Answer

Assalammu Allaikum, please give a detailed explanation regarding praying in a chair in congragation (a) where and how to place the chair in the row if I am praying the whole prayer sitted ? (b) Where and how to place the chair if I am praying standing and sitting in the chair only for sujood and tashadh ?. I would also like to know while praying in the chair during sujood where should the palms be kept (i.e. on thigh or out side the thigh). Your explanation will help me to convince our Masjid admistration where there is a population of about 25000 muslims and 95 % are following Shafi Mazhab to arrange the correct way to place the chair in the row in congragation prayer because the back leg of the chair is placed in the row but some pray sitted and some pray standing.

Wa ʿalaikum al-salām wa raḥmatullāhi wa barakātuh

Bismi-l-Lāhi-r-Raḥmāni-r-Raḥīm

Straightening the rows is an important part of the congregational prayer; the prophet (ṣalla-l-Lāhu ʿalaihi wa sallam) instructed us to straighten our rows and warned us of the consequences of not doing so.

This important sunnah is achieved by aligning the heels (not the toes) for those that pray standing, and for those that pray sitting by aligning their backside with the heels of the other congregants.

As for those that pray on a chair: If they perform the qiyām and rukūʿ standing and then sit for the sujūd and tashahhud, they should align their heels with the rest of the row, which means that the chair will have to be placed behind the row. This is the recommended and optimal way of doing it, however, if placing the chair behind the row does not leave the person in the following row enough space to do rukūʿ and sujūd in a comfortable manner, then the chair needs to be moved further up until there is enough space for him to comfortably perform rukūʿ and sujūd.

Regarding the one who prays sitting on the chair the entire ṣalāh, the chair should be placed on the row by aligning the hind legs of the chair with the heels of the other congregants.

As for the placing of the hands during sujūd and tashahhud, they should be placed on the thighs close to the knee by aligning the fingertips with the edge of the knees.[1]

Allah knows best.

[1] Based on what imam al-Ramli (May Allah shower him with mercy) says in Nihayat al-Muḥtaj that those who are not able to perform proper sujūd because they prayed laying on their sides or on their backs should keep their hands placed on their thighs during sujūd just as they do in tashahhud.

Answered by Shaykh Omar Mohsin