Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Prayer making my knees hurt

Elderly Muslim man praying on a rock


Hi all.

I just wanted to ask you all for your advice, regarding my knees when praying.

Every since I began praying, my kness have turned really dark and red. They hurt so much. Everyday it just gets worse.
I don't want to stop praying, because of my knees, but I am so distressed about it. My confidence is getting lower and lower. I hate the thought of always thinking about the appearance if my knees, but it truly matters to me.

I have tried body lotion, and it still does not work.  Is there a way I can pray without touching my kness on the floor? (I have also tried pillows)

Thank you all.



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21 Responses »

  1. As long as it is the pain and not the appearance of your knees that causes the most distress, you are allowed to simply sit in a chair during prayer time and make salat. When in sajood, put your hands on your knees and lower your head to your knees as far as possible.
    Sister Stacy

  2. As-salamu alaykum sister,

    To be clear, are you talking about joint pain, or skin pain? If it is joint pain, such as arthritis, then you can pray sitting down.

    If it's simply the skin of your knees that is bothering you, what are you praying on? Are you praying on a hard surface? Try putting down a thick prayer rug, or even two or three, and praying on that.

    Also, when you go down for sajdah, your hands should meet the ground first, not your knees. In other words, you should not drop directly down onto your knees. For one thing, the impact is bad for your knees, and secondly it's not sunnah. Meet the ground with your hands first, then set your knees down gently.

    When rising, lift your knees first, then push off with your hands. That way you avoid undue pressure on your knees.

    Not only is this better for your knees, it's good exercise for your upper body. The salat is a complete experience - physical, mental and spiritual.

    As far as the appearance of your knees, any change that comes from salat is a blessing. Don't you think you will be recognized and rewarded for this on Yawm al-Qiyamah? Try to take a broader view. Our earthly bodies are temporary. Before long, we shall all be buried in the ground and consumed by worms. Our goal is to work for a good station in Jannah, Insha'Allah.

    Wael Editor

  3. oh my God i know exactly what you mean as i have the same problem!my knees hurt too when i pray, the skin gets always dark red and dry!My knee prints are always on my carpet lol i use olive oil and black seed oil lately and it helps a lot but i guess i should try to meet the ground with my hands first as i always do my knees first!i didnt know about that, jazakAllah for sharing.

    • There are ahaadeeth for both - knees first and hands first, and some scholars said that knees first is more correct (such as Shaikh Albani and others). And some said that hands first is more correct (such as Imam ibn Qayyim, Shaikh ibn Uthaimeen and others). So, whichever is easy that should be practiced. Personally, I place my hands first, then my knees. But sometimes I also go on my knees first.

      And when you are praying, be gentle, do not fall down on your knees. This kind of force may hurt the knees. Normally, when one is praying fast, this happens. So try to improve khushoo'.

      Abu Abdul Bari Editor

  4. Assalaamualaikam

    As people have already mentioned, you should try to avoid your knees landing hard on the floor, and your hands should touch the floor first.

    Make sure that you are properly covered during prayers - as well as being a requirement for proper prayer, this will provide extra protection for your knees - and use a thick prayer mat.

    If the joints are painful, you could use a knee support (which can usually be obtained from most chemist shops, sports shops or supermarkets) and ask your doctor to look at it - it may be that a course of antiinflammatory medication or physiotherapy might help - your doctor would be able to advise on this.

    For the skin, use a thick rich moisturising cream and shower cream - this will help the skin remain soft and flexible. It is normal for there to be changes in an area of skin that is experiencing a new type of physical stress on it - the important thing is to take steps to maintain both your physical health and your spiritual health.

    Prayer is an integral part of maintaining and developing our spiritual health, so it is essential that we do not let concerns of this world keep us from it.

    Midnightmoon editor

  5. If you are using any hard surface for prayers then don’t do so, this will gradually make to increase the pain in the knees. You must also make sure to visit the doctor and carry out all the activities that are essential for medication.

  6. Yes I have this problem and my back of knees are very swollen ,also my husband makes me pray in public if we are outside,even in streets and parking lots,I feel embarrassed and humiliated for non Muslims to pass behind me while I prostrate ,I feel that non Muslims see that as an invitation.,if you know what I mean,also I never see other women praying in such open public places

    • If you feel that way about praying in public then I dont see why you should unless time is running out. Why dont you just tell your husband that you ll wait till you get home to pray?

      • Yes it's about the time he likes out door activity on the weekends that keep us out all day.long drives where I won't make it back in time for prayers

  7. Assalamu Alaikum sister,

    Use knee pads or ace wrap your knees. I do not have pain in my knees but I have marks on them and on my left foot from the pressure of the floor during prayers. They do not bother me because I got them from obeying the One Who created me. Be thankful and happy for being a Muslim.


  8. pray sitting in a chair, its better.

  9. I guess my question to the umma would be, why would our creator want us to feel any form of discomfort in the name of prayer and submission? why would our most gracious most merciful father even want us hurting ourselves in the least bit? Even with being gentle on the knees over time the constant pressure can cause numerous knee issues, so why would our creator who is the most gracious most merciful master of the day of judgement, want such an action in the name of love? Please help brothers and sisters....

    • Prayer in Islam is a physical act as well as spiritual and mental. As such it is a complete exercise for a human being. In fact, the physical act of salat contains many movements that keep the body strong. Ruku (bowing) is a type of lower back and hamstring stretch. Sitting (jalsa) is a quadriceps stretch. Sujood (prostration) strengthens the arms. Rising from sujood is a kind of push up.

      Physical exercise is good for the body, but any exercise can sometimes result in overuse injuries or discomfort. Islam is a flexible and easy-going religion. There are exemptions for those who cannot pray in the normal way. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

      "Pray while standing and if you can't, pray while sitting and if you cannot do even that, then pray Lying on your side." - Al-Bukhari

      That is the mercy of Allah.

      Wael Editor

      • Thank you Wael. I wish I could give you a thumbs up for your reply! As well as everyone else here. 🙂

        • Thumbs up received, thank you 🙂


        • Salamalaikum, I have this pain from the back of my knee reaching up to may waist (left side) and I think I got it from the way I sit during prayer ( I sit in on the left foot), it caused me great discomfort during my normal activities, sometimes when I sit in a waiting area and have to stand up my leg goes dead for some minute and I sometimes almost fall. Please what other ways can I sit (jalsa) during sallat. I love to pray and I love to pray the normal way I don’t want to have to sit in a chair or lie down. May Allah (SWT) make it easy for us all.

          • If you really want to improve those areas then perhaps go to a real good physical therapist. Exercise and stretch regularly, don’t do it temporarily.

  10. Assaulamulaikem I am have similar problem I can’t bend knees anymore and it’s started getting worse know can’t bend knees I was waking for tajahudd prayer at 3:00 am, maybe too many rakat was doing 30 and I notice severe pain took over I can’t get down for one know I am very upset know I want to continue the pain is severe I never miss my prayers know it’s I. Pain I get down with one knee the other knee only responds with pain I might need medical assistance soon cause of pandemic I have gone to doctor yet other than that does prayer count still when I try on one knee pain is unbearable please advise

    • Sister,

      30 rakahs is a lot. Remember that even the prophet (pbuh) advised against praying all night! Prayer is of course required and so beneficial, but voluntary prayers should be in moderation to avoid situations exactly like the one you are in. So once your knee gets better (and Inshallah it will) I would take a break from all those rakahs and/or pray a more moderate amount sitting or lying down.



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