PRAYER: The prayer of a person who is ill (Salatul Marid)

Friday, February 08, 2019

Whoever has some excuse due to illness and cannot stand during the fard salah is allowed to pray sitting. If he cannot pray in a sitting posture, he may pray while on his side by making gestures. In such a case, his gestures for sajdah should be lower than those for his Ruku’. This principle is based on Allah’s words: “...And celebrate Allah’s praises, standing, sitting, and lying on your sides.”

‘Imran Ibn Hussain says: “I had piles [Hemorrhoids], so I asked the Prophet about the prayer and he said: ‘Offer the salah while standing and if you cannot do so, pray while sitting, and if you can’t do that, then make Salah while Iying on your side.”’ This is related by the group, except for Muslim. An-Nasa’i adds: “And if you cannot offer salah while lying on your side, then do it while lying on your back. Allah does not burden a soul; save with what it can bear.”

Jabir reports: “The Messenger of Allah visited a sick person and found him praying on a cushion. The Prophet pushed it aside and said: “Pray on the ground if you can, and if you cannot, then pray by making gestures, and make your sajdah lower than your Ruku’.’” This is related by al-Baihaqi.

What is meant by inability is that the person if he prays [in the regular way], will suffer hardship, or his disease will aggravate, or his recovery would be hampered, or he will swoon if he prays in the customary manner. One should sit cross-legged while praying in a sitting position.

‘Aishah narrates that she saw the Prophet Sallallahu Alehi Wasallam sitting cross-legged while praying. This is related by an-Nasa’i and al-Hakim says it is Sahih: It is also permissible to sit in the manner that one sits while performing the Tashahud

One who can offer the salah neither sitting nor standing is to lie down on his side, and if he cannot do that, he is to lie down on his back with his legs toward the Qiblah according to his state of health. Ibn al-Munzhir prefers this opinion. On this point, there is a weak hadith reported by ‘Ali which states that the Prophet said: “The sick person is to pray standing if he is able. If he cannot do so, he should pray sitting. If he is not able to make the sajdah, he should nod with his head and make the nod of his sajjud lower than that of his ruku’. If he cannot pray in a sitting posture, he should pray while lying down on his right side facing the qiblah. If one cannot pray on his right side, he should pray while lying on his back with his legs stretched out toward the qiblah.” This is related by ad-Daraqutni. Some scholars maintain that one can pray in whatever manner is easy for him. It is apparent from the hadith that if one can only nod while lying on his back, then nothing else is obligatory upon him.

The prayer during times of fear or danger (Salatul Khauf) 

The scholars are all in agreement about the legality of “fear prayer” (Salatul Khauf). The Qur’an says: “When You (O Prophet) are with them, and stand to lead them in prayer, let one party of them stand up (in prayer) with you, taking their arms with them. When they finish prostrations, let them take their position in the rear. And let the other party come up which has not yet prayed - and let them pray with you, taking all precautions, and bearing arms: the unbelievers wish if you were negligent of your arms and your baggage, to assault you in a single rush. But there is no blame on you if you put away your arms because of the inconvenience of rain or because you are ill; but take (every) precaution for yourselves. For the unbelievers Allah has prepared humiliating punishment.”

On this subject Imam Ahmad says: “There are six or seven confirmed hadith about ‘salatul khauf,’ and whichever way one performs it, it will be valid.”

Ibn al-Qayyim says: “Basically, there are six ways to pray salatal khauf, although some say there are more than (six ways of praying it). Whenever they notice any difference in the narration of an incident, they describe it as a difference [in the manner of prayer] thus coming to seventeen ways. This might be due to different acts of the Prophet or simply to differences in the narrations.” Al-Hafiz says: “This is the true position and its explanation is given below.

Different ways of offering salatul Khauf: 

1. If the enemy is not in the direction of the qiblah, then the imam should lead a group in the performance of one Rak’ah after which he should wait until they complete the second rak’ah by themselves, and then, they should go and face the enemy. And the second group should come and the imam would lead them in salah while he is performing his second rak’ah. He should again wait for them to complete another rak’ah by themselves before leading them in the salutations.

Saleh ibn Khawat relates from Saleh ibn Abu Khaithimah that a group lined up with the Prophet (SAW) while another group faced the enemy. He prayed one rak’ah with the group that was with him and remained standing while they finished the salah and left and faced the enemy. The second group came and prayed the remaining rak’ah with him, then he stayed sitting until they had completed their prayers individually, after which he led them in making the Taslim. This is related by the group, except for Ibn Majah.

2. If the enemy is not in the direction of the qiblah, then, the imam prays one rak’ah with one group of the army while the other group faces the enemy, after which the two groups exchange places, and the imam prays one rak’ah with the second group. The members of each group will complete one rak’ah of their prayers on their own.

Ibn ‘Umar says: “The Messenger of Allah prayed one rak’ah with one group while the other group faced the enemy, [At that point, those who had prayed] took the place of their companions facing the enemy and the second group came and prayed one rak’ah with the Prophet and then he made the taslim. Then each group made (the remaining) one rak’ah.” This is related by al-Bukhari, Muslim, and Ahmad. It is apparent that the second group completed their salah after the imam made the taslim without discontinuing their salah (i.e., for them, it was two continuous Rak’at), and the first group did not complete their salah until the second group had completed their salah and went back to face the enemy. Ibn Mas’ud says: “Then, he made the taslim and they stood up to finish the second rak’ah individually and, then they made their taslim.”

To Be Continued