While reading or reciting the Qurʾān, there’s a chance that one may be encountered by an individual who wishes to speak to them. During this situation, one may think, “Should I continue reading or should I respond?” — Shaykh Ṣāliḥ ibn Muḥammad al-Luḥaydān رحمه الله (d. 1443 AH/2022 CE) answers:
“If someone greets you by saying ‘as-Salāmu ‘Alaykum’ while you are reading, then return the salām to him because returning the salām is Wājib. And if they talk to you and you fear that by not replying to them their souls will be affected (i.e., become sad, annoyed, etc.), then reply to them because the person should have noble manners. Even if you were in an act of worship, as this is an act of worship that is permissible to break away from in (certain) moments.
To respond to some talk, make Duʿā for the one who sneezes, or return a greeting, then there is nothing wrong with that ʾIn shāʾ Allāh and Allāh knows best.“
May Allāh have abundant mercy upon Shaykh Ṣāliḥ ibn Muḥammad al-Luḥaydān & reward him for his great contributions to the religion of Islām.
All praise is due to Allāh, may His peace & blessings be upon our final Prophet Muḥammad, his family, his companions, & all those who follow him in guidance.
Ṣafīullāh Labīb ibn Salīm ʿAbd al-Malik
4th of Ṣafar 1444 – 31st of August 2022