…can I sit n pray?
Basically, it is allowed to sit if it is very difficult to stand as explained by Shaikh ibn al-Uthaymeen (rahimahullah) in ash-SharH al-Mumti (p.326, vol.4), and the rule (as explainied by the Shaikh) by which you can decide whether it is very difficult for you is explained in the following video:
So, if you are pregnant and it is very difficult for you to stand and make rukuu and other actions; so much that you cannot focus and you are not at ease during the prayer, then you can pray sitting down.
“Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope.” [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 286]
“So keep your duty to Allah and fear Him as much as you can.” [Soorah at-Taghaabun (64): 16]
The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “If I command you to do a thing, then do as much of it as you can.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 7288; Muslim, 1337
…can I sit on the chair?
It is permissible to sit on a chair or on the ground, depending on what you are able to do and what is easy for you. But it is better to sit on the ground, because the Sunnah is for a person to sit cross-legged in the place where one would stand and bow, and this is not easy to do on a chair.
Shaykh Ibn al-Uthaymeen (rahimahullah) said, “If a person cannot pray standing, he should pray sitting, but it is better to sit cross-legged in the place of standing and bowing.” quoted from his essay, Tahaarat al-Mareed wa Salaatuhu.
This sitting cross-legged is not obligatory; you may sit however you wants because the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “If he cannot, then sitting,” and he did not explain how one should sit. See al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (4/462) [see footnote 1]
…it is too difficult to bow & prostrate.
- If you are sitting, you can lean forward for ruku, and make the leaning for sujood deeper than that for ruku.
- If you can stand and lean forward for ruku whilst standing, and lean forward for sujood whilst sitting, then you should do that, because standing is closer to bowing than sitting, and sitting is closer to sujood than standing.Shaykh Ibn al-Uthaimeen said, “Whoever is not able to bow should lean forward whilst standing, and whoever is not able to prostrate should lean forward whilst sitting.” Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 4/475
…can I join prayers?
It is obligatory for the Muslim to offer every prayer at the time stipulated by sharee‘ah, “Verily, as Salaah (the prayer) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours” [Soorah an-Nisa (4): 103]
If it is too difficult for you to offer every prayer at its own time, then it is permissible for you to join Zuhr with Asr, and Maghrib with Isha - because you come under the same rulings as one who is sick in that case.
Shaykh Ibn al-Uthaymeen (rahimahullah) said, “Every time there is hardship or difficulty, it is permissible to join the prayers, whether one is at home or travelling, because of sickness, rain, a strong cold wind, and so on. So if it is too difficult for a pregnant woman to offer every prayer at its own time, she may join the prayers. And if it is too difficult for a breastfeeding woman to offer each prayer at its own time, because her baby urinates on her and the like, then she may put the prayers together.” end quote, Liqa’ al-Baab al-Maftooh, 201/4
He (rahimahullah) also said, “The reason for putting prayers together is difficulty; if (too much) hardship results from not putting prayers together, then it is permissible to put the prayers together for whatever reason. The scholars (rahimahumullah) even said that it is permissible for a pregnant woman to put two prayers together if it is too difficult for her to offer each prayer at its own time.
So to sum up, there is only one reason for putting prayers together and that is hardship, but there are many kinds of hardship.” end quote, Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb, 185/16
…can I shorten prayer?
Shaykh Ibn al-Uthaymeen (rahimahullah) said after the above, “As for shortening the prayers, that is only allowed in the case of travel. If we assume that a person is sick in the hospital, he may put two prayers together if it is too difficult for him to offer each one at its own time, but he is not allowed to shorten them because he is in his own city. But if he is in a hospital in another city, then it is permissible for him to join and shorten the prayers, because he is a traveler.” end quote, Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb, 185/16
Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (rahimahullah) said, “The reason for shortening prayers is travel in particular, and it is not permissible to shorten prayers when not travelling. As for joining prayers together, the reason for that is need and reasons. If he needs to, he may put prayers together when travelling, whether long or short distances. You may also put prayers together because of rain and the like, or because of sickness and the like, and for other reasons. The aim behind it is to spare the ummah from hardship.” end quote, Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa, 22/293
Footnote 1: It was narrated that ‘Imraan ibn Husayn (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “I was suffering from haemorrhoids and I asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about praying. He said, ‘Pray standing, and if you cannot, then sitting down, and if you cannot, then lying on your side.’” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1117.
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