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Praying on a Chair

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

Can someone who prays on a chair lead the prayer?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

According to the Hanafi school, a bowing and prostrating congregant (muqtadi) may not pray behind an imam who is praying with head movements (ima’) rather than actual bowing and prostration on the ground.

Generally, the congregation is basing and building their prayer upon the imam’s prayer, and the latter is only able to uphold the prayer of everybody else when his own prayer is legally considered to have a strong foundation. This condition is absent when he isn’t actually prostrating, and thus, he cannot lead others in a congregational prayer in such a state.

But if the imam is praying part of the prayer on a chair or seat of some kind due to illness or injury, such as the final sitting, this would be acceptable because what determines the strength of the prayer or otherwise is whether or not there is actual prostration on the ground.

(Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah, with Tahtawi’s Gloss (1.400); Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar)

Please also see this answer.

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.

My Father Has Bad Knees. Can He Pray on a Chair?

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.

wassalam,

[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.