Praying Rulings for The Sick, Injured, and Hospitalized

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: After surgery, a relative can barely move, doesn’t have his balance, lost his hearing in one ear, and cannot speak properly because of loss of muscle control in his face. While he is in the hospital, they are having him urinate into a bottle, and he cannot take a bath. What is the ruling on his 5 daily prayers? Can he perform them without the full movements and facing Qiblah? Does he have to make up prayers that he could not properly complete? Also, can he pray even though he is not in a state of Wudu? Some of the medication is so strong, I would think it might fall into a category of being intoxicated (e.g. morphine). Can he pray in that state?


Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

May Allah give him a full, quick recovery, insha’Allah.

Intoxication and the Prayer

If he is intoxicated such that he is speaking irrationally or if walking he would sway (due to high dosage and the effect of it), it would not be valid to pray.

The Ablution

If he cannot perform the ablution (wudu), he should perform the dry ablution (tayammum). The dry ablution (tayammum) can be performed with a small stone. No dust is required. Please see:


Performing Tayammum if Paralyzed

If he is unable to do this, he can pray without doing either (wudu or tayammum). Though, in such a case, he would simply perform the motions of the prayer (without the recitations) due to the inviolability of the prayer and its time. This is very easy and could be done in less than a minute.

Facing the Qibla

If he cannot face the qibla himself, then the responsibility of this would too be lifted. However, if it is reasonably possible for him to ask someone to turn him towards the qibla, that would be optimal, though not necessary.

The Prayer

If he can pray with head movements — by moving the head slightly for the bowing (ruku’) and slightly more for the prostration (sujud) — it would be obligatory to do so. When lying on the back, this is generally facilitated by having the head propped up with a cushion or the like.

If he cannot pray with such head movements, the prayer will not obligatory upon him, nor will he have to make up the prayers (if they exceed five prayers).

[Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Please also see: The Sunna way of Praying when Injured or Unable to Stand

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani