Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Standing in the Solāh

The Standing in Solāh
(Qiyam in Solāh) 

The Solāh of the Prophet S.A.W
By Shaikh Muhammad Nasiruddin Al-Albāni

[The book was translated by Usama Ibn Suhaib Hasan Al-Brittani; it would be worthwhile to revisit it and I invite you to provide further inputs]

The Description of the Solāh
2.2. Standing in Solāh
(Qiyam in Solāh) 

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-'ālamīn. There is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam is His Messenger.

The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to stand in Solāh for both obligatory and voluntary Solāh, carrying out the command of the Exalted:

"And stand before Allāh devoutly." (Al-Baqarah, 2:238)

As for during a journey, Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would pray voluntary Solāh on his riding beast.

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) set the example for his ummah to Solāh during severe fear on foot or while mounted, as has been mentioned, and that is the purpose of the saying of Allāh:

"Guard strictly your (habit of)
Solāh, especially the Middle Solāh [14], and stand before Allāh devoutly. If you fear (an enemy) then Solāh on foot, or while riding. But when you are in security, celebrate Allāh's praises in the manner He has taught you, which you did not know before. (Al-Baqarah, 2:238-9)

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) performed Solāh sitting during the illness of which he died." [15] Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam)  also performed Solāh sitting on another occasion before that, when he was injured, and the people behind him performed Solāh standing; so he indicated to them to sit, so they sat (and prayed). When he completed, he said, “You were going to do as the Persians and the Romans do: stand for their kings who sit. So do not do so, for the Imam is there to be followed: when he makes ruku', make ruku', when he rises, rise; and when he Solāh sits, Solāh sitting [all of you]”. [16]

[NB: Please see the addendum on this subject below]

1. The Solāh of a Sick Person in a Sitting Position

`Imran ibn Husain (radiyallāhu`anhu) said, "I was suffering from hemorrhoids’ (piles), so I asked the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) and he said, “Solāh standing; if you are not able, then sitting down; if you are not able to do so, then Solāh lying down”. [17]

`Imran ibn Husain also said, "I asked him (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) about the Solāh of a man while sitting, so he said: He who Solāh standing, that is better; he who Solāh sitting, his reward is half that of the former. He who Solāh lying down (and in another narration: reclining), has half the reward of the one who sits. [18] This applies to the sick person, for Anas bin Malik(radiyallāhu`anhu) said, "The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) came out to the people while they were praying sitting due to illness, so he (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: Verily, the Solāh of one who sits is (worth) half of the Solāh of the one who stands. [19]

Once “Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) visited a sick person and saw him praying (leaning) on a pillow, so he took it and cast it aside. So the man took a stick to pray (leaning) on it, but he took it and cast it aside and said: ‘Solāh on the ground if you can, but otherwise make movements with your head, making your sujud lower than your ruku’." [20]

2. Solāh on a Ship.

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) was asked about Solāh on a ship, so he said, “Solāh on it standing, unless you are afraid of drowning”. [21]

When Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) became old he took a support at his place of prayer to lean on [22].

2. Sitting and Standing in the Night Prayer (Tahajjud).

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam), used to Solāh long through the night standing, and long through the night sitting, and if he recited standing, he would bow standing, and if he recited sitting, he would bow sitting." [23]

Sometimes, " Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would pray sitting, so he would recite sitting until about thirty or forty verses of his recitation were left; he would then stand up to recite these standing and then bow and prostrate, and he would do likewise in the second raka`ah." [24]

In fact, “Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) prayed as-subhah [25] sitting down towards the end of his life when he had grown old, and that was a year before his death." [26]

Also “Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would sit cross-legged." [27]

3. Solāh Wearing Shoes and the command to do so.

“Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) used to stand (in Solāh) bare-footed sometimes and wearing shoes sometimes." [28]

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) allowed this for his ummah, saying: When one of you prays, he should wear his shoes or take them off and put them between his feet, and not harm others with them. [29]

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) encouraged Solāh wearing them sometimes, saying: Be different from the Jews, for they do not Solāh in their shoes or in their khuffs (leather socks). [30]

