Qiyām

Definition: According to Urdu lexicographers the term is Qiyām is understood to mean: standing erect in salāh. The essential element of a valid Qiyām is to stand erect in such a way that if the hands are stretched they should not reach up to the knee. The perfect Qiyām would be standing totally erect. The duration of Qiyām and Qirā’at are the same. If the category of Qirā’at belongs to Fardh, Wājib, or Sunnah then the same category applies to Qiyām.1 Above decree is for all rak’ahs except the first. In the first rak’ah, Takbīr-e Tahrīma is a constituent of a fardh component of Qiyām while Ŝanā, Ta’awūz and Tasmīyah are considered as Sunnah components of Qiyām. How must one stand in Qiyām? In Qiyām, men should place their right hand over the left, below the umbilicus and encircle the right thumb over the left wrist and the remaining three fingers of the right hand should be placed on the dorsal aspect of the left wrist.2 Fardh element: Qiyām is fardh [obligatory] in all forms of salāh3, aside from nawafil. If these salāhs are offered in a sitting position without a valid reason then the salāh will be rendered invalid.4 Sunnah element: Imām Abū Hanīfa rahīmullah has said that it is Sunnah to keep a four-finger space between both legs during Qiyām.5 It is also Sunnah to keep the body weight on either leg, one by one.6 Mustahab element: It is mustahab [desirable] to keep eyesight at the place of Sajdah in Qiyām.7 Makruh element: It is makrūh tanzīhī to oscillate one’s body during Qiyām.8 It is makrūh tahreemī to do Qiyām on one leg, however if there is a valid reason then one may do so.9 Qiyām for sick and aged persons If one is able to stand up even for a while, then it becomes obligatory to perform the Takbīr-e Tahrīma whilst standing and then one may sit down and complete his salāh.10
Imām al-Haskafī, Durr al-Mukhtār Sadr as-Sharī’ā, Bahār-e Sharī’ā, vol. 1, Part 3, pp. 37. Mumtaz Academy, Lahore 2 Ghunyah Sharh Munyah Imām Ahmad Rida al-Qadrī, al-Atāya Nabawīyyah Fil Fatāwah Ridhwīyyah, Vol. 3, pp. 46 3 Fardh, wit’r, Eid and Sunnah of Fajr salāh 4 Imām al-Haskafī, Durr al-Mukhtār Imām Ibn Abidīn Shāmī, Radd al-Muhtār 5 Imām Ahmad Rida al-Qadrī, al-Atāya Nabawīyyah Fil Fatāwah Ridhwīyyah, Vol. 3, pp. 51 6 Imām Ahmad Rida al-Qadrī, al-Atāya Nabawīyyah Fil Fatāwah Ridhwīyyah, Vol. 1, pp. 448 7 Sadr as-Sharī’ā, Bahār-e Sharī’ā 8 Sadr as-Sharī’ā, Bahār-e Sharī’ā, vol. 3, pp. 173 9 Sadr as-Sharī’ā, Bahār-e Sharī’ā, vol. 1, Part 3, pp. 37. Mumtaz Academy, Lahore
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It is very common today that if one is slightly weak, ill or aged then he often prays salāh in a sitting position from the beginning of the salāh. However the majority of people doing so are very capable of performing salāh in a standing position and doing so will not increase their illness or affect their ability to stand. Such individuals are generally found indulging in worldly affairs whilst standing; and they must be told that it is obligatory for them to offer salāh in a standing position.11 If a person is sick or weak but is able to stand with the support of a stick [asā], wall or servant then it is obligatory for him to offer salāh in a standing position with the support.12 If one is able to stand, but there is a definite/known risk of bursting abscess in doing Sajdah then, salāh may be offered in a sitting or standing position with sign [symbolic performance] of Sajdah.13 If one goes to the mosque for congregational salāh and is unable to stand up erect due to weakness, on the contrary