Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Sidi, today while I was praying asr, the timer on my oven went off indicating that the baking time was over for something I had set in the oven. I clapped my hand frantically to get my husband’s attention so that he would realize that something needed to be taken out before it burned. was that all right or did I invalidate my prayer (which is my husband’s fear)?
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, and all blessings and peace upon our master Muhammad, his folk, companions and those who follow their noble way,
If your “frantic clapping” would have been considered excessive action, such that a distant onlooker who did not know you were in prayer would think you were not praying, then your prayer would be invalidated. If unsure whether it was excessive action, then it is not.
It is permitted to break prayer if one fears the loss of anything of value, including one’s food if it will burn. However, it is superior to take the means beforehand and avoid such things happening.