Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalam alaykum
My father’s knees have weakened by age. However, they are not so bad that he has to pray all of the prayer on a chair. He can still pray while standing as long he sits down on a chair at the time of prostration.
1-Is it permissible to do so?
2-When he stands in the congregation, what should he give precedence to, aligning the feet when standing or aligning the chair when he sits down to prostrate?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
1. If you are not able to stand, actually or effectively (because it will increase or worsen illness), nor are you able to sit comfortably on the floor, you may sit on a chair or the like for the standing and sitting portions of the prayer. If you cannot prostrate by placing your forehead on the ground, then the entire prayer may be prayed whilst seated and with head movements.
2. The placement of the chair in a row is a bit of an issue. Ideally, it should be at the end of the row, or somewhere in the row where those around the chair will not be inconvenienced by it. If the person will be standing for parts of the prayer, consider positioning the chair such that their shoulders and feet are in line with everybody else (if reasonably possible). Otherwise, position the chair such that their back will be line with others’, even though their feet may be ahead of everybody else.
Please also see this article.
And Allah Most High knows best.
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.