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Rules of Namaz » Places where performing prayers is recommended (mustaḥabb) → ← Rules of Namaz » Things that are recommended (mustaḥabb) for the clothing of someone performing prayers

Rules of Namaz »The place where prayers are performed

The place where prayers are performed must fulfil seven conditions.

The first condition: it must be permissible to use [i.e. it must not be usurped], based on obligatory precaution.

Ruling 853. If someone performs prayers on usurped property, even if it is a carpet, couch, or something similar, then based on obligatory precaution his prayers are invalid. However, there is no problem in performing prayers under a usurped roof or in a usurped tent.

Ruling 854. Performing prayers on property whose benefit belongs to someone else without the consent of the one who benefits from the property is ruled as being the same as performing prayers on usurped property. For example, if in a rented house the landlord or someone else performs prayers there without the consent of the tenant, then based on obligatory precaution his prayers are invalid.

Ruling 855. If someone is sitting in a mosque and another person takes his place and without his consent performs prayers there, his prayers are valid although he has committed a sin.

Ruling 856. If a person does not know or has forgotten that a certain place is usurped and performs prayers there, and after his prayers he realises or remembers it is usurped, his prayers are valid. However, if someone has usurped a place himself but forgets and performs prayers there, then based on obligatory precaution his prayers are invalid.

Ruling 857. If someone knows that a certain place is usurped and that using it is unlawful, but he does not know that there is a problem in performing prayers in a usurped place and performs prayer there, then based on obligatory precaution his prayers are invalid.

Ruling 858. If someone is compelled to perform an obligatory prayer while riding, in the event that the animal, its saddle, or horseshoe is usurped, then based on obligatory precaution his prayer is invalid. The same applies if he wants to perform a recommended prayer while riding that animal.

Ruling 859. If someone owns a property in partnership with someone else, and if his share is not separately defined, he cannot use that property without the consent of his partner; and based on obligatory precaution prayers performed there are invalid.

Ruling 860. If a person purchases property with money on which khums has not been paid and the purchase is a non-specified undertaking (al-kullī fī al-dhimmah),120 as most purchases are, then using it is lawful for him and he owes khums on the money he paid for the property. However, if a person purchases property with the actual money on which khums has not been paid,121 then using that property without the authorisation of a fully qualified jurist is unlawful; and based on obligatory precaution prayers performed there are invalid.

Ruling 861. If the owner of a property verbally gives his consent to perform prayers there but one knows that in reality he does not consent, then performing prayers on his property is not permitted. And if he does not give his consent but one is certain that in reality he consents, performing prayers there is permitted.

Ruling 862. If a dead person owes money in alms tax (zakat) or to people, there is no problem in using his property with the consent of his heirs provided that the use does not conflict with the paying of his debt; for example, [there would be no problem in] performing prayers in his house. Similarly, if the heirs pay his debt, or take it upon themselves to pay his debt, or keep aside the amount of his debt from his estate, there is no problem in using his property even if this causes it to be ruined.

Ruling 863. If some of the heirs of a dead person are minors (ṣaghīr), insane, or absent, then using the property without the consent of the guardian (walī) of those heirs is unlawful, and performing prayers there is not permitted. However, there is no problem in using it in a normal way to start preparations for the burial of the corpse.

Ruling 864. Performing prayers on someone else’s property is permitted only when the owner clearly gives his consent to do so, or he says something that indicates he has given permission – such as giving someone his consent to sit and sleep on his property, by which it can be understood that he has given permission for prayers to be performed there as well – or, when one derives confidence by some other way that the owner consents.

Ruling 865. It is permitted to perform prayers on a vast expanse of land even if its owner is a minor or insane, or he does not consent to prayers being performed there. Similarly, it is permitted to perform prayers without the consent of the owner in gardens and on land that do not have gates or walls. However, in this case, if one knows that the owner does not consent, he must not use it. And if the owner is a minor or insane, or if one supposes that he does not consent, the obligatory precaution is that he must not use it nor perform prayers there.

