Is one allowed to pray in front of a mirror?
قال الإمام النووي رحمه الله في المجموع: يكره أن يصلي وبين يديه رجل أو امرأة يستقبله ويراه وقد كرهه عمر بن الخطاب وعثمان بن عفان رضي الله عنهما ولأنه يشغل القلب غالباً …
Imam an-Nawawi, may Allah have mercy upon him, said:
“It is disliked to pray toward a man or woman, (directly) facing him/her while he can see him/her. It was disliked by Umar bin Khataab and Uthman bin Affaan being the reason that it mostly distracts the heart …”
(al-Majmoo’ fi Sharhi al-Muhathab)
Some cite the above statement of Imam an-Nawawi to mention that praying towards the mirror is likewise makrooh. However, some of the scholars of the Shaafiyyah base it solely on a weak hadeeth of taking a person facing you as your sutrah. The hadeeth pertaining to the prohibition of taking a person who is asleep or having a conversation as your sutrah [is a hadeeth] which some scholars authenticate. However in all cases, there is no general ruling for praying towards a mirror except that if the person finds himself being distracted by it. Then [in that case], he should avoid [praying in front of the mirror], while his prayer (the one who prays in front of a mirror) is still valid, being the reason that it is not from that which nullifies the prayer. And Allah knows best.
~ Abu Fajr AbdulFattaah bin Uthman