Prayers are all Muslims' duty. But prayer is invalid in some cases like; invalid purification, loud laughter, or deliberately changing or adding a rukn. Learn what to avoid in order not to invalidate the prayer.

What invalidates the prayer

A prayer becomes invalid in several cases that are summed up as follows:[1]

1-Whatever invalidates purification also invalidates prayer, because purification is a condition for the validity of prayer. The absence of this condition renders the prayer invalid.

2-Loud laughter: This is universally agreed,[2] because it is like speaking, if not worse. Such laughter indicates total disrespect and is totally inconsistent with prayer and the need to show humiliation before Allah, who commands us:

Stand up before Allah in devout obedience


A mere smile, however, does not invalidate prayer, as reported by Ibn al-Mundhir and others.

3-Deliberate normal speech for any purpose other than that of the prayer itself.[3] Zayd ibn Arqam reports: ‘We used to speak during prayer, with a man talking to the one next to him in the row. Then the order was revealed:

Stand up before Allah in devout obedience


 We were commanded to be silent and forbidden to speak

Related by al-Bukhari, hadith No. 4,534; Muslim, hadith No. 539

 If one is unaware of the prohibition, or is in a state of oblivion and speaks, his prayer in not invalidated.

4-Deliberate exposure of one’s Awrah.

5-Turning one’s back towards the qiblah, because facing the qiblah is a condition for the validity of prayer.

6-Contact with impurity: When the worshipper is aware of any contact with impurity, or when he starts the prayer forgetting having had such contact then remembers it during the prayer, and does not immediately remove it, this invalidates prayer.

7-Deliberately omitting an essential duty, whether it is a pillar, an obligatory act or a condition of the prayer without a valid reason.

8-Doing any of several things that are not related to the prayer, such as eating and drinking.

9-Leaning against something without any legitimate reason, because standing up is a condition for the validity of prayer.

10-Deliberately adding a rukn that involves an action, such as doing more than one bowing or more than two prostrations in one rak'ah. Needless to say, this alters the form of prayer and as such, the prayer becomes invalid according to the universal view of scholars.

11-Deliberately changing the order of rukns, because following the proper order is itself a rukn as we have already noted.

12-Deliberately saying Assalamu 'alaikum before prayer is finished.

13-Deliberately changing the meaning when reciting al-Fatihah, as its recitation is a rukn.


  1. Al-Bahuti, Kashshaf al-Qina', vol. 1, p. 465.
  2. Ibn al-Mundhir, Al-Ijma', p. 40.
  3.  Ibn al-Mundhir reports that this is universally agreed by scholars in Al-Awsat, vol. 3, p. 234.