Offering Nafl Salat in Sitting Position

By Mufti Muhammad Kadwa
Posted: 20 Zul-Qa'dah 1422, 3 February 2002

Checked and approved correct: Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Q.) In Pakistan I witnessed a practice that seems to be growing immensely in popularity. People in the masjid, young and old, weak and healthy, have made it a habit to offer two rakaats nafil after fardh/sunnah entirely in the sitting posture. For some reason my heart fails to accept that there could be virtue in this act. Is this an established sunnah (esp. to do it after every dhuhr, maghrib and isha Salat)? My limited understanding of Hanafi usool is that the Ahnaaf don't make a regular practice of an act that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) may have done on certain occasions due to special circumstances. For example, urinating while standing cannot be deemed sunnah, just permissible in forced circumstances. If the Prophet (S) did occasionally pray nafil in this manner, would it not have been due to illness or fatigue? Isn't qiyam a requisite of salat that should not be abandoned without 'uzr? I just feel that this common practice is going against the very principles of the solidness with which Hanafi fiqh classifies the sunnah. Please clarify my misunderstandings. [Hashir M. Zuberi]

A.) 1. Some Fuqahaa amongst the Hanafi Madhab are of the opinion that Nafl Salat may be performed seated. However, even they concede that the Thawaab (reward) is reduced by half. This is only a permitted act and should not be construed as a Mustahabb (preferred action). People may read the Nafl Salat whilst seated but they should not make a habit of doing so.

2. Qiyam is definitely a requisite of Salat as you say but due to the extensive latitude allowed in Nafl Salat, certain restrictions and rules are eased. One of them is Qiyaam. Hence, Qiyaam in Nafl is not obligatory. However, since it is becoming a common practice in your area, people who do not have any excuse should be discouraged from sitting and performing their Nafl Salat. And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best