Dear Mawlana Shaykh Hisham,
Assalaamu alaykum wR wB. Often you have spoken of our being nearest to Allah (SWT) when we are in sajdah during salat. I wonder how that applies to people who are physically unable to do the normal salat, and instead must pray while seated? Obviously our beloved Sultan, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim, must pray seated due to his advanced age, but we cannot compare ourselves to him. I’ve been unable to find any Traditions or Hadith that speak to this subject, and soon must have knee replacement surgery that will limit me to praying while seated.. Can you please expound on this, that we might better understand our limitation is having to pray while seated and how Allah Almighty takes this into account. Thanks, and may Allah Bless you.
wa `alaykum salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhm
Allah says in Qur’an:
and prostrate and draw near (to Allah). (Surah al-‘Alaq 96:19)
The Sajdah in Salat is the closest the servant may physically bring himself to a state of nearness to Allah. For those who are unable to do so because of some medical reason or old age, the Sajdah still take place however in different forms like bowing down when seated, or a slight tilt of the head if someone prays lying down. In such cases, it is the intention that counts in that act, and Allah shall not deny His servants who prostrate themselves to Him in the manner that they are most able to perform.