Looking around in Salah

In the Light of the Quran and Sahih Hadith

Prohibition of Looking around in Salah

Where to look in Salah




Prohibition of Looking around in Salah


Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 1, Book 12, Hadith # 718: 
Narrated 'Aisha: I asked Rasulullah
(sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) about looking hither and thither in prayer. He replied, "It is a way of stealing by which Satan takes away (a portion) from the prayer of a person." 


Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 1, Book 12, Number 717:

Narrated Anas bin Malik: Rasulullah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "What is wrong with those people who look towards the sky during the prayer?" His talk grew stern while delivering this speech and he said, "They should stop (looking towards the sky during the prayer); otherwise their eye-sight would be taken away."

Sunan Abu Dawood Book 3, Hadith # 0909: 
Narrated AbuDharr: Rasulullah
(sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said: Allah, the Most High, continues to turn favorably towards a servant while he is engaged in prayer as long as he does not look to the side (by turning the neck), but if he does so, He turns away from him.


Sahih Muslim, Imaam Ahmad, and an-Nasa'i relate:

Abu Hurairah reports that Rasulullah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said: "Those who raise their sight to the sky during the prayer should stop doing so or their sight may be taken away." 


 Imaam Ahmad as Sahih 

"Rasulullah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) forbade three things: pecking like a hen, squatting (iq'aa'), like a dog and looking around like a fox (in Salah)[ See Sahih at-Targheeb (no. 556)]


Where do you look in Salah? 


Al-Baihaqi and Haakim, who declared this Hadith sahih 

"Rasulullah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) used to incline his head during prayer and fix his sight towards the ground"[Baihaqi and  al-Haakim reported it in al-Mustadrak, 1/479. He said it is sahih according to the condition of the two shaikhs (imaam Bukhari and Muslim), quoted as Sahih in Sifat al-Salaah, p. 89 by Al-Baani. It also has a strengthening hadith reported by ten of his Companions: transmitted by Ibn `Asaakir (17/202/2). See Irwaa' (354).] 


Sunan Abu Dawood, Al-Baihaqi,  Haakim and Imaam Ahmad

"while Rasulullah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) was in the Ka'bah, his sight did not leave the place of his prostration until he came out from it"[Baihaqi and Haakim, who declared it sahih, Abu Daawood & Ahmad with a sahih isnaad (Irwaa', 1771). And al-Dhahabi agreed with him. Al-Albaani said, It is as they said. Irwaa’ al-Ghaleel, 2/73) who declared it sahih.


Hafidh Zaynud-Deen Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (Rahimahullaah)

"So that he (a person in Salah) is not distracted by looking to the right or left, and he should keep his eyes upon the place of prostration, and this is from the obligations of humility in the heart and lack of distraction.  And due to this, when some of the Salaf saw a man fooling around in his Prayer, they said, “If this man’s heart was humble, his limbs would have become humbled.”  And it’s mentioning has preceded. (Ibn Rajab in his book Al-Khushoo fis-Salaat) 


Ibn Seereen (Rahimahullaah)  

"They (those before him from among the companions and taab i'een) used to love that a man looks at the place of prostration in his prayer. (Quoted as being authentic by Ibn Rajab in his book Al-Khushoo fis-Salaat  and  by Ibn Qudaamah in his book Mukhtasir Minhaaj il-Qaasideen)

Note: So from these Sahih Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) and sayings of the Tab'ieen we can establish that even looking straight forward and not at the place of prostration is contradictory to the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam). As for looking up and around this is clearly forbidden!

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