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Does Breaking off From Prayer Entail Shirk?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Sometimes when I am praying and think something wrong I feel that I should end the prayer and start over. I know this is wrong (to end the prayer) but I still do it.

Is this a type of shirk?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Jazakum Allah khayr for your question.

You are correct that it is unlawful to exit from the obligatory prayer, however it is not shirk, whatever your reason for doing so.

Practical Suggestions:

Perhaps try the following to prevent this happening when you pray:

1. Ensure that you are praying the sunna prayers before and after the obligatory prayer. These help one focus during the obligatory prayer.

2. Before you begin your prayer, ask Allah to help you focus and have presence of mind.

3. During the prayer, focus your eyes on one spot, such as on the floor where your forehead is placed during prostration.

4. If the doubts persist, resist the temptation to break off. This is a devil’s ruse for you to continue to break off your prayer until you despair. Avoid the trap by continuing to pray. Seek refuge from Allah from the devil before you pray.

5. For men, praying in congregation is important and prevents misgivings and doubts in the prayer.

6. Seek knowledge: Please consider taking up courses in fiqh and other sciences. The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘A single knowledgeable believer is harder on Satan than a thousand devout worshippers.’ [al Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]

7. Read the following answers:

Baseless Misgivings Regarding the Validity of One’s Prayer and Faith

How to Deal With Bad Thoughts About God During Prayer?

Does the Intention to Break the Prayer Break the Prayer? [Shafi’i]

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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