When did talking in salah become prohibited?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
In the early years of Islām, people were allowed to talk in ṣalāh (prayer), but this permission was later removed during the life of the Prophet ﷺ.
Zayd bin al-Arqam raḍiAllāhu ʻanhu is reported to have narrated: "In the lifetime of the Prophet ﷺ, we used to speak while praying, and one of us would tell his needs to his companions, until the verse, 'Maintain with care the [obligatory] prayers and [in particular] the middle prayer and stand before Allāh, devoutly obedient.' (Qur'ān, 2:238) was revealed. After that, we were ordered to remain silent while praying." (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, ḥadīth 1200).
ʻAbdullāh bin Masʻūd narrated: "We used to greet the Prophet ﷺ while he was praying and he used to answer our greetings. When we returned from Al-Najāshi (the ruler of Ethiopia), we greeted him, but he did not answer us (during the prayer), and (after finishing the prayer) he said, "In the prayer, one is occupied (with a more serious matter)." (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, ḥadīth, 1199).
There is a difference of opinion amongst the scholars on when exactly this prohibition took place, and if it was before or after the Hijrah.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Shaykh Umer Khan
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham