Monday, May 3, 2010

The Ruku' in The Solāh

The Ruku' in  The Solah

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 inputs]

The Description of the Solāh
2.8. The Ruku' 


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

The Significance of Ruku’

The posture of Ruku’ is an essential Pillar of the Solah. Performing it in an excessive or inadequate manner, whether intentional or unintentional, renders the Solah invalid or incomplete.

The word “rak‘ah” (cycle; unit) which is used in counting the cycles of Solah is derived from the word “ruku‘”. 

Ruku’ is the sign of courtesy (adab) of reverence not done to anyone else but only to the Allah, the All-Supreme Creator; while the sujud posture is the symbol of man’s humbleness and nearness (qurb) to Allāh. Ruku’ serves as a preamble gesture of courtesy to be ready for the stage of nearness. Ruku’ also indicates the way of repentance (tawbah), penitence and asking forgiveness in the presence of Allāh.

Description of Ruku

After completing his recitation, Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would do the following:

1.Pause for a moment [Abu Dawud and Hākim, who declared it sahih and Dhahabi agreed],
2.Then raise his hands [Bukhari and Muslim: This raising of the hands is reported as mutawātir from him (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), as is the raising of the hands on straightening up after ruku’. It is the mazhab of the three Imams Malik, Shāfi'ie and Ahmad, and of the majority of scholars of hadith and fiqh. Imam Malik (rahimahullāh) practised it right up to his death, as reported by Ibn 'Asakir (15/78/2). Some of the Hanafis chose to do it, among them ‘Isam bin Yusuf Abu 'Asamah al-Balkhi (d. 210), a student of Imam Abu Yusuf (rahimahullāh) as has been explained in the Introduction. ‘Abdullah bin Ahmad reported from his father in his Masā'il (p. 60), "It is related from `Uqbah bin 'Amir that he said about a man raising his hands during solah, 'He earns ten good deeds for each such movement'." This is supported by the Hadith Qudsi, "... he who intends a good deed and then does it, Allāh writes it down with Himself as from ten to seven hundred good deeds", transmitted by Bukhari and Muslim; See Sahih at-Targhib, no. 16]
2.1. In the way described earlier under the "Opening Takbir", say the Takbir [Bukhari and Muslim.],
3.And make the Ruku’. [Bukhari and Muslim]

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) also ordered "the one who prayed badly" likewise, saying to him: “Indeed, the Solah of one of you is not complete until he makes an excellent Wudhu’ as Allāh has commanded him to ... then he celebrates Allāh's Greatness, Praises and Glorifies Him, then recites the Qur`ān as much as is easy for him from what Allāh has taught him and allowed him, then says Takbir and makes Ruku' [and places his hands on his knees] until his joints are at ease and relaxed” [Abu Dawud and Nasā'ie. Hākim declared it sahih and Dhahabi agreed.]

4.“Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would place his palms on his knees [Bukhari and Abu Dawud] and "would order them to do likewise" [Bukhari and Muslim], as he ordered "the one who prayed badly" in the afore-mentioned hadith.

4.1.“Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would: put his hands firmly on his knees [as though he were grasping them]" [Bukhari and Abu Dawud]and "would space his fingers out" [Hakim, who declared it sahih; Dhahabi and Tayalisi agreed. It is given in Sahih Abi Dawud (809)], ordering "the one who prayed badly" likewise, saying: When you make ruku', place your palms on your knees, then space your fingers out, then remain (like that) until every limb takes its (proper) place. [Ibn Khuzaimah and Ibn Hibban in their Sahihs]

5.“Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to spread himself (i.e., not be in a compact position), and keep his elbows away from his sides." [Tirmidzi, who declared it sahih, and Ibn Khuzaimah]

6."When Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) made ruku', he would spread his back and make it level" [Bukhari, and Baihaqi with a sahih isnad], "such that if water were poured on it, it would stay there (i.e., not run off)." [Tabarāni in Mu’jam al-Kabir and Mu’jam al-Saghīr, ‘Abdullah bin Ahmad in Zawa’id al-Musnad; Ibn Majāh.] Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) also said to "the one who prayed badly", when you make ruku', put your palms on your knees, spread your back (flat) and hold firm in your ruku'. [Ahmad and Abu Dawud with a sahih isnad]

7.“Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would neither let his head droop nor raise it (i.e. higher than his back)" [Abu Dawud and Bukhari in Juz' al-Qirā'ah with a sahih isnad], but it would be in between. [Muslim and Abu ‘Awānah]

The Obligation of Being at Ease in Ruku'

Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to be at ease in his ruku', and ordered “the one who prayed badly” to be so, as has been mentioned in the first section on ruku'.

1.Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to say: “Complete the ruku' and sujud, for by Him in whose Hand is my soul, I surely see you behind my back [This vision was physically real, and was one of his miracles; it was confined to during prayer: there is no evidence for it being of a general nature] when you make ruku' and sujud.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

2."Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) saw a man praying not completing his ruku' properly, and pecking in his sujud, so Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam)  said: “Were this man to die in this state, he would die on a faith other than that of Muhammad, [pecking in his Solāh as a crow pecks at blood; he who does not make ruku' completely and pecks in his sujud is like the hungry person who eats one or two dates, which are of no use to him at all.” [Abu Ya’la in his Musnad (340/3491/1), Aajuri in al-Arba'īn, Bayhaqi, Tabarāni (1/192/1), Diya' in al-Muntaqa (276/1), Ibn ‘Asakir (2/226/2, 414/1, 8/14/1, 76/2) with a hasan isnad, Ibn Khuzaimah declared it sahih (1/82/1). Ibn Battah has a supporting mursal narration for the first part of the hadith, minus the addition, in al-Ibanah (5/43/1).]

3. Abu Hurayrah (radiyallāhu'anhu) said: “My close friend (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) forbade me from pecking in my Solāh like a cockerel, from looking around like a fox, and from squatting like a monkey.” [Tayalisi, Ahmad and Ibn Abi Shaibah; it is a hasan hadith, as I have explained in my footnotes on al-Ahkam (1348) by ‘Abdul Haqq Ishbili.]

4.The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) also used to say“The worst thief among men is the one who steals from his Solāh”. They said, "O Messenger of Allāh, how does he steal from his Solāh?" Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “He does not complete its ruku' and sujud”. [Ibn Abi Shaibah (1/89/2), Tabarāni and Hakim, who declared it sahih and Dhahabi agreed]

4.1.Once, “ Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam)  was praying, when he (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam)  glanced out of the corner of his eye at a man not settling his backbone in ruku' and sujud. When he finished, Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘O assembly of Muslims! Verily, the Solāh is not valid of the one who does not settle his spine in ruku' and sujud’.”[Ibn Abi Shaibah (1/89/1), Ibn Mājah and Ahmad, with a sahih isnad.]

