Question: When I put my shoes on the shoe rack in the entrance hall of the mosque, a friend of mine said, “Shoes should be on the left-hand side of the person performing salat.” When we are performing salat at home, our shoes are behind us. Is there anything wrong with placing them behind us?
Putting your shoes behind yourself in the mosque is makruh because in this case you will be anxious that they may be stolen, and this state of mind will be an obstacle to your attaining khushu’ (calmness, tranquility, humility, being in total submission toward Allahu ta’ala) in salat. Everything that adversely affects your khushu’ is makruh. For this reason, it is sunnat, before salat, to place your shoes on your left-hand side, not behind, in front of, or on the right-hand side of you. If there is no likelihood of theft because your shoes are old or because there is another reason, that is, if you are not get distracted during salat, it is not makruh to put your shoes behind you in the mosque. In some mosques, there are shoe cabinets with locks behind people performing salat. It is not makruh to put your shoes in them, either. Similarly, it is not makruh for shoes to be behind you when you are performing salat at home because there is no danger of shoes being stolen.

Şamil Aykut

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