Everybody falls ill from time to time. While others recover, others don’t and for some, it remains to death. To muslims, falling ill is an act ordained upon us from Allah and while we are ill we are unable to carry out most of our daily activities depending on the severity of the illness. Some of these activities including salat.
Salat as we all know is a consistent obligatory action in the life of every muslim so as to keep us in constant remembrance of our creator, to seekk his blessing and guidance. It is mentioned in the Quran: Whoever has some excuse due to illness and cannot stand during the obligatory Prayer is allowed to pray sitting. If he cannot pray in a sitting posture, he may pray while on his side by making gestures. In such a case, his gestures for sujud (prostration) should be lower than those for his ruku`(bowing). This principle is based on Allah’s words:(And celebrate Allah’s praises, standing, sitting, and lying on your sides) [Surah An-Nisa 4:103]
The simplicity and flexibility in Islam can never be overemphasized, even in a state of illness, a muslim’s status is not compromised by the severity of the illness. He/she can maintain that connection with their creator. In this article, we are going to be looking at how muslims can pray while on their sick beds.
- If someone is too weak to be able to stand, then he performs bowings and prostrations while sitting. If he is unable to sit, then he lies on his back, supported by a pillow to incline his upper body, and stretches his legs in the direction of the prayer, hinting at bows and prostrations.
- If someone that is unable to sit lied down on his side facing his chest in the direction of the prayer while indicating, then his prayer is valid also. However, sitting with one’s legs stretched is better, because the indicate point in the prayer direction.
- If someone is not able to indicate by his head, then he delays the prayer and does not indicated by his eyes, heart or eyebrows.
- If someone is able to stand, but not to perform bowing and prostration, then he does not have to stand, but sits and indicate at the movements. He may stand, but the best is to sit.
- If someone praying seated, while performing complete bowings and prostrations due to illness, became well during the prayer, then he builds upon what has been done and performs the rest standing (i.e. he stands where it is required.)
- If someone started praying optionally while standing but became weak, then it is acceptable for him to lean on a stick or wall, or to sit down. This is an excuse.
- If he started leaning during optional prayer without an excuse then this is disliked, because it is improper behavior. If he sat (during an optional prayer – after having stood in the beginning) without an excuse, then it is disliked but valid.
- If someone prays seated in a boat (while sailing) without being sick, then it is valid, but standing is better.
- The one who loses consciousness or sanity for 5 consecutive prayer times or less must make them up. If it was more, then he does not have to pray them.