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Laughter & the validity of prayer


Does laughter invalidate one’s formal prayers?

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There is consensus among all the scholars that a person is not allowed to engage in any extraneous talk while engaged in prayer.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “It is not fitting for people to talk in the prayer. Prayer is only the glorification and magnification of Allah and the recitation of the Qur’an”.

Hence, these are the only forms of speech that may be uttered during prayer. Extraneous speech of all kinds is not allowed.

This applies most acutely to laughter. If someone laughs during prayer his prayer will become invalid, because this contradicts with the submissiveness and the way a worshipper should act. Laughing makes a mockery of the prayer. Therefore, we would rule that laughing invalidates prayer.

However, this ruling does not apply to smiling. Smiling is something quite different.

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