Answering the Phone-Call During Praying


If one's cell phone rings during Salah, and it distracted worshipers with its ringing for a long time. Is it permissible in such cases for the worshipper to pull it out of his pocket and turn it off or pick up and say “Allaahu akbar” or raise his voice in recitation so that the caller will know that he is praying? – by analogy with (the hadeeth with speaks of) opening the door to one who knocks or raising his voice so that he can hear you?


Praise be to Allah.

If a person wants to perform the prayer, he has to remove away from him anything that might preoccupy him or disturb him in performing the prayer with reverence and fear, especially if what disturbs him is the ringing of the phone that attracts people’s attention.

Therefore, we advise holders of mobile phones not to bring their phones to the prayer or –at least –to turn them off so that they will not be disturbed and will not disturb other people performing the prayer and to keep the houses of Allah free from that kind of music (ringing of the phones). Which In case a person starts praying and he forgot to turn off his mobile, and the mobile rings during the prayer, then he has to turn it off to stop that disturbing noise.

If the worshipper is in the position that you describe and the phone starts ringing, it is permissible for him to lift the receiver, even if he has to move a little way forward or back, or to the right or left, on the condition that he keeps facing the qiblah and he says ‘Subhaan Allaah’ so that the person who is calling will know (that he is praying).

It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was praying in his house with the door closed. I came (to the door) and he walked over and opened the door for me, then he went back to his place.” She mentioned that the door was in the direction of the Qiblah. (Narrated by Ahmad, 6/31; Abu Dawood, 922; al-Nasaa’i, 1/178; al-Tirmidhi, 2/497).

Al-Bukhaari and Muslim narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever notices something alarming whilst praying, then men should say ‘Subhaan Allaah’ and women should clap their hands.”

However, it is not permissible for someone to answer the phone during prayer, as that makes the prayer void. It is absolutely unacceptable for a Muslim to deliberately behave in a way that makes the prayer invalid, like speaking unnecessarily, or turning one’s back to the direction of Qiblah and other actions that may make the prayer invalid.

In case there is a preponderant interest in behaving in a way that could make the prayer invalid, then there is no sin in behaving as such; it could even be an obligation to stop the prayer in order for instance to save a honourable life.

And Allah knows Best.

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