Thu 24 Jm2 1435 - 24 April 2014
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Not praying in congregation because of sickness

My relative is suffering from a sickness that keeps him confined to bed. Is it permissible for him to pray at home?.

Praise be to Allaah.  

Firstly: 

We ask Allaah to bless the sick Muslims with reward and healing. Undoubtedly the one who suffers sickness and bears it with patience, Allaah will expiate his sins thereby and raise him in status, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is nothing that befalls a believer, not even a thorn that pricks him, but Allaah will record for him thereby one hasanah (good deed) or will remove from him one sin.” Narrated by Muslim, 2572. 

Secondly: 

The sick person is excused from Jumu’ah prayer and from praying in congregation. What is meant by that is the kind of sickness which means that it is too difficult for the person to go and pray in the mosque. This is based on the following evidence: 

1 – Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“So keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him as much as you can”

[al-Taghaabun 64:16] 

2 – And He says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope”

[al-Baqarah 2:286] 

3 – And He says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“No blame or sin is there upon the blind, nor is there blame or sin upon the lame, nor is there blame or sin upon the sick”

[al-Fath 48:17] 

4 – The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If I command you to do a thing then do as much of it as you can.” Agreed upon. 

5 – And when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fell sick, he did not attend prayers in congregation, even though his house was beside the mosque. 

6 – Ibn Mas’ood said: “There was a time when no one stayed away from the prayer except a hypocrite who was known for his hypocrisy or one who was sick…” Narrated by Muslim, 654 

All of this evidence indicates that the sick person is spared the obligation to pray Jumu’ah and prayers in congregation. 

See al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 4/438. 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

It is obligatory for Muslim men to pray in the mosque and increase the numbers of the Muslims, and to go out to the mosques (to pray), otherwise they will be resembling the hypocrites. Ibn Mas’ood said: “There was a time when no one stayed away from the prayer except a hypocrite who was known for his hypocrisy.” 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) thought of burning down the houses of those who stayed away from the prayer. 

So you and every Muslim who is able to must pray in the mosque; the Muslim is not allowed to pray at home unless he has a valid shar’i excuse such as sickness or fear. May Allaah help us all to follow His guidance. 

End quote. From Majmoo Fataawa, vol. 12.

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