Where to look when praying while sitting
Fatwa No: 361441

Question

Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh, respected Shaykhs. Where should I look in prayer when I pray sitting and when I pray mixed (standing and sitting in the same prayer, depending on the degree of pain/weakness)? Should I look at my lap, as that is what is in front of me when I prostrate while sitting on a chair? I do that because I read that one should look at the place of prostration. Is what I do right or wrong? Is it as per the Sunnah? And when I sit with my legs down, it is either right in front of the feet or at the lap? And sometimes, I keep switching, if it is a prayer in which I mix the positioning, meaning that I pray standing and sitting. Please advise, shaykhs. May Allah reward you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

When you are standing in prayer, you should look at the place of your prostration, and when you are sitting, you also look at the place of your prostration. In the prostration, you look at your lap. The matter is flexible, Allah willing.

An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, "The view decisively held by the author and all the other scholars of Iraq and a group of other scholars is that he (the praying person) should look at the place of his prostration while standing or sitting. The second view, decisively held by Al-Baghawi and Al-Mutawalli, is that he should look at the place of prostration while standing up, at the upper part of his feet while bowing, at his nose while prostrating, and at his lap while sitting, because letting the eyes look beyond that (while sitting) leads to distraction in prayer."

Allah knows best.

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