Ruling 866. The second condition: the place where obligatory prayers are performed must not move so vigorously that it would prevent the person performing prayers from standing and performing rukūʿ and sujūd normally; in fact, based on obligatory precaution, the movement must not prevent his body from being steady. If due to shortage of time or any other reason one is compelled to perform prayers in such a place – for example, in certain types of cars or on a ship or train – he must remain still and face qibla as much as possible. If the vehicle moves away from the direction of qibla, he must turn and face the qibla again; and if it is not possible to face qibla precisely, he must try to ensure that the difference is less than ninety degrees; and if this is not possible, he must face qibla at least while performing takbīrat al-iḥrām; and if even this is not possible, it is not necessary for him to face qibla.

Ruling 867. Performing prayers in a car, ship, train etc. is permitted while it is standing still. The same applies when it is moving provided that it does not move to such an extent that it prevents the body of the person performing prayers from being steady.

Ruling 868. Prayers performed on a pile of wheat, barley, and similar things on which one cannot remain still are invalid.

The third condition: one must perform prayers in a place where he deems it probable that he will complete them. However, if one is confident that he will not be able to complete his prayers in a place on account of wind, rain, or there being a lot of people around and suchlike, he must perform prayers with the intention of rajāʾ; and if he happens to complete his prayer, there is no problem.

Ruling 869. If a person performs prayers at a place where it is unlawful to stay – for example, under a roof that is close to collapsing – his prayers are valid although he will have committed a sin.

Ruling 870. Performing prayers on something that is unlawful to stand or sit on – such as a place on a mat that has Allah’s name written on it – is not correct in the event that it prevents one from establishing an intention to attain proximity to Allah (qaṣd al-qurbah).

The fourth condition: the ceiling of the place where one performs prayers must not be so low that he cannot stand up straight; and the place must not be so small that there is no room to perform rukūʿ and sujūd.

Ruling 871. If a person is compelled to perform prayers in a place where it is not at all possible to stand up straight, it is necessary that he performs prayers in a sitting position; and if performing rukūʿ and sujūd is also not possible, he must perform them by indications of the head.

Ruling 872. One must not [i.e. it is unlawful to] perform prayers with his back to the grave of the Prophet (Ṣ) or the Imams (ʿA) if it amounts to disrespecting them; otherwise, there is no problem in it [i.e. it is not unlawful if it does not amount to disrespecting them]. In both cases, however, his prayers would be valid.

The fifth condition: If the place where a person performs prayers is impure, it must not be so wet that its moisture reaches his body or clothing in case the impurity is of the type that invalidates prayers. However, if the place where one places his forehead is impure, the prayers are invalid even if the place is dry. And the recommended precaution is that the place where one performs prayers should not be impure at all.

The sixth condition: Based on obligatory precaution, a woman must stand behind a man at least to the extent that the place of her sajdah is level with the place of his knees when he performs sajdah.

Ruling 873. If a woman stands level with or in front of a man and they both start prayers together, then based on obligatory precaution they must perform the prayer again. The same applies if one of them starts prayers before the other.

Ruling 874. If a man and a woman stand level with each other or a woman stands in front and they perform prayers, and if there is a wall, curtain, or something else between them so that they cannot see one another, or the distance between them is more than ten cubits (dhirāʿs) (equivalent to approximately four and a half metres), then in these cases, the prayers of both of them are valid.

The seventh condition: The place of one’s forehead must not be higher or lower than the height of four fingers closed together in relation to the place of his knees and big toes. The details of this ruling will be mentioned in the section on sajdah.

Ruling 875. It is unlawful for a man and a woman who are not maḥram122 to be in a secluded place together if there is a probability of a sin taking place. And the recommended precaution is that prayers should not be performed there.

Ruling 876. It is not unlawful to perform prayers in a place where there is singing and unlawful music, even though listening to it and playing it is sinful.

Ruling 877. The obligatory precaution is that obligatory prayers must not be wilfully performed inside the Kaʿbah or on its roof. There is no problem, however, if one is compelled.

Ruling 878. There is no problem in performing recommended prayers inside the Kaʿbah or on its roof. In fact, it is recommended to perform a two rakʿah recommended prayer inside the Kaʿbah in front of each corner.
Rules of Namaz » Places where performing prayers is recommended (mustaḥabb) → ← Rules of Namaz » Things that are recommended (mustaḥabb) for the clothing of someone performing prayers
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