How Does an Ill Person Purify? How Can He Pray?
The way an ill person can perform wudu' and pray.
In the Name of Allâh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
How does an ill person purify?
1. The patient must purify himself with water. He should perform the known ablution from the minor impurity (urinating, letting out gas...) or perform total ablution for major ritual impurity.
2. If a patient cannot purify himself by water due to his incapability or his fear that his illness increases or that the recovery be delayed, he can purify himself by performing dust ablution.
3. Dust ablution is performed by hitting the pure dust one time by his hands and wipe over all his face, and then he wipes his two palms with one another.
4. If one is unable to purify himself, another one can help him perform water or dust ablution.
5. If one of the limbs to be purified by ablution is injured, he can wash it with water. If washing with water affects the injury, he can wipe over it by wetting his hand with water and passing it over the wound. If wiping also affects it, he can purify it by dust ablution.
6. If one of his limbs is broken and is tied by a piece of cloth or gypsum he can wipe it with water, instead of washing it. He does not need to perform dust ablution as wiping replaces washing.
7. It is allowed to perform dust ablution by using a wall or any pure thing that contains dust. If the wall is polished by another kind other than soil such as paint, he is not to perform dust ablution by using it unless it contains dust.
8. If dust ablution is not possible on ground, wall or anything that contains dust, there is no sin to put some dust on a vessel or a handkerchief and perform dust ablution.
9. If one performs dust ablution for a prayer and stays purified to the time of the next prayer, he prays it with the first dust ablution. He is not to repeat dust ablution for the next prayer, because he is still purified and there is nothing that annuls his purification.
10.A patient must purify his body from impurities. If he cannot, he is then to pray in his status and his prayer is valid. He is not to repeat the prayer.
11.A patient must pray in pure clothes. If his clothes became impure, he must clean or replace them with pure clothes. If he is not able to do that, he prays at such case and his prayer is right. He is not to repeat his prayer.
12.A patient must pray on a pure place. If the place becomes impure, it must be cleaned, or he should replace it with a pure place or put a pure thing over it. If he is not able to do that, he prays at such case and his prayer is right. He is not to repeat it.
13.It is not permissible for a patient to delay a prayer after its due fixed time because of the disability for purification. He is, however, to purify himself as much as he can, and then prays at the time of the prayer, even if there is on his body, clothes or his place some impurity which he is unable to remove.
How does an ill person pray?
1- A patient must stand while praying. He must stand even with bending or leaning to a wall or a stick that he needs to support him.
2- If he cannot stand while praying, he prays in a sitting position. It is better to be cross-legged in the positions of standing and kneeling.
3- If he cannot sit while praying, he prays on his side while he is directed to the qibla. The right side is better. If he cannot be directed to the qibla, he prays whatever his direction is. His prayer is right. He is not to repeat it.
4- If he cannot pray on his side, he prays as lying down with his legs directed to the qibla. It is better to raise his head a bit to be directed to the qibla. If he cannot direct his legs to the qibla, he prays in his status. He is not to repeat the prayer.
5- A patient must kneel and prostrate himself in his praying. If he cannot, he nods his head for them. Prostrating is to be lower than kneeling. If he can kneel without prostrating himself, he is then to kneel upon kneeling and nod his head upon prostration. If he can prostrate himself without kneeling, he is to prostrate himself upon prostration and nod his head upon kneeling.
6- If he cannot nod his head either in kneeling or in prostration, he is to indicate by his eyes. He is to close his eyes a bit during kneeling and close them more for prostration. Indicating by a finger, as done by some people, is not right. I do not know a reference for it in the Quran, Sunnah or the opinions of the scholars.
7- If he cannot either nod his head or indicate by his eyes, he is to pray by his heart and sit by his heart. Each person is rewarded according to his intention.
8- A patient has to pray each prayer at its fixed due time and performs whatever he is able to do in prayer. If it is difficult to pray each prayer in time, he can combine between the noon and afternoon prayers and between the sunset and evening prayers either by advanced combination; by advancing the afternoon prayer to the noon pray and the evening prayer to the sunset prayer, or delayed combination; by delaying the noon prayer to the afternoon prayer and the sunset prayer to the evening prayer, whichever is easier for him. The dawn prayer, however, is not combined either to the prayer previous or after it.
9- If a patient abroad to be treated in another country, he is to shorten the four prayer unit prayers. He is to pray the noon, afternoon, and evening prayers as two prayer units until he returns to his country, whether such staying is long or short.
Allah is the One Who grants success.
Best wishes of a speedy recovery to all our patient brothers.
Written by His Eminence Sheikh Mohamed ibn Salih al-'Uthaymin.