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Praying In a Car While Sitting (During a Journey)

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is it permissible to pray while sitting while in a car as a musafir… can you give a proof from sources. People don’t seem content when I say that such and such thing is the position of the Hanafi madhab, which of course, is their choice. But I can’t stand it when they force me to follow their understanding of things just because they heard some so-called scholar state otherwise. They use a hadith where the beloved Prophet sallaLlahu ‘alaihi wa sallam prayed while sitting on a camel. Please clarify. Is there even a difference of opinion on this issue between madhabs?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, and all blessings and peace upon our master Muhammad, his folk, companions and those who follow their noble way,

Walaikum assalam,

I am travelling to Canada on Sunday night, so I am a bit rushed for time. Forgive me for not giving proof from sources.

During a journey, it is permitted to pray non-obligatory prayers sitting in a car or like, not obligatory ones, unless one cannot pray standing through reasonable means [such as stopping the car and praying on the side of the road or highway], in which care even obligatory prayers could be prayed sitting (though it would be best, as some contemporary fuqaha explain, to make such prayers up).

In planes, btw, one needs to pray standing, with bowing and prostration. If this is not possible, then sitting. Note that when the fuqaha say sitting they mean: “sitting, with bowing and prostration.” And “prostration” is to “place one’s forehead on the ground.” They do not mean praying with head movements, which is only allowed if the first two are not possible. This is a common, unfortunate mistake.

The hadith you mentioned is understood as referring to nafl prayers.

Don’t bother arguing with people of such tendencies, unless you are reasonably sure they will listen to you. Arguing just makes them more stubborn. Let them do what they are doing. Just ask them to tolerate your views.


Faraz Rabbani

This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.