Answered by Ustadha Mariam Bashar
Question: What is the ruling regarding prayer while carrying a baby according to the Shafi’i school? If the child’s diaper contains najasah, would that be considered as najasah on our body and therefore invalidate the prayer?
How about for a child who sits on you lap or hangs onto you during the prayer?
Being Attached to Filth While in Prayer
If one is directly attached to or carrying something najis (filthy) or mutanajjis (filthified) by touching, holding, carrying, or being tied to it, one’s prayer becomes invalid. Thus, if a child hangs onto one’s clothes or body or sits on one’s lap during prayer, and one is certain that the child has a filthified mouth (due to vomiting), bottom or anything on his body or clothes, one’s prayer becomes invalid.
However, if one is uncertain as to whether the child has a filthified mouth, bottom or anything on his body or clothes, one’s prayer remains valid because the original state of all things is that they are pure unless one knows otherwise.
We advise parents of babies and children to make the little ones comfortable in a crib or playpen while one is praying so that they are not traumatized by the separation and the parent can pray peacefully. If that is not possible, then give the child water to drink and change his diaper before starting to pray; in which case, even if the child touches one during prayer, one is not certain of their impurity, therefore, one’s prayer remains valid.