بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu
I'm accompanying my ill son in a hospital and staying with him in the treatment room, while I was performing Salaah (prayer), a nurse (she is non-Muslim) passed in front of me, so is my Prayer invalid, knowing that I cannot leave the room?
Wa Alaikom Assalam Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu
The voiding of Salaah by a woman passing in front of the person praying is an issue differed upon by the Fuqaha' (Scholars), and it is part of the ‘Ibadaat (Personal Worship), and I do not want to make an adoption on it, but I will convey to you the opinions of the respectable scholars on this topic, and you follow whoever you feel content in his Ijtihad regarding this topic:
• The opinion of the Hanafiya is that the Prayer is not invalidated by the passing of a woman and others. It was mentioned in Al-Mabsout authored by Mohammad bin Ahmad bin Abi Sahl Shams Al-A'ima Al-Sarkhasi (died in 483 AH):
"And if a passerby like a man or woman or donkey or dog passed in front of him, his prayer is not nullified according to us..."
"and we have" the Hadith of Abi Sa'd Al-Khudri - Radhia Allahu Ta'ala ‘Anhu - the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
«لَا يَقْطَعُ الصَّلَاةَ مُرُورُ شَيْءٍ وَادْرَءُوا مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ» "Prayer is not nullified by a passerby, and stop passers as much as you can"..."
• The opinion of the Maliki Madhhab: It was mentioned in Al-Dhakhira for the author Abu Al-Abbas Shehab Al-Deen Ahmad bin Idris bin Abdul Rahman Al-Maliki known as Al-Qurafi (died in 684 AH):
"The sixth said in the book that nothing passing in front of a praying person breaks their prayer..."
• The opinion of the Shafi'i Madhhab: It was mentioned in Al-Majmou' Sharh Al-Muhadhab for the author Abu Zakariyya Muhyi Al-Deen Yehya bin Sharaf Al-Nawawi (died in 676 AH):
"The third issue: if he prayed behind a partition, and a man or a woman or a child or a Kaffir or a black dog or a donkey or other animals pass from between him and his Sutra, his prayer in our opinion is not invalidated..."
• The opinion of the Hanbali Madhhab: It was mentioned in Al-Mughni for the author Abu Mohammad Mowaffiq Al-Deen Abdullah bin Ahmad bin Mohammad bin Qudamah Al-Jama'ili Al-Maqdisi then Al-Dimashqi Al-Hanbali, known as Ibn Qudamah Al-Maqdisi, who died in 620 AH:
"A matter; he said: "the prayer is only invalidated by an animal-black dog". i.e. if it passed in front of him. This is the known opinion of Ahmad - Rahimahullah, which was transmitted about him by the Jama'ah. Al-Athram said:
Abu Abdullah was asked: ‘What breaks the prayer?' He said, ‘Nothing breaks it according to my opinion except animal-black dog... and the meaning of al-baheem (animal) is that has no other colour except black.' Ahmad related another narration, that the prayer is voided by a black dog, a woman if she passed in front, and a donkey...".
• As you can see, the opinions of Hanfiya, Maliki, and Shafi'i suggest that prayer is not invalidated, and the Hanbali has an opinion that it does invalidate the prayer.
I ask Allah (swt) to open your chest to what is good, wassalamu alaikom wa rahmatullahu wa barakatuhu.
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
The link to the answer from the Ameer's Facebook page