Salah in the presence of food

Q: Is the Hadith stating that: “There should be no Salah (Prayer) in the presence of food” particular to supererogatory Salah or (Part No. 5; Page No. 383

A: The Hadith is general and applies to both the obligatory and supererogatory Salah. It means that when a Muslim prays their thoughts should be focused on their Salah, recitation of the Qur’an, and Du‘a’ (supplication), and they should not be distracted by their food. If they are hungry and then food is served, and the Salah has commenced, their leaving the food in spite of being hungry will distract them from performing Salah in the way it should be. It does not mean that the presence of food removes the obligation of congregational Salah. It is not permissible to consider the bringing of food at the time for Salah as an excuse for abandoning the congregational Salah. Allah has made it obligatory to perform Salah in congregation even in situations of fear, if it is continual. This ruling is not specific to food either, it also applies if someone feels the urge to urinate or defecate. In such a case, they should not go to perform Salah; they must relieve themselves first then head for Salah. If they are able to join the congregation, this is good; otherwise they can perform it individually or with anyone else that they find. It was narrated by Muslim that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “There should be no Salah (Prayer) in the presence of food or while suppressing an urge to urinate/defecate.” May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.