4.2.In another hadith Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “The solah of a man does not count unless he straightens his back in ruku' and sujud”. [Abu `Awanah, Abu Dawud and Sahmi (61); Daraqutni declared it sahih.]

 Adhkār during Ruku'

According to Shafi'ie School it is categorized the adhkar as a Sunnah Ab‘ad (almost obligatory) of the Solāh, while in Hanbali held it as obligatory. There are several adhkar recited by Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) such as one of the following:

1. "Subhana Rabbiy al 'Azeem"
(Glory be to my Lord, the Most Supreme!) Three times. 

Hudzaifah Ibn Yaman (radiyallāhu'anhu) reported, who said: “I performed solah with the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) one night… then he Ruku' and he started saying: “Subhāna Rabbiyal-‘Azeem" (Glory be to my Lord Most Magnificent); Three times.” [ Muslim (772); This is also recorded by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, Daraqutni, Tahawi, Bazaar, and Tabarani in Mu`jam al-Kabir, on the authority of seven Companions. Hence this refutes those who did not accept the specification of the glorifications to three times, such as Ibn al-Qayyim and others]

But sometimes, Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would repeat it more than that. [This can be deduced from the ahadith which make it clear that he (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to make his standing, ruku' and sujud equal in length, as mentioned after this section.]

Once, in the Tahajjud (Night Prayer), he repeated it so much that his ruku' became nearly as long as his standing before it, in which he had recited three of the Long Surahs: Baqarah, Nisā' and Al-'Imran. This prayer was full of supplication and seeking forgiveness, and the hadith has already been mentioned under "Recitation in the Night Prayer." The evidence from Ahadith makes clear that Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to make his standing (qiyam), ruku` and sujud equal in length:

a. Awf ibn Malik al-Ashja'ie (radiyallāhu'anhu) narrated: I performed Night Prayer along with the Allah’s Messenger (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam). Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) stood up (qiyam) and recited Surah al-Baqarah. When he came to a verse which spoke of mercy, he stopped and made supplication, and when he came to verse which spoke of punishment, he stopped and sought refuge in Allah. Then Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) Ruku’ and kept as long as he stood (qiyam).While in Ruku’ he said: “Subhānallazi yal ja barūti walmala kūti walkib riyaiwal 'adzamah (How perfect is He who has all Power, Kingdom, Magnificence and Supremity)”. Then Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) Sujud and kept as long as he stood up (qiyam), and then stood up and recited Surat Ali-‘Imran and then recited many surahs one after another [in each rak’ah]. [Abu Dawud 0872: Sahih]

b. Hudhayfah bin Yaman (radiyallāhu'anhu) narrated: He saw the Allah’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) observing the Night Prayer. Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) stood up said (the Opening Supplication): “Allāhu Akbar (Allāh is the Greatest) three times, “Zulmalakuti waljabaruti walkubiriya iwal’adzamati (Possessor of Kingdom, Power, Magnificence and Might.)”, he then recited Surah al-Baqarah. Then Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) Ruku’ and he paused in ruku’ as long as he stood up; he said while ruku’ (the Tasbih): “Subhāna Rabbiy al-‘Azeem (Glory be to my Lord, the All-Supreme!)”. Then Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) raised his head, after ruku ‘and then he stood up (‘itidal) and he paused as long as he paused in ruku’ and said (the Tasmi): “Sami ‘allāhu liman hamidah (Allāh hears him who praises Him)”. Then Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) Sujud and paused in Sujud as long as he paused in the standing (qiyam) position; he said while Sujud: “Subhāna Rabbiyal a’la” (Glory be to my Lord, the Most High), three times. Then Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) raised his head after Sujud, and sat as long as he Sujud, and said while sitting: “Rabbighfirli (O my Lord forgive me). Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) offered four rak'at of solat and recited in them Surah al-Baqarah, Ali-‘Imran, An-Nisa', Al-Ma'idah [respectively]. The narrator Shu'bah doubted.  [Abu Dawud 0873]

2."Subhāna Rabbiy al 'Azeemi wabihamdih"
(Glory be to my Lord, the Supreme, and praise belongs to Him), three times.

In the narration of ‘Uqbah Ibn 'Amr (radiyallāhu'anhu) he reported: “When the verse “Fasabbih bismi Rabbikal ‘Azeem (So exalt the Name of your Lord, the All-supreme)” (Surah al-Waqi‘ah, 56:74), was revealed, Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Place this in your Ruku’ ”. And when the Verse: “Sabbihi isma rabbika al-‘Ala ( Exalt the name of your Lord, the Most High,” (Surah Al-‘Ala, 87:1) was revealed he said: “Place this in your Sujud” So when the Messenger of Allah would go into Ruku’, he would say three times: “Subhana Rabbiyal-‘Azeem wa bihamdih (Glory be to my Lord, the Supreme, and praise belongs to Him).”And when he went into Sujud, he would say three times: “Subhāna Rabbiyal-A’la wa bi hamdih (How Perfect is my Lord, the Most High, and praise belongs to Him)” [This is recorded by Abu Dawud (869 and870): sahih, and also by Daraqutni, Ahmad, Tabaraani, Bayhaqi and others with a good chain].

3. "Subbuhun quddūs Rabbulmalā ikatu warruuh"
(The Perfect, Blessed, Lord of the Angels and the Spirit). 

