Fatwa n° 1197
Category: Fatwas about Prayer – Congregational Prayer
The ruling concerning a handicapped person praying on a wheelchair in the first row of the mosque
I am a young man with physical disability, I perform my prayers on a wheelchair and I attend the mosque in our town and pray in the first row, knowing its great reward. Nevertheless, people, and especially those who come from outside of town, are opposed to me on doing that, with the argument that a wheelchair is considered as a shoe, regardless of the cause for which we cannot pray wearing a shoe whether it was stained with impurity or clean. Thus, I wish from my noble sheikh to detail this matter? May Allah reward you well.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers until the Day of Resurrection.
The priority for a handicapped person is to be transported from his wheelchair into a stable chair to pray on it, or to pray on the ground if he can; taking into account the hadith of ‘Imrân Ibn Husayn رضي الله عنه, that the prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم said: “Pray while standing and if you cannot, pray while sitting and if you cannot do even that, then pray lying on your side.” (1)
Yet if that was unattainable, and he did not find anyone to support him on transporting, then there is no harm to pray on his wheelchair if it does not left a mark of dust or mud or asphalt or whatever on the mosque’s carpet or rug, especially in rainy days. And he may –in this case– pray on the wheelchair at the mosque’s two extremities, in order to not create a spacing between rows because of its two prominent wheels, which prevent from attaining the juxtaposition and closing the gaps, as it is ordered in the hadith in his saying صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم: “Stand shoulder to shoulder and close the gaps.” (2)
The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ; and our last prayer is all the praises and thanks are to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and prayers of Allah are to Muhammad and his Family, Companions and Brothers until the Day of Resurrection.
Algiers on: Rajab the 5th, 1439 H.
Corresponding to: March the 22nd, 2018 G.