I was a bit surprised by these descriptions of the Prophet Muhammad:

'A'isha said, "Do not forget to stand up at night to pray. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did not neglect to do it. If he was either ill or lazy, he prayed sitting down." (sunnah.com)

This version of Ziyad has: He said: What is this? The people told him: This is for Zainab who prays. When she becomes lazy, or is tired, she holds it. He said: Undo it. One of you should pray in good spirits. When he is lazy or tired, he should sit down. (sunnah.com)

I've always envisioned the Prophet as having the utmost highest standards of prayer. So this maybe is not regular behavior.

Question: Is it acceptable to pray sitting down because of laziness?

  • 1
    Yes, but only for optional prayers.
    – ozbek
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 4:49

1 Answer 1


All Praise to Allah Subhanahu wa Taala and blessings of Him be on Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him His family and companions,

It is not allowed to pray while sitting unless necessary like ill or not able to stand as Qiyam (Standing) is one of the essential of salah ,Laziness is not the condition considered to pray in a sitting way.

Narrated Abdullah bin Buraida:Imran bin Husain had piles. Once Abu Ma mar narrated from `Imran bin Husain had said, "I asked the Prophet (p.b.u.h) about the prayer of a person while sitting. He said, 'It is better for one to pray standing; and whoever prays sitting gets half the reward of that who prays while standing; and whoever prays while Lying gets half the reward of that who prays while sitting.' "(Bukhari)

The first hadith you quoted is showing importance of night prayers ,When Rasulullah salAllahu alayhi wasallam became so ill even then he was not skipping his night prayers and laziness here means exertion beacause of the sickness not the usual lazinees like ours.As Allah swt has asked him to take rest in Surah Muzzammil because he used to be in Qiyam all the night and did not get the time to take rest,

O you who wraps himself [in clothing],Arise [to pray] the night, except for a little -Half of it - or subtract from it a little(73:1-3)

So if someone has the valid reason he is not able to stand he could pray while sitting if he could not sit then he could pray while lying,

Narrated `Imran bin Husain: had piles, so I asked the Prophet (ﷺ) about the prayer. He said, "Pray while standing and if you can't, pray while sitting and if you cannot do even that, then pray Lying on your side."(bukhari)

The second hadith you mentioned is actually emphasizing and providing the proof to do qiyam while prayers and "to sit down if tired" in that hadith does not indicate to sit during the prayers but to start prayers after some rest wallahu a'lam,

Also see this for more,

Allah Swt and His Messenger knows best.

  • 1
    The linked article is about obligatory prayers. In fact, this whole answer is talking about obligatory prayers.
    – ozbek
    Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 14:05

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