People say that yawning during a prayer is a delusion of Satan; is it true?

Details of the Question
People say that yawning during a prayer is a delusion of Satan; is it true?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Yawning means opening the mouth and breathing for a long time involuntarily due to sleeplessness, tiredness and boredom.This state is an indication of absent-mindedness and heedlessness.

“Sneezing” means air coming suddenly from your mouth and nose as a result of the pressurized action of the breath muscles. Sneezing occurs as a result of enforcement in the body; when a person sneezes, he feels refreshed. Therefore, sneezing is a means of vitality for the body unlike yawning. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) points out that sneezing is something that Allah likes and that yawning comes from Satan:

“When somebody feels like yawning, he should try to prevent it. For, when a person yawns, Satan laughs at him. ”(Bukhari, Adab, 125)

Yawning, which the Prophet describes as something coming from Satan, generally stems from eating and drinking a lot, filling the stomach up, motionlessness and sleepiness. Besides, things that cause a person to yawn are deeds that Satan likes. Therefore, yawning is not an appropriate deed. It is necessary to prevent it; if one cannot prevent it, he needs to cover his mouth with his hand.   

There are various ways of getting rid of yawning that stems from heedlessness. It is necessary to be careful about the following situations in order to prevent yawning especially while performing a prayer:

- To act in accordance with the manners of toilet,
- To make wudu for each prayer,
- To be aware of the fact that one leaves the world behind when he starts prayer by uttering the takbir of opening,
- To utter audhu basmala consciously.

To yawn while performing a prayer is a bad deed. It is even worse to make a strange sound while yawning. When man does something, he needs to do it properly and in accordance with its requirements. If a person who is performing a prayer yawns and stretches, it is enough to show that he is not aware of the prayer and that he does not know what he is doing. A prayer performed unconsciously like that will disturb the people around and it will not restrain from "shameful and unjust deeds", as the Quran states. That is, it does not prevent a person from bad and evil deeds. Therefore, as it is stated in hadiths, it is necessary to perform a prayer as soon as its time starts, without postponing it and getting tired or sleepy. As a matter of fact, we mentioned beforehand that Satan wastes man's time and makes him postpone prayers. It is necessary for a person who starts to perform a prayer while he is heedless and tired to know whose presence he will go into and perform the prayer consciously and wakefully.

Therefore, the Prophet did not find it appropriate for a person to perform prayers heedlessly; he warned the people who did so and stated that yawning while performing a prayer came from Satan. As a matter of fact, the Prophet stated in a hadith reported by Abu Hurayra that yawning came from Satan even when a person s not performing a prayer:

“Yawning comes from Satan. Therefore, when one of you feels like yawning, he should prevent himself from yawning as much as he can.” [Muslim, Zuhd, 56, (2994); Tirmidhi, Salat, 273/370; A. Hanbal, Musnad, II/397, 517]

In a hadith reported by Abu Said al-Khudri, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,  

“When one of you feels like yawning while performing a prayer, he should prevent himself from yawning as much as he can because Satan enters through his mouth.” [Muslim, Zuhd, 57, (2995), 58, 59]

When we look at the hadiths, we see that we are ordered to prevent ourselves from yawning both when we perform a prayer and when we are with other people and not to open our mouths wide.

A Muslim has to be a person who acts in accordance with etiquette and kindly. For, a person's good and bad acts (especially bad ones) are evaluated based on the religion he represents. Therefore, the Prophet, who is the kindest person among the people, emphasized that it was necessary for a Muslim to be careful about his deeds, to control himself and not show the inside of his mouth in a way that would disgust others.  

In addition, he warned us against the microbes and other unwanted things that could enter through our mouths since he knew that a person who opened his mouth wide and yawned would be partly defenseless at that time.

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