Is It Permissible for Men to Pray in a Sleeveless Shirt?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Abdul Rahman Al-Kharsa


Is it permissible for men to pray in a sleeveless shirt?


Praise be to Allah Most High.

One of the conditions for the validity of prayer is covering the ‘awra (one’s nakedness), which for a man is from below his navel to below his knees. Allah Most High says: “O Children of Adam! Dress properly whenever you are at worship.” [Quran, 7: 31], meaning: cover your ‘awra for every prayer. [Al-Mirghinani, Al-Hidaya, Chapter on the Conditions of Prayer that precede it]

If a man prays in a sleeveless shirt, his prayer is valid as long as he covers his ‘awra. However, he has left out what is preferable. Imam Al-Shurunbulali said: “It is preferred to pray in three garments from his best clothes: a shirt, a lower garment (Izar), and a turban. It is disliked to pray in just a lower garment when one is able to wear more.” [Al-Shurunbulali, Maraqi Al-Falah, Chapter on the Conditions of Prayer]

To gain the full reward, the one who prays should ensure that his prayer is complete and valid with its conditions, Sunna acts, and etiquettes. He should be mindful that he stands before the Lord of the worlds, the King of Kings, and consider how he should present himself.

[Shaykh] Abdul Rahman Al-Kharsa

Shaykh Abdul Rahman al-Kharsa is a Syrian scholar, born in Damascus in 1971. He obtained his degree in the Arabic Language from the University of Damascus. He received his Islamic education from some of the most prominent scholars of Sham, including Shaykh Abdul Rahman al-Shaghouri, Shaykh Taj al-Din al-Kittani, Shaykh Muhammad Karim Rajeh, Shaykh Bashir al-Bari, Shaykh Ibrahim al-Hindi, Shaykh Hisham al-Salahi, among others.

He memorized the Holy Quran and studied the ten Qira‘at (recitations) through the paths of the Shatibiyya and Durra under Shaykh Muhammad Haytham Minini and Shaykh Abu al-Hasan al-Kurdi.

Shaykh al-Kharsa has taught at Al-Azhar University in the Beqaa Valley, Lebanon. He established Quranic centers in several areas in Lebanon and manages a Quranic center in Istanbul, where he is involved in Quran memorization programs and delivers public and private lessons.

He teaches in the Ijaza system at Dar al-Fuqaha in Turkey. His work also includes scholarly research, particularly in verifying texts within the Hanafi school. Notably, he has done the tahqiq of renowned works such as “Tanwir al-Absar” and “Jami‘ al-Bihar” by Imam al-Tumurtashi. May Allah preserve him and continue to make his efforts fruitful.