Is it valid and enough to perform prayers by gestures? Is a person to whom a catheter is attached and who does not feel his urine and feces regarded as excused?

Details of the Question
A person who cannot feel his body parts below his chest, who does not feel his urine and feces and to whom a catheter is attached due to an accident (illness) wants to continue performing prayers. Now, he performs prayers by turning his face toward the qiblah. What should he do about wudu? Will the catheter and not feeling his urine and feces be an excuse for him regarding wudu? What should he do about qiblah? We do not make him lie all the time; we sometimes make him sit in an armchair; he sometimes performs prayers by sitting. What should he do about prayers and how?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

A person to whom a catheter is attached can perform prayers based on the decrees of excused people.

Such ill and disabled people can perform prayers in a way that is easy for them. They can act in accordance with the advice of a religious doctor. They can make tayammum instead of wudu; they can perform prayers by gestures.

The religion of Islam is based on ease. In addition, responsibilities and worshipping are based on the strength of the person. Therefore, illness is regarded as a mitigating and easing cause. Accordingly, a person who cannot stand or who has difficulty in standing can perform prayers by sitting. A person who cannot bow down or prostrate performs prayers by gestures.

Gesture means to make a gesture by the head instead of bowing down and prostrating. A person who performs prayers like that bends his head a bit for ruku’ and a bit more for sajdah.

It is not permissible for a person who cannot put his head on the ground/floor in prostration to lift something and prostrate on it.Such a person performs his prayers by gestures. A person who cannot sit makes gestures from the place where he lies. 

If a person can stand but cannot bow down and prostrate, he can make gestures by standing or sitting; however, it is more appropriate to make gestures by sitting. 

Accordingly, a person who cannot perform prayers by sitting makes gestures from the place where he lies on his back. If a person can stand but cannot bow down and prostrate, he can make gestures by standing or sitting; however, it is more appropriate to make gestures by sitting.

According to Hanafis, a person who is too ill to make gestures by his head abandons his prayers to perform them later as qada. This goes on like that as long as he is sane and he understands the divine addressing. However, some Hanafi scholars say if the prayers that such a person abandons are more than five daily prayers, he does not have to perform them as qada even if he is sane. They base their view on the principle of eliminating hardship. (al-Qasani, Badai, I/105 ff; az-Zuhayli, al-Fiqhul-Islami wa Adillatuh, Damascus, 1404/1984, I/639)

According to the majority of Islamic scholars, a person who cannot make gestures by his head performs his prayers by his eyes (eye gestures) and even by his heart. He does not abandon his prayers to perform them later as qada as long as he is sane.  

To sum up, the limit of performing prayers by an ill person is gestures by the head according to Hanafis, by the eyes or only by intention according to Malikis, and by the heart according to Shafiis and Hanbalis.

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