What is the ruling on pregnant womens prayers? And who cannot pray in time due to difficulties, for ex having difficulties sleeping during night, does she still have to wake up for Fajr, or can she delay it?
May Allah make it easy for you, and bless you with a beautiful, healthy, Allah-fearing child.
First of all, Fajr prayer should NOT be delayed.
I am pregnant, and now i have concerns about praying sitting down. Usually i am able to do ruku, sit on the ground and almost complete the salah, except for sujud which may not be completely correct as it is very uncomfortable. so i am wondering, should i sit and pray even though i am capable of praying most of the salah, or should i pray the best i can. also what is the proper way of praying sitting down, is it in a chair or on the ground? Also, if i can stand and do ruku, but i cannot go down, should i stand for the standing parts and sit in a chair for the sitting parts. please answer soon, since i cannot find any information on this and am confused as what to do.
Praise be to Allaah.
The basic principle concerning the prayer of one who is sick is that he should do whatever he is able to of the essential parts of the prayer, and he does not have to do what he is unable to do. This is indicated by a great deal of evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“So keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him as much as you can”
“Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope”
And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If I command you to do a thing, then do as much of it as you can.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 7288; Muslim, 1337.
It was narrated that ‘Imraan ibn Husayn (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “I was suffering from haemorrhoids and I asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about praying. He said, ‘Pray standing, and if you cannot, then sitting down, and if you cannot, then lying on your side.’” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1117.
Based on the above, if you are able to pray standing up then you have to stand. Then if you become unable to stand or it is too difficult for you to stand, then you can sit down whilst praying.
It is permissible to sit on a chair or on the ground, depending on what you are able to do and what is easy for you. But it is better to sit on the ground, because the Sunnah is for a person to sit cross-legged in the place where one would stand and bow, and this is not easy to do on a chair.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:
If a person cannot pray standing, he should pray sitting, but it is better to sit cross-legged in the place of standing and bowing.
From his essay, Tahaarat al-Mareed wa Salaatuhu
This sitting cross-legged is not obligatory; he may sit however he wants because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If he cannot then sitting,” and he did not explain how he should sit.
See al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 4/462.
If it is too difficult for you to prostrate and bow, then you can lean forward and make the leaning for sujood deeper than that for rukoo’.
If you can stand, then lean forward for rukoo’ whilst standing, and lean forward for sujood whilst sitting, then you should do that, because standing is closer to bowing than sitting, and sitting is closer to sujood than standing.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz said:
Whoever is able to stand but is unable to bow or prostrate is not relieved of the obligation to stand, rather he should pray standing up, then lean forward for rukoo’ (i.e., whilst standing) then sit and lean forward for sujood… and he should make leaning for sujood deeper than that for rukoo’. If he is only unable to prostrate then he should do rukoo’ and then lean forward for sujood.
If during the prayer the sick person becomes able to do something that he was unable to do, such as standing, sitting, bowing or prostrating, he should start to do that and continue from whatever he has already completed of his prayer.
From his essay Ahkaam Salaat al-Mareed wa Tahaaratihi.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:
Whoever is not able to bow should lean forward whilst standing, and whoever is not able to prostrate should lean forward whilst sitting.
What is the ruling on joining and shortening prayers for a pregnant woman in the last months of pregnancy?
Praise be to Allaah.
It is obligatory for the Muslim to offer every prayer at the time stipulated by sharee‘ah, because Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, As‑Salaah (the prayer) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours”
The Sunnah indicates that it is permissible to join two prayers for a sick person for whom it is too difficult to offer every prayer at its own time. This is the view of the Maalikis and Hanbalis.
Al-Nawawi said: This view is very strong. End quote.
See: al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 15/288
Al-Tirmidhi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his Sunan (1/259): Some of the Taabi‘i scholars granted a concession allowing a sick person to join two prayers. This is the view of Ahmad and Ishaaq. End quote.
If it is too difficult for a pregnant woman to offer every prayer at its own time, it is permissible for her to join Zuhr and ‘Asr, and Maghrib and ‘Isha’. She comes under the same rulings as one who is sick in that case.
With regard to shortening the prayers, that is only permissible for one who is travelling. So if a pregnant woman is travelling, it is permissible for her to join and shorten the prayers. But if she is at home, it is permissible for her to join the prayers, but she must offer the four-rak‘ah prayers in full, and not shorten them.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Every time there is hardship or difficulty, it is permissible to join the prayers, whether one is at home or travelling, because of sickness, rain, a strong cold wind, and so on. So if it is too difficult for a pregnant woman to offer every prayer at its own time, she may join the prayers. And if it is too difficult for a breastfeeding woman to offer each prayer at its own time, because her baby urinates on her and the like, then she may put the prayers together. End quote.
Liqa’ al-Baab al-Maftooh, 201/4
He also said:
The reason for putting prayers together is difficulty; if hardship results from not putting prayers together, then it is permissible to put the prayers together for whatever reason. The scholars (may Allah have mercy on them) even said that it is permissible for a pregnant woman to put two prayers together if it is too difficult for her to offer each prayer at its own time. So to sum up, there is only one reason for putting prayers together and that is hardship, but there are many kinds of hardship. As for shortening the prayers, that is only allowed in the case of travel. If we assume that a person is sick in the hospital, he may put two prayers together if it is too difficult for him to offer each one at its own time, but he is not allowed to shorten them because he is in his own city. But if he is in a hospital in another city, then it is permissible for him to join and shorten the prayers, because he is a traveller. End quote.
Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb, 185/16
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The reason for shortening prayers is travel in particular, and it is not permissible to shorten prayers when not travelling. As for joining prayers together, the reason for that is need and reasons. If he needs to he may put prayers together when travelling, whether long or short distances. You may also put prayers together because of rain and the like, or because of sickness and the like, and for other reasons. The aim behind it is to spare the ummah from hardship. End quote.