In What Circumstances Is One Permitted to Break Their Prayer?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch 


I just wanted to know under what circumstances are you allowed to break your Salah?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

It is not permissible to break the prayer without need. Allah Most High says, “O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not invalidate your deeds” [Quran; 47:33].

However, some situations permit one to break the prayer. Other situations could even make this necessary [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah].

Circumstances That Necessitate Breaking the Prayer

It is necessary to break the prayer, even if it be an obligatory prayer, in case of the following:

(1) If a person in danger calls for help and the one praying is able to help.

For example: If while one is praying they hear the cries of help of a person being oppressed and one is able to assist, it is necessary for them to break the prayer.

(2) If one is reasonably sure that a person will be harmed if one does not assist them.

For example, if a blind person is walking toward a hole or the edge of a rooftop and the one praying has the ability to stop them from falling, it is necessary for them to break their prayer and intervene.

Circumstances That Permit the Breaking of the Prayer

It is permissible to delay the prayer or break the prayer in the following cases:

(1) If one fears being robbed of their wealth.
(2) Due to the fear of a dangerous animal. This includes fear for one’s self or one’s flock.
(3) If the mid-wife fears for the child during pregnancy. This is if she is reasonably sure of imminent harm to the mother or the child due to her absence.
(4) For the traveler who fears highway robbers.


As is clear from the above, breaking the prayer is not permitted except in extraordinary circumstances. But if the need arises, such as the above examples, it may be obligatory for one to break their prayer.

Note that if one breaks an obligatory prayer before its completion it remains obligatory for them to pray. If one breaks a Nafl (voluntary) prayer it becomes necessary to make up that prayer from anew.

[The above is taken from – Tahtawi, Hashiya al-Tahtawi ‘ala Maraqi al-Falah]

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 Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.