QUESTION:

Many men expose their lower backs in Salah unknowingly due to wearing t-shirts etc. Is their Salah invalid? Or does it depend on how much of the back is exposed?

ANSWER:

In Bahare Shari’at al-Imam Amjad Ali al-A’zhami (رحمة الله عليه) explains:

“The awrah (that area of the body which must be obligatorily covered) for the male is from immediately below the navel up to below the knees. It is fard to cover this area. The navel itself is not included in this but the knees are included.

[al-Durr al-Mukhtar, Radd al-Muhtar vol.1 pg.271]

Nowadays there are people who wear the waist wrap (tehband) or lower garment in such a manner that some part of the area below the navel remains uncovered. If this is covered, by a long shirt (kurta) or something else in such a way that the colour of the skin is not visible beneath it then it is fine otherwise it is Haram. If more than one fourth of that body part is left opened in prayer, the prayer will be invalid.”

[Bahare Shari’at vol1 pg 481]

The Imam also explains:

“If less than a quarter of any body part whose covering is Fard is exposed during prayer, the prayer will remain valid and if a quarter was exposed and one covered it immediately it will similarly be valid. However if it remained exposed for the duration of one rukn (pillar of the prayer) i.e. the amount of time taken to say Subhan’Allah three times, or if it was exposed intentionally, even though it was then covered immediately, the prayer will be invalidated.”

[ibid pg 481-482]

He then explains that the detailed awrah of the male is 9 body parts explaining the eighth body part as:

“From below the navel down to the root of the reproductive organ, and that which is parallel to this from the back and both sides, are regarded altogether as one [body part from the] awrah.”

[ibid pg 483]

Even if the amount which is exposed from the lower back is not that which invalidates the prayer such laxity in covering the awrah inside and outside of the prayer is a sin. May Allah clothe us with the cloth of modesty and piety.

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mawlana Ibrar Shafi

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