Question: How should a sick person perform salat?
ANSWER
There are different types of illnesses. A sick person who is unable to stand should perform salat sitting, and the one who is unable to sit should perform salat lying.

hadith-i sharif says, “If a sick person is unable to perform salat standing, he should perform it sitting. If he is unable to perform it sitting, he should perform it lying on his back.” The 191st verse of Surat Al-i Imran says (what means): “They remember [make dhikrAllah while standing, sitting, and lying on their sides.” What is meant by the word dhikr in this verse is salat. It means, “One must perform salat standing if one is able. If one is unable to perform salat standing, then one must perform it sitting. If one is unable to perform it sitting, then one must perform it lying by gestures [ishaarah].” (Bahr-ur-Raiq)

Question: What is the method of performing salat by gestures (ishaarah)?
ANSWER
Performing salat by gestures means bending the top part of the body forward a little for ruku’ and more than it for sajda. If one cannot bend the top part of one’s body, then one can bend one’s head. (İslam Ahlakı)

Question: Should a sick person who is able to bend his/her knees extend his/her legs toward the qibla when performing salat sitting?
ANSWER
One who is unable to bend one’s knees should perform salat with one’s legs toward the qibla. However, one who is able to bend them should sit with one’s feet under one’s hips or sit cross-legged or in a sitting position with one’s knees upright and one’s arms around them or in a position one likes according to one’s state of health. It is makruh to stretch the legs toward the qibla without a valid excuse, but it is not makruh for a person who is unable to bend his/her knees.

Question: My waist and knees are painful. I am unable to bend and to do sajda as I cannot bend my knees. How should I perform salat? Is it permissible to perform it sitting on a chair?
ANSWER
If you are unable to bend your knees, you should perform salat by gestures sitting on the floor with your legs stretched toward the qibla. If you are unable to sit on the floor, you should perform salat on a bed facing the qibla without letting your legs hang down.

If you have to sit on a chair or in an armchair, then you should put another chair or a coffee table in front of you and put your feet on it. That is, you should perform salat with your legs toward the qibla. If you are able to bend your knees, then you should bend them and should not stretch them toward the qibla.

Question: 
How should a sick person who does not have the strength to stand perform salat?
ANSWER
A person who cannot stand, or who will suffer harm or feel
dizzy if he/she stands, performs fard salats sitting. He/she bows for ruku’ and places his/her head on the floor for sajda. For a person who can stand for a little while by leaning on a wall, on a stick, or on a person, it is fard to say the takbir (of iftitah) while standing and to remain standing at least long enough for that. If one can sit by leaning on something, then it is not permissible for him/her to perform salat lying by gestures.

When performing a fard salat, it is makruh to lean on a wall or a stick without a valid excuse. It is not makruh if it is done due to a valid excuse.

If a pregnant woman or a sick person is able to stand up by leaning on something like a coffee table, she/he should perform salat by leaning on it, which is an alternative way.

Question: A sick relative of mine has to lie without moving until he recovers. He is unable to do ruku’ and sajda, but he is able to stand. How should he perform salat?
ANSWER
He should perform salat standing or sitting by gestures. If he is unable to do so, then he should perform salat lying by gestures.

Question: 
How should a sick person who is unable to perform salat standing and sitting perform it?
ANSWER
A sick person who is unable to sit on the floor even by leaning against something or by being held by someone else must perform it lying on his/her back. He/she must put a pillow under his/her head so that his/her face will be toward the qibla. Alternatively, he/she may lie on his/her right or left side. He/she must perform ruku’ and sajda by way of the movements of the head. If he/she is unable to do ruku’ and sajda by way of the movements of the head, then he/she is allowed to miss a salat and make it up when he/she recovers.

Question: 
If one is unable to put one’s head on the floor due to a wound on one’s forehead and nose or due to any other illness, how should one perform salat?
ANSWER
One must sit and perform salat by gestures. One should bend the top part of one’s body forward a little for ruku’ and lower than it for sajda.

Question: Suppose that a patient in the hospital is unable to face the qibla direction. What should he/she do? Is it permissible for him/her to stretch his/her legs toward the qibla during salat?
ANSWER
It is permissible for a patient who is unable to perform salat toward the qibla to perform it in any direction that his/her health condition permits.

He/she may stretch his/her legs in the direction of the qibla, but it is preferable to bend the knees if it is possible. He/she should place a pillow under his/her head so that he/she faces the qibla. Alternatively, he/she may lie on his/her right side or left side toward the qibla and perform salat by gestures. By choosing one of these alternatives, he/she should perform salat in a manner that suits his/her circumstances.

Question: If a patient is unable to stand much, should he/she say the opening takbir sitting?
ANSWER
If one is able to do sajda when sitting, it is fard for one to say the opening takbir standing if one can stand for a little time by leaning against something such as a wall. If one is unable to do sajda when sitting, then one says the opening takbir sitting.

Question: If one suffers from involuntary leakage of urine or involuntary wind-breaking when one performs salat standing and if urine or wind does not come out when one performs salat sitting, then must one perform salat sitting?
ANSWER
Yes, one must perform salat sitting in this case.

Question: Should a patient who is unable to sit perform salat standing by gestures?
ANSWER
Yes, he/she must perform salat standing by gestures.

Question: If a patient is able to perform salat lying by gestures, can he/she perform it lying on his/her right or left side?
ANSWER
Yes, he/she can. Lying on his/her right side is preferable to lying on his/her left side. Performing salat lying on his/her back by gestures is preferable to performing it lying on his/her right side by gestures.

Question: If one is unable to perform salat by gesturing with the head, is it permissible to make a sign by blinking the eye?
ANSWER
One is not allowed to make a sign by eyes, eyebrows, or the heart. This is the fatwa. According to Imam Abu Yusuf, it is permissible for a patient who is unable to gesture with his/her head to make a sign by blinking his/her eyes. According to Imam Zufar, it is permissible to gesture with his/her heart, too. (Radd-ul-Mukhtar, Halabi, Tahtawi)

A patient who is unable to make a sign with his/her head may make a sign with his/her eyes by following the qawl of Imam Abu Yusuf.

Question: I have undergone an operation in my brain, so I cannot turn my head to the right or to the left. How should I perform salat?
ANSWER
You do not have to turn your head to the right or to the left. If you can do sajda, then there is no pronlem. If you cannot do it, then you should perform salat sitting by gestures.

Question: Suppose that one missed salats in the past when in good health. Is it permissible for one to make them up sitting by gestures in a state of tayammum if one is ill?
ANSWER
Yes, it is permissible. (Radd-ul-Mukhtar)

Question: 
I have mycoses on the skin of my foot. Some liquid comes out during standing position in salat due to pressure. Is it permissible for me to perform salat sitting so that my wudu’ will not break?
ANSWER
Yes, you must perform salat sitting. (Fatawa-i Hindiyya)

If you follow the ruling of the Maliki Madhhab, the liquid coming out will not break your wudu’.

Question: How should a bedridden person perform salat if it is not possible for him/her to perform wudu’ or for someone else to help him/her perform wudu’?
ANSWER
He/she must do tayammum instead of wudu’ and perform salat by gestures. (Maraqi al-Falah)

Question: 
Suppose that one has been racked with an incurable disease. One does not have the strength to do tayammum, and there is no one who will help one do it. How should one perform salat?
ANSWER
One must go to great lengths to perform salat as long as one is sane. Whoever feeds such a person and whoever serves him/her should help him/her perform tayammum. He/she is allowed to combine two salats if need be. He/she may perform salat lying by gestures. If he/she is unable to perform salat even by gestures, he/she is allowed to miss a salat.

Question: A relative of mine underwent pilonidal cyst surgery. The stitches are uncovered, and the doctors told him to protect his stitches from coming into contact with water. There is no dressing on the wound. How should he perform ghusl? If he puts a piece of cloth on the wound, can he wipe over it with a wet hand?
ANSWER
Yes, he can wipe over it.

Question: A patient I know has to lie in prone position for a month without moving. He is forbidden even from walking. He can stand, but he cannot do ruku’ or sajda. How should he perform salat?
ANSWER
He should perform salat sitting by gestures. If he is unable to sit, then he should perform salat lying by gestures.

Question: Prosthesis has been implanted into my leg. It is not painful. How should I perform salat?
ANSWER
If you are unable to perform it standing, then you should perform it sitting.

Question: I suffer from low back pain, and I am also unable to bend my knees. How should I perform salat?
ANSWER
One who is unable to do sajda and who is unable to bend one’s knees should perform salat sitting by gestures with one’s legs toward the qibla. That is, one should bend the top part of one’s body forward a little for ruku’ and lower than it for sajda. This method is called performing salat by gestures. If one is able to bend one’s knees, then one should not stretch one’s legs toward the qibla.

Question: I will undergo an operation on my neck, so I will not be able to gesture with my head. How can I perform salat?
ANSWER
As you are physically strong, you will be able sit on the floor. You should bend the top part of your body forward a little for ruku’ and more than it for sajda. Your being unable to move your head does not matter because you do not have to turn your head to the right and to the left. Turning your head to the right and to the left at the end of salat is sunnat, not fard or wajib. Saying the salam at the end of salat is wajib.

Question: 
Where should I put my hands when performing salat sitting by gestures?
ANSWER
Put your hands on your knees in ruku’. Put them on your thighs in sajda. Fold your arms in qiyam. It will not harm your salat if you cannot place your hands in this method.

Question: 
Is it permissible to do tayammum while a person is receiving intravenous fluid?
ANSWER
It does not adversely affect tayammum.

Question: Is it permissible to combine two salats during the time of the earlier or later salat before one undergoes an operation?
ANSWER
Of course, it is permissible and one has to combine them. One can combine them by following the Hanbali Madhhab. If one has a filled tooth in one’s mouth, then one should follow the Maliki Madhhab when combining two salats.

Question: If the time for Salat al-Maghrib has started while a Hanafi who has been classified as a ma’dhur (excused) is performing Salat al-Asr, will his/her salat be valid because his/her wudu’ has been nullified?
ANSWER
It will not be valid. He/she has to make that salat up. If such a Hanafi person follows the ruling of the Maliki Madhhab due to his/her udhr (excuse), the arrival of the time for the following salat will not break his/her wudu’.

Question: If a person is so ill that he cannot perform wudu’ and his wife does not help him perform wudu’, then can he do tayammum?
ANSWER
Yes, he can. It is not wajib for a wife and a husband to help each other do wudu’, but it is advisable if they do. If a person who is unable to do wudu’ cannot find a helper even in return for money, then he/she is allowed to do tayammum for salat.

Question: 
A relative of mine is a hermaphrodite. Should he/she perform salat in the way a woman does or in the way a man does? Who should wash his/her corpse? What is the ruling on men who have changed gender?
ANSWER
A person who has both male and female reproductive organs or a person who has neither of it is called a khunsa. If one has both male and female reproductive organs, one is judged by the organ by which one urinates. This ruling is applicable when one is a child. If, when one grows up, hair grows on one’s face and one experiences a wet dream like a man, then one is considered a male. If there is swelling of breasts and the other signs of female puberty, one is considered a female.

If one has no sign whether one is male or female or if one has both male and female characteristics equally, such a person is classified as khunsa-i mush-kil. To be on the safe side, such people should act as if they are female. They should perform salat in the same way as women do, and they, when they die, should be shrouded in the same way as women are done. They should be buried after they are made to do tayammum.

If a person who is considered a female undergoes an operation and during the operation if it is seen that she is a male, then such a person is considered a male. If a person who is considered a male undergoes an operation and during the operation if it is seen that he is a female, then such a person is considered a female. However, if a male undergoes an operation to change gender, he will not be considered a female after the operation. (Hidaya, Durar, Fatawa-i Hindiyya)

Question: Should a patient who is unable to perform salat and to fast give fidyah (ransom payment)?
ANSWER
If a severely ill patient or a very old person is unable to perform salat, he/she does not give fidyah [money] to the poor in lieu of salats, but he/she has to give fidyah to the poor in lieu of fasts.

Question: I am ill. Is it permissible for me to do tayammum for salat if I cannot wake up my wife to help me?
ANSWER
Yes, you can do tayammum for salat.

Question: It is very difficult for me to wear my prosthetic foot, and I am unable to stand without it. Is it permissible for me to perform salat sitting?
ANSWER
It is permissible to perform salat sitting as it is difficult for you to wear your prosthetic foot.

Question: Suppose that a person who is unable to do sajda is performing salat by gestures. Should he/she say the opening takbir while standing?
ANSWER
No, he/she should not. A person who is unable to do sajda does not start salat standing.

Question: If one cannot stand up from a sitting position, then should one perform salat sitting?
ANSWER
If one is able to do sajda when sitting, one must say the opening takbir standing and stand as much as one is able. Then one can continue salat sitting.

Question: There is a wound just above my right eyebrow. It bleeds during sajda. Is it permissible for me to do sajda by putting only the left portion of my forehead together with my nose?
ANSWER
Yes, it is permissible.

Question: What should a patient do if the time for a fard salat has expired when he/she wakes up from anesthesia?
ANSWER
He/she must combine two salats.

Question: In case of danger, is it permissible to perform salat sitting or by gestures?
ANSWER
If one fears the enemy or a predator or if one is ill and unable to stand or if one cannot find a dry place because everywhere is covered by mud, then one can perform salats by gestures. One does not have to make up those salats later. (Halabi)

Question: Should a schizophrenic person perform salat?
ANSWER
If his/her abnormal behavior is not continuous, he/she must perform salat when he/she is sane. He/she must make up the ones he/she missed.

Question: Is it permissible for a woman to follow the ruling of the Maliki Madhhab if she has vaginal discharge only once a day?
ANSWER
Yes, it is permissible.

Question: I will undergo an operation in sinusitis. A tampon will be placed into my nose. How should I perform wudu’ and salat?
ANSWER
It is not fard (obligatory) to wash inside the nose in wudu’, so there will be no problem in wudu’. The time for a fard salat may expire until you wake up from anesthesia, so you may have to follow the ruling of the Hanbali Madhhab. Let us suppose you will undergo the operation during the time for Salat az-Zuhr. Then you should combine Salat az-Zuhr with Salat al-Asr in the time of Salat az-Zuhr. If you undergo the operation before the time for Salat az-Zuhr, then you can combine Salat az-Zuhr with Salat al-Asr in the time of Salat al-Asr.

If you undergo the operation after you perform Salat al-Asr, then you can combine Salat al-Maghrib with Salat al-Isha in the time of Salat al-Isha.

If you follow the ruling of the Maliki Madhhab due to an excuse, then you can combine two salats by following it. In the Maliki Madhhab, it is permissible to combine two salats in case of illness.

Question: As the cut on my face bleeds, I cannot perform wudu’. Is there anything wrong with performing wudu’ by following the ruling of the Maliki Madhhab?
ANSWER
There is nothing wrong with it. However, it is better to do wudu’ after the application of an adhesive bandage. If there is no bleeding, then there is no need for following the ruling of the Maliki Madhhab. If there is bleeding, you can follow the ruling of the Maliki Madhhab.

Question: Suppose that a person very frequently vomits because of his/her disease. If he/she follows the ruling of the Maliki Madhhab, will vomiting not break his/her wudu’?
ANSWER
No, it will not break his/her wudu’.

Question: How should a sick person who is unable to leave his/her bed in hospital because of his/her illness perform salat?
ANSWER
He/she should perform salat lying on his/her right or left side if that is the qibla direction. If the qibla is in the direction toward which he/she stretches his/her legs, he/she should place a pillow under his/her head and perform salat by gestures, with his/her face toward the qibla direction. If the head board faces the qibla direction, then he/she should try to turn his/her head to the qibla direction as much as he/she can. Performing salat lying on one’s right side is better than performing it lying on one’s left side. Performing it lying on one’s back is better than performing it lying on one’s right side.

Question: How should a person who does not have either of his/her two arms place his/her hand during salat?
ANSWER
He/she should place it in the same way as he/she would do if he/she had two arms. For example, such a man should place his one arm under his navel during standing position.

Question: Is it permissible for a pregnant woman to perform salat sitting? If her gynecologist says, “You will have a miscarriage if you move, so lie continuously without standing up,” is it permissible for her to do tayammum instead of wudu’ lest she have a miscarriage?
ANSWER
Yes, it is permissible. If she has difficulty standing up in salat, she can put a coffee table at her right-hand side and left-hand side and stand up leaning against them. If she is unable to perform salat in this way, then she can perform it sitting. If she is unable to do sajda when performing salat sitting, then she can perform it by gestures.

Question: 
If wiping over the head in wudu’ harms a Hanafi person or aggravates his/her illness, is it permissible for him/her not to wipe over his/her head in wudu’?
ANSWER
In the Shafi’i Madhhab, wiping over a very little portion of the head, even with a finger, is enough to carry out the obligatory duty. If a pious specialist says to a patient “Wiping over your head with a wet hand aggravates your illness” or if the patient’s experience suggests that wiping it over with a wet hand will harm him/her, e.g., make pain severer, then it will be permissible for him/her to follow the ruling of the Shafi’i Madhhab and to wipe over a little portion of his/her head.

Question: If one, when performing salat standing, has involuntary discharge of urine or wind or if one’s wound oozes discharge when one performs salat standing, should one perform salat sitting instead of standing if one does not have such a discharge when performing salat sitting?
ANSWER
Yes, one should perform salat sitting by gestures if one does not have it when performing salat sitting by gestures because it is wajib to stop the discharge (of urine, blood, wind, etc) by a bandage, a sticking plaster, medicine, or any way possible. (Se’adet-i Ebediyye)

Performing salat sitting by gestures, if it prevents the leakage of any of the abovementioned discharges, is preferable to performing it standing while the discharge is coming out. (Halabi)

If one’s discharge comes out only when one is doing sajda, then one should not do sajda. If it comes out only when one is standing, then one should not stand and instead of it sit in a manner that stops the leakage and perform salat sitting by gestures. If one, in case of such discharges, follows the ruling of the Maliki Madhhab, then one’s such excuses will not break one’s wudu’, and one will not have to perform salat sitting by gestures. For this reason, it is better for a person having such a discharge to perform salat by following the ruling of the Maliki Madhhab.

Question: Suppose that a person who is performing salat sitting by gestures with his legs stretched toward the qibla is sitting near the imam. His feet go beyond the feet of the imam. In this case, will his salat be valid?
ANSWER
When a person is performing salat standing, what counts is the place where the feet are. If one’s heels go beyond the heels of the imam, one’s salat will not be valid. However, this ruling is not applicable when one is performing salat sitting by gestures. Then what counts is not where one’s heels are, but where one’s head is. If the head of one performing salat sitting by gestures does not go beyond the head of the imam or if one’s head is in line with the head of the imam, then one’s salat will be valid, even though one’s legs go beyond the feet of the imam(Ibn Abidin)

Question: If one is severely ill to the extent that one cannot perform salat even by gesturing with one’s head, will one be exempted from performing salat?
ANSWER
Yes, if this health condition continues for more than a day, one will be exempted from salat. That is, the salats one missed are not fard on one, so one does not have to make them up.

Şamil Aykut

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