Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: assalamu alaykum,
Does laughing in salat break wudhu?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
It depends. There are three levels [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]:
(1) Smiling is improper, yet doesn’t affect the validity of the prayer,
(2) Laughing to oneself invalidates the prayer itself, and
(3) Laughing out loud invalidates the prayer and the ablution (wudu).
The Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whosoever amongst you laughs out loud, let him repeat both his prayer and ablution.” [Daraqutni]
The Hanafis acted according to this on the basis of juristic preference (istihsan) despite legal reasoning (qiyas) entailing otherwise.
The prayer is the place of intimate, direct discourse with one’s Maker, and the sanctity of this moment is vitiated by laughter or anything unbecoming at a time of such seriousness.
And Allah alone gives success.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.