Narrated Sahl bin Sad:
The Prophet went out to affect a reconciliation between the tribes of Bani ‘Amr bin ‘Auf and the time of the prayer became due; Bilal went to Abu Bakr and said, “The Prophet is detained. Will you lead the people in the prayer?” Abu Bakr replied, “Yes, if you wish.” So Bilal pronounced the Iqama and Abu Bakr led the prayer. In the meantime the Prophet came crossing the rows (of the praying people) till he stood in the first row and the people started clapping. Abu Bakr never looked hither and thither during the prayer but when the people clapped too much, he looked back and saw the Prophet in the (first) row. The Prophet waved him to remain at his place, but Abu Bakr raised both his hands and sent praises to Allah and then retreated and the Prophet went forward and led the prayer. (See Hadith No. 295 & 296)
Another longer version of this narration:
It was narrated from Sahl ibn Sa’d al-Saa’idi that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went to Bani ‘Amr ibn ‘Awf to reconcile between them. (In the meantime) the time for prayer came, and the muezzin came to Abu Bakr and said, “Will you lead the people in prayer, and should I say the iqaamah?” He said, “Yes.” So Abu Bakr started to lead the prayer. Then the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came when the people were still praying, and he passed through the rows until he stood in the first row. The people clapped but Abu Bakr used not to glance sideways whilst he was praying. When the people’s clapping continued, he turned and saw the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gestured to him to stay where he was, so Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) raised his hands and praised Allaah for what the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had told him to do. Then Abu Bakr stepped back until he was level with the row and the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came forward and led the rest of the prayer. When he finished he said, “O Abu Bakr, what kept you from staying put when I told you to?” Abu Bakr said, “It was not right for the son of Abu Quhaafah [referring to himself] to lead the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in prayer.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said,
Why did you clap so much? If something happens to anyone during his prayer, let him say Subhaan Allaah, for if he says Subhaan Allaah, people will take notice. Clapping is only for women.
(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 652; Muslim, 421)
Ibn Hajar said:
He did not let women say Subhaan Allaah because they are commanded to lower their voices in prayer in all circumstances, because of the fear that their voices may cause fitnah (temptation). He forbade men to clap because this is something for women.
Fath al-Baari, 3/77
Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said:
Some of the scholars said: It is makrooh for woman to say Subhaan-Allaah (in such circumstances) and it is permissible for them to clap because most women’s voices are soft and a woman’s voice may distract the men who are praying with her.
The scholars prescribed clapping for woman in all circumstances, and undoubtedly this applies when a woman is in the presence of non-mahram men. If she is with women or men who are her mahrams, then she may say Subhaan Allaah, like reciting out loud in their presence.
Mughni al-Muhtaaj, 1/418
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Masud:
We used to say the greeting, name and greet each other in the prayer. Allah’s Apostle heard it and said:–“Say, ‘At-tahiyyatu lil-lahi was-salawatu wat-taiyibatu . Assalamu ‘Alaika aiyuha-n-Nabiyu wa-rahmatu-l-lahi wa-barakatuhu. _ Assalamu alaina wa-‘ala ‘ibadi-l-lahi as-salihin.. Ashhadu an la ilaha illa-l-lah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abdu hu wa Rasuluh. (All the compliments are for Allah and all the prayers and all the good things (are for Allah). Peace be on you, O Prophet, and Allah’s mercy and blessings (are on you). And peace be on us and on the good (pious) worshipers of Allah. I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and Apostle.) So, when you have said this, then you have surely sent the greetings to every good (pious) worshiper of Allah, whether he be in the Heaven or on the Earth . “
Narrated Abu Huraira :
The Prophet said, “The saying ‘Sub Han Allah’ is for men and clapping is for women.” (If something happens in the prayer, the men can invite the attention of the Imam by saying “Sub Han Allah”. And women, by clapping their hands).
Narrated Sahl bin Sad,
The Prophet said, “The saying ‘Sub Han Allah’ is for men and clapping is for women.
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
While Abu Bakr was leading the people in the morning prayer on a Monday, the Prophet came towards them suddenly having lifted the curtain of ‘Aisha’s house, and looked at them as they were standing in rows and smiled. Abu Bakr tried to come back thinking that Allah’s Apostle wanted to come out for the prayer. The attention of the Muslims was diverted from the prayer because they were delighted to see the Prophet. The Prophet waved his hand to them to complete their prayer, then he went back into the room and let down the curtain. The Prophet expired on that very day.
Actions allowed in prayer:
- Saying SubhanAllah if something alarms you, or the imaam makes a mistake.
- for men in all circumstances.
- women may say it when non-mahrams can’t hear them.
- Clapping if the imaam makes a mistake –> for women only.
- Walking forward during prayer to take the imaam’s position, if the need arises.
- One may take one or two steps to adjust his/her position as well. Not more than that.