Praying the sunnah prayer whilst sitting down

Fataawa Noor ‘alad-Darb – Tape No.33

Question: I have noticed many [Muslims] from India praying the sunnah [units of prayer] whilst sitting down – despite their good health [and ability to do so standing]. So is praying the sunnah prayer whilst standing better than praying it whilst sitting down for the one who is in good health?

Response: [Praying] the sunnah prayer whilst standing is better, [and this is] based upon the saying of the Prophet ﷺ:

«[The reward of] the prayer of the one sitting down is half [as much] of the prayer of the one standing»

So it is better for the person to offer voluntary prayers whilst standing, and if he is unable or [feeling] lazy, then there is no harm in him praying whilst sitting down. And in this situation, it is hoped that Allaah will write for him the reward of the one standing; that is because the Prophet ﷺ said:

«If a person is sick or is travelling, there is written for him [the reward] for the deeds he used to do when he was healthy or not travelling»

And it is permissible – without any excuse – for him to pray voluntary prayers whilst sitting down, however, his reward will be reduced as a result [of doing so].

He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004. He currently resides in Birmingham, UK.

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