5 common mistakes muslims take for granted in salat

What is Salat?

Salat, as we all know, is among the most practised pillar in the 5 pillars of Islam with Shahada (Declaration of faith), Zakat (Giving of Alms), Ramadhan (Fasting) and Hajj (the holy pilgrimage to Mecca). Muslims all around the world perform Salat at least 5 times every single day of our lives as it is fard(compulsory). That should tell you how important salat is in our lives as Muslims. Though salat is very important to us Muslims, we do tend to make some common mistakes in salat or take somethings for granted be it knowingly or unknowingly. YES you,  my sister/brother are as guilty as I am.

Did you know that anything you do during salat which gives the impression that you’re not praying invalidates your salat?

Now let’s delve into some of the common mistakes we take for granted in salat as Muslims

1. Fidgeting – Involving lots of Unnecessary Movements

There are a lot of movements being performed during salat like rukuh, sujood, etc, but there are other movements termed the Makrooh movements. These are movements which invalidate our salat like is seen in many cases where a person is fiddling with his watch or nose or beard and so on a lot of times unnecessarily. There are no specific number of movements that invalidates the prayer, rather it is any movement that contradicts the idea of prayer such that if someone saw you doing that, it would look as though you were doing something other than praying. This is the kind of movement that invalidates the prayer.
Hence the scholars (may Allah have mercy on them) defined it as something based on custom (al-‘urf) and said: If movements are many and are continuous then they invalidate the prayer, without mentioning a specific number. Some scholars defined three such movements but that requires evidence because everyone who sets a certain limit or number or manner should produce evidence, otherwise he is introducing new ideas.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about a man who moved a great deal whilst praying: did that invalidate his prayer and how could he rid himself of this habit?

He (may Allah have mercy on him) replied:

The Sunnah is to focus on one’s prayer with proper humility, body and soul, whether it is an obligatory prayer or a naafil prayer because Allah says :

“Successful indeed are the believers. 2. Those who offer their Salaah (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness”
[Al-Mu’minoon 23:1-2]

2. Ahem(Clearing your throat), Clapping and Making Sounds –

One funny thing is I actually got to know these while I was researching on this topic. I was very much surprised especially with the clapping part. Most of us are guilty of this. we usually do this to signal people that we are around but praying. sort of announcement if you like.

What should I do to indicate that I am performing salat? For example, if I clear my throat to signal to the customer that I am praying, does that nullify my salat?

The answer he was given was that, if he coughs to indicate that he is observing salat, that doesn’t nullify his salat if the cough is slight. However, it is disliked (makrooh) and nullifies your salat  if the  sound of more than one letter word is uttered.

Again, If he recites the Qur’an al-Karim louder or says “Alhamdulillah” or “Allahu akbar” or “Subhanallah” in order to indicate that he is performing salat, his salat will not be nullified. (Halabi)

3.Contagious Diseases-

The Best of mankind, The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “No sick one should be put with a healthy one.

Evidently, Al-Bukhaari (6771) and Muslim (2221) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said:

It is known that it is IMPORTANT to ward off annoyance and harm from those who are worshipping. If they are bothered by one who has a cold or a cough, and that cannot be treated by means of medicines that would reduce it and lessen the annoyance and harm.

Medicines used to cure such ailments are quite common lately. A worshiper should take recommended ones and recover before joining the congregational prayer. He should not attend the mosque until that which is bothering other people observing prayer has gone away. He can, however, pray at the edge of the Masjid if he so wishes.

We are encouraged to explain to our older folks the necessity of staying away from the Masjid as most of them are interested in the reward therein. We, the youth are supposed to inform them of the harm that may be caused as a result of their actions. Staying away in these conditions also earns you a reward as the welfare of a fellow brother or sister is considered.

4. Bad Smell-

Be it mouth odour, body odour, bad breath, please deal with it before you stand before the Creator of the Universe. I mean no one likes an unfriendly smell. It can very annoying and distracting when someone standing next to you in a congregational prayer is stinking bad. YOU ARE LITERALLY JUST WAITING FOR THE PRAYER TO END(may Allah make it easy for us all)

Salat is considered invalid without ablution (Wudu) or if necessary the ritual bath (Ghusl)  prior to our prayer. Both are rituals that move us to a state of a ritual cleanliness (Taharah), however, both acts are not meant to make us smell good.

