al-Hamdu lillāh I’m now able to stand and make rukū‘ in salāh. Sujūd is still a bit difficult though, I pray with a chair nearby so that I can approximate prostration from a seated position.
I’ve also abandoned my crutches, leg brace and have felt confident enough to venture back into salāh in the jama’ah.
One thing that never occurred to me prior to getting injured was the nervousness that a person who needs a chair feels whilst making their way to the masjid.
Well, sometimes you arrive only to find that all the chairs are in use and you’re immediately thrown into a dilemma as to what to do next.
The first time it happened to me I thought to myself that as I can make qiyām and rukū‘ I just wouldn’t feel comfortable about sitting on the floor for the entire salāh and so I opted to “have a go” at sujūd to see how difficult it really was.
It probably looked more like someone searching for a lost contact lense than your regular sajdah. I survived but I decided afterwards that it was way too early to be reintroducing this motion onto my “things I can do” list.
So now I try to make sure that I leave early enough to be able secure a chair for myself.
Another chair related decision that people like me face when attending the jama’ah is where exactly do you position your chair?
I’m totally unaware of any scholastic insight into this issue but will happily read any “Chapter: How to align your chair with the row” that anyone can link me to.
To my mind I’d previously decided that it’s best to align the chair’s back-legs with the ankles of those on either side of me and I decided this for a number of reasons:
1) When we’re sitting for the tashāhud all of our backs will be neatly in a straight line.
2) I figured that my chair’s hind legs being directly underneath my back when I sit, were analogous to my own legs and hence should be aligned with the feet of those in my row.
3) If I chose to move my chair behind the row that I’m a part of it would encroach upon the guy in the row behind me’s prostration space.
Anyway, I’d always assumed that this was an individual’s prerogative to decide and felt that my particular chosen method would have the least impact upon others in the masjid.
Then today I’d just risen from the second sajdah of the first rak’ah of maghrib and I sensed movement behind me as I stood up. Suddenly the brother to my right started pulling at my arm, dragging me backwards.
“What’s he doing?!” I exclaimed internally. Has he..? I can’t believe this – he’s moved my chair and is now insisting that I move backwards to align my chest with the rest of the row.
(Which is admittedly the downside of having your chair aligned with the feet of others; you’re chest is consequently out of line in qiyām.)
Now as much as I’d have loved to turn to him and ask “What on earth do you think you’re doing mate?!” I realised that talking would break my salāh and so I decided to soldier on in my newly enforced position.
Not being able to turn around and check (as I was in salāh), I was now petrified that the guy may have moved my chair back so far that I’ll fall when I try to sit on it later; and even if it’s not that far back then surely anybody who joins the row immediately behind mine will innocently decide that there’s a chair in his way and move it to one side before he begins.
I mean jazāhu Allāhu khayran to the brother for his dedication and zeal in ensuring that the chests of the musallīn are aligned but seriously, could he not have waited until after the salāh to try and convince me that his fiqh al-Kursī is the most accurate one out there?
I was left with my concentration totally gone out of the window due to a combination of worrying about falling on my backside whilst attempting to sit on a chair that’s not there (*sigh, reminisces about school day pranks*) and trying to suppress my outrage at his intervention.
al-Hamdu lillāh, I managed to finish my prayer without any further event but now it’s putting me off going back to that particular masjid lest it happen again.
I went back for ‘ishā’ but it was still playing on my mind and any kind of movement from those around me had me thinking “They’re going to take my chair again, I just know it!”
The brother even left before I made taslīm (we both missed the first rukū‘) and so I was deprived of being able to turn to him afterwards and soulfully ask “Laysh (why)?!” and thereby get some kind of closure to the whole incident.
So I’m basically looking for any suggestions that you have as to how to deal with the possibility of a reoccurrence (until I’ve made a 100% recovery, inshā’ Allāh) that doesn’t involve handcuffing my chair legs to my ankles.