Occasionally Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would remove them from his feet while in prayer and then continue his prayer, as Abu Sa`id al-Khudri (radiyallāhu`anhu) has said:

"The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) prayed with us one day. Whilst he was engaged in the prayer he took off his shoes and placed them on his left. When the people saw this, they took off their shoes. When he finished his Solāh he said, “Why did you take your shoes off?” They said, 'We saw you taking your shoes off, so we took our shoes off.' He said, Verily Jibreel came to me and informed me that there was dirt - or he said: something harmful - (in another narration: filth) on my shoes, so I took them off. Therefore, when one of you goes to the mosque, he should look at his shoes: if he sees in them dirt - or he said: something harmful - (in another narration: filth) he should wipe them and Solāh in them. [31]

"When Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) removed them, he would place them on his left" [32] and he would also say: When one of you performs Solāh, he should not place his shoes on his right nor on his left, where they will be on someone else's right, except if there is no one on his left, but he should place them between his feet. [33]

4. Solāh on the Pulpit (Minbar)

"Once Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) prayed on the pulpit (in another narration: '... which had three steps') [34]. Hence [he stood on it and said takbīr and the people behind him said takbīr while he was on the pulpit,] [then he made ruku' on the pulpit,] then he rose and descended backwards to make sajdah at the foot of the pulpit. Then he returned, [and did on it as he had done in the first raka'ah], until he completed his prayer. He then turned to the people and said: O people! I have done this so that you may follow me and learn my Solāh. [35]

5. The Sutrah [36] and the Obligation to have one.

“Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) used to stand near to the sutrah, so that there was (a distance of) three cubits between him and the wall" [37] and "between the place of his prostration and the wall, (there was) enough space for a sheep to pass." [38] He used to say: "Do not pray except towards a sutrah, and do not let anyone pass in front of you, but if someone continues (to try to pass) then fight him, for he has a companion (i.e. a shaytān) with him." [39]

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would also say: "When one of you performs Solāh towards a sutrah, he should get close to it so that Shaytān cannot break his Solāh." [40]

Sometimes “Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would seek to Solāh at the pillar which was in his mosque." [41]

"When Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) performed Solāh [in an open space where there was nothing to use as sutrah] he would plant a spear in the ground in front of him and pray towards it with the people behind him" [42]; Sometimes "he would to set his mount sideways and pray towards it" [43] but this i[s not the same as prayer in the resting-place of camels [44], which "he forbade"[45], and sometimes "he would take his saddle; set it lengthways and pray towards its end." [46]

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would say: When one of you places in front of him something such as the stick on the end of a saddle, he should perform Solāh and not mind anyone who passes beyond it. [47]

Once “Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) performed Solāh towards a tree"[48] and sometimes " Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would Solāh towards the bed on which `Aishah (radiyallāhu`anha) was lying [under her sheet]."[49]

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam), would not let anything pass between him and his sutrah, hence once "he was performing Solāh, when a sheep came running in front of him, so he raced it until he pressed his belly against the wall [and it passed behind him]."[50] Also, once "while praying an obligatory Solāh, he clenched his fist (during it), so when he had finished, the people said: 'O Messenger of Allāh, did something happen during the Solāh?' He said: No, except that the devil wanted to pass in front of me, so I strangled him until I could feel the coldness of his tongue on my hand By Allāh! Had my brother Sulaiman not beaten me to it [51], I would have tied him (the devil) to one of the pillars of the mosque so that the children of Madinah could walk round him. [So whoever can prevent something intervening between him and the qiblah, he must do so]." [52]

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) also used to say:

When one of you performs Solāh towards something which is a sutrah between him and the people and someone intends to cross in front of him, then he should push him in the throat [and repel, as much as he can], (in one narration: he should stop him, twice) but if he refuses (to not pass) then he should fight him, for verily he is a devil. [53]

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) also used to say: If the person who passed in front of someone performing Solāh knew (the sin) on him, it would be better for him to wait forty than to pass in front. (Abu an-Nadr said, "I do not remember exactly whether he said forty days, months or years."). [54]

6. What Breaks the Solāh

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) used to say: A man's prayer is cut off when there is nothing such as the end of a saddle in front of him, by: a [menstruating] [55] woman, a donkey or a black dog. Abu Dharr said, 'I said: "O Messenger of Allāh, why the black dog rather than the red one?" Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said, The black dog is a shaytān. [56]

7. Prohibition of Solāh Facing the Grave

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) used to forbid prayer facing the grave, saying: Do not perform Solāh towards the graves, and do not sit on them. [57]



14. i.e., the Solāh ‘Asar according to the correct saying of the majority of scholars, among them Abu Hanifah and his two students. There are ahadith about this which Ibn Kathir has given in his Tafsir of the Qur`ān.
15. Tirmidzi, who declared it sahih, and Ahmad.
16. Muslim and Bukhari, and it is given in my book Irwa' al-Ghalīl under Hadith 394.
17. Bukhari, Abu Dawud and Ahmad.
18. ibid. Khattabi said, "The meaning of `Imran's hadith is intended for a sick person who is able to undergo hardship and stand with difficulty. Hence the reward of praying sitting has been made half of the reward of praying standing: encouraging him to perform Solāh standing while allowing him to sit." Ibn Hājar said in Fathul-Bāri (2/468): "This deduction is valid".
19. Ahmad and Ibn Majah with a sahih sanād.
20. Tabarāni, Bazzār, Ibn as-Samak in his hadith book (67/2) and Bayhaqi. It has a sahih isnad as I have explained in Silsilah al-Ahadith as-Sahihah (323).
21. Bazzār (68), Daraqutni, `Abdul Ghani al-Maqdisi in his Sunan (82/2) and Hākim declared it sahih and Dhahabi agreed.
22. Abu Dawud and Hākim, who declared it sahih, as did Dhahabi. I have given it in as-Sahihah (319) and Irwa' (383)
23. Muslim and Abu Dawud.
24. Bukhari and Muslim.
25. i.e. voluntary prayer (night or forenoon), named so due to its content of tasbih (glorification).
26. Muslim and Ahmad.
27. Nasā`ie, Ibn Khuzaimah in his Sahīh (1/107/2), `Abdul Ghani al-Maqdisi in his Sunan (80/1) and Hākim, who declared it sahīh and Dhahabi agreed.
28. Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah. It is a mutawatir hadith as Tahawi has mentioned.
29. Abu Dawud and Bazzār (53, az-Zawa`id); Hākim declared it sahih and Dhahabi agreed.
30. ibid.
31. Abu Dawud, Ibn Khuzaimah and Hākim, who declared it sahih and Dhahabi and Nawawi agreed. The first one is given in Irwa' (284)
32. ibid.
33. Abu Dawud, Nasā`ie and Ibn Khuzaimah (1/110/2) with a sahih isnād.
34. This is the sunnah about the pulpit: that it should have three steps, not more, To have more is an innovation, from the period of Bani Umayyah, which often causes an interruption in the row, and to get out of that by having it in the western corner of the mosque or in the mihrab is another innovation, as is the raising of it in the wall like a balcony to which one ascends by means of steps in the wall! Whereas the best guidance is the guidance of (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam). See Fathul-Bāri (2/331).
35. Bukhari, Muslim (who collected the other narration) and Ibn Sa`ad (1/253). It is given in Irwa' (545)
36. lit., "screen, cover"; in the context of prayer, it refers to an object just beyond the place of prostration, within which nothing should pass, as is detailed in this section.
37. Bukhari and Ahmad.
38. Bukhari and Muslim.
39. Ibn Khuzaimah in his Sahih (1/93/1) with a sound isnad.
40. Abu Dawud, Bazzār (p. 54 - Zawaid) and Hākim, who declared it sahih and Dhahabi and Nawawi agreed.

