He has a medical problem in his nose – should he stop praying in congregation?


I suffer from a problem in my nose, and an unpleasant smell comes from it. I have been to doctors who said that there is no cure for this problem. Should I keep on looking for a cure from the doctors, or should I give up and wait for an answer from Allaah? Should I stop praying with the congregation and attending lessons because I am bothering those who are around me?.

Praise be to Allah.


First of all we ask Allaah to bless you with healing by His
grace and bounty. We advise you to seek reward with Allaah for He will
reward those who are patient without measure. His testing of His slaves is
better for them in the long run, because it is an expiation for their sins
and raises them in status. 

It was narrated that Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him)
said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) said: “On the Day of Resurrection, those who were hale and hearty will
wish that their skin had been cut with scissors, when they see the reward of
those who were put to trial.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2402); classed as
hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi. 

We also advise you to seek treatment, and not to accept the
words of some doctors. How often have doctors despaired of healing a sick
person, then Allaah has brought about his healing at the hands of another
doctor? Nowadays many alternative remedies have become available, praise be
to Allaah, so you could seek the help of someone who is specialized in
Arabic medicine or sha’bi medicine (folk medicine). Perhaps with them you
will find something through which Allaah will grant you healing. But before
and after everything else, do not fail to ask Allaah for healing, for du’aa’
brings nothing but good, and if one is sincere then Allaah will soon

It was narrated that Usaamah ibn Shareek (may Allaah be
pleased with him) said: The Bedouin said: O Messenger of Allaah, should we
not treat sickness? He said:  “Yes, O slaves of Allaah, treat sickness, for
Allaah does not create any disease but He also creates its cure or its
medicine, except one disease.” They said: O Messenger of Allaah, what is it?
He said: “Old age.” 

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2038); classed as saheeh by
al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi. 


With regard to the ruling on your attending congregational
prayers in the mosque, if you are afraid that you will be bothering the
people around you, and you cannot prevent this by any means, such as wearing
strong perfume or covering your nose when praying, then in that case you
have to stay away from congregational prayers. You have a valid excuse
before Allaah and before people. And in sha Allah you will have the reward
for praying in congregation even if you pray at home. 

It was narrated from Abu Moosa (may Allaah be pleased with
him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“If a person is sick or travelling, there will be recorded for him a reward
for that which he used to do when he was at home and was healthy.” Narrated
by al-Bukhaari (2834). 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

The scholars said: If what is happening is from Allaah and
human actions have nothing to do with it, if it will disturb other
worshippers then he should go out (i.e., from the mosque), such as a bad
smell in the mouth or nose, or one who has a foul smell coming from his
armpits. If he has a smell that will bother other people, he should not come
to the mosque. 

If someone were to question the idea that this is from
Allaah, the answer is: If Allaah is testing you with this, do not annoy
other people with it and do not offend the angels, and you will be rewarded
for bearing that thing with patience, so seek reward with Allaah. You are
not sinning if you do not pray with the people, because you are refraining
from doing so by the command of Allaah. 

If he says: Won’t this weaken my faith because praying with
the congregation is better? 

We say: you are not to be blamed for this weakening of faith,
just as the menstruating woman does not pray and her faith is weakened by
that, but she is not to be blamed for that, because if a person falls short
because of something that is beyond his control, he is not to be blamed. End

Al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (5/113, 114) 

And he was asked: I suffer from a bad smell in my nose and
mouth, and I am embarrassed to mix with people and to offer prayers in the
mosque, because I heard a hadeeth which says that the angels are bothered by
that which bothers the sons of Adam. Can I pray at home? Please note that I
pray at home most of the time, except for Jumu’ah, which I pray in the
mosque. Please advise me, may Allaah reward you with good. 

He replied: 

We ask Allaah to bless you with healing. There is no sin on
you if you pray at home, for Jumu’ah and other prayers, because you are
excused. Allaah knows your intention and that were it not for this problem,
you would pray with the congregation, so He will record the reward for you,
because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said
during the campaign to Tabook: “There are people in Madeenah whom we left
behind, but we did not cross any mountain pass or valley but they were with
us. They were kept back by excuses.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2839). We ask
Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, to heal you. 

But I hope that you will see whether putting on strong
perfume will cover the smell that is coming from you. If that is so, then
strive to do that. But if that is of no benefit, then you are excused. If
you can put on strong perfume that will cover the unpleasant smell, then you
can offer the five daily prayers and Jumu’ah prayer in the mosque. End

Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (15/question
no. 1070). 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: 

My father is elderly and does not go to Jumu’ah prayer. He
said that he is sick, which is his way of referring to the bad smell in his
mouth (halitosis). He says that he does not want to bother the people with
this smell. Is it permissible for him to do that? 

He replied: 

Yes, that is a valid excuse. If he has a strong unpleasant
odour and it is not easy for him to get rid of it, then he is excused, just
as having a smell of onions and leeks is an excuse. But if there is a remedy
and a way of removing the smell, he should do that so that he will not stay
away from Jumu’ah prayer and prayer in congregation. But if he is unable to
do that then he is excused more than the one who eats onions. Undoubtedly
halitosis is more annoying to those who are around him, if the smell is
obvious. End quote. 

Noor ‘ala al-Darb (tape no. 219; minute 11). 

And Allaah knows best.

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