Removing Anything that Mat Distract the Worshipper

Anas, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: “A’ishah had a decorated, colourful curtain which she used to cover the side of her house. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him, said to her:

‘Take it away from me, because its decorations keep distracting me when I pray.’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Fath al-Baari, 10/391).

Al-Qaasim reported that A’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, had a cloth with decorations on it, which she used to cover a small sunken alcove (used for sleeping or storage). The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him, used to pray facing it, and he said:

‘Take it away from me, because its decorations keep distracting me when I pray.’ So she took it away and made pillows out of it.” (Reported by Muslim in his Saheeh, 3/1668).

Another indication of this is the fact that when the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him, entered the Ka’bah to pray in it, he saw two rams horns. When he had prayed, he told ‘Uthmaan al-Hajabi:

“I forgot to tell you to cover the horns, because there should not be anything in the House to distract the worshipper.” (Reported by Abu Dawood: 2030).

This also includes avoiding praying in places where people pass through, or where there is a lot of noise and voices of people talking, or where they are engaging in conversations, arguments etc., or where there are visual distractions.

One should also avoid praying in places that are very hot or very cold, if possible. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him, told us to delay praying Dhuhr in summer until the hottest part of the day was over.

Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “Praying when it is intensely hot prevents a person from having the proper khushu and presence of mind, and he does his worship reluctantly, so the Prophet wisely told them to delay praying until the heat had lessened somewhat, so that they could pray with presence of mind and thus achieve the purpose of prayer, i.e., having khushu and turning to Allaah.” (Al-Waabil al-Sayib, Daar al-Bayaan edn., p.22)

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