Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Takbīratul Ihram of the Solāh

 The Takbīratul Ihram of the Solah
(The Opening Takbīr)

The Solāh of the Prophet S.A.W

By Shaikh Muhammad Nasiruddin Al-Albāni

[The book was translated by Usama Ibn Suhaib Hasan al-Britani; it would be worthwhile to revisit it and I invite you to provide inputs with regards to this piece of work by Albāni]

The Description of Prophet’s Solāh

2.4. Takbīratul Ihram
(The Opening Takbīr)

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and thanks are 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 Takbīr

Then the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would commence the Solāh by saying:

'Allāhu Akbar'.
Allāh is the Greatest [60]

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu alayhi wa sallam) ordered "the man who prayed badly" to do likewise as has been mentioned, and he (Sallallāhu alayhi wa sallam) said to him: “Verily, the Solāh of a person is not complete until he has made an ablution which has included the necessary parts of the body and has then said: 'Allāhu Akbar'.”  [61]

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would also used to say: The key to the Solāh is purification; it is entered by Takbīr and exited by Taslīm. [62]

Also, “Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu alayhi wa sallam) used to raise his voice for the Takbīr such that those behind him could hear."[63] But, "when he fell ill Abu Bakar As-Siddiq (radiyallāhu`anhu) used to raise his voice to convey the Takbīr of Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) to the people."[64]

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would also say: When the Imām says: Allāhu Akbar, then say: Allāhu Akbar. [65]

2.4.1. Raising the Hands.

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) would raise his hands sometimes with the Takbīr, [66] sometimes after the Takbīr, [67] and sometimes before it. [68]

“Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would raise them with fingers apart [not spaced out, nor together]", [69] and “Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would put them level with his shoulders"[70], although occasionally, " Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would raise them until they were level with [the tops of] his ears."[71]

2.4.2. To Place the Right Arm on the Left Arm, and the command for it.

“Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) used to place his right arm on his left arm" [72], and he used to say: We, the company of prophets, have been commanded to hasten the breaking of the fast, to delay the meal before the fast, and to place our right arms on our left arms during prayer. [73]

Also “Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) passed by a man who was praying and had placed his left arm on his right, so he pulled them apart and placed the right on the left." [74]

2.4.3 To Place the Hands on the Chest.

" Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu alayhi wa sallam) used to place the right arm on the back of his left palm, wrist and forearm" [75], "and Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam)  commanded his companions to do likewise" [76], and (sometimes) " Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam)  would grasp his left arm with his right." [77]

"Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) used to place them on his chest." [78]

Also “Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) used to forbid putting one's hand on the waist during prayer [and he put his hand on his waist (to demonstrate)]" [79]. And this is the "silb" which he used to forbid. [80]

[NB: Please see the addendum below]



60. Muslim and Ibn Mājah. The hādith contains an indication that he did not use to commence it with the words of some people: "I intend to pray - etc." which is in fact agreed to be an innovation. But they differ as to whether it is a good or bad innovation, to which we say: "Indeed all innovations in worship are misguided, from the generality of his statement (‘alaihis salātu was salām), ` - and all innovations are misleading, and every misleading thing is in the Fire'." But this is not the place for a detailed discussion of this.
61. Tabarāni with a sahih isnād.
62. Abu Dawud, Tirmidzi and Hakim who declared it sahih and Dhahabi agreed. It is given in Irwa' (no. 301).

Literally, "the Takbīr makes it harām", i.e. the actions which Allāh has made harām during it, "and the taslīm makes it halal" i.e. what is allowed outside prayer. Just as the hādith proves that the door to prayer is shut, no worshipper being able to open it except with purification, it similarly proves that the prayer cannot be entered except with Takbīr, and that it cannot be exited except with taslīm. This is the view of the majority of scholars.

