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N.B. Rulings are given in accordance with the Hanafi school of thought

Fatwa - Acts that Nullify Salaat

February 2009

Q: What are the acts that nullify Salaat?

A:


BAHISHTI ZEWAR - SALAAH

1. If a person speaks in salaat intentionally or unintentionally, his salaat will be nullified.

2. If a person utters the following sounds in salaat, his salaat will be nullified: for example he says: aah, ooh, oof, etc. or he cries out aloud. However, if his heart is overcome by emotion out of thinking of jannah or jahannam and he utters these sounds, then his salaat will not break.

3. By clearing one's throat unnecessarily whereby even half a letter is uttered, salaat will break. However, it is permissible to do this when one is compelled to do so - salaat will not break.

4. A person sneezes in salaat. After sneezing he says Alhamdulillah. His salaat will not break, but it is preferable not to say anything. But if someone else sneezed and this person said Yarhamukallah while he was in salaat, his salaat will break.

5. Continuously looking into the Quran and reading nullifies the salaat. (A glance or two will not break the salaat)

6. Salaat will break if a person turns to such an extent that his chest turns away from the qiblah.

7. If a person replies to someone's salaam by saying Wa alaykumus salaam, his salaat will break.

8. If a woman plaits her hair while offering salaat, her salaat will break.

9. Eating or drinking anything in salaat will break the salaat. So much so that if a person picks up a sesame seed or a small piece of betel leaf, and eats it, his salaat will break. However, if a food particle was stuck in-between his teeth and he swallowed it, his salaat will break if that particle was larger or equal to a gram seed. If it was less than a gram seed, his salaat will not break.

10. If a betel leaf is placed in the mouth and its juice goes down the throat, salaat will break.

11. A person ate something sweet. He then rinsed his mouth and commenced offering his salaat. However, some taste of that sweet thing is still in the mouth and goes down the throat together with his saliva. In this case, his salaat will be in order.

12. While in salaat, a person hears some good news and therefore says Alhamdo lillah. Alternatively, he hears of the death of someone, so he says: Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raaji'un. In both cases his salaat will break.

13. A child or something fell down. At the time of its falling the person uttered Bismillah. His salaat will break.

14. While a woman was offering salaat, a child came and drank milk from her. Her salaat will break. However, if the milk did not come out, her salaat will not break.

15. At the time of saying Allahu Akbar, the person lengthened the alif of Allah and said "Aaallah" or Allahu "Aaakbar", or lengthened the baa of Akbar and said "Akbaaar" - in all these cases his salaat will break.

16. While offering salaat, a person's eyes fell on a letter or a book. He did not read it verbally but merely understood its meaning with his heart - his salaat will still be valid. However, if he reads it verbally, his salaat will break.

17. If a person, dog, cat, goat or any other animal walks across the person who is offering salaat, his salaat will not break. But the person who walked across will be committing a sin. One should therefore offer ones salaat at such a place where no one walks in front and people do not have any difficulty in walking about. But if a person cannot find such a secluded spot, he should fix a stick in front of him which is at least one arm's length and equal to a finger in thickness. The person should then stand behind that stick. The stick should not be directly in front of him but should be slightly to the right or left of his eyes. If a person does not fix a stick, he could place anything else which is similar to it, such as a stool. In doing so, it will be permissible to walk across (beyond the stick) and there will be no sin.

18. If, due to some necessity, a person steps slightly forward or backwards without his chest turning away from the qiblah, his salaat will be valid. But if he moves beyond the place of sajdah, his salaat will break.

Bahishti Zewar

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