or in front of men.

If a woman stands in front of or next to a man in a prayer, only the prayer of the man is invalidated. If the woman follows the man she stands next to in prayer, the prayers of both of them are invalidated.

If a woman and man are performing different prayers, their prayers are not invalidated if they pray in the same line or if the woman prays in front of the man.

18 - To read the additional chapters or the verses by looking at mushaf (the Quran).

19 - If a person following the imam does one rukn of the prayer before the imam, for instance, if he goes to ruku' before the imam or stands up from the ruku' before the imam, his prayer is invalidated.

20 - If an illiterate or excused person leads the prayer.

21 - If the wudu of a person is invalidated while performing a prayer.

22 - To faint while performing a prayer.

23 - The prayer of a man is not invalidated if his wife kisses or caresses him in prayer unless he feels horny. However, the prayer of a woman is invalidated if her husband caresses her lustfully or kisses her lustfully or without lust.

24 - The delusions and bad imaginations that come to one's heart involuntarily do not invalidate his prayer.

25 - If a person scratches his body once or twice or in the same or different rak'ahs, his prayer is not invalidated. However, if he scratches himself three times on end in the same rak'ah, his prayer is invalidated.

26 - The prayer of a person is not invalidated if somebody passes in front of him while he is praying. However, the person who passes in front of him commits a sin. The place where it is a sin to pass is between the feet of the person who is praying and the place of prostration in big mosques and open areas. It is makruh to pass in front of a person in small mosques if there is not a barrier like a column, man, etc in front of the person who is praying. In fact, it is sunnah for a person to put something (a sutrah) in front of him if there is a possibility of people passing in front of him.

* If the imam recites a verse wrongly or if he forgets the verse, it is permissible to remind him. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) skipped a word while reciting the chapter of al-Muminun in a prayer. After the prayer, he asked, "Was Ubayy not among you?" Ubayy bin Ka'b was the best one among the Companions in terms of memorizing and reciting the Quran. When Ubayy said he was there, the Messenger of Allah said, "You should have reminded me."

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