63. Ahmad and Hākim, who declared it sahih and Dhahabi agreed.
64. Muslim and Nasā`ie.
65. Ahmad and Baihaqi with a sahih isnad.
66. Bukhari and Nasā`ie.
67. ibid.
68. Bukhari and Abu Dawud.
69. Abu Dawud, Ibn Khuzaimah (1/62/2, 64/1), Tammam and Hakim who declared it sahih and Dhahabi agreed.
70. Bukhari and Nasā`ie.
71. Bukhari and Abu Dawud.
72. Muslim and Abu Dawud. It is also given in Irwa' (352).
73. Ibn Hibbān and Diya', with a sahih isnād.
74. Ahmad and Abu Dawud, with a sahih isnād.
75. Abu Dawud, Nasā`ie and Ibn Khuzaimah (1/54/2) with a sahih isnad and Ibn Hibbān declared it sahih (485).
76. Malik, Bukhari and Abu `Awānah.
77. Nasā`ie and Daraqutni with a sahih isnad. In this hadith there is evidence that grasping is from the Sunnah, and in the previous hadīth that so is placing, so both are Sunnah. As for the combination of holding and placing, which some of the later Hanafis hold to be good, then that is an innovation; its form as they state is to place the right hand on the left, holding the wrist with the little finger and the thumb, and laying flat the remaining three fingers, as described in Ibn ‘Abidīn's Footnotes on Durr al-Mukhtar (1/454); so do not be confused by what they say.
78. Abu Dawud, Ibn Khuzaimah in his sahih (1/54/2), Ahmad and Abu Shaikh in Tarikh Isbahan (p. 125); Tirmidzi declared one of its isnāds hasan, and its meaning is found in Al-Muwatta' and Sahih Al-Bukhari if considered carefully. I have fully quoted the isnads of this hadith in my book Ahkam al-Janā'iz (p. 118)

Note: To place them on the chest is what is proved in the Sunnah, and all that is contrary to it is either da‘ief or totally baseless. In fact, Imam Ishaq ibn Rahawaih acted on this Sunnah, as Marwazi said in Masaa'il (p. 222): "Ishaq used to pray witir with us - he would raise his hands in qunut, and make the qunut before bowing, and place his hands on his breast or just under his breast." Similar is the saying of Qādi `Iyād Al-Maliki in Mustahabbat as-Solāh in his book al-I’lam (p.15, 3rd edition, Rabat): "the right arm is to be placed on the back of the left, on the upper part of the chest." Close to this is what ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal related in his Masā`il (p. 62): "I saw that when praying, my father placed his hands, one on the other, above the navel." See Appendix 4.

79. Bukhari and Muslim. It is given in Irwa' (374) as well as the following one.
80. Abu Dawud, Nasā`ie and others.

[Via The Qur`an and Sunnah Society]


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

The Placing of Hands in Solah

With regard to the placing of the hands below the navel in Solah (See:  Sifah Salah an-Nabee, appendix 4, pg. 102-103, English ed'n), Al-Albani has declared all the Hadith that reached him on this issue to be Dha’ief, due to the presence of the narrator Abdar-Rahman Ibn Ishaq Al-Wasiti Al-Kūfi. This may be true due to what the scholars of Hadith have said, but he has either overlooked the fact that there are many other Ahadith which order the placing of the hands below the navel, or has deliberately not bothered to mention them to his readers who are usually unaware of this fact! Al-Albani claims on page 12 of the same book: "To place them on the chest is what is proved in the Sunnah, and all that is contrary to it is either Dha’ief or totally baseless." But he contradicts himself on page 102-103 of the same book by saying: "What further points to its weakness (i.e. the Hadith of Abdar-Rahman Ibn Ishaq) is that contrary to it has been narrated on the authority of Ali (radiyallāhu’anhu) with a better Isnad: the Hadith of Ibn Jarīr al-Dabbi an (from) his father, who said, 'I saw Ali (radiyallāhu’anhu) holding his left arm with his right on the wrist, above the navel (I say: The statement above the navel, does not mean on the chest, but literally above the navel and below the chest, since this is the opinion of the Shafiyyah scholars like Bayhaqi, Nawawi, Muslim and so on) - this Isnad is a candidate for the rank of Hasan; Baihaqi (1/301) firmly designated it to be Hasan, and Bukhari (1/301) designated it with certainty while giving it an abridged, ta'leeq form."