41. Bukhari. The sutrah is a must for the Imam or a person praying alone, even in a large mosque. Ibn Hani said in his Masā`il from Imām Ahmad (1/66): "Abu `Abdullah (i.e. Imām Ahmad ibn Hanbal) saw me one day when I was praying without a sutrah in front of me, and I was in a (large) congregational mosque, so he said to me: `Take something as a sutrah', so I took a man as a sutrah." This contains an indication that Imam Ahmad did not differentiate between big or small mosques in taking a sutrah - and that is surely correct, but this is something neglected by most people, including imams of mosques, in every land that I have visited, including Arabia which I was able to tour in Rajab of this year (1410), so the ‘ulama should tell the people and advise them of this, explaining its ruling and that it is also required in the Two Sacred Mosques.

42. Bukhari, Muslim and Ibn Majah
43. Bukhari and Ahmad.
44. i.e., their kneeling place.
45. Bukhari and Ahmad.
46. Muslim, Ibn Khuzaimah (92/2) and Ahmad.
47. Muslim and Abu Dawud.
48. Nasā`ie and Ahmad with a sahih isnad.
49. Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Ya’la (3/1107).
50. Ibn Khuzaimah in his Sahih (1/95/1), Tabarāni (3/140/3) and Hākim who declared it sahih and Dhahabi agreed.51. Referring to the following prayer of the Prophet Sulaiman (`alaihis salaam) which was answered by Allāh, as described in the Qur'an: "My Lord! Forgive me, and grant me sovereignty not allowed to anyone after me, for You are indeed the Granter of Bounties. So we subjected to his power: the Wind, gently flowing to his order, wherever he wished; and the devils, every kind of builder and diver, and also others bound together in fetters." (Saad, 38: 35-38)
52 Ahmad, Daraqutni and Tabari with a sahih isnad, and similar in meaning to this hadith is found in Bukhari and Muslim and others on the authority of several Companions. It is one of the many ahadith which the Qadianis group disbelieves, for they do not believe in the world of the jinn which is mentioned in the Qur`ān and the Sunnah. Their method of discarding the texts is well-known: if it is from the Qur`ān, they change its meaning e.g. the saying of the Exalted "Say, it has been revealed to me that a group of jinns listened" (72:1); they say "i.e. a group of humans"! Making the word "jinn" synonymous with "human"! Hence they play with the language and the religion; if it is from the Sunnah, then if it is possible for them to change it with a false interpretation they do so, otherwise they find it easy to declare it to be false, even if all the Imams of Hadith and the whole ummah behind them are agreed on its authenticity, nay its being mutawātir. May Allāh guide them...
53. Bukhari and Muslim and the additional narration are from Ibn Khuzaimah (1/94/1).
54. ibid.
55. i.e. mature, and what is meant by `cut off' is `rendered futile'. As regards the hadith: "Nothing cuts off the prayer", then it is a weak hadith as I have shown in Tamam al-Minnah (p. 306).
56. Muslim, Abu Dawud and Ibn Khuzaimah (1/95/2).
57. ibid.

[Via The Qur`an and Sunnah Society]


 Important Issues of Fiqh (Jurisprudence) in Solah
A Compilation by Shafuddin Ahmed ibn Muhammad

The Abrogation of Performing Solah Sitting: Behind a Sitting Imam 

Al-Albani stated in 'Sifah Salah an-Nabee' (pg. 4):

"He (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) prayed sitting during the illness of which he died. He also prayed sitting on another occasion before that, when he was injured, and the people behind him prayed standing; so he indicated to them to sit, so they sat (and prayed). When he finished, he said, "You were going to do as the Persians and the Romans do: stand for their kings who sit. So do not do so, for the Imam is there to be followed: When he makes ruku, make ruku, when he rises, rise, and when he prays sitting, pray sitting (all of you)"." (See: Sahih Muslim, 1/824, pg. 227, English ed'n).

