Before entering prayer, a Muslim should prepare himself physically and spiritually in order to attain the required tranquillity and calmness. While performing prayer at home, a Muslim should keep away from all what may distract him and he should take all measures to prevent distraction, such as switching off the phone, turning off the TV…etc.
However, if it happens that while in the midst of Prayer, the telephone rings persistently, one is permitted to take a few slow steps towards the phone, without turning away from the Qiblah, pick the receiver and say Subhana Allah’ in order to inform the person on the line that the prayer is taking place.
But it’s to be borne in mind that this is a matter to be practiced in extreme cases, especially in the light of the above-mentioned measures to be taken to prevent distraction.
Shedding more light on the issue, the Saudi House of Fatwa, issues the following Fatwa:
“It is permissible for such person to lift the receiver, even if he has to move a little way forward or backward, or to the right or left, on the condition that he keeps facing the Qiblah and he says ‘Subhaan Allah’ so that the person on the line will know that he is praying.
It is reported that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, “used to pray whilst carrying his granddaughter Umamah. At the point of making Ruku` or bowing, he would put her down, and when he stood up he would pick her up again.”
According to Muslim’s version, this took place when the Prophet was leading the people in prayer in the Mosque. (Reported by Al-Bukhari, Muslim and An-Nasa’ie)
Imam Ahmad and others quote `Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, as saying: “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, was praying in his house with the door closed. I came (to the door) and he walked over and opened the door for me, then he went back to his place.” She mentioned that the door was in the direction of the Qiblah.
(Reported by Ahmad, 6/31; Abu Dawud, 922; An-Nasa’ie, 1/178; Al-Tirmidhi, 2/497).
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, is also reported to have said: “Whoever notices something alarming whilst praying, then men should say ‘Subhaan Allah’ and women should clap their hands.” (Reported by both Al-Bukhari and Muslim)