By: Bayynat editor
Each one of the shortcomings that we are going to mention is enough reason to render the prayer void:
Any act that separates the person from the commonly-accepted image of a person praying, such as knitting, taking off and putting on several dresses, breastfeeding while praying, eating and drinking, and so on. Regardless of whether such acts are done intentionally or out of absentmindedness, they will render the prayer void.
However, things do not nullify the image of the prayer, such as tidying the cloth on your body, pointing with your hand, moving the fingers; do not render the prayer void.
Yet, laughing knowingly, loudly and with sound even if it uncontrollable. However, this does not smiling that occurs unconsciously.
Crying knowingly for a worldly matter, as an obligatory precaution, including if it is uncontrollable; however the prayer will still be valid if this takes place unconsciously. The crying in question is one involving tears, even if it does not involve sound.
Putting one hand over the other, and resting them on the abdomen, which renders the prayer void as an obligatory precaution if the person believes it is part of the prayer; but if he doess not do that as a part of the prayer, in this case it is more probable that the prayer remains valid. In any case, the prayer remains valid if this act takes place unconsciously.
Saying “Amen” after the Fatiha chapter intentionally, as an obligatory precaution, if the person believes it is part of the prayer, otherwise it remains valid.
Speaking intentionally, even if without comprehensible meaning with no differentiation, if intentional, between speaking that takes place with the person’s own will or otherwise, nor whether the speech is to a second person or not. However, if speaking takes place through absentmindedness, it stays valid. Also, there is no problem about hemming, blowing or moaning, nor if the speech consists of the mentioning of God, supplication, verses of the Quran that are more than what is part of them.
It is obligatory that the person praying returns the greeting during the prayer, but using the same form as the ones used by the greeting, so if the latter said “SalamoAlaikom”, the person praying must reply with exactly the same words including the oprder, so he is not allowed to reply by “Alaykoumlsalam” (unless,of course, the greeting was originally that). And it is not obligatory to use or not use the alif and lam “al”, whether they were used by the greeting person or not.
That said, if the greeting was directed to a group of people of whom the person praying is one, and he believed that the greeting was directed to him as well, he is not allowed to reply when praying unless no one else replies.
In addition, there are certain cases in which the addition or omission of prayer is considered as a factor that renders the prayer invalid. These shortcomings may take place intentionally or out of absentmindedness. When they are intentional, there is a universal rule: “every time the person praying ignores his duty by omitting any of the parts or conditions of the prayer intentionnaly and knowing that that part is a part or condition of the prayer, his prayer becomes void. The same applies if he added anything to his prayer intentionally and realizing that is it not allowed.
The aforementioned has been discussed in accordance to the view of His Eminence, the late Grand Ayatollah Fadlullah (ra) as mentioned by “The Islamic Rulings”