'Aishah (radiyallāhu`anha) reported the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to say when Ruku’ and Sujud: “Subbuhun Quddūs Rabb ul-Malā’ikatu wal-Ruuh" (The Perfect, Blessed [Abu Ishaq said: subbuh means "the one who is free of any defect", while quddus means "the Blessed" or "the Pure". Ibn Saidah said: Glorified and Blessed are attributes of Allāh, Mighty and Sublime, because He is glorified and sanctified by others. (Lisaan Al-'Arab)] Lord of the Angels and of the Ruh). [Narrated by Muslim (487) and Abu 'Awānah]

4"Subhā nakallāhumma wabihamdika Allāhummaghirli”
(How Perfect You are O Allāh, and Praises are for You. O Allāh, forgive me)

'Aishah (radiyallāhu'anha) also said: The Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to say it often in his Ruku' and Sujud: “Subhānakallāhumma Rabbana wabihamdika Allāhummaghirli (Glory is to You O Allāh! Our Lord, And all the Praise be to You. O Allāh! Forgive me.)  [Bukhari and Muslim; "Implementing the Qur'ān" refers to the saying of Allāh: "Then glorify with the Praises of your Lord, and seek His Forgiveness, for He is Oft-Returning." (Nasr, 110:3)]

5. “Allāhummalaka raka’tu, wibika āmantu, walaka aslamtu [anta Rabbi], khasha ‘alakasam ‘ie, wabasari. Wamokhkhi wa 'adhami (wa ‘iedhami) wa a’saby, l wamastaqallat bihi qadmiyal Allāhi Rabbal`alameen]”
(O Allāh! To You I have bowed; in You I have believed; to You I have submitted; [You are my Lord]; humbled for You are my hearing, my seeing, my marrow, my bone (in one narration: my bones), my sinews, [and whatever my feet carry [This is an example of use of a general phrase coming after mention of individual items.] (are humbled) for Allāh, Lord of the Worlds])”. [Muslim, Abu ‘Awānah, Tahawi and Daraqutni.]

He would say different types of remembrance of Allāh and supplication, any one of the following at a time:

6. "Allāhummalaka raka’tu, wibika āmantu, walaka aslamtu, wa `alaitawakkaltu,anta Rabbi, khasha 'asam 'ie, wabasari wadamiy walahmiy wa 'adhamiy wa a’sabi lilla hililla hirabbal 'ālameen"
(O Allāh! to You I have bowed; in You I have believed; to You I have submitted; in You I have placed my trust; You are my Lord; my hearing, my seeing, my blood, my flesh, my bones, and my sinews are humbled for Allāh, Lord of the Worlds). [Nasā`ie with a sahih isnād].

7. "Subhānazil jabaruti walmalakuti walkibriyā iwal 'adza mātih"
(How Perfect is He Who has all Power, Kingdom, Magnificence and Supremacy),
The dzikir which the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam used to say in Night Prayer (Tahajjud). [Abu Dawud 0872: Sahih]

Is There Proof For Combining Two Or More Of These Adhkar In One Ruku’, Or Not?

Scholars view that Muslim should preserve these Sunnahs that have been narrated from the Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) but they scholars have differed about combining it.

1. Ibn al-Qayyim was uncertain about this in Zaad al-Ma‘ad.

2. Imam Nawawi (rahimahullah) chose the first possibility in al-Adhkār, saying, "It is best to combine all of these adhkar if possible, without causing hardship to anyone, and he should recite the Tasbih first (those that start with the words Subhān Allāh). If he wants to keep it short then it is mustahab to say Tasbih, and the minimum required is to say Tasbih three times, but if he says it only once he will have done what is basically required for the Tasbih. If he wants to limit it to only some of the adhkār, it is mustahab to say (alternate) some of them sometimes and others at other times and so on, so that he will have done all of them”. [Al-Adhkār (p. 86)]

3. Abu al-Tayyib Siddiq Hasan Khan disagreed with him, saying), "It is narrated with one of them here, another one there, but I see no evidence for combining. The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would not combine them in one go, but he would say one of them sometimes, another one sometimes; to follow is better than to start something new." [Nuzul al-Abrar (p.84)]

3.1. This latter view is the correct one, Allāh willing, but it is proved in the Sunnah to lengthen this posture, as well as others, until it is about the length of the standing: hence, if the worshipper wishes to follow the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) in this sunnah, the only way is to combine adhkār, as Imam Nawawi (rahimahullah)  said, and as Ibn Nasr has related it in Qiyam al-Layl (76) from Ibn Juraij as done by `Ataa', or to repeat one of the adhkar for which there is text for repetition, and this is closer to the Sunnah. Allāh knows best.

4. Ash-Shawkani (rahimahullah) maintains a similar view: “The different chains support each other. It is perfectly acceptable for one who is performing solah to limit himself to “Subhana Rabbiy al-'Adzeem (Glory be to my Lord, the Supreme!)”  Or to add one of its adhkar narrated’.

5. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (rahimahullah) said: After mentioning a number of adhkār to be said when ruku’ and raising the question as to whether these adhkār may be combined or one should recite only one of them: This is possible. [As we] have stated that not all of the opening dua’s that have been narrated should be said at once, rather we should say one of them sometimes and another at other times, and we have quoted the evidence for that. But with regard to the adhkar for ruku’ and sujud which are known to most of the scholars, they may all be recited together.  [Al-Sharh Al-Mumti’ (3/77]

6. Commentary: As Imam An-Nawawi (rahimahullah) including most scholars deliberated, with regard to the adhkar for ruku’ we may say Tasbih: “Subhana Rabbiyal-‘Azeem wa bihamdih. (Glory be to my Lord, the All-Supreme, and praise belongs to Him)” or “Subhana Rabbiy al-`Adzeem (Glory be to my Lord, the Supreme!)”  and followed by Aishah’s (radiyallāhu’anha) narration: “Subbuhun Quddūs Rabb ul-Malā’ikatu wal-Rūh (Perfect, Blessed, Lord of the Angels and the Spirit)” and add “Subhānakallāhumma Rabbana wabihamdika Allāhummaghirli (Glory is to You O Allāh! Our Lord, And all the Praise be to You. O Allāh! Forgive me)” in that order three times or more. Or say alternately some of them sometimes and others at other times and so on, so that he will have done all of them. 

The Lengthening the Ruku’

“Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to make his ruku', his standing after ruku', his sujud, and his sitting in between the two sajdahs, nearly equal in length." [Bukhari and Muslim; It is given in Irwa' al-Ghalil (331).]

Forbiddance of Reciting the Quran in Ruku’

“Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam used to forbid recitation of the Qur`ān in ruku’ and sujud." [Muslim and Abu 'Awānah; The forbiddance is general, hence covering both obligatory and voluntary prayers. The addition in Ibn ‘Asakir (17/299/1), "as for voluntary prayers, then there is no harm" is either shāddz or munkar - Ibn ‘Asakir pointed out a defect in it - so it is not permissible to act according to it.] Further, he used to say, “Verily, I have indeed been forbidden from reciting the Quran in ruku' or sujud. In the ruku’, therefore, glorify the Supremacy of the Lord, Mighty and Sublime, in it; as for the sujud, exert yourselves in supplication in it, for it is most likely that you will be answered”. [Muslim and Abu Awānah.]

