This is the last post from Kitaab Taqseer-us-Salah [Book of Shortening the Prayers]. Kitaab-ut-Tahajjud [Book of the Night Prayer] starts tomorrow inshaAllah.
Allah’s Apostle prayed in his house while sitting during his illness and the people prayed behind him standing and he pointed to them to sit down. When he had finished the prayer, he said, “The Imam is to be followed and so when he bows you should bow; and when he lifts his head you should also do the same.”
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
Allah’s Apostle (p.b.u.h) fell down from a horse and his right side was either injured or scratched, so we went to inquire about his health. The time for the prayer became due and he offered the prayer while sitting and we prayed while standing. He said, “The Imam is to be followed; so if he says Takbir, you should also say Takbir, and if he bows you should also bow; and when he lifts his head you should also do the same and if he says: Sami’a-l-lahu Liman Hamidah (Allah hears whoever sends his praises to Him) you should say: Rabbana walakal-Hamd (O our Lord! All the praises are for You.”) (See Hadith No. 656 Vol. 1).
Narrated ‘Imran bin Husain (who had piles):
I asked Allah’s Apostle about the praying of a man while sitting. He said, “If he prays while standing it is better and he who prays while sitting gets half the reward of that who prays standing; and whoever prays while lying gets half the reward of that who prays while sitting.”
Narrated’Abdullah bin Buraida:
‘Imran bin Husain had piles. Once Abu Ma mar narrated from ‘Imran bin Husain had said, “I asked the Prophet (p.b.u.h) about the prayer of a person while sitting. He said, ‘It is better for one to pray standing; and whoever prays sitting gets half the reward of that who prays while standing; and whoever prays while lying gets half the reward of that who prays while sitting.’ “
Narrated ‘Imran bin Husain:
had piles, so I asked the Prophet about the prayer. He said, “Pray while standing and if you can’t, pray while sitting and if you cannot do even that, then pray lying on your side.”
(the mother of the faithful believers) I never saw Allah’s Apostle offering the night prayer while sitting except in his old age and then he used to recite while sitting and whenever he wanted to bow he would get up and recite thirty or forty verses (while standing) and then bow.
(the mother of the faithful believers) Allah’s Apostle (in his last days) used to pray sitting. He would recite while sitting, and when thirty or forty verses remained from the recitation he would get up and recite them while standing and then he would bow and prostrate. He used to do the same in the second Raka. After finishing the Prayer he used to look at me and if I was awake he would talk to me and if I was asleep, he would lie down.
Standing during prayer is an obligatory pillar which cannot be omitted. It is not permissible for anyone to pray sitting unless he is unable to stand, or standing is very difficult for him, or he is sick and there is the fear that his sickness may become worse if he prays standing up.
That also includes a paralyzed person who is unable to stand at all, and an elderly person for whom it is difficult to stand, and a sick person who will be harmed by standing because it will either make his sickness worse or delay his recovery.
Read more on the ruling on praying while sitting here. It’s different for fardh (obligatory) prayer and nafal (voluntary) prayer, so do read!
Rulings on prayer in pregnancy here.
Rulings and issues about praying on a chair here.