Prayer Guide for Sick People

Shariah Today: Hi all readers! In this article I will explain about prayer guide for sick people. I think we all know that prayer must be done by standing. That is absolute. But the question is, what if the person who is going to pray cannot stand because he is sick, or because he is afraid of being killed?

As usual, before I answer the question above, firstly, I will quote one hadith that is specifically related to the theme of this article. The hadith I mean is as follows;

عِنْ عِمْرَانَ بْنِ حُصَيْنٍ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ : كَانَتْ بِيْ بَوَاسِيْرُ فَسَأَلْتُ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَنِ الصَّلَاةِ فَقَالَ : صَلِّ قَائِمًا , فَإِنْ لَمْ تَسْتَطِعْ فَقَاعِدًا , فَإِنْ لَمْ تَسْتَطِعْ فَعَلَى جَنْبٍ . رَوَاهُ الْبُخَارِيُّ

From Imran bin Hushain radliyallahu ‘anhu, he said, “I have a disease of hemorrhoids. I then asked the Prophet (Muhammad) sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam about prayer. He then said, “Pray with standing. If you are unable, then sit down. If you are unable, then sleep on your side.” The hadith is narrated by al-Bukhari.


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There are some important things related to the above hadith that we need to know;

  1. The hadith explains, that the obligation to doing obligatory prayers (Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, Asha ‘, Shubuh) can not be lost under any circumstances.
  2. The hadith explains prayer guide for sick people.
  3. Muslim must pray by standing. That obligation cannot be lost except because of illness, fear of drowning, and so forth.
  4. The hadith explains, that if a person cannot pray by standing because of reasons that are justified by Islam, then he may pray by sitting. If he cannot pray by sitting, then he may pray by sleeping on his side.

All Readers! That’s the answer to the question above. People who are sick, people who are afraid of being killed, or others, if they cannot pray by standing, then they can do it by sitting and sleeping on their side.

The important point I want to say here is that the optionality is sequential. The point is, standing is the initial choice. If a person can’t do that, then he has to do it sitting down. If he can’t do that, then he can do it by sleeping on his side. So, a person may not pray directly by sleeping on his side before he tries to pray by sitting.

That is a brief explanation of the prayer guide for sick people. If you want to ask, please ask!

I think that is enough for this article. May be useful!

See you again in the next article!


Hasan Sulaiman an-Nuri and Alawi Abbas al-Maliki, Ibaanatu al-Ahkaam Syarhu Buluughi al-Maraam, Vol. II, Dar al-Fikr Publishing, Beirut, 2004, p. 48-49.


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