Is this not a clear contradiction from within the same book? And this is not all my dear reader.

Al-Albani claimed that it was found in Bukhari (1/301), but when I examined the Sahih Al-Bukhari (Vol. 1, Chapter. 6, no. 707, pg. 396, English ed'n), I did not find this narration of Ibn Jarir Al-Dabbi (radiyallāhu’anhu), but instead a Hadith from Sahl Ibn Sa'ad (radiyallāhu’anhu) who said: "The people were ordered to place the right hand on the left forearm in the solah." Abu Hazim said, “I knew that the order was from the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam)." [See also: Muwatta of Imam Malik, section 9.15, no 50, pg 70, English trans'n by A. Abdarahman and Y. Johnson for a very similar narration]. According to the author of Ja'al Haqq, Shaykh Ahmad Khan, there is not even one Hadith in the Sahih collections of Al-Bukhari and Muslim which specify where the hands should be placed!

Now you have just read above that Al-Albani classified the Hadith of Ibn Jarir Al-Dabbi to be Hasan, but when I found this very Hadith in the Sunan of Abu Dawūd (1/756, pg. 194, English ed'n) and cross referenced it to the list, "Dha’ief Ahadith of Abu Dawud's Sunan." I found that his followers listed it as being Dha’ief!! Imam Abu Dawūd (rahimahullah) said after relating the Hadith from Ibn Jarir Al-Dabbi: "Sa'id Ibn Jubair (radiyallāhu’anhu) narrated the words: 'above the navel'. Abu Mijlaz reported the words: 'below the navel'. This has also been narrated by Abu Hurayrah (radiyallāhu’anhu). But that is not strong." The latter quote is one which Al-Albani failed to mention in "Sifah Salah an-Nabee!"

Note also that Al-Albani said with regard to the placing of the hands on the chest (See: Sifah Salah an-Nabee, pg. 12, in the footnote):

"In fact, Imam Ishaq Ibn Rahwaih acted on this Sunnah, as Marwazi said in 'Masaa'il (pg 222): 'Ishaq used to pray witr with us.... he would raise his hands in Qunūt, and make the Qunūt before bowing, and place his hands on his breast or just under his breast.'"

But when I read the footnote to Abu Dawūd's Sunan (vol. 1, pg. 194, fn. 345, English ed'n), I noticed that the author of Awn Al-Mabūd (1,275), Shams Al-Haqq Azimabadi, claimed that both Abu Ishaq Al-Marwazi and Al-Hafiz Ishaq Ibn Rahwaih (one of Imam Al-Bukhari's teachers) held the position that the hands should be folded below the navel! In his Sahih Muslim Sharif-Mukhtasar Sharh Nawawi (vol. 2, pg. 28, fn. 23), Wahid Az-Zaman (a late scholar of the 'Salafiyyah' in Pakistan) also affirmed that the Imam's Sufyan Al-Thawri, Abu Hanifah, Ishaq Ibn Rahwaih and Abu Ishaq Al-Marwazi (rahimahumullāh) all used to place their hands below the navel! So who do you think is quoting correctly, Al-Albani or Al-Azimabadi and Az-Zaman?

