Q. What is the ruling regarding musallis sitting on chairs? In our Musjid some musallis sit in the first saff right behind the Imaam. Please comment.
A. If a musalli is able to sit on the floor for Salaat, then sitting on a chair is not permissible nor will the Salaat be valid. However, if he is unable to sit on the floor, then Salaat on the chair is valid.
It is improper for chair-sitting musallis to place their chairs conspicuously right behind the Imaam in the first saff. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that the Ulun Nuha (Ulama, Huffaaz and people who are aware of the masaa-il of Salaat) should be immediately behind the Imaam in case the Imaam’s wudhu breaks, then the mas’alah of Istikhlaaf will apply. People on chairs should sit preferably at the ends of the sufoof (rows). A couple of musallis should come a bit early to the Musjid before the chair-sitting brothers occupy the space behind the Imaam. They should occupy the positions behind the Imaam. The chair-sitting musallis will then have to place their chairs at a distance from the Imaam. The Imaam should also politely offer them naseehat.
If there are several chair-sitting musallis, the chairs should not be placed together in the saff. They should be spread out. If the chairs are in a row, it resembles people in a church sitting on benches.
THE MAJLIS VOL 22 NUMBER 7