 Raising up from the Ruku' and what to be said then

Next, "Rasulullah (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would raise and straighten up his back out of ruku', saying (the Tasmi):

1."Sami `âllāhu liman hamidah”
(Allāh listens to the one who praises Him)”. [Bukhari and Muslim.]

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) also ordered "the one who prayed badly" to do that, when he said to him: “No person's solah is complete until ... he has said the Takbir ... then made Ruku' ... then (rising up) has said [the Tasmi]"Sami `allāhu liman hamidah (Allāh listens to the one who praises Him)" until he is standing straight (iktidal)."  [Abu Dawud and Hakim, who declared it sahih and Dhahabi agreed.] 

When he raised his head, he (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would stand straight until every vertebra returned to its place. [Bukhari and Abu Dawud; Ar. faqar: vertebrae, "the bones making up the spine, from the base of the neck to the coccyx" according to Qamus; see also Fathul-Bari (2/308).]

Next, "while standing up (‘itidal) Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would say the Tahmid:

2. "Rabbanā wa lakal hamd”
(Our Lord, and to You be all Praise). [Bukhari and Ahmad.]

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam) has commanded all worshippers, whether behind an imām or not, to do the above on rising from ruku', by saying, "Pray as you have seen me praying". [Bukhari and Ahmad.]

Abu Hurayrah (radiyallāhu'anhu) narrated: The Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: The imam is appointed only to be followed:
  • When he says "Allahu Akbar (Allah is most great)," say "Allahu Akbar (Allah is most great)," and do not say "Allahu Akbar (Allah is most great),” until he says "Allahu Akbar (Allah is most great)."
  • [Another narration adds: When he recites (the Qur'an), keep silent." (Abu Dawud 0604)]
  • When he ruku’; ruku’; and do not ruku’ until he ruku’.
  • And when he says (the Tasmi): “Sami 'allāhu liman hamidah (Allāh listens to the one who praises Him)”, say (the Tahmid):“Allahumma Rabbanā wa lakal hamd” (O Allah, our Lord, to Thee be the Praise.) The version recorded by Muslim goes: “Wa lakal hamd (And to Thee be the praise)”;
  • And when he sujud; and do not sujud until he sujuds. When he solah standing, solah standing, and when he solah sitting, all of you solah sitting.” 
[This is recorded by Abu Dawud (0603); also by Muslim, Abu `Awānah, Ahmad]

[NB: This hadith does not prove that those following an imam should not share with the imam in saying the Tasmi: “Sami ‘allāhu liman hamidah (Allāh listens to the one who praises Him)”, just as it does not prove that the imam does not share with those following him in saying the Tahmid: “Rabbanā wa lakal hamd (Our Lord, to You be all Praise)”. This is because the purpose of this hadith is not to set out exactly what the imam and his followers should say in this position; rather, it explains that the followers' Tahmid should be said after the imam’s Tasmi’. This is supported by the fact that the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to say the Tahmid when he was the imam, and also because the generality of his saying, "Pray as you have seen me praying", dictates that the follower should say what the imam says, e.g. Tasmi’, etc. Those respected brothers who referred to us in this issue should consider this, and perhaps what we have mentioned is satisfactory. Whoever would like further discussion on this issue should refer to the article by the Hafiz Suyuti (rahimallāh) on this matter in his book Al-Hawi lil Fatāwi (1/529).]

Imam An-Nawawi (rahimallāh) said: “Our companions say that Rasulullah’s command: ‘and you should say (the Tahmid): ‘Allāhumma Rabbanā wa lakal hamd (O Allāh, our Lord, and to You is the praise.)’ is in conjunction with (the Tasmi): ‘‘Sami ‘allāhu liman hamidah (Allāh hears him who praises him.)’ When Allāh`s Messenger (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), only mentioned the statement (Tahmid):  ‘Allāhumma Rabbanā wa lakal hamd (O Allāh, Our Lord, to you is the praise),’ because they had already heard (the Tasmi): “Sami ‘allāhu liman hamidah (Allāh hears him who praises Him)” aloud from him. It was his Sunnah to say that phrase aloud, but they did not hear Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said (the Tahmid):  ‘Allāhumma Rabbanā wa lakal hamd (Our Lord, to You is the praise)’ because he said it in a subdued voice. They knew the Rasūlullāh's words: “Perform Solah as you have seen me performing Solāh.” and knew that it was to be taken in the general sense without any restrictions. They used to say (the Tasmi): ‘Sami ‘allāhu liman hamidah (Allāh hears him who praises Him)’,  and therefore there was no need for the Allāh`s Messenger (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), to order them to say it again. But they did not know (the Tahmid), ‘Allāhumma Rabbanā wa lakal hamd (Our Lord, to You is the praise,)’ and therefore Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) ordered them to say it.”

There are two views of the scholars concerning the ruling on saying Tasmi’ and Tahmid in the solāh: Firstly, is the view of the majority, the Hanafis, Malikis and al-Shāfi’ies that they are the Sunnahs of Solah and not obligatory. The Shafi’ie school classified it as a Sunnah Ab’adh; it one omitted one has to perform sujud Sahwi at the end of solah. Secondly, the view of the Hanbali School is obligatory parts of the Solah; the omission of it has to perform sujud Sahwi, which is similar to the view of the Shafi’ie school but differs in terminology.

As for the one who is performing solah alone all the school held that he should recite both Tasmi’ and Tahmid and the imām should also recite both. But as for the ma’mum, one who is following an imam should recite only the Tahmid, and it is not prescribed for him to say the Tasmi, as is the view of the majority.

In another hadith from Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu'anhu) narrated that Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) also saying: If one`s statement corresponds to that of the angels, all of his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Bukhari and Muslim; Tirmidzi declared it sahih.]

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam) used "to raise his hands" when straightening up [Bukhari and Muslim; the raising of the hands here is narrated in a mutawātir way from the Allah’s Messenger (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), and the majority of scholars have supported it, including some Hanafis. See the previous footnote under Ruku`], in the ways described under the Opening Takbir.

But while standing ('itidal) from the ruku', Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would say (the Tahmid) as previously mentioned:

1. "Rabbana wa lakal hamd”
(Our Lord, and to You be all Praise)” [Bukhari and Muslim.];


2. "Rabbana lakal hamd”
(Our Lord, to you be all Praise)” [Bukhari and Muslim.]

