Islamic Laws

Place where Namaz should be prayed

There are seven conditions for the place where one should offer prayers:

875. The first condition: The place where the prayers are offered should be Mubah. If a person prays on a usurped property, then as an obligatory precaution, his prayers are void, even it he prays on a carpet, or a couch, or similarly objects. However, there is no harm in offering prayers under a usurped roof or a usurped tent.

876. Prayers offered in a property whose use and benefit belongs to someone else, will be void, unless permission is taken from the entitled person. For example, if a house has been rented out, and the owner of the house, or anyone else offers prayers in that house without permission of the tenant, then as a measure of precaution, his prayers are void.
And if a person made a will before his death that one-third of his estate should be used for a particular cause, prayers cannot be offered in that property until that one-third has been dispensed with.

877. If a person sitting in a mosque, is made to quit his place by someone who then occupies his place, the prayers offered there will be valid, though he will have committed a sin.

878. If a person does not know, or forgets that a place is a usurped one, and offers prayers on it, and learns or remembers it after offering prayers, his prayers are in order. However, if a person usurped a place himself but forgets it, and offers prayer there, his prayers are void.

879. If a person knows that a certain place is usurped, but does not know the rule that prayers at a usurped place are void, and offers prayers there, his prayers are void.

880. If a person is obliged to offer obligatory prayers while riding, and if the animal of his riding, or its saddle, or stirrups are usurped ones, his prayers are void. And the same rule applies if he wishes to offer Mustahab prayers while riding that animal.

881. If a person owns a property in partnership with another person, and his share is not defined, he cannot use that property to offer prayers without the consent of his partner.

882. If a person purchases a property with the sum of money from which Khums has not been paid by him, his use of that property is haraam, and the prayers which he offers in it are void.

883. If the owner gives a verbal consent for offering prayers in his property, but it is known that he is not happy about it at heart, then offering prayers in his property is void. Conversely, if he does not give verbal permission but it is known with certainty that he is happy about it, then offering prayers in his property will be in order.

884. Use of a property which belongs to a dead person, who has not paid Zakat or other similar dues, is allowed, provided that such a use does not in any way prevent from obligations. A person wishing to pray in such property can do so, with the permission of the heirs. Similarly, there will be no objection, if the debt is paid up, or guaranteed for payment.

885. The rule for the use of a property belonging to a dead person who is indebted to people, is the same as above mentioned rule, pertaining to Zakat and other similar dues.

886. If a dead person did not owe anyone, but some of his heirs are either minor, or insane, or absent, then use of that property without permission of the guardian of those heirs, is haraam, and it is not permissible to offer prayers in it.

887. To pray in someone else's property is permissible only when the owner has given an explicit consent, or has made a hint implying permission. For example, if he permits a person to stay and sleep in his property, it will be implied that he has given him permission for offering prayers as well.

888. It is permissible to pray on a vast expanse of land, even if its owner is a minor, insane, or unhappy about praying on it. This also applies to lands which have no gates or walls over them. No permission will be required from its owner, except if it is known that the owner is minor, insane, or displeased about anyone praying there. In such a case, as an obligatory precaution, prayers should not be offered there.

889. The second condition: The place for prayers should not have such a vigorous movement which would make normal standing, Ruku or Sajdah impossible. In fact, as an obligatory precaution, it should not prevent the body from being at ease.
But if one is forced to pray at such places, due to shortage of time, or any other reason, like in a car, on a ship or on train, then one should try to remain still, and to maintain the direction of Qibla, as much as possible. And if the vehicles move away from the direction, he should return to Qibla.

890. There is no harm in offering prayers in a car or a boat, or on railway train or other vehicles, while they are motionless. And if they do not cause excessive swaying to the body, when they are in motion, one can pray in them.

891. Prayers offered on a heap of wheat, or barley, or any other similar thing, which cannot remain steady, is void.

The third condition: A person should offer prayers at a place where he sees the possibility of completing the prayers. To pray at a place where one cannot complete the prayers, because of strong winds, or heavy rains or a teeming crowd, will render namaz void, even if one somehow manages to finish the prayers.

892. If a person offers prayers at a place where it is forbidden to stay, like, under a roof which is about to collapse, his prayers are in order, though he will have committed a sin.

893. To pray on an object upon which it is haraam to step, or sit, like a carpet upon which the name of Allah is drawn or written, will render prayers void, if the action is meant to displease Allah.

The fourth condition: The ceiling of the place where one prays should not be so low, that one may not be able to stand erect, nor should the place be so small, that there may be no room for performing Ruku or Sajdah.

894. If a person is forced to offer prayers at a place where it is not at all possible to stand, he will pray while sitting. And if it is not possible to perform Ruku and Sajdah, he should perform them by head signs.

895. One should not offer prayers in front of the graves of the holy Prophet, and the holy Imams, if it entails irreverence, otherwise there is no harm in it.

The fifth condition: If the place where one wishes to pray is najis, it should not be so wet that its moisture would reach the body or the dress of the person praying. But, if the place where one places one's forehead while performing Sajdah, is najis, the prayers will be void, even if that place is dry. And the recommended precaution is that the place where one offers prayers should not be najis at all.

The sixth condition: As an obligatory precaution, women should stand behind men while praying. At least, her place of Sajdah should be in line with his thighs, when in Sajdah.

896. If a woman stands in line with man, or in front of him in namaz, and both of them begin together, they should repeat their prayers. And the same applies if one of them starts earlier than the other.

897. If a man and a woman are standing side by side in namaz, or woman is in front, but there is a wall, curtain, or something else separating them, so that they cannot see each other, the prayers of both of them are in order. Similarly, the prayers of both will be valid if the distance between them is ten arms.

The seventh condition: The place where a person places his forehead while in Sajdah, should not be higher or lower than a span of four fingers, when compared to the place of thighs or toes of his feet. The details of this rule will be given in the rules relating to Sajdah.

898. For a Na-Mahram man and woman to be at a place, where there is a possibility of falling into sin is haraam. As a recommended precaution, one must avoid praying at such places.

899. Prayers at a place where musical instrument etc. is being played, is not void, but hearing or performing it is a sin.

900. The obligatory precaution is that in normal situation, obligatory prayers should not be offered in the Ka'ba, and on the roof of the Holy Ka'ba, but there will be no harm if one is forced to do so.

901. There is no harm in offering Mustahab prayers in the Holy Ka'ba, or on its roof. In fact, it is Mustahab to offer two Rak'ats before every pillar within the Holy House.

Mustahab places for offering prayers

902. In Islam, great emphasis is laid on offering prayers in a mosque. Masjidul Haram is superior to all the mosques, and after it, the order of priority is as follows:

Masjidun Nabi (in Madina)

Masjid Kufa (in Kufa)

Masjid Baytul Maqdas (in Jerusalem)

Then comes the number of Jami' Masjid (central mosque) of every city, followed by the mosques situated in one's locality, and then that of the bazaar.

903. For women, it is better to pray at such places where they are best protected from Na Mahram, regardless of whether that place is her home, a mosque or anywhere else.

904. Namaz in the Shrines of the holy Imams is Mustahab, and is even better than offering prayers in a mosque. It has been reported that the reward for offering prayers in the sacred Shrine of Amirul Mu'minin Imam Ali (p.b.u.h.), is equal to 200,000 prayers.

905. Frequenting a mosque, and going to a mosque which is visited by very few people, is Mustahab. And it is Makrooh for a neighbour of the mosque to pray anywhere other than a mosque, unless he has a justifiable excuse.

906. It is Mustahab that one should not sit to eat with a person who does not attend prayers in a mosque, should not seek his advice, should not be his neighbour, and should not enter into matrimonial bond with his family.

Places where offering prayers is Makrooh

907. There are a number of places where it is Makrooh to offer prayers. Some of them are the following:

Public bath

Saline land

Facing a human person

Facing an open door

On a road or street, provided that offering of prayers at these places does not cause inconvenience to others. If it is a source of inconvenience, and discomfort to them, it is haraam to obstruct their way.

Facing fire or a lamp

In the kitchens, and at every place where there is a furnace

Facing a well or a pit where people often urinate

Facing the picture or models of living creatures, unless it is covered

In the room where a Mujnib is present

At a place where there is a picture, even if it may not be placed in front of the person who offers prayers

Facing a grave

On the grave

Between two graves

In the graveyard

908. If a person is offering prayers at a place where people are passing, or where somebody is present in front of him, it is Mustahab that he should set a demarcation before him, even by keeping a wooden stick, or a string.

