Do I Need To Stand In Prayer If I Have a Medical Condition?

Question: If I am not able to prostrate due to severe arthritis of the knee, do I need to stand at all in the prayer?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate,

If you are unable to prostrate on the ground, you are not obliged to stand at all. This is because the underlying purpose of the standing position is that it is a means to the prostration; thus if there is no prostration, the standing ceases to be obligatory. [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah]


Method Of Praying

Since you will not be prostrating on the ground, you will perform the prayer in the following manner:

(1) Sit, facing the Qibla, in whatever manner is comfortable for you
(2) Instead of bowing and prostrating you will make gestures of the head as a substitute for both
(3) For the bowing, bend your head downward slightly; for the prostration, bend your head further than you did for the bowing.


Manner Of Sitting

Since you are unable to prostrate on the ground, you have the choice to sit on the ground or on a chair. Choose the method which is most comfortable for you.

I hope this helps,
Allah knows best.
Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences