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Question: Aslamualaikum my question is that when praying especially tahajjud if ones get tired I heard a person can sit or lie down on their side. When I sit for too long my feet hurt . How are you meant to lie down on your side? Which way ?Also I heard in tahajjud you don't always have to read the rakats you can just sit on prayer mat and read Duas and ask for Duas- is that true ??
Answer:

The Prophet, peace be upon him, orders us to pray according to our level of energy; it varies from person to person. He also told us not to overexert ourselves; instead, we ought to practice moderation. He said, “This religion of ours is easy to follow; whoever makes it hard upon him will only destroy himself.”(Reported by Bukhari)

When he heard that one of his companions is praying all night, depriving himself of sleep, he advised him against it: “Don’t do that; pray and sleep (when you are tired)…for your body has rights, your eyes have rights; our guests have rights; your spouse has rights; so, give each one his or her due.” (Reported by Bukhari).

Accordingly, when the Prophet once during Ramadan came to the mosque he saw a rope between two pillars: when asked why there was a rope, he was told that it belongs to Zaynab (his wife); she wanted to hang on to it when she got too tired of standing and praying! The Prophet said that it should be removed as there was no need for it as each one is supposed to pray only according to his or her level of stamina or energy.

Therefore, there is no basis that we continue to pray Tahajjud even if we are too tired to continue.

We are to pray while lying down only when we are suffering from a disease that makes us virtually bed-ridden and unable to stand or sit.

Having said this, let me also point out: if we are not able to pray in the prescribed manner we can still practice dhikr and Du’a lying down on our sides: Allah says: “[And] who remember God standing, sitting and lying down, and [thus] reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: "Our Lord! You have not created all this without purpose. You are limitless in Glory! Protect us from the torment of Fire.” (Qur’an: 3: 191).

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