Performance of Fard Salâh in a Sitting Position
The Fard Salâh is the most important act of a believer. Hence he should endeavour to perform it in the most perfect and acceptable manner as stipulated by the Shariah. Fard Salâh should be performed standing as far as possible. Only in the case of illness, injury etc. is one permitted to sit and perform Salâh. Today our musjids are inundated with chairs and stools – a practice not in conformity to Islamic teachings. Alhamdulillah, excused and ill people who used to shy away from the musjid due to their illnesses are now frequenting the musjids. However, such people should learn and adhere to the laws of Salâh and how Salâh is correctly performed in a sitting position. Hereunder some light is shed on these laws.
Mas’alah no.1: If an invalid person is able to perform full ruku and sajda and stand in Salâh even though it be to the extent of saying the Takbîr-e-Tahrimi only, though being slightly inconvenienced in doing so, without fearing any increase in his sickness or expressing severe pain thereby, it will be incumbent upon him to stand for this duration and then sit down and complete the remainder of his Salâh in the sitting posture together with performing full ruku and sajdah.
Mas’alah no.2: If the above-mentioned person is somewhat incapable or overtaken by weakness, however he is able to fulfil the Fard requirement of Qiyâm (standing posture in Salâh) by leaning against the wall or taking support from a stick or assistant or some other object, then too it will be incumbent upon him to stand to the extent of his utmost ability after which only will he be permitted to sit down and complete his Salâh in a like manner.
Mas’alah no.3: If a person is overtaken by severe illness or weakness due to which he is unable to stand, or fears his illness increasing if he has to stand in Salâh, he will be excused in fulfilling the Fard requirement of Qiyâm. He will complete his Salâh in the sitting posture and thereby comply with the requisites of ruku and sajdah as well.
Mas’alah no. 4: If a person is somewhat incapacitated to the extent that he cannot perform full sajdah on the ground, however he is able to stand without any difficulty and also make full ruku, it is permissible for such a person to sit on the floor and perform his Salâh. In this instance, he will complete the Fard requirements of ruku and sajdah by gestures (i.e. by bending and lowering his back slightly for the ruku and a bit more lower down for the sajdah).
Mas’alah no.5: It should be borne in mind that such persons should as far as possible sit on the floor thereby conforming to at least one of the postures of Salâh if not any other due to their disability. Only in extreme cases where a person is so ill, or becomes so weak, or by him sitting on the floor there is a great possibility of his illness increasing, or it being a cause of great pain to him, may he resort to sitting on a chair or stool and perform his Salâh. However, it would be preferable not to lean against the backrest of the chair without necessity. By not leaning against the backrest, he will be able to focus more attention towards his Salâh, whereas unnecessary leaning will create an attitude of relaxation and slovenliness. Furthermore, sitting on chairs and carrying out one’s ibâdah [worship] is from amongst the practices of the non-Muslims as is commonly found in their churches etc. today. Therefore we should avoid any form of resemblance and imitation of the non-Muslims in any way, lest this becomes a practice in our Masâjid as well. And we have been emphatically ordered by our Rasul Sallallahu alaihi wasallam to be at variance in all our ways to the Kuffar, especially in ibâdah (worship). Mas’alah no.6: If due to extreme necessity a person is compelled to sit on a chair and perform his Salâh, the chair should be placed in line with the saff (line) of the Musallees in such a manner that the rear of the chair or stool should be in line with the heels of the musallees, thereby not inconveniencing those standing either behind him or next to him.
Madrasah Arabia Islamia, Azaadville-South Africa