Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 2: Actions which are disliked during the prayer
Volume2, Page 91a: Fidgeting with one's clothing or one's body is disliked unlessthere is some need to do so
Ma'yaqib says: "I asked the Prophet about dusting [away] the pebblesduring the salah, and the Prophet said: 'Do not dust [away] the pebbles whileyou are praying, but if you must do it, then do it only once in order to levelthe pebbles.'" This is related by the group.
Abu Zharr reports that the Prophet said: "When one of you stands forthe salah, mercy is facing him. Therefore, he should not wipe away thepebbles." This is related by Ahmad, at-Tirmizhi, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i, andIbn Majah.
Umm Salamah reports that there was a boy called Yassar who would puff outsome air during the salah. The Messenger of Allah said to him: "May Allahfill your face with dust!" This is related by Ahmad with a good chain.
Volume2, Page 91b: Placing one's hands on hips during the prayer
Abu Hurairah relates: "The Messenger of Allah prohibited putting one'shands on one's hips during the salah." This is related by Abu Dawud.
Volume2, Page 91c: Raising one's sight to the sky or upwards
Abu Hurairah reports that the Messenger of Allah said: "Those who raisetheir sight to the sky during the prayer should stop doing so or their sightmay be taken away." This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, and an-Nasa'i.
Volume2, Page 92: Looking at something which distracts attention
'Aishah reports that the Messenger of Allah prayed in a cloak which had somedesigns on it. He said: "These designs have distracted me. Take [thiscloak] to Abu Jahm [i.e., the person who gave it to the Prophet] and bring me aplain cloak." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Al-Bukhari records that Anas said: "'Aishah had a curtain to cover [thedoorway of] her house. The Prophet said to her: 'Remove your curtain for itspicturcs always distract me during my prayers.'" This hadith proves thatlooking at some writing or design does not invalidate the salah.
Volume2, Page 92a: Closing one's eyes
Some say that this act is disliked while others hold that it is allowed,though disliked. Those hadith which state it is disliked are not authentic.
Ibn al-Qayyim said: "The correct position is: if keeping one's eyesopen does not affect one's attention, then it is preferred to keep them open;however, if there is something in front of the person, such as some ornament ordecoration, which could affect his attention, then it is, in no way, dislikedto close his eyes. In fact, under such circumstances, to say it is preferred toclose one's eyes is more consistent with the principles and goals of theshar'iah than to say that it is disliked."
Volume2, Page 92b: Motioning with both hands while making the salutations [i.e., thetaslim]
Jabir ibn Samurah said: "We prayed behind the Prophet and he said:'What is wrong with them that they make salutation with their hands as if theywere the tails of horses? It is enough for you to place your hand on your thighand say, as salam 'alaikum, as salam 'alaikum!'" This is related byan-Nasa'i and others.
Volume2, Page 92c: Covering the mouth and letting one's garment down until it touchesthe ground
Abu Hurairah said: "The Messenger of Allah prohibited assadl in thesalah and prohibited a man to cover his mouth." This is related by thefive and by al-Hakim who says that it is sahih according to Muslim'sconditions. Al-Khattabi explains: "As-sadl is to lower one's garment untilit reaches the ground." Al-Kamal ibn al-Hamam adds: "This alsoapplies to wearing a cloak without putting one's arms through itssleeves."
Volume2, Page 92d: Performing the salah while the food has been served
'Aishah reports that the Prophet said: "If dinner is served and theprayer is ready, start with the dinner [first]." This is related by Ahmadand Muslim.
Naf'i reports that the food would be served for Ibn 'Umar while the iqamahwas being made, but he would not come to the salah until he finished his mealalthough he could hear the reciting of the imam. This is related by al-Bukhari.
Al-Khattabi says: "The Prophet ordered that one should begin with one'smeal in order to satisfy his need. In this way, he will come to the salah incalm and his desire or hunger will not disturb the completion or perfection ofhis ruku' and sajjud and the rest of the acts of the salah."
Volume2, Page 93: Praying when one needs to anwer the call of nature and other thingsthat may distract a person
Thauban reports that the Messenger of Allah said: "There are three actswhich are not allowed: For a person to lead a people in prayer and then makesupplications for himself without including them, for then he would bedishonest to them; to look inside a house without obtaining permission, for ifhe does so (it is as if) he has already entered it (without permission); and tooffer prayer while he needs to answer the call of nature until he relieveshimself." This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and at-Tirmizhi who callsit hasan.
'Aishah reported that she heard the Messenger of Allah say: "No oneshould pray when the food is served nor when one needs to answer the call ofnature." This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, and Abu Dawud.
Volume2, Page 93a: Praying when one is overcome by sleep
'Aishah reports that the Messenger of Allah said: "When one of youbecomes drowsy in salah, he should lie down until he is fresh again; otherwise,he will not know if he is asking forgiveness or vilifying himself." Thisis related by the group.
Abu Hurairah reports that the Messenger of Allah said: "When one of yougets up at night for salah and his tongue falters in reciting the Qur'an and heis not certain about what he is reciting, he should sleep." This isrelated by Ahmad and Muslim.
Volume2, Page 93b: Praying at a fixed place in the mosque [except in the case of theimam]
'Abdurrahman ibn Shabl said: "The Prophet prohibited pecking like acrow [i.e., while prostrating], imitating a lion's manner of sitting, and a manto pick a special place in the mosque [to pray] like a camel has his own place[to sit]." This is related by Ahmad, ibn Khuzaimah, ibn Hibban, and byal-Hakaim who calls it sahih.