Fighting urge to laugh while praying
Fatwa No: 322822

Question

Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu. I often feel the urge to laugh during my prayer, without any reason. So if I interrupt my recitation while attempting not to laugh and then restart it, is my prayer valid? May Allaah reward you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

There is no doubt that the urge to laugh that you feel during the prayer is the result of your indulgence in thinking about the satanic whisperings from which you apparently suffer, as reflected in your previous questions. You realize how Satan has manipulated you to the extent that you would laugh during the prayer for no reason. Verily, prayer is the greatest act of worship and the second pillar of Islam after the proclamation of the two testimonies of faith. So fear Allaah, dear brother, and revere Him as due while you stand before Him.

You should know that pausing during the recitation of the Quran in the prayer may actually increase your urge to laugh instead of serving as a means to overcome it. If you wish to overcome the urge to laugh during the prayer, then you should strive to attain khushooʻ (full submission, humility and absolute concentration) and ponder over the Quran that is being recited.

You should also know that when you pause during the recitation of the Faatihah in prayer so as to overcome the urge to laugh, you are obliged to repeat the Faatihah regardless of whether you are the imaam or the one being led in the prayer. Some scholars held that non-prescribed pauses during the recitation of the Faatihah may entail repeating the recitation of the Faatihah if they are long both for the imaam as the one being led in prayer. Zaad Al-Maʻaad (a Hanbali book) reads, "Then, the praying person should recite the Faatihah. If he made a non-prescribed long pause during the recitation, or recited a non-prescribed thikr (remembrance of Allaah), or omitted a shaddah (germination or consonant doubling) or a letter, or reversed the correct order of the verses, then he is obliged to repeat it, in case he is not being led in prayer..."

Please, refer to fataawa 85048 and 117350 about the ways to attain khushooʻ in prayer.

Allaah knows best.

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