Explanation Of Performing Salaah On Conveyances And Allowance Given To Pray On Elevated Platforms

Question: Assalamu ‘alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu Mufti Sahib,

I’ve read in one of your fatawa that:

“Please note that ’bed’ as mentioned above do not refer to the beds that are supported by four legs and are a few feet above the floor. One will not be allowed to stand on such beds to perform his salaah”

Is this due to the fact that the platform is raised above the floor (and thus, would the Salah be invalid even on a platform with an hard surface )?

If so, what’s the difference with praying on a train or on a boat or an airplane, which are even more “suspended” without direct contact with the ground?
Could you please shed some light on this mas’ala of praying on platforms or conveyances?

The reason for asking is a question from a sister, who asked:

“In case it’s not possible to pray on the floor (for example, if the house is flooded, etc.), is it permissible to pray on a platform such as a sofa, a table or on chairs (united for the purpose), while still in direction of the qibla and with all the complete postures of Salah?”

Jazakallahu khayran,


Wa Alaikum As Salaam,

Wherever you are, you are required to perform Salaah on the ground – not necessarily on the earth. Hence, if you are on a train, then you will perform Salaah on the ground where you walk and not on a bed. If you are in a boat, you will perform Salaah on the ground where you walk and not on a bed in a cabin. If you are on the airplane, you will perform Salaah on the ground where people walk and not on a seat. In all these cases the ground is not suspended. Though the plane, train etc. maybe suspended above the earth, this is not an issue. The area which is referred to as the ground in all these, is what must be considered. As such, if you are on a plane and in first class where you seat can be converted into a bed, it will not be permissible to perform Salaah on the bed, since this is suspended of the ground. Instead, you will perform Salaah on the area where people walk, since this is known to be the ground (or the floor) on the plane. The same will be in the case of a train. The area you walk on is known to be the floor and the ground, and Salaah must be perform on this area.

With respect to the question of the sister, one must try one’s best to perform Salaah on the ground (floor). If this cannot be done at all, like the case of being flooded, then an allowance will be given to perform Salaah on something else while fulfilling all the conditions and postures of Salaah. Hence, in this case doing it on a sofa, table, etc. will be allowed due to the situation.

And Allah Knows Best.

Mufti Waseem Khan.