Here is the full quote from Abu Dawūd's Sunan:

"The question of folding hands in prayer below the navel is disputed amongst the jurists. According to Abu Hanifah, Sufyan Al-Thawri, Ishaq Ibn Rahwaih, Abu Ishaq Al-Marwazi (I say: others who held the same view include the Mujtahid's like Ibrahim Al-Nakhaie, Hammad Ibn Abi Sulayman, Abu Yusuf, Muhammad Al-Shaybani, Zufar Ibn Hudayl and many other scholars, rahimahumullah), the hands should be folded below the navel. This tradition is followed by them (I say: it is not just this tradition which lends support to placing the hands below the navel, but others as well). According to Al-Shafi’ie (rahimahullah), the hands should be placed below the chest (I say: this is also the opinion of Imam Muslim, according to the chapter heading used by him: 'The placing of the right hand over the left hand after the First Takbīr in the solah below the chest and above the navel and then placing them opposite the shoulders in prostration'- See: Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, pg. 220, English ed'n). An-Nawawi (rahimahullah) says that this is the view of the majority of the jurists (this may have been in Imam Nawawi's day, but it is well known that throughout the centuries of Islam in aggregate, most of the Ulama as well as the common folk have been placing their hands below the navel, by Allah's decree and will). Two statements have been attributed to Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (rahimahullah) (See: Al-Albani's Sifah Salah an-Nabee, footnote on pg. 51). According to the third view ascribed to him he does not give any preference to any of these two views. One has the choice of placing the hands. Malik is also reported to have held two different views. According to the second, he held that one should leave the hands in their natural position without folding them. One should not fold them placing one on the other."

NB: The most authoritative position of Imam Malik (rahimahullāh) has been recorded in Al-Mudawwana Al-Kubra, by Qadi Sahnoon (d. 240 AH). This book contains the most authentic positions of Al-Imam Malik and his illustrious disciples, namely Imam Ibn Al-Qasim and Imam Ibn Wahb. Qadi Sahnoon recorded the declarations of Imam Malik directly from Imam Ibn Al-Qasim, hence there is no real doubt in my mind that whatever has been recorded in this book is the Madzhab of Al-Imam Malik, and usually the amal (practise) of the people of Madinah in his day. In al-Mudawwana (vol. 1, pg. 75-76), Imam Malik has been recorded to have said, "Putting the right hand on the left in solah, I have no knowledge of it in the compulsory (fard) prayer, it is thus disliked (makrūh). But in the supererogatory (nafl) prayer there is no harm (in folding the hands); it is left to the individual to decide." This statement from Imam Malik is a strong proof against those who claim that Imam Malik only prayed with his hands at his sides, after he received a severe beating (See: The Evolution of Fiqh, pg. 70, by A.A. Bilal Philips)!

 Al-Albani has only 'checked' six Hadith which allow the placing of the hands below the navel (See his 'Sifah', pg. 102, Appx. 4). But there are more than 6 other Hadith (which allow the placing of the hands below the navel) which he has not bothered to mention or check; maybe he has not come across them! One of such Hadith is very similar to what Al-Albani mentioned in "Sifah Salah an-Nabee," pg. 11: "We, the company of Prophets, have been commanded to hasten the breaking of the fast, to delay the meal before the fast, and to place our right arms on our left arms during solāh [from Ibn Hibban and Diyaa', with a Sahih Isnad according to al-Albani]. The version I have is related by Sayyidina Ali (radiyallāhu’anhu) : "Three things are from the habits of Prophethood: To hasten the breaking of the fast, to delay the Sehri (pre-fast meal) as late as possible, and to place one's right hand on top of the left hand below the navel (Transmitted by Hafiz Ibn Shaheen)."

To conclude, As-Sayyid Sabiq quoted Imam At-Tirmidzi (rahimahullah) in his Fiqh-us-Sunnah (vol. 1, pg 132) saying: "Knowledgeable Companions (radiyallahu’anhum), their followers and those that came after them believed that one should put his right hand over the left during solat, while some say above the navel [below the chest] and others say below the navel." 

Allah Almighty knows best.

[Via www.masud.co.uk  entitled  “Al-Albani Unveiled: The Placing of Hands in Solah”, A Compilation by Shafuddin Ahmed ibn Muhammad]

2.6. Opening Supplications of Solāh; 2.7. The Recitation;

All About The Solah

4. Al-Wudhu’ ; 5. Tayammum;
29.   Solāh al-Jumu`ah; 30. The Sanctified Hour of Jumu’ah.

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