Sometimes, Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would add at the beginning of either of these:

3. "Allāhumma (O Allāh!” ...  [Bukhari and Ahmad]

[Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullāh) erred on this point in Zaad al-Ma'ad, rejecting the combination of "O Allāh!" with "and", despite the fact that it is found in Sahih Al-Bukhari, Musnad Ahmad, in Nasa'ie and Ahmad again via two routes of narration from Abu Hurairah, in Darimi as a hadith of Ibn 'Umar, in Bayhaqi from Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri, and in Nasā'ie again as a hadith of Abu Musa al-Ash`ari]

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to order others to do this, saying: “When the imam says (tasmi): "Sami 'âllāhu liman hamidah (Allāh listens to the one who praises Him), then say (tahmid): "Allāhumma Rabbana wa lakal hamd (O Allāh! Our Lord, to You be all Praise); for he whose saying coincides with that of the angels will have his past sins forgiven.” [Bukhari and Muslim; Tirmidzi declared it sahih.]

Sometimes, Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would add either:

4. "Mil assamāwat, wamilal ardh,wa mil amāshi’taminshai een ba’du”
(Filling the heavens, filling the earth, and filling whatever else You wish.)” [Muslim and Abu 'Awanah.], 


5. Mil assamāwat, [wamila] l ardh, wa ba inahuma wa mila mahi’ taminshai in ba’du”
(Filling the heavens, [filling] the earth, whatever is between them, and filling whatever else You wish.)” [Muslim and Abu `Awanah.]

Sometimes, Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would add even further:

6. “Ahla thas nā 'ie walmajd, lāma ni 'alima 'ataita, wala mu’tiyalimana’ta, walayanfa ‘uzaljadda minkaljadd” (Lord of Glory and Majesty! None can withhold what You grant, and none can grant what You withhold; nor can the possessions of an owner benefit him in front of You.)” [Jadd: wealth, might, power; i.e., the one who has wealth, sons, might and power in this world will not benefit from them in front of You; his possessions will not save him from You: only righteous deeds will benefit or save anyone.]

Or, sometimes, the addition would be:

7. “Malassamāwat, wamilal ardh, wamabainahumawamilamaashiktaminshaiy eenba’du, ahlathannaaewalmajdi, ahaqquma qalal 'abdu, wakullunalka 'abdu, [Allāhumma] lāmani ‘alima ‘atoita, [walamu’tiyalimamana’ta], walayangfa ‘uzaljaddaminkaljadd”
 (Filling the heavens, filling the earth, and filling whatever else You wish. Lord of Glory and Majesty! - The truest thing a slave has said, and we are all slaves to You. [O Allāh!] None can withhold what You grant, [and none can grant what You withhold,] nor can the possessions of an owner benefit him in front of You.)” [Muslim and Abu ‘Awānah.]

Sometimes, Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would say the following during night prayer:

8. “La Rabbiyal hamd, la Rabbiyal hamd”
 (To my Lord be all Praise, to my Lord be all Praise),

Repeating it until his standing was about as long as his ruku', which had been nearly as long as his first standing, in which he had recited Surah Al-Baqarah. [Muslim, Abu `Awanah and Abu Dawud.]

9. “Rabbana walakal hamd, hamdan kathiran taiyiban mubarakan feeh, [mubarakā`alaih, kamayuhibbun rabbanawayardha]”
 (Our Lord, and to You be all Praise, so much pure praise, inherently blessed, [externally blessed, as our Lord loves and is pleased with])”. [Abu Dawud and Nasā'ie with a sahih isnad. It is given in Irwa' (335).]

A man praying behind him (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said this after he (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam) had raised his head from ruku' and said: Allāh listens to the one who praises Him. When the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) had completed his prayer, he said: “Who was the one speaking just now? The man said, "It was I, O Messenger of Allāh." So the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘I saw over thirty angels hurrying to be the first one to write it down’.” [Malik, Bukhari and Abu Dawud.]

Lengthening this Standing and Obligation to be at Ease in it.

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) used to make this standing about as long as his ruku', as has been mentioned; in fact, "he would stand (for so long) sometimes that one would say, 'He has forgotten', [because of his standing for so long.]" [Bukhari, Muslim and Ahmad. It is given in Irwa' (no. 307).]

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to instruct them to be at ease in it; hence, he said to "the one who prayed badly".

Next, raise your head until you are standing straight [and every bone has taken its proper place] - in another narration, When you rise, make your spine upright and raise your head, until the bones return to their joints[Bukhari and Muslim (first sentence only), Darimi, Hakim, Shafi`ie and Ahmad. By 'bones' here is meant those of the spinal structure, the vertebrae, as has proceeded in the main text.

NB: The meaning of this hadith is clear and obvious: to be at ease in this standing. As for the usage of this hadith by our brothers from the Hijaz and elsewhere as evidence to justify placing the right hand on the left in this standing, it is far-removed from the meaning of the multitude of narrations of this hadith. In fact it is a false argument, since the placing mentioned is not referred to with regard to the first standing in any of the narrations or wordings of the hadīth; therefore, how can "the bones taking their proper places" mentioned in the hadith be interpreted as referring to the right hand taking hold of the left before ruku'?! This would apply if all the versions of the hadith could be construed to mean this, so what about when they imply an obviously different meaning? In fact, this placing of theirs cannot be inferred from the hadith at all, since what are meant by "bones" are the bones of the spine, as confirmed by the Sunnah, "... he would stand straight until every vertebra returned to its place."

I, for one, am in no doubt that to place the hands on the chest in this standing is an innovation and a leading astray, for it is not mentioned in any of the ahādith about prayer, despite their large number. Had this practice any foundation, it would have reached us by at least one narration. Further, not one of the Salaf practised it, nor has a single leading scholar of hadith mentioned it, as far as I know.

This is not inconsistent with what Shaikh Tuwaijri has quoted in his article (pp. 18-19) from Imām Ahmad (rahimahullāh)"if one wishes, he may leave his hands by his sides, or, if he wishes, he can place them on his chest", for Imām Ahmad (rahimahullāh) did not attribute this to the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), but said it from his own ijtihad and opinion, and opinion can be erroneous. When authentic evidence establishes the innovatory nature of any practice, such as this one, then the saying of an imam in its favour does not negate its being an innovation, as Shaikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullāh) has written. In fact, I see in these words of his, an indication that Imam Ahmad did not regard the above-mentioned placing as being proved in the Sunnah, for he allowed a choice between practising it and leaving it! - Does the respected Shaikh think that the Imam also allowed a similar choice regarding placing the hands before ruku’? Thus, it is proved that the placing of the hands on the chest in the standing after ruku' is not part of the Sunnah. This is a brief discussion of this issue, which could be dealt with in more detail and depth, but due to lack of space here, that is done instead in my Refutation against Shaikh Tuwaijri.]

Rasūlullāh  (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam)  also reminded that no-one's prayer is complete unless he does that, and used to say: "Allāh, Mighty and Sublime, does not look at the prayer of the slave who does not make his backbone upright in between his bowings and prostrations." [Ahmad and Tabarāni in Mu'jam al-Kabir with a sahih isnād.] 

[Excerpted with some addition from “The Solāh of the Prophet S.A.W, By Shaikh Muhammad Nasiruddin Al-Albāni” Via the Qur'an and Sunnah Society]

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

Raful-Yadain: The Raising of Hands in the Solah

Another point I wish to raise concerns the long disputed issue of raising the hands in the Solah. It is a well known fact that Al-Albani and the generality of people amongst the 'Salafiyyah' have made a mountain out of a molehill, and have brewed a storm in a tea cup with regards to this issue, such that many of them are bold enough to accuse those who do not raise their hands in Solah (i.e. after the initial raising called Takbir-Tahrimah) of not following the Sunnah, as well as going to the disgusting length of openly detesting and despising those who do not raise their hands after the first Takbir!

I must also admit that among those who do not raise their hands in the subsequent stages of Solah, usually the ignorant people have accused those who raise the hands in the other stages of Solah to be 'Wahabbi's!' This is due to ignorance and pride of both sides, which usually stems from the lack of knowledge of the opinion of our great Mujtahid Imam's, and the Ahadith based evidences used by the research scholars in their respective defence of either raising or not raising the hands in the other stages of Solah. Our brothers and sisters who accuse those of raising the hands in the other stages of Solah should ask themselves: "Were the great Imam's like Al-Shafi’ie and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (rahimahumullāh) Wahhabi's?" I pose this question because it is well known that both of the latter named Imam's used to practise Raful-Yadayn after the initial Takbir, besides many other Companions and successors (Tabi'een), may Allah be pleased with them all!

 It is a well known fact from the Mutawatīr Ahadith (a report of a large number of narrators whose agreement upon a lie is inconceivable) available to us, that the Holy Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) used to raise his hands when pronouncing the initial Takbir (Takbiratul Ihram] in the Solah.

Sayyid Sabiq stated in his Fiqh-us-Sunnah (vol. 1, pg 129): "Says Ibn al-Mundhir, 'all scholars agree that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) raised his hands at the beginning of his Solāh.' Commenting upon this report, Ibn Hajar (Al-Asqalani) says, 'The Prophet's raising his hands at the beginning of his prayer has been narrated by fifty companions, including the ten who were given the tidings of Paradise.' Al-Bayhaqi related that Al-Hakim said, 'I do not know of any Sunnah other than this one which is accepted by the four rightly guided Khalifahs, the ten companions who were given the tidings of Paradise, and other Companions scattered across many lands." (NB: In my own experience, the only people I have met who do not raise their hands in any stage of the Solah have been the remnants of a Kharijite sect called the Ibādiyah, nor do they fold their hands in Solah).

Now, the difference in opinion stems on the question of whether the raising of the hands is necessary in the other stages of Solah, like when going into Rukū, standing up from Rukū, in between the prostrations (sajdah) and when standing up for the third rak’ah in Solah.

Al-Albani said in "Sifah Salah an-Nabee, pg. 42, fn. 4": "The raising of the hands is reported as Mutawatīr from him (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), as is the raising of the hands on straightening up after Rukū. It is the Madzhab of the three Imams Malik, Shafi'ie and Ahmad, and of the majority of scholars of Hadith and Fiqh. Imam Malik practised it right up to his death, as reported by Ibn Asakir (15/78/2). Some of the Hanafi's chose to do it, among them Isam Ibn Yusuf Abu Asamah Al-Balkhi (died. 210 A.H.), a student of Imam Abu Yusuf, as has been explained in the introduction."

I wish to say to the bias of Al-Albani, "You have quoted a portion of the truth correctly, but have also blundered in one of your opinions!" It is absolutely true that the great Mujtahid Imams like Al-Shafi’ie and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (rahimahumullāh)recommended the raising of the hands in the other subsequent stages of Solah, but it is a mistake to say that the great Imam of Madinah, Malik Ibn Anas (rahimahullāh) "practised it right up to his death" as Al-Albani claims, by quoting from Imam Ibn Asakir (a Shafi'ie scholar of Hadith, and a staunch defender of Imam Abu'l Hasan Al-Ashari, he wrote a work entitled 'The Exposure by Al-Imam Abu'l Hasan Al-Ash’ari of Mischievous untruth’s, d. 571 AH; rahimahullah).

For the real and authoritative view of Imam Malik and his followers, one must study the books written by the Maliki Madzhab, and then quote their opinions! I say this due to the sensible advice given to me by one of my friends in a written communication. He said:

"One lesson you should learn from all this is not to, for example, take Hadith from someone who is mainly specialized in Fiqh or some other subject, or take Hanafi dalils (evidences used to give legal verdicts) from someone who is not a specialist in the Hanafi madzhab's methodological bases and evidences, or take a Hanbali scholar's word about some ruling in a different madzhab, or take Hadith knowledge from scholars who make large numbers of mistakes, and so on. In general, one does not take an accounting problem to a shoe salesman."

 For the most authentic view and stance of Imam Malik (rahimahullah) and his disciples please refer to the appropriate title and discussion later, but as for what Al-Albani quoted from Imam Ibn Asakir (rahimahullah), then I say the authenticity of this report needs to be checked, since Al-Albani has failed to classify it himself in his "Sifah Salah an-Nabee," (does this not mean that he wants his readers to 'blindly' accept his verdicts?), and even if Hafiz Ibn Asakir's reference proves to be Sahih, then there is no doubt in my mind that this statement coming from Imam Malik must be rejected in favour of the real position of Imam Malik himself. The statements that I shall be quoting in favour of Imam Malik's authoritative opinion, comes directly from his most famous disciples, where as the reference coming from Ibn Asakir as given by al-Albani, was recorded well over 300 years after the death of Imam Malik (NB: Imam Malik passed away in the year 179 AH; while Imam Ibn Asakir was born in the year 499 AH)!

