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93307: Ruling on giving perfume to worshippers whilst the khateeb is sitting on the minbar


When the imam comes in and sits on the minbar, is there anything that may invalidate the prayer?
Because one time a Muslim sat down beside me and gave me a small bottle of perfume, and gestured to me that I should put some perfume on me then pass it to the person next to me, and so on. I was worried and thought to myself that perhaps my prayer was invalidated in that case.  When I enter the mosque I pray two rak’ahs, but what should I do if the iqaamah for prayer is given when I am still in the first rak’ah?.

Praise be to Allaah.

What the one who attends Jumu’ah should do is listen attentively to the khutbah and it is not permissible to busy himself with anything else, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If you say to your companion, ‘Listen attentively’ on a Friday, when the imam is delivering the khutbah, then you have engaged in idle speech.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (934) and Muslim (851). 

And he said: “whoever touches the pebbles has engaged in an idle action.” Narrated by Muslim (857). 

Al-Nawawi said in Sharh Muslim

This shows that it is forbidden to touch the pebbles or fidget in any other way during the khutbah. It also indicates that one should focus mentally and physically on listening to the khutbah. What is meant by idle actions here is something that is false, blameworthy and rejected. End quote. 

Giving perfume to the worshippers at the time of the khutbah distracts them from listening to it, and it is like the touching pebbles that is mentioned in the hadeeth. 

The prohibition on speaking and fidgeting on Friday applies only when the khateeb begins the khutbah, until he finishes it. 

But at the time of the adhaan and when the imam sits on the minbar, it is not haraam to speak, because of the meaning of the hadeeth quoted above: “If you say to your companion, ‘Listen attentively’ on a Friday, when the imam is delivering the khutbah, then you have engaged in idle speech.”  This clearly shows that the ban on speaking only applies whilst the imam is delivering the khutbah. 

At the time of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him), when ‘Umar came out and sat on the minbar, and the muezzins gave the adhaan, the people would sit and talk until the muezzins fell silent and ‘Umar stood up, then they would fall silent and no one would speak. This was stated by Imam Ahmad, Maalik, and al-Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on them). 

See: al-Mughni (2/86). 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: When is it forbidden for a person to touch the pebbles or use the miswak during Jumu’ah prayers? Is it from when the imam ascends the minbar or from the beginning of the khutbah? Because I see many people who do not stop using the miswak until after the imam begins the khutbah. And some of them use it during the khutbah. 

He replied: The Sunnah is to listen attentively to the khutbah and not use the miswak or fidget in any other way, from the moment the khutbah starts until it ends, in accordance with the saheeh ahaadeeth that have been narrated concerning that. 

But if a person enters the mosque whilst the imam is delivering the khutbah, then he should pray tahiyyat al-masjid (two rak’ahs to “greet the mosque”) before sitting down. 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: If one of you comes on Friday and the imam is delivering the khutbah, let him pray two rak’ahs but make them brief. End quote from Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (12-336). 

Based on that, there is nothing wrong with giving perfume to the worshippers before the imam starts his khutbah. But once he starts it, then one must stop doing that and listen attentively to the khutbah.
Secondly: 

If the iqaamah for prayer is given when you are in the first rak’ah of “greeting the mosque” or a regular Sunnah prayer, then you should stop that prayer and join the congregation. 

This has been discussed in the answer to question no. 33582

And Allaah knows best.

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