Rules regarding a Mosque

909. It is haraam to make the floor, roof, ceiling and inner walls of a masjid najis, and as and when a person comes to know that any of these parts has become najis, he should immediately make it Pak. And the recommended precaution is that the outer part of the wall of a mosque, too, should not be made najis.
And if it becomes najis, it is not obligatory to remove the najasat. But if someone makes it najis to violate its sanctity, that act is haraam, and the najasat should be removed.

910. If a person cannot make a mosque Pak, or needs help which is not available, then it is not obligatory for him to make it Pak. But if he feels that the mosque will be made Pak if he informs others, then he should do so.

911. If a place in a mosque becomes najis, and it cannot be made Pak without digging or demolishing it, the place should be dug or demolished, provided that it is minimal, or if its demolition is absolutely necessary for saving its sanctity. Otherwise, demolition is a matter of Ishkal.
However, it is not obligatory to refill the dug area, or to rebuild the demolished part. But if a small item, like a brick of a mosque became najis, it should be put back to its place after making it Pak.

912. If a mosque is usurped, and houses etc. are built in its place, or if it becomes so dilapidated that it can no more be called a mosque, even then, as a recommended precaution, it should not be made najis. But if it becomes najis, it is not obligatory to make it Pak.

913. It is haraam to make the precincts (Haram) of the Holy Shrines najis, but if anyone of these precincts become najis, and if its remaining in that state affects its sanctity, then it is obligatory to make it Pak. And the recommended precaution is that it should be made Pak, even if no desecration is involved.

914. If the mat of a masjid becomes najis, it should be made Pak. If the mat remaining najis affects the sanctity of the mosque, but washing may spoil or ruin the mat, then that part which has become najis should be cut off.

915. It is haraam to carry any Najisul Ayn or a thing which has become najis, into a mosque, if doing so desecrates the mosque. In fact, the recommended precaution is that even if desecration of the mosque is not involved, Najisul Ayn should not be carried into it.

916. If a mosque is draped with black cloth, or covered with a marquee in preparation of Majlis to be read there, and tea is prepared, there will be no objection to all that if they do not have any harmful effect on the mosque, and if it does not obstruct those who come to pray.

917. The obligatory precaution is that a mosque should not be adorned with gold, and the recommended precaution is, that it should not be adorned with the pictures of men and animals.

918. Even when a mosque is ruined, it is not permissible to sell it, or to make it a part of a property, or a road.

919. It is haraam to sell doors, windows, and other things of a mosque, and if the mosque becomes dilapidated, those things should be used for the renovation of the same mosque. If they are not useful for that mosque they should be used in any other mosque, and if they are not of any use for other mosques also, then they may be sold, and the proceeds should be used for that very mosque, if possible. If that is not possible, then it should be spent on the repairs of any other mosque.

920. Building a mosque and renovating a dilapidated mosque is Mustahab. And if a mosque is so ruined, that it is not possible to repair it, then it can be demolished and rebuilt. In fact, a mosque which may not be in a bad state can be demolished for extension, to facilitate the needs of the people.

921. To keep a mosque clean and tidy, and to illuminate it, is Mustahab. And for a person visiting a mosque, it is Mustahab to apply perfume, and wear neat and good dress and to ensure that the soles of his shoes do not contain any najasat, and when entering the mosque, to put his right foot in first, and on exit, to put his left foot out first. Similarly, it is Mustahab that one should come to the mosque earlier than others, and leave it after they have departed.

922. It is Mustahab that when a person enters a mosque, he should offer two Rak'at prayers as gesture of greeting and respect to the mosque, but it will suffice if he offers any obligatory or Mustahab prayers.

923. It is Makrooh to sleep in a mosque, except when helpless, and to talk about worldly affairs, to engage oneself in some craft, and to recite poetry, which is not religiously instructive. It is also Makrooh to spit or throw phlegm or mucus from the nose, in a mosque, or to shout or raise one's voice, except for Adhan.

924. It is Makrooh to allow an insane person to enter a mosque, and also a child if it causes inconvenience to the people praying, or if it is feared that it might make the mosque najis. In absence of these two reasons, there is no harm in allowing the children. Similarly, for people who have eaten onions, garlic etc. and their bad breath may upset others, it is Makrooh to go to the mosque.