Does Blowing Invalidate the Prayer?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


I had a funny thought in my mind. I held my laugh and replaced it with a breath. Is my prayer still accepted?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to that which is pleasing to Him. Amin.

It depends on whether your blowing was audible or not. If it was silent, then the prayer is valid. If it was audible (under usual circumstances and with usual hearing ability) and more than two letters worth of sound, the prayer would be invalidated, and Allah knows best.

Extraneous Speech or Vocalised Sound in Prayer

The prayer is invalidated (if one has no excuse) by uttering two or more letters or when two or more letters worth of sounds such as laughter, crying, groaning, clearing the throat, blowing, sighing, or similar are audible. [Misri, ‘Umdat Al-Salik]

Valid Excuses for a Little Sound

It is also invalidated by much (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. [ibid.]

Still, with such valid excuses, a slight amount of speech/sound (less than six words worth) does not invalidate the prayer. [ibid.]

Ignorance of the Law

One’s prayer is invalid if one speaks knowing that it is unlawful but ignorant of the fact that it invalidates the prayer, and it is also invalid if one says “Aah” during it out of fear of hell. [ibid.]

Some things not commonly known to invalidate the prayer, such as clearing the throat, do not invalidate the prayer of ordinary people, whose ignorance of them is excusable. However, a scholar has no such excuse. And Allah knows best. [ibid.]

Clearing the Throat for Correct Recitation

When it is impossible to recite the Fatiha (to oneself) or the final Testification of Faith (Tashahhud) or Salams except by clearing one’s throat, one may do so even when it approximates two letters. However, if it is impossible to recite aloud, one may not clear one’s throat but must instead recite to oneself.

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan. 

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.