Joined: Sep 2002
A woman prays in her house, having many young children and no family members or servants to assist her. She feels that her prayers are always deficient or unacceptable as a result of her lack of concentration due to the children's constant activities. What is your advice to her?
ANSWER by Shaykh Muhammad 'Umar Baazmool, instructor at Umm Al-Quraa University in Makkah
This woman, so long as she offers the prayer with its prescribed manner, after being purified (having wudhoo'), reciting (Soorah Al-Faatihah), standing, bowing, raising up, prostrating, sitting, prostrating again, with tama'neenah (resting fully in each position), then her prayer is valid in shaa' Allaah.
And she should feel free of any blame by offering this prayer, by Allaah's Permission. She (also) gets the reward for all of her work in the house and taking care of her children.
One time the Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) was leading the people in prayer in the masjid, and he shortened the prayer. So they said, "O Messenger of Allaah! You have prayed in a way that we have not seen from you before!" or a phrase similar to this.
He replied (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam):
"I heard the crying of a child, and I supposed that his mother was praying with us, so I wanted to free his mother for him." 
So here the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam), praying one of the obligatory prayers in congregation, shortened the prayer, showing concern for this child. So in this there is evidence to support that if a woman was to shorten her (recitation in her) prayer due to her responsibilities toward her house or her child, while she has no assistance, then there is no harm in that, so long as she offered her prayer in the manner ordained in the Sharee'ah. And Allaah, the Mighty and Exalted, says :
( So fear Allaah to the best of your ability )
And the Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) said:
"...And when I have ordered you with something, then do as much of it as you are able." 
Therefore she offers the prayer to the best of her ability, fulfilling her duty and thus freeing herself from any blame. In addition, she will be rewarded by Allaah, the Glorified and Exalted, for being a good wife to her husband, taking care of the family, and staying on top of all her responsibilities. By these things she reaps great rewards and obtains lofty virtues. And by these things, her reward is with Allaah, the Glorified and Exalted.
She will also have a magnificent reward from Allaah, the Glorified and Exalted, for all her patience and forbearance, (as Allaah says) :
( Verily those who persevere will receive their reward without measure )
 from an authentic hadeeth collected by Ahmad, see The Prophet's Prayer Described (p.25 of the English version) sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam
 the meaning of Soorah At-Taghaabun (64):16
 Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree #7288 (13/317 of Fat-hul-Baaree)
 the meaning of Soorah Az-Zumar (39):10
This was translated exclusively for www.bakkah.net from a cassette recording with the knowledge and permission of the shaykh, file no. AAMB017, dated 1423/6/25.
سبحانك اللهم وبحمدك
أشهد أن لا إله إلا أنت
أستغفرك وأتوب إليك