Question: How do we act on the Prophetic instruction to blow thrice to the left and seek refuge in Allah during the prayer when we are distracted by Shaytan?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate,
The narration you are referring to is as follows:
Uthman bin Abi al-‘As narrates that he came to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and said, “O Messenger of Allah. The devil comes between me and my prayer and my recitation and confuses me.” So the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) replied, “That is a devil called Khanzab. So if you sense him, seek refuge with Allah from him and blow to your right side thrice.” He (the narrator) said, “I did that and Allah sent him away from me.” [Muslim]
Acting On This Hadith
If you sense the Devil casting doubts in your heart or distracting you, you are allowed to seek refuge in Allah and blow thrice to the left. You should do this with the least amount of movement possible.
Small amounts of movement are not disliked in the prayer if they are done for a reason in the best interest of the prayer. Implementing this narration, when such a situation occurs, is in the best interest of the prayer. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
I hope this helps,
Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences