Prayer of the Sick – صَلَاةُ اَلْمَرِيضِ
يُصَلِّي اَلْمَرِيضُ قَائِمًا, فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَقَاعِدًا, فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَعَلَى جَنْبٍ, وَالْأَيْمَنُ أَفْضَلُ,
وَكُرِهَ مُسْتَلْقِيًا مَعَ قُدْرَتِهِ عَلَى جَنْبٍ وَإِلَّا تَعَيَّنَ,
وَيُومِئُ بِرُكُوعٍ وَسُجُودٍ وَيَجْعَلُهُ أَخْفَضَ,
فَإِنْ عَجَزَ أَوْمَأَ بِطَرْفِه ِ وَنَوَى بِقَلْبِهِ كَأَسِيرٍ خَائِفٍ,
فَإِنْ عَجَزَ فَبِقَلْبِهِ مُسْتَحْضِرَ اَلْقَوْلِ وَالْفِعْلِ,
وَلَا يَسْقُطُ فِعْلُهَا مَا دَامَ اَلْعَقْلُ ثَابِتًا, فَإِنْ طَرَأَ عَجْزٌ أَوْ قُدْرَةٌ فِي أَثْنَائِهَا اِنْتَقَلَ وَبَنَى.
The one who is ill should pray standing. The only thing that allows one to sit is the inability to stand. If he cannot stand then he is allowed to sit. If he cannot sit then he can lie down on his side facing the right.
It is better for him to pray facing sideways as opposed to praying on his back or on the stomach for that goes against the hadith.
If he is unable to perform sujud, rukuh etc then he simply lowers his head for rukuh and lowers it a bit more for sujud.
If he is unable to do even that action, then the person does these movements with the eyes. Roll the eyes slightly down to indicate rukuh and then back up for the standing position. A person then rolls the eyes even lower for sujud and then back up to indicate the consecutive movements that follow. Ex: Someone who is completely paralyzed, injured etc. This could be for someone who is held captive or out of fear of oppression even though physically the prayer can be performed but practically it cannot.
If somehow a person cannot do even this, then the person prays in his heart where he pictures the actions and recites the words which are relevant to that action.
The obligation of salah stands as long as a person is sane and the aql is in place. If a person during the salah becomes incapable, then they move to the next best option of that which is allowed. Ex: A man who is standing can sit etc. The opposite is also true where if a person who is praying sitting feels that they can stand, then they should stand and bring it back to the normal position..
Narrated Imran bin Husain: I had piles, so I asked the Prophet ﷺ about the prayer. He said,
صَلِّ قَائِمًا، فَإِنْ لَمْ تَسْتَطِعْ فَقَاعِدًا، فَإِنْ لَمْ تَسْتَطِعْ فَعَلَى جَنْبٍ
“Pray while standing and if you can’t, pray while sitting and if you cannot do even that, then pray Lying on your side.” [Bukhari]
If this is the condition for someone who is sick, and free from being captives etc then what about with all our luxuries and blessings. Salah is the best way to get closer to Allah, to help fight of bad habits and to get closer to ones family and friends. Always emphasize to the youth about the importance of salah. It doesn’t make sense that we rebuke them about the smaller sins but don’t advise them regarding salah which is a pillar of Islam.
Based on the Hanbali primer, Akhsar Al-Mukhtasarat authored by Ibn Balban al-Hanbali as taught by Sheikh Zahed Fettah حفظه الله