Al-Bukhari (390) and Muslim (762) Narrated “When one of you stands to pray, he is conversing with his Lord”

Why do we get all dressed up to meet people in positions higher than ours because we are looking to please them but fail to do same when it comes to the One who put them in that position. (Let us reevaluate this) ! There is nothing more delightful than looking to please Allah. One must be fully prepared for standing before his Lord, and his body and clothes and the place where he prays should be clean and free of any offensive smells.

Allah says in Surat-ul A’raaf  7 : 31 :

O Children of Adam! Take your adornment (by wearing your clean clothes) while praying [and going round (the Tawaaf of ) the Ka‘bah] and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly, He (Allah) likes not Al‑Musrifoon (those who waste by extravagance)

Also, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

Were it not for the fact that I did not want to make things too hard for my Ummah, I would have commanded them to use the Siwaak at every time of prayer.” Narrated by Al-Bukhaari (838)and Muslim (370).

So the worshiper is enjoined to adorn himself and look presentable when praying. With regard to the validity of prayer when there is an unpleasant smell in the mouth, it is valid but it is Makrooh (disliked).

If he has an offensive odour and he is able to stand outside the mosque in such a way that he does not cause annoyance, then it is appropriate that he should be obliged to join the congregation.

5. Running to join the congregation so we don’t miss a Rukn – 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Shall I not tell you something by means of which Allah erases sins and raises people in status?” They said: Yes, O Messenger of Allah to the mosque, and waiting for prayer after prayer. That is constant readiness.” Narrated by Muslim, 251. [The Prophet] (peace be upon him) said: “If salat is started, do not approach it running, but approach it walking, with calmness. Whatever you catch up with, pray, and what you miss, complete it. “1t was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him)

If prayer starts and a person is still on his way to the Masjid, then he should not hurry in his walk; instead, he should walk with calmness and respect as indicated in the Hadith of Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him).

As one walks respectfully to the Masjid, his/her sins are erased, being raised in status, great reward and perfect light on the Day of Resurrection. MAASHA ALLAH! May we be amongst the people of Jannah!

For those who are usually in a rush and miss the OPENING TAKBEER- Some questions were asked and these were the answers we found;

1- If the one who is late for the prayer catches up with it when the imam is bowing, then he must say the takbeerat al-ihraam (opening takbeer, which is said to commence the prayer) whilst standing. If he says it whilst bending forward, his prayer is not valid.

An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

It is obligatory to say the takbeerat al-ihram whilst standing. This also applies to one who is late for the prayer and catches up with the imam when he is already bowing. His takbeerat al-ihraam must be enunciated properly whilst he is standing; if he pronounces any letter of it when he is not standing, he has not started his prayer, and there is no difference of scholarly opinion concerning that.

If the one who is late for the prayer comes when the imam is bowing, then to be on the safe side he should say takbeer twice: the first one for takbeerat al-ihram, and the second one for the takbeer of bowing. If he says takbeerat al-ihram only, then bows without saying the takbeer for bowing, that is acceptable according to the correct scholarly opinion.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked:

If a worshipper joins the prayer when the imam is bowing, should he say the opening takbeer and the takbeer for bowing, or should he say just one takbeer and then bow?

Answer: It is preferable and more prudent for him to say two takbeers: one for takbeerat al-ihram, which is an essential part of the prayer and must be said when he is standing and the second is the takbeer of bowing, which he should say as he is bending down for rukoo‘. If he is afraid of missing the rak‘ah, then takbeerat al-ihram is sufficient according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions, because they are two acts of worship to be done at the same time, so doing that which is more important will suffice for that which is less important, and this rak‘ah will be valid, according to most of the scholars.

Source: Islam Question & Answer


There you have it guys, We hope we were able to teach you something. Leave a comment below let us know which ones we forgot to add to the list. Salam.



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