Attached is my recent research in Urdu on a fiqh issue that affects many Muslims and begs clarification.
This research answers the following questions by drawing evidence from the Hanafi Legal Texts:
When is a person exempted from standing in prayer and from actual prostration?
What are the exact descriptions of prostration, bowing and standing positions for healthy and sick people?
When is a sick person obliged to stand as much as possible during qiyam and when is he exempted?
Is a person allowed to sit on a chair and pray or is there any other manner prescribed in the Shariah?
Is it important that the person sitting on a chair prostate on a table attached to the chair?
Must the person sitting on a chair stand and perform ruku or qiyam if possible?
The crux of this unique research for English Readers is as follows:
1) If a sick or elderly person is able to sit on the ground and place a hard surface such as a stool in front to prostrate upon which is less than 9 inches/12 fingers in height then he is not allowed to sit on a chair and pray salah. Such a person must also stand as much as possible to pray even if it is only possible for the time of Takbir Tahrimah and is permitted to sit only when experiences severe difficulty by standing or if he fears his illness will genuinely increase or healing shall be delayed.
2) If someone is completely unable to sit on the ground or is unable to sit on the ground and prostate on a hard surface such as a table less than 9 inches in height (which is the least possible way allowed to actually prostate), then he is allowed to sit on a chair and pray salah by gesture (ishaarah). Such a person is not required to stand at all from the beginning of the prayer nor is he required to stand and perform ruku, even if it is possible for him.
3) The person allowed to pray salah on a chair does not need to prostate on a hard surface hence salah chairs do not require tables as salah on a chair is purely by gesture that means that he bows his head and back as much as easily possible for prostration and a little less for ruku.
4) A person sitting on a chair and praying salah is not allowed to lead people that are standing in prayer because his prayer is by gesture and their prayer is actual.
May this writing bring immense benefit by the Tawfiq of Allah Almighty to all its readers.