Does smiling inside prayer render the prayer invalid?


Does smiling a little in prayer render the prayer invalid?


A small smile does not invalidate the prayer according to the vast majority of scholars. According to them, the prayer is rendered invalid if a person’s laughs out loud or chuckles audibly. It is established from Jabir ibn Abdullah with an authentic chain of transmission, that he mentioned: ‘Whoever laughs inside the prayer must repeat the prayer.’

And it’s not known that any of the Sahaabah disagreed or said anything contrary to this.

This is the opinion of all the scholars, excluding ibn Hazm.

Ibn Hazm sees smiling to be from the things which nullify the prayer. He based this on the saying of Allah, the Almighty:
{فَتَبَسَّمَ ضَاحِكࣰا مِّن قَوۡلِهَا}
“So Solomon smiled in laughter at her words”
[Surat An-Naml 19]

But there’s no indication in this Aayah to what he seeks to prove, firstly because Allah described him with two things; smiling and laughter, and secondly because the scholars all unanimously agreed that anyone who laughs audibly; even if the sound is minimal, so long as a voice is issued, then he must repeat the prayer.

Answered by:
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Hizaam – may Allaah preserve him


Translated by:
Abu Ishaq Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ba Alawi