Can We Perform Prayers When Food is Already Served?
One of the important events of Muslims in the month of Rajab is Isra ‘Miraj where the Messenger of Allah traveled the night and was appointed to the seventh heaven to receive orders for Fardhu prayer or obligatory prayer. Both the Fardhu prayer or the obligatory prayer and various sunnah prayers are worship that should be done with special care. But when food is being served, will it interfere the solitude? Then actually can you pray when the food is served?
“Khusyu’ in the heart is fear and holds back the view in prayer.”
Khusyu’ in prayer contains the meaning of bringing the heart to its fullness just to face the Rabb. The way to pray for khusyu’ is to take a distance or eliminate everything that can interfere with the blessings of prayer such as food, drink, and lust. If the prayer time is special, the other members of the body will be khusyu’.
“From Abu Hurairah Radhiyallahu ‘Anhu that the Prophet Sallallaahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam saw someone playing his beard when praying. So he said, “If his heart is full of love, then it is also a member of his body.” (Narrated by At-Tirmidzi)
Referring to the hadith above, if the heart is not shusyu’ when praying then the other limbs will not be khusyu’, too. According to scholars, one of the real forms of prayer is to divert hearts and minds from various things that have nothing to do with prayer and prayer movements. But it also needs to be understood that the khusyu’ in prayer does not mean we have to forget everything.
So, What are the Non-Khusyu’ Prayers?
Prayers that are not khusyu’ are prayers which are marked with a raised face up, voicing outside the prayer room, playing a beard while praying, and praying with food served.
Prayers will not be khusyu’ if food is served and the prayer is being upheld. This is often true in everyday life. If faced with a situation like this, the thing that must be done is to prioritize eating food and then pray.
The Prophet Sallallaahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam said,
“If the dinner dish has been served and the prayer call is echoed, then eat the dish first and do not rush until it is finished.” (HR. Bukhari and HR. Muslim)
From Aisha, he said that he heard the Prophet Sallallaahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam said,
“There is no prayer when the food has been served, so there are no prayers for those who hold (urinate or defecate).” (Narrated by Muslim)
Based on the hadith above, when food has been served and prayer is to be upheld, what is done first is to eat the food that has been served. This is to avoid the lack of concentration of prayer because the aroma of food is so tempting that the mind continues to think of the food.
For this reason, by knowing whether prayer can be done when these foods are served as Muslims, you should prioritize eating before praying. This also applies in the month of Ramadan. When it comes time to break the fast, you should not prioritize Maghrib prayer and delay eating. Because prioritizing breaking fast or eating food is more important than Maghrib prayer at the beginning of time even though praying at the beginning of time has its own virtues. From Abu Zar Al-Ghifari Radhiyallahu ‘Anhu, the Prophet Sallallaahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam said,
“My people are still in kindness while giving priority to breaking fast and ending Sahur.” (Narrated by Ahmad)
Thus, from the arguments above, it can be concluded that enforcing prayer when the food is served is not permissible because it can make prayer less khusyu’. Preferably eating food rather than enforcing prayer when food is served also aims to maintain the right of Allah SWT when praying.