Can One Pray Sitting Because of Living with One’s Islamophobic Family?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

My revert friend only gets a few minutes time window during dhuhr when she is alone, so along with it, she offers qada (make-ups) of all other prayers. Will she be held responsible for missing salah at their right time due to family threats and being impossible for her to move out?

She also wants to know if she can sometimes offer salah while sitting as it will be less suspicious if someone walks in. She can’t close the door. If not, please suggest any alternatives as she loses motivation to carry on.

Answer

I empathize with this very difficult situation that your friend is in. May Allah make a way out for her.

Missing Prayers

The first point I must make is that she should do her best to perform all of her prayers. What will happen if they catch her praying? Will they beat her? Will they take away her privileges? I will not advise that she subject herself to harm, but I will say that Islamic history is filled with converts who underwent much harm because of their religion and that their reward will be multiplied eternally, by the grace of Allah. She should decide how long she can keep hiding from them and decide when to take a firm stand, respectfully, of course.

Making Up Prayers

The second point is that if she indeed does end up missing obligatory prayers, yes, she should make them up when she can. It is obligatory to make them up immediately if missed without an excuse, and it is recommended to make them up immediately if missed with an excuse. [p.112, The Reliance of the Traveller]

Sitting

If sitting during an obligatory (fard) prayer means that she can pray, but if she doesn’t sit, she would miss the prayer, then yes, she should pray sitting. She should still make it up when she can, standing. Ask her to keep track of the prayers that she prayed sitting, in case they add up and she forgets how many there are.

Turn to Allah

Ask your friend to turn to Allah and take advantage of this time of fear and abuse. Her supplications will be answered, her sincerity is being tested, and she is gaining closeness to her Lord through this difficulty. Some people find that their faith is never quite as strong as during times of tribulation and utter dependence on Allah. Tell her that there will certainly be ease after this difficulty and tell her to intend to do all that her heart desires when things ease up, by His grace.

Please ask her to see the links below and apply the tips within:

How Do I Please My Parents When They Do Not Approve of My Islam?
A Convert Dealing with Non-Muslim Parents
I Work in My Parents’ Restaurant, and They Do Not Let Me Pray on Time. What Do I Do?

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.