Q&A (Fatwa)

#117: Ruling on Observing Salāt in a place where there are Game Distractions

” Assalamu alaykum. May Allah reward your efforts. In our place, the place we pray is at the last floor. Now because it is a dormitory, there is limited space. So, they put the table tennis at the same area where Salah is observed. There is literally no demarcation. What is the ruling on playing in such place (It is very obvious from the mentality of the people here that they don’t listen and would not change what they do upon their abject ignorance. So, it is seeking to know as an individual)…Jazakumullahu khayran”_

*ANSWER*

Wa alaykum salām Warahmatullāh Wabarakātuh

Alhamdulillāh, āmīn to your du’ā and may Allāh reward your efforts too…

What is expected of you and other Muslims that observe the Salāt in that dormitory is to seek for a dedicated corner where you can observe your Salāt and others would respect and refrain from trespassing. If however that is not obtainable, then there is nothing that disallows you from observing your Salāt in the place you have described as a matter of necessity. This is even if the people were to be playing the tennis at the same time you are observing your Salāt.

This is because the Fuqahā have formed a dominant position that though concentration (Khushū’) was a very important component of the Salāt, it isn’t a pillar (Rukn) that it existed throughout the Salāt.

As for the ruling of playing the tennis in such a place, then there isn’t anything that forbids that as long as the place mentioned is merely a _musallā_ (place for _Salāt_) and wasn’t air marked and specifically taken as a _masjid_ where all the five daily Salawāt are observed.

What we imply here is that there is a difference between a Masjid and a Musallā in terms of what is commanded and what is prohibited to be done in them. The evidence for this is the fact that the Rasūl – _salallāhu alayhi wasallam_ – had a place in the room of Ā’ishah – radiyallāhu anhā – where he observed his Salāt at night and it is evident from the Hadīth if A’ishah that she would sleep and have her legs covering the place of his Sujūd.

However this is not to imply that one should disrespect the _musallā_ as the Ulamā explained. But what is meant here is that it isn’t prohibited.

What we advise the brother with the question to do is to seek for ways of air marking a place in the dormitory that would be specific to Salāt and wouldn’t be tress passed by others as much as possible, for in that is tranquility to the heart.

Bārakallāhu fīkum
Jazākumullāhu Khayran.

18th Safar 1438.

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