In the last edition, when we started the issues relating to the actions of sneezing and yawning; we had mentioned that sneezing is beloved to Allaah while the yawning is from the Shaytaan. We quoted then that Abu Hurairah (RA) related that: "The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessing be upon him) said:
"Surely Allaah loves the sneezing and dislikes the yawning. So whenever anyone of you sneezes and praises Allaah the Most Exalted, it becomes incumbent upon every Muslim who heard him to say to him: 'May. Allaah have mercy upon you'. However, as for the yawning it is only from the Shaytaan. So whenever anyone of you yawns, let him control himself as much as he can. Truly for anyone of you at the time he is yawning, Shaytaan laughs at him." (Bukhari)
This edition concludes the discussion insha Allaah.
Sneezing in salaah:
If you sneeze while you are in the prayers, do you know what you should do? Some of the scholars said you should praise Allaah with your voice raised to the extent of your own hearing, others say you should say it internally without voicing it, while the rest forbade saying it at all. Of these, it is better for you to do as the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) had instructed his noble companions.
Mu'awiya bin al-Hakam (RA) said: "While I was praying with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessing be upon him), a man in the company sneezed. I said: "May Allaah have mercy on you!" The people stared at me with disapproving looks, so I said: "Woe be upon me, why is it that you stare at me?" They began to strike their hands on their thighs, and when I saw them urging me to observe silence, I became angry but I said nothing.
When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessing be upon him) had said the prayer (and I declare that neither before him nor after him have I seen a leader who gave better instruction than him for whom I would give my father and mother as ransom). I swear that he did not scold, beat or revile me but said:
"Talking to persons is not fitting during the prayer, for it consists of glorifying Allaah, declaring his Greatness and recitation of the Our'aan or words to that effect ..." (Muslim)
So saying it internally without voicing it is best and Allaah knows best.
What of repeated sneezing?
It is sufficient and it is the Sunnah to pray for Allaah's mercy twice or three times upon the one who sneezed repeatedly or continuously and not any further. Salamah bin AI-Akwa (RA) narrated that 'A man sneezed in the presence of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessing be upon him) while I was present. He said:
"May Allaah have mercy upon you."
Thereafter, the man sneezed twice or thrice, then the Messenger of Allaah said to him;
"May Allaah have mercy upon you, this man is suffering from cold and catarrh." (Abu Dawood)
In any case, if you choose to continue seeking Allaah's Mercy upon him then you are without blame. Yahya bin Ishaq related that the Messenger of Allaah (peace I and blessing be upon him) said:
"Invoking Allaah's mercy upon the sneezer is three times, so if he increases, if you wish then pray Allaah's Mercy for him and if you like do not. " (Abu Dawood)
Cover your mouth and nose:
Whenever the sneeze comes, the practice of the Messenger of Allaah is to place his hands, or his garment or whatever is similar to these two (such as handkerchief) over his mouth in order to reduce the sound of the impending sneeze. Abu Hurairah (RA) said :
"Whenever the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessing be upon him) sneezes, he used to put his hand or his garment over his mouth, thus lowering with it his voice." (Tirmidhi).
The Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) whenever he yawned was also to place the hand over the mouth and it serves an important purpose of keeping the Shaytaan at bay. Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri (RA) said: 'The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessing be upon him) said:
"Whenever anyone of you yawns, let him grasp and cover his mouth with his hand. Certainly! If he does not do that, the Shaytaan will enter. "(Muslim)
Do not yawn loudly.
Yawning loudly and sneezing in a forceful and vigorous manner are from the Shaytaan and Allaah dislikes both. Umm Salamah (RA) related: "I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessing be upon him) saying:
"The loud yawning and the violent and hard sneezing are from the Shaytaan." (Ibn Sunni).
Likewise in a hadith with weak chain but authentic meaning Abdullah bin Zubair (RA) narrated that the Messenger of Aliaah (peace and blessing be upon him) said:
"Certainly! Allaah most high and exalted dislikes raising the voice at the time of yawning and sneezing." (Ibn Sunni)
Reminding the one who forget
It is recommended for anyone of you who witness the sneeze or the yawn of his Muslim brother or sister without him or her performing any of the acts recommended above to encourage him to do them and to teach him if he does not know about it.
This is an aspect of granting sincere advice as Tameem bin Aus Ad-Daari (RA) related that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said:
"The religion is sincere advice."
We said: "To whom?" he said:
"To Allaah, His books and His Messengers and to the leaders of the Muslims and their common people." (Muslim)
It is also a means of enjoining what is good and it is cooperation and helping one another in attaining piety and working righteous deeds. Aliaah says:
"Help you one another in virtue, righteousness and piety but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah." (Maidah : 2)
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited