Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
It is somewhat disliked to close one’s eyes in prayer, because:
There is a weak hadith regarding this, which is not sufficient as proof (in itself), but supports these other considerations.
[This is the summary of what Imam Haskafi said in Durr al-Mukhtar, Ibn Abidin in Radd al-Muhtar, Ibn Nujaym in al-Bahr al-Ra’iq, and Imam Kasani in Bada’i` al-Sana’i`, in Hanafi fiqh. It is confirmed by what Imam Buhuti said in Kashshaf al-Qina` in Hanbali fiqh; and Imam Dardir in al-Sharh al-Saghir in Maliki fiqh. In the Shafi`i school, it is transmitted that it is disliked to close one’s eyes, but Imam Nawawi chose that it is not disliked in his Majmu` and also in his Minhaj, which some interpreted as saying it is absolutely permitted to close one’s eyes, and others that it is better not to (khilaf al-awla), unless it aid’s one’s presence of heart.]
Imam Buhuti also mentioned in his Kashshaf al-Qina` that a reason for its being disliked is that it can be a means for one becoming drowsy. [F: Such as when praying at night.]
Imam Kasani explained in his Bada’i` that the reason for looking at one’s place of prostration is that each limb of the body has a share in the prayer’s worship.
Imam Ibn Nujaym mentioned that one does not close one’s eyes in prostration, either, and mentioned that, “A number of Sufis (may Allah benefit us through them) said that one keeps one’s eyes open because the eyes too prostrate.”
Imam Abu Bakr al-Jassas (Allah have mercy on him) mentioned in his magnificent
Qur’anic tafsir of the verses relating to legal rulings, Ahkam al-Qur’an,
explaining the words of Allah Most High in Surat al-Mu’minin:
And Allah alone gives success.
MMVIII © Faraz Rabbani and Qibla.
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