If a sneeze on prayer, should he say al-hamdu Lillaah or not?
If a Muslim sneeze while he is praying, it is prescribed for him to say al-hamdu Lillaah, whether the prayer is obligatory or nail.
That said, the majority of scholars among the Sahaabah and Taabi’een says the person who sneezes on prayer should say al-hamdu Lillaah, and it was also the view of Imam Maalik, al-Shaafa’i and Ahmad.
Nonetheless, the scholars of Inman differed as to whether he should say it silently or out loud.
The view that is closer to the truth which is also the view of Imam Ahmad is that he should say it out loud, but only loud enough that he can hear himself, and he should not distract other worshippers.
The proof is the report narrated by Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “If one of you sneezes, let him say ‘Al-hamdu Lillaah’…” The hadeeth was narrated by al-Bukhaari.
Similarly, another proof, the report narrated by Rifaa’ah ibn Raafi’ (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: I prayed behind the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and I sneezed and said: Praise be to Allaah, much good and blessed praise, as our Lord loves and is pleased with.
When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had finished praying he said: “Who is the one who spoke during the prayer?” and no one said anything.
Then he said it a second time, “Who is the one who spoke during the prayer?” and no one said anything. Then he said it a third time, “Who is the one who spoke during the prayer?” and Rifaa’ah ibn Raafi’ said: It was me, O Messenger of Allaah.
He said: “What did you say?” He said: I said: Praise be to Allaah, much good and blessed praise, as our Lord loves and is pleased with. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, thirty-odd angels competed to see which of them would take it up.” – Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood and al-Nasaa’i. Al-Tirmidhi said: a has a hadeeth.
In contrast, if a person sneezes on prayer then praises Allaah, it is not permissible for those who hear him say Yarhamak Allaah (may Allaah have mercy on you).
It’s part of human speech however it is not permissible during prayer. It is proven that the Prophet (PBUH) denounced someone who said Yarhamak Allaah to a man who sneezed whilst praying, then he said to him: “In this prayer, nothing of human speech is permitted; it is only tasbeeh (glorifying Allaah), takbeer (magnifying Allaah) and recitation of Qur’an.” – Narrated by Imam Muslim, Abu Dawood and al-Nasaa’i.
In conclusion, if a Muslim sneeze on prayer he should say al-hamdu Lillaah, but it does not allow for those who hear him say Yarhamak Allaah.