As you have read above Al-Albani stated that the Imam's Shafi'ie and Ibn Hanbal (rahimahumullah) performed Raf-ul-Yadayn, but one should also know that on the other hand, the great Mujtahid's amongst our Pious-Predecessors, like Abu Hanifah, Hammad Ibn Abi Sulayman, Ibrahim Al-Nakhaie, Alqama, Aswad (two famous disciples of the great Companion Abdallah Ibn Mas’ūd), Abu Yusuf, Muhammad Al-Shaybani, Sufyan Al-Thawri and many other Ulama’ (rahimahumullah) did not perform Raful-Yadayn, except in the initial Takbiratul Ihram, based on many sound chains of narration! So you may now ask: "Why the difference of opinion?"

The answer to this small problem is simple; it is only due to preference given to the derived Ijtihad of the available Ahadith on this subject, by individual Mujtahid's of the highest scholarly rank, and not that of the laity amongst the general masses of this Ummah. Since many a scholar has said that it is impermissible to derive legal verdicts from the Qur'an and Sunnah, if one is not qualified to do Ijtihad (See the section on Taqlīd), but conversely, what do we see today (see later)? The Imams who held the view that Raful-Yadayn is unnecessary, besides the initial Takbir, have based their views from many authentic Ahadith coming from the Holy Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), as well as directly from the great Companions (radiyallāhu’anhum).

The fact of the matter is that in their view the practise of performing Raful-Yadayn in the other stages of solah have been abrogated, and hence unnecessary in performance. Contrary to this, Imam's like Al-Shafi’ie, Ibn Hanbal, believe it to be desirable to perform Raful-Yadayn, and in their view the practise has not been abrogated. Consequently, many of the well known and wise research scholars have said that one's Solah is correct and acceptable by the practise of either mode! So please do not fall into the abyss of ignorance, by accusing and abusing each other of performing Solah incorrectly, since it was not generally the way of our foremost Mujtahid's of the pious generations (See the discussion between Imam Al-Azam Abu Hanifah and Imam al-Awzaie later)!

Al-Albani has said that some of the Hanafi's like Shaykh Isam Ibn Yusuf Al-Balkhi (rahimahullah) chose to perform Raful-Yadayn because he did not know the evidence of his Imams who held the view that Raf ul-Yadayn was unnecessary after the initial Takbir (See "Sifah Salah an-Nabee, pg xvii," and also "The Evolution of Fiqh, pg. 126", by A.A. Bilal Philips). I find it strange that Shaykh Isam ibn Yusuf did not know the evidence for not performing Raful-Yadayn, since by simple logic one can deduce the fact that he must have seen his two main Imams (Muhammad Al-Shaybani and Abu Yusuf) not performing Raful- Yadayn, and hence he must have been curious enough to ask his Imams for the evidence they used for not performing Raful-Yadayn! What seems more apt in a situation like this is to say that probably Shaykh Isam ibn Yusuf felt that the evidence for performing Raful-Yadayn was more convincing to him, than the converse evidence for not performing Raful- Yadayn, and Allah knows best.

 One lesson which can be learnt from this incident is that if Shaykh Isam Ibn Yusuf was a Mujtahid within the Hanafi School, then like all other Mujtahid scholars it is incumbent on him to follow his own Ijtihad, even if it has at times contradicted the founder of the Madzhab he belonged to. Thus, Shaykh Isam had to follow his own Ijtihad. The proof for what I have just said has been agreed upon by most of the scholars who were specialized in the fundamentals (Usūl) of Islam. For example, it is written in the book "Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence", by Mohammad Hashim Kamali (pg. 370): "The Ulema of Usul are in agreement that the Mujtahid is bound by the result of his own Ijtihad. Once he has deduced the ruling on a particular issue which is founded in his true conviction and belief, he may not imitate (Taqlīd) other Mujtahids on that matter regardless as to whether they agree with him or otherwise. For the Mujtahid, the conclusion that he reaches is tantamount to a divine command which he must observe. It is therefore unlawful for him to abandon it or to follow anyone else in respect of it. But if he had not rendered his own Ijtihad on an issue which is not urgent, and he has time to investigate, then according to some ulema he may imitate other Mujtahid's. However, the preferred view is that he must avoid taqlīd, even of one who might be more learned than him. Only the ammi (layman or non-Mujtahid's) who is incapable of Ijtihad is allowed to follow the opinion of others." (The above author has quoted from Imam Ghazzali's Mustasfa, vol.2 pg. 121; Imam Amidi's Ihkam, vol.4 pg. 204 and from Al-Kassab's Adwa, pg. 119).

The above quote clears some of the misconceptions held by some people on the role of Mujtahid's in Islam. For example, some people who try to refute the Taqlīd of the Mujtahid’s bring forward examples in which the disciples of the four main Imams contradicted the Ijtihad of their Master's on certain points. These people should always remember that if a disciple contradicts the opinion of his master, then this is the result of the natural prerogative bestowed upon him, when he attained the high and honourable grade of Ijtihad. There is a well known story related from the great Imam Abu Hanifah (d. 150 AH; rahimahullah), who said: "I follow the book of Allah, and if I find no solution there, I follow the Sunnah of The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam). If I find no solution in either the Qur'an or the Sunnah, I follow whichever of the pronouncements of the Sahabah I prefer, and leave whichever I wish. If there is a pronouncement on a particular matter by any of the Sahabah, I would not adopt any other made by any other scholar. But, if I found a solution only in the opinions of Ibrahim (Al-Nakha'ie), Al-Shabi, Ibn Sirin, Hasan Al-Basri, Ata (Ibn Abi Rabah) or Sa'eed Ibn Al-Musayyib (they were all Mujtahid's), I would make Ijtihad just as they did." (vide: "Usul al-Fiqh al-Islami," pg. 64, by Taha Jabir al-Alwani, who reported this account from Tarikh Baghdad, vol. xxxi, pg. 368, Al-Intiqa of Ibn Abdal Barr, pg. 142, and Mashayikh Balkh Al-Hanafiyah, pg. 190).

This report exemplifies the prerogative of a Mujtahid, as well as why Shaykh Isam ibn Yusuf may have held different opinions from his Masters. I must stress, the above discussion only refers to those who can perform Ijtihad, and not to those who are unable to fulfil the conditions recognized by the scholars of Usool for carrying out the duties of a Mujtahid. Those who are not Mujtahid's are bound to the opinions of qualified Mujtahid's, and this is Taqlīd.

