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Lesson The Prayer of the Traveler and the Sick

Islam is a religion of ease that removes hardship, which includes easing some of the rulings of prayer in case of sickness and travel. In this lesson, you will learn about the rulings on the prayer for the traveler and those who are sick.

  • Learn the rulings of the traveler's prayer
  • Learn the rulings of the prayer for the sick

Prayer is obligatory for a Muslim in all circumstances as long as they are sane and conscious. However, Islam does account for conditions and needs of people, including sickness and travel.

What is recommended for a traveler with regards to prayer?

It is recommended for the traveler -while moving or staying for a period of less than four days- to shorten the four-rak’ah (unit) prayer to two. As a result, a traveler prays the Dhuhr, Asr, and Isha prayers as two rak’ahs instead of four, unless praying behind an imam who is a resident, in which case he follows him in his prayers and prays four rak’ahs like him.

It is prescribed for the traveler to leave the accompanying sunnah (recommended) prayers, except for the 2-rak'ah sunnah prayer of Fajr. Moreover, a travel should maintain the Witr prayer and the night prayer.

A travel is permitted to combine Dhuhr and 'Asr prayers, as well as Maghrib and 'Isha prayers during one of their respective times, especially if they are moving around, as a relief and mercy from Allah and to remove any hardship.

Prayer of the Sick

The condition of standing during prayer is waived for a sick person who cannot stand, or if standing is difficult, or if it will prolong their treatment. In these cases, they may pray sitting, and if they are unable to sit, they may pray lying on their side. The Prophet ﷺ said: «Pray standing, and if you can't, then sitting, and if you can't, then lying down» (Al-Bukhari 1117).

Special Rulings Pertaining to Prayer of the Sick

If a person is unable to do ruku' (bow) or sujud (prostrate) can bend over as much as they are able to.
If a person finds it difficult to sit on the floor can sit on a chair or the like.
Whoever finds difficulty in purifying themselves for each prayer due to illness can combine Dhuhr and 'Asr prayers together and Maghrib and Ishaa' prayers together.
Whoever finds it difficult to use water due to illness can perform tayammum (dry ablution) to perform prayer.

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