Cutting the Prayer to Move Away from One who Smells – Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih Al-‘Uthaymeen
Noble Shaykh, if I stand within the congregational prayer and the one standing next to me reeks with the scent of smoke can I change my place after the opening Takbeer and stand in another place if the smell is too much for me?
If one is standing in the rank next to a person who has with him a bad smell, from smoke, onions, garlic, sweat, or other than that, and it makes it difficult upon him to perform the prayer in the most complete manner then he may exit from his prayer and go to another place.
However, after clarification of this ruling, we say to everyone who has a foul odor that it is not permissible for him to come to the Masjid; because the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) prohibited that. He prohibited he who has eaten onions or garlic or leek or other than it from that which has a foul smell from coming to the Masjid. Rather, he has said:
لا يقربن مسجدنا
“He is not to come near to our Masjid (who has eaten these things).”
And he informed that that harms the angels. If one who had eaten onions or garlic would come to the Masjid of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) then they would put him out and expel him to Al-Baqee’. This proves that it is not permissible for a person to come to the Masjid bearing a smell that harms the worshippers or the angels; and the people of the Masjid have the right to put him out of the Masjid (if he does).
 Reported by Muslim from the Hadeeth of Jaabir, may Allaah be pleased with him
Translated by: Raha ibn Donald Batts
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