SALAAH OF THE SICK

 

1. Under no condition should salaah be left out. As long as a person has the strength to stand up and offer his salaah, he should stand up. If he cannot stand, he should sit down and offer his salaah. He should make his ruku while sitting. After the ruku, he should go down for the two sajdahs. He should make the ruku in such a way that his forehead comes in line with his knees.

2. If he is unable to make ruku and sajdah as well, he should make them by gestures (ishaarah) and he should bow down a little further for the sajdahs.

3. It is not good to keep a pillow or any other high object in order to make sajdah on it. If a person is unable to make sajdah, he should make it through ishaarah - there is no need to make sajdah on a pillow.

4. If a person has the strength to stand up and offer his salaah but there is a lot of difficulty in doing this, or he fears that his sickness will get worse, it is still permissible for him to sit down and offer his salaah.

5. A person can stand up, but is unable to go into ruku and sajdah. If he wishes, he could stand up and thereafter make his ruku and sajdahs through ishaarah. Alternatively, he could sit down and make his ruku and sajdahs through ishaarah. However, it is better to sit down and offer his salaah.

6. If a person does not have the strength to sit, he should lie down with a pillow or large cushion behind him in such a way that his head is raised quite high - in fact, close to the sitting position. His legs should be stretched towards the qiblah. If he has some strength, he should not stretch them, instead, he should raise his knees. He should then offer his salaah by making ishaarah and the ishaarah for the sajdahs should be more lower. If he cannot lie down by having a pillow or cushion behind him in such a way that his head and chest can face the qiblah, he should stretch his legs towards the qiblah and lie flat on his back. However, he should place a pillow under his head so that at least his face could be in the direction of the qiblah and not facing the sky. He should then offer his salaah through ishaarah, and the ishaarah for the sajdahs should be slightly more than the ishaarah for the ruku.

7. If a person does not lie flat on his back, but instead lies on his left or right side while facing towards the qiblah and makes ruku and sajdah with the ishaarah of his head, then this is also permissible. However, it is better to lie flat on the back.

8. If a person does not have the strength to even make ishaarah with his head, he should not offer salaah. If this condition remains for more than twenty four hours, he will be completely excused from offering salaah and will not have to make qada after recovering from his sickness. But if this condition did not last for more than twenty four hours and he regained the strength to offer his salaah with ishaarah, then he should make qada with ishaarah. He should not have this in mind that when he recovers completely, only then will he make his qada. If he passes away (without having made qada), he will die as a sinner.

9. Similarly, if a normal healthy person becomes unconscious and remains in this state for less than twenty four hours, it will be wajib on him to make qada of the salaahs that he missed. But if he remained unconscious for more than twenty four hours, he will not have to make qada.

10. When a person commenced his salaah, he was normal and healthy. However, while in salaah, one of his nerves got pinched and he was unable to stand up. He should therefore sit down and offer the remainder of his salaah, and if he can, he should also make ruku and sajdah. But if he cannot, then he should make them with ishaarah of his head. But if his condition is such that he does not even have the strength to sit down, he should lie down and complete the remainder of his salaah.

11. Because of some sickness, a person offered part of his salaah sitting down and also made the ruku in the place of ruku and the sajdah in the place of sajdah. Thereafter, he recovered in that very salaah. He should therefore stand up and complete the remainder of his salaah.

12. A person did not have the strength to make ruku and sajdah because of some sickness and therefore made ishaarah with his head. In the course of his salaah he felt better and was able to make ruku and sajdah - this salaah will become invalid. He should not complete it. Instead, he should repeat this salaah.

13. A person became paralysed and fell so ill that he is unable to make istinja with water. He should wipe himself with a cloth or lumps of sand and offer his salaah in this way. If he cannot make tayammum himself, someone else should make it for him. If he does not have the strength to even wipe himself with a piece of cloth or lumps of sand, he should offer his salaah in this very state and should not allow himself to miss any salaah. It is not permissible for anyone else to look at his body or to touch it - not his father, mother, son nor daughter. However, it is permissible for the husband to look at his wife's body, and the wife to look at her husband's body. Apart from these two, it is not permissible for anyone else.

14. A person missed a few salaahs while he was sound and healthy. He then fell ill. He should make qada of these salaahs while he is sick, in whichever way he can. He should not wait and think that he will make qada of them when he is able to stand, or when he begins to sit, or when he is able to make ruku and sajdah. These are all thoughts influenced by shaytaan. Piety demands that qada be made immediately and not delayed.

15. If the bed of a sick person is impure and it will cause the sick person much difficulty if it were to be changed, it will be permissible to offer salaah on that very bed.

16. A doctor carried out an eye operation upon a person and prohibited him from moving about. He should continue offering his salaah while lying down.

17. If a sick person made ruku and sajdah with ishaarah and thereafter felt better in that very salaah and is now able to make ruku and sajdah, then that salaah of his will become invalid. It will be wajib on him to repeat that salaah. But if he had not made ishaarah for ruku and sajdah as yet and already felt better, then that salaah of his will be valid and he can continue with it.

18. If a person gets tired because of the qira'at being very lengthy and finds it difficult to stand, it will not be makruh to lean against a wall, tree or pillar. Weak and old people find this necessary especially in taraweeh salaah.

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