13 Oct Learning How to Pray Part 12
The Traveller’s Prayer
A traveller may, when moving from one place to another or during his temporary residence which lasts less than four days, shorten the four-rak‛ah prayers to two each. Thus, he offers two units (rak‛aat, singular: rak‛ah) instead of four for the afternoon prayer (Dhuhr), the late afternoon prayer (‛Asr ) and the late evening prayer (‛Ishaa’), unless he prays behind a resident prayer leader (imaam), in which case he must follow suit.
He may leave off the supererogatory prayers that are regularly offered with the obligatory ones (as-sunan ar-rawaatib) with the exception of the Fajr supererogatory prayer.
He may combine the afternoon prayer (Dhuhr) and the late afternoon prayer (‛Asr), and the sunset prayer (Maghrib)and the late evening prayer (‛Ishaa’) at the due time of either of them. This serves to ease the hardship he undergoes while travelling.
The Prayer of the Sick
A Muslim must offer the obligatory prayers under all circumstances as long as he is fully conscious and in full possession of his mental faculties. Islam does, however, take into account people’s various situations and special needs, hence its legislation regarding sick people.
To clarify this point:
If he is too sick to stand up, or if offering the prayer in a standing posture is bound to delay recovery, he is allowed to offer it in a sitting posture. If he cannot possibly do so, then he can offer it while lying down on his side. The Prophet r said, “Pray standing; if you cannot do so, pray in a sitting position; if you cannot do so either, then pray on your side.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 1066)
If he cannot bow or prostrate, he may only lean forward as far as he can.
If he cannot sit down on the floor, he may sit on a chair or anything similar.
If he cannot perform wudoo’ for every prayer due to his sickness, he may combine the afternoon prayer (Dhuhr ) andthe late afternoon prayer (‛Asr ), and the sunset prayer (Maghrib)and late evening prayer (Ishaa’)
If he cannot use water due to his illness, he may perform tayammum (dry ablution) instead and then offer the prayer.