Is It Necessary for Women to Lift Elbows when Prostrating?

29 August, 2016
Q Assalamu Alaikum, my question is: While prostration in Salah is it necessary to lift the elbow for women? Can we place our arm flat when prostrating in Salah. Because for older women it's too difficult to lift the arm and since childhood we have been practicing this way. Can you please tell what is acceptable according to the shari'ah?


Salam Dear Sister,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

Initially according to Shariah, there is no different way of praying for women. Both men and women pray alike as far as postures are concerned since there is no mention in hadith that they should be praying differently.

We read in the hadith; narrated Anas bin Malik that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Be straight in the prostrations and none of you should put his forearms on the ground (in the prostration) like a dog.” (Al-Bukhari)

Of course, Muslim women must dress according to Shariah. Women should also be praying separate from men unless men they are praying with are from their household (mahram); Men in front and women in the back to avoid distraction, etc…

What I suggest to you is to raise your elbows just a little bit. This should not be much different than the way you are currently praying, keeping in mind that I do understand how women from India and Pakistan were taught to pray.

As far as older women are concerned, they may pray with their elbows down if they are unable to lift them up slightly. Allah says in His book what means:

{No-one should be charged beyond his capacity.} (Al-Baqara, 2:233)

I hope this helps answer your question.

Salam and please keep in touch.