Is it makruh (abominable) to perform prayers by wearing pajamas, a nightgown or a tracksuit?

The Details of the Question
Is it makruh (abominable) to perform prayers by wearing pajamas, a nightgown or a tracksuit?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

When a believer performs prayers, he experiences the enthusiasm and excitement of being in the divine presence. He experiences the pleasure of being together with his Lord and being close to Him. For, the moment when a person is closest to Allah is the moment of prostration, which is the most important part of prayer.

A believer who is in such a mood needs to be sensitive, careful and meticulous while getting ready for a prayer. His spiritual shares and rewards from prayer will increase if he pays attention to mustahab deeds and manners of prayer along with fard, wajib and suunah deeds.

Similarly, his spiritual shares and rewards from prayer will increase if he avoids the acts and deeds that are contrary to the meaning and spirit of prayers that invalidate prayer and makruh deeds.

There are some deeds that are regarded as makruh to do while performing prayers. Some of those makruh deeds occur when a person abandons wajib and sunnah al-muakkadah deeds, which are regarded as makruh tahrimi. To abandon a sunnah, mustahab or mandub act is regarded as makruh tanzihi.

For instance, tadil al-arkan is one of the wajib acts of prayer. To prostrate without standing upright fully after bowing down is regarded as abandoning tadil al-arkan; so, this act is makruh tahrimi. However, to close one's eyes during prayer is makruh tanzihi. 

Deeds that are makruh tahrimi harm prayers and decrease their rewards but deeds that are makruh tanzihi do not do so. If one commits a makruh tanzihi deed deliberately, the reward of the prayer decreases but the prayer is not harmed.

As for performing prayers by wearing pajamas or a nightgown, Mehmed Zihni Efendi writes the following in his book called Nimet-i Islam regarding the issue:

"What is mustahab in prayer is to wear customary clothes. The Messenger of Allah, his Companions, and scholars of Islam performed prayers with the customary clothes in their regions. Nightgowns are customary clothes; therefore, it is not makruh to perform prayers by wearing a nightgown." [Nimet-i Islam, p. 579 (Ottoman Edition)]

Accordingly, it is not makruh for a man to perform prayers by wearing pyjamas or a tracksuit; similarly, it is not makruh for a woman by wearing a nightgown or dressing gown at home if it ensures tasattur (covers the parts that are necessary to be covered). In some fiqh books like Durar, the following is stated: "It is makruh to perform prayers by wearing thiyab al-bazl". It means clothes that are too shabby to wear outside the home. Some people infer the meaning of the clothes that can only be worn at home and that cannot be worn when one is in the presence of older people than him/her or respected people from the phrase ‘thiyab al-bazl’.   

To perform prayers wearing a singlet for a man is not in compliance with the seriousness of the prayer. It does not invalidate the prayer but it is more suitable to wear a shirt on it and pray.

(see Mehmed PAKSU, İbadet Hayatımız)

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