What invalidates the Salat
Researched by: A. Muhammad

The question of the invalidation of the Salat is one of prime importance. There would be no sense in us observing the Salat thinking that it is a blessed and accepted Salat, when in fact it is invalid because it violates one or more of the Quranic rules of the Salat.
The following are the Quranic rules that should be observed in order for our Salat to be valid:

1- First and foremost, we are instructed in the Quran to observe the Salat to commemorate only one name and no other; the name of God. Therefore, if any names other than the name of God are commemorated in the Salat it becomes invalid:

In Sura 6, we have a clear instruction to devote our Salat, and all our worship practices to the name of God without any partners:

Say, "My Salat, my worship rituals, my life and my death, are all devoted to God, the Lord of the worlds. He has no partner. 6:162-163

In Sura 39, we read a clear command to devote our religion purely to God:

We brought down to you the Book with truth, so worship God,
devoting the religion purely to Him. Unquestionably, it is to God that the pure religion is due. 39:2-3

Say, "I have been commanded to worship God,
devoting the religion purely to Him. 39:11

The Salat, being a prime practice of the religion, means that it too must be devoted purely to God. If other names are commemorated in the Salat, it can no longer be called "pure" for God.

We also have the clear command in Sura 20:

I am God, there is no god except Me. So worship Me, and
observe the Salat to commemorate Me.20:14

The word "Me" is very clear, it is not followed by any other names.
That means that the Salat is to be observed to commemorate the name of God alone.

2- A Salat observed while intoxicated is invalid:

O you who believe,
do not approach the Salat while you are intoxicated.4:43

The reason being that a person under the effect of intoxication would not know what he/she is saying, which would make their Salat meaningless.

God prescribed specific times of the day for each of the Salat. Therefore, observing the Salat outside their times renders the Salat invalid:

The Salat has been decreed upon the believers at
specifically appointed times. 4:103

Many Muslims today ignore this Quranic rule and quite often observe all their daily Salat at the end of the day, sometimes all in one bunch. This they call 'Salat Qada'. Needless to say, there is no such concession in the Quran.

It is not acceptable to say that prophet Muhammad allowed the people this concession. Prophet Muhammad was commanded by God to follow nothing other than the Quran that was revealed to him. To claim that the prophet followed, or allowed people to follow what is not in the Quran is therefore lies attributed to Muhammad which we must guard against.

Since God has set a specific time for every Salat, then a Salat observed outside the time set by God is invalid.

The Salat can also be void if any of the specific rules of the Salat is not observed, such as the Quranic ablution (5:6), facing Qibla (2:150), using Quranic words only (17:46), standing (4:102, 3:39), bowing and prostrating (48:29, 22:26).

Naturally if a person has a valid reason that prevents him/her from observing any of the above rules, such as an illness that prevents prostration, then God is Forgiver, Merciful.

We do not assign to any self except
what is within its capacity. 6:152

Finally, the Salat is invalid if it is not sincere but only done to show off in front of the people (so as to appear pious):

The hypocrites think that they are deceiving God, but He is the One who leads them on.
When they get up for the Salat they get up lazily, showing off in front of the people, but they do not remember God except rarely. 4:142

The above are the Quranic rules that must not be violated. It must be stressed however that at end of the day, it is up to God alone to decide whose Salat is accepted and whose is not.