Was My Prayer Invalidated by My Cough?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I was praying and I felt a tickle in my throat. After a bit, I made myself cough to ease the discomfort, and it came out loudly. I know that one cannot make noises for no reason, but if one needs to clear one’s throat, is it allowed? Is a tickle enough of a ‘need’? Or should I make up the prayer?

Answer

Thank you for your question. Your prayer is valid and does not need to be made up.

Coughing

It says in the Reliance of the Traveller:

It is also invalidated by much (i.e. more than six words worth of) sound, even when there is a valid excuse such as blurting out words unthinkingly, laughter or coughing overcoming one, absentmindedly speaking, or when one speaks because as a new Muslim one does not know it is unlawful during the prayer; though with such an excuse a slight amount of speech does not invalidate the prayer.

According to what you have described, it doesn’t seem like your coughing produced more than six words worth of sound.

Please see this link as well:
Sounds made while praying

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.