What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: Salāh is prayed in Mosques in the U.K. whilst wearing masks, so how is it to wear a mask whilst praying Salāh?
Questioner: Brother from UK
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
To cover the face in Salāh without a [valid] reason is Makrūh Tahrīmī [severely disliked]; however, if there is a valid reason, then it is not disliked. Nowadays, wearing a mask is included in the precautionary measures in order to protect oneself from COVID-19. The government mandates that it is essential to act upon this for Mosques in both Muslim and non-Muslim countries; without this, it is impossible for Mosques to remain open. Hence, on the basis of this constraint and reason, praying Salāh in a Mosque whilst wearing a mask is permissible without [any form of] dislike whatsoever in the slightest. However, there are countless Hadīth narrations and reports present in which it has been prohibited to cover the mouth and nose. Just as it has been stated in Ibn Khuzaymah,
“عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ نَهَى عَنِ السَّدْلِ فِي الصَّلَاةِ، وَأَنْ يُغَطِّيَ الرَّجُلُ فَاهُ”
“It is narrated from the respected Abū Hurayrah – may Allāh Almighty be pleased with him – that Sadl and a man covering his face were prohibited by the Noble Messenger ﷺ.”
[Sahīh Ibn Khuzaymah, vol. 2, p. 96, Hadīth no. 918]
And it is stated in Musannaf Ibn Abī Shaybah that
“عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ: «أَنَّهُ كَرِهَ أَنْ يَتَلَثَّمَ الرَّجُلُ فِي الصَّلَاةِ»”
“It is narrated from the respected ‘Abdullāh Ibn ‘Umar – may Allāh Almighty be pleased with him – that it is Makrūh [i.e. disliked] for a male to cover his mouth and nose in Salāh.”
[Musannaf Ibn Abī Shaybah, vol. 2, p. 129, p. 7306]
It is stated in the Hanafī Fiqh book Durr Mukhtār,
“يُكْرَهُ اشْتِمَالُ الصَّمَّاءِ وَالِاعْتِجَارُ وَالتَّلَثُّمُ وَالتَّنَخُّمُ وَكُلُّ عَمَلٍ قَلِيلٍ بِلَا عُذْرٍ”
“Tying the hand with a shawl, keeping the head left uncovered [such] that any cloth is here and there, covering the mouth and nose, coughing [i.e. bringing] up and spitting out phlegm/clearing the throat, any minor action without a valid reason is Makrūh in Salāh.”
[Durr Mukhtār ma’ Radd al-Muhtār, vol. 1, p. 652]
One comes to know from this that if someone does these actions without a valid reason, then it is disliked; whereas, if these actions are done due to a valid reason, then it is not disliked.
And it is mentioned in Fatāwā Shāmī that
“(قَوْلُهُ وَالتَّلَثُّمُ)وَهُوَ تَغْطِيَةُ الْأَنْفِ وَالْفَمِ فِي الصَّلَاةِ لِأَنَّهُ يُشْبِهُ فِعْلَ الْمَجُوسِ حَالَ عِبَادَتِهِمْ النِّيرَانَ زَيْلَعِيٌّ. وَنَقَلَ ط عَنْ أَبِي السُّعُودِ أَنَّهَا تَحْرِيمِيَّةٌ”
“This is known as the covering & hiding of the mouth and nose, this is because it has a similarity to the action during the worship of fire by the Majūs [Zoroastrians], and it has been narrated from Abū Sa’ūd that this Makrūh is Tahrīmī.”
[Radd al-Muhtār, vol. 1, p. 652]
 Allowing the garment to trail and traipse hanging down loosely from the body.
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Haider Ali Madani
Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0828] What is the ruling on covering the face with a mask whilst praying?