Question: Does crying in the ritual prayer invalidate the prayer?
Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Thank you for your important question.
No, crying during a ritual prayer (salat) wouldn’t normally invalidate the prayer.
If one intentionally makes sounds while crying to utters something distinguishable as a letter, then one would invalidate the prayer. Similarly, if one were overcome with tears and wailed continuously for a long time, this would also invalid the prayer. But a few distinguishable sounds or words that come out despite oneself are fine. (Tuhfat al-Muhtaj, Ibn Hajar)
It is also worth noting that speaking to Allah in a desperate or teary tone is completely fine. The issue is when the sounds are not prayers but wailing and sobbing.
The point is that the ritual prayer is a ritual and has a certain form and structure. Any drastic rupture of that form and structure means that one is not doing that ritual anymore. At the same time, Allah is merciful and overlooks minor and unavoidable breaks in the ritual structure that we are trying to perform. (Tuhfat al-Labib, Ibn Daqiq al-Eid)
I pray this helps.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years, he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.