if he prays the salāh at home and is able to stand thereafter, then, he should pray salāh at home. It is better if he prays in congregational salāh at home, otherwise he should offer it alone.14 If urine drips whilst in a standing position, but stops in a sitting position, then it is obligatory for one to offer salāh in a sitting position.15 Salāh in a sitting position Supererogatory [nawafil] salāh can be offered in a sitting position even though one is able to stand. It is in a Hadīth that, salāh offered in a sitting position carries half the reward of a salāh offered in a standing position.16 However, there will be no reduction of blessings if salāh is offered in a sitting position due to a valid reason. It is customary in today’s day and age to offer supererogatory salāh in a sitting position and many feel pleased in doing so, however this attitude is wrong. It is better to offer supererogatory salāh in a standing position and the blessings will be doubled in doing so. Thus, supererogatory salāh offered in a sitting position without a due reason is permissible but the blessings shall be halved to one performing in a standing position.17 The Beloved Prophet şallAllāhu álayhi wa sallam offered salāh in a sitting position and said, I am not similar to you; my blessing is the same whether I offer salāh in a sitting or standing position.
Ghunyah Sharh Munyah Imām Ahmad Rida al-Qadrī, al-Atāya Nabawīyyah Fil Fatāwah Ridhwīyyah, Vol. 3, pp. 52 11 Imām Ahmad Rida al-Qadrī, al-Atāya Nabawīyyah Fil Fatāwah Ridhwīyyah, Vol. 3, pp. 53 & 424 12 Ghunyah Sharh Munyah Imām Ahmad Rida al-Qadrī, al-Atāya Nabawīyyah Fil Fatāwah Ridhwīyyah, Vol. 3, pp. 53 Sadr as-Sharī’ā, Bahār-e Sharī’ā, vol. 1, Part 3, pp. 37. Mumtaz Academy, Lahore 13 Sadr as-Sharī’ā, Bahār-e Sharī’ā, vol. 3, pp. 69 14 Imām al-Haskafī, Durr al-Mukhtār Imām Ibn Abidīn Shāmī, Radd al-Muhtār Sadr as-Sharī’ā, Bahār-e Sharī’ā, vol. 1, Part 3, pp. 37. Mumtaz Academy, Lahore 15 Imām al-Haskafī, Durr al-Mukhtār Imām Ibn Abidīn Shāmī, Radd al-Muhtār Sadr as-Sharī’ā, Bahār-e Sharī’ā, vol. 1, Part 3, pp. 37. Mumtaz Academy, Lahore 16 The Beloved Prophet şallAllāhu álayhi wa sallam said,
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Someone who prays sitting down has only half the reward of someone standing. Recorded by Imām al-Bukharī in as-Sahīh, Hadīth 1065 on the authority of ‘Imran bin Husayn rađiyAllāhu ánhu. 17 Imām al-Haskafī, Durr al-Mukhtār Imām Ibn Abidīn Shāmī, Radd al-Muhtār Sadr as-Sharī’ā, Bahār-e Sharī’ā

Hence, it is better to offer supererogatory salāh in a standing position with double the blessings and there is no harm if offered in a sitting position.18 While offering supererogatory salāh in a sitting position, rukū’ should be done in such a way that the forehead reaches nearer to the knee but buttocks should not be lifted. It is Makrūh-e Tanzīhī to lift the buttocks whilst performing rukū’.19 Salāh may be offered in a sitting position on a moving boat.20 In a moving vehicle for e.g. train or bus where one may feel dizziness or a vehicle in which it is not practical to stand up, salāh maybe offered in a sitting position. However the salāh performed should be repeated after the completion of journey.21

Imām Ahmad Rida al-Qadrī, al-Atāya Nabawīyyah Fil Fatāwah Ridhwīyyah, Vol. 3, pp. 461 Imām Ahmad Rida al-Qadrī, al-Atāya Nabawīyyah Fil Fatāwah Ridhwīyyah, Vol. 3, pp. 51 & 69 20 Ghunyah Sharh Munyah 21 Imām Ahmad Rida al-Qadrī, al-Atāya Nabawīyyah Fil Fatāwah Ridhwīyyah, Vol. 3, pp. 627
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