questions on sitting on chairs

  1. What is the hukm on using chairs in the masjid when some people are unable to stand? is it better to sit on the floor?
    If several people do decide to use chairs, should they be sitting together are separated by some distance? Sometimes it looks like a church in my masjid with so many people praying in chairs.
  2. What is the general hukm on chairs? We know we should not eat while sitting in chairs. we notice that whenever guests come to the madrassahs here in pakistan the ulema bring out chairs and they discuss deeni matters while sitting on the chairs on the lawns.
    Did the sahaba use chairs at all? Are there times when it is sunnat to use chairs, or should a muslim strive to sit on the floor as much as possible?
    was salaam
    hassaan sulaiman
    karachi Pakistan

ASSALAMU ALAIKUM

17th Ramadhaan 1428 (29-09-2007)

Hassaan Sulaiman

Karachi, Pakistan

Respected Brother,

Your e-mail dated 29-09-2007 refers.
If the sick person is able to sit on the floor, then it is not permissible to sit on a chair for Salaat. A chair may be used only if the sick person is unable to sit. It is best to scatter the chairs in the Musjid if several persons are sitting on them. If they are placed all in a row, the scene does resemble a church scenario. Such Tashabbuh is not permissible.

The Ulama, especially in Pakistan and India, if they wish to discuss Deeni matters while sitting on the lawn, should spread mats and sit on the ground, not on chairs. There is no need to bring chairs onto the lawn when Deeni matters have to be discussed. We here in South Africa sit on chairs throughout the day while working in our libraries and offices, not while eating. We grew up in this manner. The people who come to us for their Deeni needs all grew up sitting on chairs. They are unable to sit for long periods on the ground. But the Ulama in India and Pakistan were not using chairs since childhood. After they became adults, they emulated the non-Muslims and introduced their ways. Hence it is not permissible for them to use chairs and couches. In so doing they are displacing the simple Muslim style of living into which they were born. This trend is evil and has been introduced in even the Madaaris. In the Korongi Darul Uloom, the Daarul Hadith is modelled like an auditorium. The seating is in steps, leading upwards. Many of the students sit on a higher level than the Ustaadh. They sit higher than the Hadith kitaab. This way has been copied from the kuffaar. It is not a system into which they were born and grew up with. It is plain Tashabbuh bil kuffaar. And even if they have been born into this type of darsgah, it is necessary to dismantle it. Such a style for imparting Deeni lessons is not permissible. Tashabbuh Bil Kuffaar, disrespect for the Ustaadh, disrespect for the Kutub, and displacement of the simple and mubaarak Tareeqah of the Salf-e-Saaliheen from the very age of the Sahaabah, are the factors of prohibition.

When our Shaikh and Ustaadh. Hadhrat Masihullah (rahmatullah alayh), visited Pakistan during the 1970’s, he commented adversely on this trend of modernization by the Pakistani Ulama. He was speaking specifically on the couches on which the Ulama were sitting.

Was-salaam

A.S. Desai

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