The above statement made by Al-Albani seems to indicate his lack of knowledge about the Hadiths on this rare issue; or to be safe we may say that again he has given us half of the 'story'. According to Shah Waliullah Dehlawi (rahimahullah), the above command is concerned with the earlier period when the present mode of solah was made obligatory. The Holy Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) stressed this point with a view to effacing out of the minds of his people the undue respect and reverence which the neighbouring people of Persia and Rome showed to their kings. They kept standing before them in all humility and dared not sit down before them. The Holy Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) did not approve of this type of respect which is against the dignity of man. He, therefore, in contravention of the practices amongst the Romans and the Greeks, ordered them to sit down when the Imam was sitting and not to observe this type of ceremonious respect. But when the sense of human dignity and equality took hold of the minds of the Muslims, then this practise was abrogated and the Muslims were permitted to say their solah standing behind a sitting Imam, when there is no valid reason for it, as standing in solah is part of solah and it should not be abandoned in normal circumstances (Hujjatullah-al-Baligha, vol. 2, pg. 27, quoted in the English translation of Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, fn. 633, pg. 227).

The proof against al-Albani's opinion is found in the Sahih collections of Al-Bukhari and Muslim; and it is of greater authority as evidence than the Hadith quoted by al-Albani. I say: so much for Al-Albani giving his followers the most authentic Sunnah, when he himself has contradicted the authentic Sunnah by not realising that his opinion has been clearly abrogated by a later practise of the Holy Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam)! Imam Muslim has a chapter heading titled: 'The Imam is authorized to appoint one as his deputy when there is a valid reason for it (for example, illness or journey or any other), and if an Imam leads the solah sitting as he cannot do so standing, his followers should say solah standing provided they are able to do it and there is an abrogation of saying solah sitting behind a sitting Imam.' (See: Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, pg. 228, English ed'n).

The actual Hadith that proves our point is found in a long narration reported from Ubaidullah ibn Abdullah Ibn Utba (rahimahullah) from Aishah (radiyallahu’anha); the most important part of the Hadith is as follows: "Abu Bakar (radiyallahu’anhu) was leading the people in prayer. When Abu Bakar (radiyallahu’anhu) saw him (the Prophet, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), he began to withdraw, but the Apostle of Allah (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) told him not to withdraw. He told his two (companions) to seat him down beside him (Abu Bakar). They seated him by the side of Abu Bakar. Abu Bakar (radiyallahu’anhu) said the solah while following the solah the Apostle (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) and the people said solah (standing) while following the solah of Abu Bakar. The Apostle (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) was seated." (For full Hadith see Muslim, 1/832, pg. 228-229 and Bukhari, 1/655, pg. 371-372)

NB: Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) said, "The Imam is appointed to be followed. The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) in his fatal illness led the people in solah while he was sitting (and the people were standing)...." (See: Bukhari vol. 1, chapter 51, pg. 370, English ed'n).

Imam al-Bukhari (rahimahullah) also quoted Imam al-Humaidi (rahimahullah) as saying: "The saying of the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam): 'Pray sitting, if he (Imam) prays sitting' was said in his former illness (during his early life) but the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) did not order them to sit. We should follow the latest actions of the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) " (See: Bukhari, 1/657, pg. 373).

Finally, Abdul Hamid Siddiqi said in his footnotes to Sahih Muslim (vol. 1, footnote 632, pg. 226): "According to Imam Awzaie and Imam Malik (rahimahumullah), this mode is essential in offering (i.e according to al-Albani's opinion). Imam Shafi'ie and Imam Abu Hanifah (as well as Al-Bukhari, Muslim and many others, rahimahumullah) are of the opinion that it is not advisable to say solah sitting behind an Imam who has not been obliged to say solah in a sitting posture due to illness or some other reason..." But according to Shams Al-Haqq Azimabadi in Awn Al-Ma'būd (1,233-234), Imam Malik does not allow anyone to lead the solah sitting! (See:  Abu Dawūd, vol. 1, fn. 266, pg. 159 English ed'n). Allah Almighty knows best.

[Via  entitled  “Al-Albani Unveiled: The Abrogation of Performing Solah Sitting: Behind a Sitting Imam ”, A Compilation by Shafuddin Ahmed ibn Muhammad]

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