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Does A Cat Invalidate One’s Prayer?. by Taamas111 (m): 2:21am on January 11
Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
100Level, Nigeria.

If my pet cat walkes infront of me
or sits infront of me while I'm
praying what must I do carry on my
prayers of or cut off and shoo it


Praise be to Allaah.
Prayer is invalidated if one of three
things mentioned by the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) walks in front of the
worshipper. He (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him) said: “Prayer
is invalidated by a woman, a donkey
or a dog; that may be prevented by
something equal in height to the
back of a saddle [placed in front of
the worshipper as a sutrah or
screen].” (Narrated by Muslim,
According to one report, “a black
dog.” The narrator said: “I said, ‘O
Abu Dharr, what is the difference
between a black dog and a red or
yellow dog?’ He said, ‘O son of my
brother, I asked the Messenger of
Allaah (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) the same
question, and he said, “The black
dog is a devil.”’” (Narrated by
Muslim, 510).
This ruling applies if one of the
things mentioned passes in front of
the worshipper and he does not
have a sutrah or object to serve as
a screen in front of him. But if he
has a screen in front of him and the
person or animal passes beyond that
sutrah, then his prayer is not
affected, because of the hadeeth of
Abu Juhayfah who said: “I heard my
father narrating that the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) led them in prayer in al-
Bat-ha’, and in front of them was an
‘anzah (a short spear, iron-tipped at
its lower end). He prayed two
rak’ahs for Zuhr followed by two
rak’ahs for ‘Asr, and a woman and a
donkey passed in front of
him.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari,
This ruling applies to the imaam and
to one who is praying alone; with
regard to the members of a
congregation praying behind an
imaam, the sutrah of the imaam is
also a sutrah for them. See question
no. .
As for cats, they do not invalidate
the prayer even if they pass in front
of you, because the basic guideline
is that the prayer is valid, and there
is no evidence to suggest that cats
can invalidate the prayer.
But the worshipper should try hard
to ensure that nothing passes in
front of him. ‘Amr ibn Shu’ayb
narrated from his father that his
grandfather said: “We stopped with
the Messenger of Allaah (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) in
Thaniyyat Adhaakhir and the time
for prayer came, so he prayed
facing a wall which lay in the
direction of the qiblah, and we were
behind him. A lamb came and tried
to pass in front of him and he kept
pushing it back until its belly was
pushed up against the wall, then it
passed behind him.” (narrated by
Abu Dawood, 708; al-Albaani said in
Saheeh Abi Dawood, it is hasan
saheeh, 652).
Question: are cats taahir (pure) or
naajis (impure)?
Answer: cats are taahir, and based
on that, if a cat drinks from a
vessel of water, the vessel does not
become impure, because of the
hadeeth of Kabshah bint Ka’b ibn
Maalik, who was in the house of Abu
Qutaadah: “Abu Qutaadah came in
and I poured water for him to do
wudoo’. A cat came and drank some
of the water so he tilted the vessel
to let it drink. He saw me looking at
him and said, ‘Do you find it
strange, O daughter of my brother?’
I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘The Messenger
of Allaah (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) said that they
are not naajis, rather they are
among those who go around
amongst you.’” Narrated by al-
Tirmidhi, 92; classed as saheeh by
al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi..


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