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f:1149 -    Can we sit and offer Salaat due to illness?
Country : Hyderabad,
Name : Ali
Question:     In illness, it is difficult for one to get up and stand, especially for old people.  They can’t stand and offer Salaat.  How should one offer Salaat in such a condition?
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Answer:     If an ill person has the strength to stand, then it is Compulsory (Wajib) for him/her to stand and offer the Obligatory Salaat (Fardh Salaat).  Even if someone doesn’t have the strength to stand for the recitation of Surah Fatiha and another Surah, then one should stand and recite as much as one’s strength permits and then sit and complete the recitation.  In the following situations, one is permitted to sit and offer Salaat:

1. There is no strength at all to stand.

2. There is a fear that the disease might worsen on standing

3. When standing leads to extreme pain and distress.

In case of sitting and offering Salaat, one should perform Ruku’ symbolically (by gesture of the head).  If one can perform the prostration (Sajda) properly, well and good, if not, then one should also perform this by a gesture of the head and incline the head more than what was done for the Ruku’.

If one doesn’t have the strength to offer Salaat sitting, then one should lie down and offer it.  The method is that one should lie down flat on the ground with legs facing the Qibla and the knees raised.  The head should be raised a little so that it faces the Qibla.  One can offer Salaat by turning on to one’s right side as well.  In this case, the face should be towards the Qibla and the legs should be towards the south.

As mentioned in Durre Mukhtaar, Vol. 1, Pg. No. 255-265

Translation: The person for whom it is difficult to stand because of illness such that there is a danger that the disease might be worsened or cure might be delayed or doing so puts one in great misery, then one can offer Salaat with Ruku’ and Sajda in a sitting position.  If one can stand even for some time, then it is compulsory for one to stand as much as one’s strength permits.  If even this is not possible, then one should sit and offer Salaat and for Sajda, one should incline one’s head more than what is done for the Ruku’.  If even sitting is compulsory, then one should lie down and offer Salaat.  The feet should be towards the Qibla but the knees should be raised as it is Undesirable (Makruh) to extend one’s feet in the direction of the Qibla.  Also, one should raise one’s head a little so that the face is turned to the Qibla.  One may also lie on one’s side and offer Salaat with gestures and the face should be turned to the Qibla.

As mentioned in Radd Ul Muhtaar, Vol. 1, Pg. No. 955.

However, in Supererogatory (Nafl) Salaat, it is permissible to sit and offer Salaat even though there might be no difficulty of any kind.

And Allah The Mighty and The Majestic knows best

Mufti Syed Ziauddin Naqshbandi

[Shaykh ul Fiqh, Jamia Nizamia,
Founder-Director, Abul Hasanaat Islamic Research Center]
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