 Al-Albani said in 'Sifah Salah an-Nabee', (pg. 105-6): "About raising the hands on going into Ruku and rising from it, many Ahadith have been narrated from the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam): they are actually mutawatīr in the eyes of the scholars; in fact, raising the hands with every takbir is proven on his authority in many Ahadith; whereas not raising the hands is not authentically related from him except once via Abdallah Ibn Masūd (radiyallahu’anhu), but this is not suitable for putting into practise, for it is naaf (negatory). It is firmly established, in the eyes of the Hanafi's and others, that the muthbit (affirmatory) takes precedence over the naaf (negatory); this is even when the affirmatory is on its own, let alone the case when it is a multitude of narrations, as in this issue! On the basis of this principle and in the absence of anything contrary, this renders it binding on them to adopt the raising of the hands, and not to stick zealously to the Madzhab after the establishment of proof. However, it is a pity that only a handful of the earlier or later ones have adopted it, so much so that not rising the hands have become a land mark for them!"

The above quote shows the limited and superficial knowledge of al-Albani, in the evidences used by the Hanafi scholars for not performing Raful-Yadayn! It is true that the Ahadith confirming Raful-Yadayn are Mutawatīr, but what the reader should also know, is that not performing it has also come down to us in a Mutawatīr way! In fact there are more than 50 Ahadith proving the converse of what the "great scholar," Al-Albani holds, as well as those who bolster his claims!

Al-Albani claims that not raising the hands has come to us authentically only, "once through Abdallah ibn Mas’ūd, but this is not suitable for putting into practise." To which I reply, why should it not be possible to put into practise the Hadith related by the great Companion Ibn Mas’ūd (radiyallahu’anhu)? Did he (Allah forbid) lie or fabricate from the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam)?

Please do not forget that there are many other authentic Ahadith to back up the opinion of the Hanafi's (and Maliki's)! Al-Albani only explains this Hadith of Ibn Mas’ūd away by bringing in the jurisprudential principle of, "the affirmative takes precedence over the negatory", but his argument is fallacious in this case, since I have already said that the Hanafi's believe that the performance of Raful-Yadayn has been abrogated by many other Ahadith, hence the above principle is inapplicable in this case! He claims the Hadith from Ibn Mas’ūd (radiyallahu’anhu) has been only related authentically once. I say this is incorrect, and only due to his ignorance of all the available routes (Asanid) coming from Ibn Mas’ūd. As far as I know he has not listed the Hadith of Ibn Mas’ūd to be Dha’ief, in his checking of Imam Abu Dawūd's Sunan, since his followers have not recorded it in their, "Dha’ief Ahadith of Abu Dawud's Sunan".

The Hadith in question is from Alqamah (rahimahullah), who said: "Abdullah Ibn Mas’ūd (radiyallahu’anhu) said: 'Should I pray in the way the Apostle of Allah (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) had performed it?' He said: 'He prayed, raising his hands only once.'" [Abu Dawūd, 1/747, pg. 193, English ed'n]. Since it has not been listed in the above mentioned publication, this means that the above narration is either Sahih, or at least Hasan to the user of the list.

Note also, according to Shams Al-Haqq Azimabadi, in his book Awn Al-Mabūd (1,272-73), the above Hadith was regarded to be Hasan by Hafiz Ibn Ma'een (rahimahullah), and it is well known that Imam At-Tirmidzi (rahimahullah) rated it to be Hasan (See: Sunan At-Tirmidzi, 2/257, pg. 40-41, edited by Ahmad Muhammad Shakir).

The above Hadith has been related from Imam Al-Azam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah), through an absolutely Sahih chain (all the narrators given below were well known Mujtahid's and absolutely truthful), and here it is: Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) has related to us from his teacher, Imam Hammad Ibn Abi Sulayman (rahimahullah), who related from his teacher, Imam Ibrahim Al-Nakhaie (rahimahullah), who related from his two teachers Imam Alqamah and Imam Aswad (rahimahumullah), the two distinguished pupils of Ibn Mas’ūd (radiyallāhu’anhu), who related from Ibn Mas’ūd (radiyallāhu’anhu), who related from the Holy Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). The reference for this is given after the discussion between Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Al-Awzaie (rahimahumullah), please see below. So my dear reader, I have just proven to you that the Hadith from Ibn Mas’ūd (radiyallāhu’anhu) has come to us authentically, through at least two authentic routes, as given above. Can you now believe in al-Albani's assertion that it has only come through one authentic narration?

As for Al-Albani saying, "However, it is a pity that only a handful of the earlier or later ones (i.e. Hanafi's) have adopted it, so much so that not raising the hands has become a landmark for them!" I say this statement is due to his ignorance, lack of scholarly deduction and knowledge of the principles and proofs held by the Hanafi's! He claims that it has become a "landmark", for the Hanafi's only! I say, "O 'Shaykh', have you not contradicted yourself by admitting that others besides the Hanafi's do not raise their hands in Solah in the same book?" Here is al-Albani's admission that it is not just the Hanafi's who have made it a "landmark"; he said in "Sifah Salah an-Nabee," (Footnote to pg 91): "The Ibādiyyah have distorted this hadīth: their scholar Rabee' has related it in his unreliable Musnad with a different wording to justify their view that raising the hands with takbīr invalidates the Solah! That wording is false, as I have explained in ad-Da'iefah (6044)."!!! This by Allah, is a grave contradiction from within the same book, and tantamount to his admission that besides the Hanafi's, the Ibādiyyah sect do not also raise their hands! In fact we have on record some scholars who initially used to perform Raful-Yadayn, but later on in their lives they stopped performing it altogether, except for the initial Takbīr; when they had taken into account all the arguments and evidence. Two of such great scholars are as follows:

 (A) Imam Abu Ja'far al-Tahawi (d. 321 AH; rahimahullah):

 He was a Mujtahid in specific issues (Mujtahid fi al-Masa'il) and also the famous author of the work 'Al-Aqeeda Al-Tahawiyyah' (The Muslim Belief According to Al-Tahawi), which has been translated into English by two different organisations, and many other works on Hadith. He was originally a Shafi'ie scholar who gained mastery in Shafi'ie Fiqh from his famous uncle Imam al-Muzani (rahimahullah) [mentioned in Sifah Salah an-Nabee, pg. xvi], who was the famous disciple of Imam Al-Shafi’ie (rahimahullah). But later in his life he joined the Hanafi School and hence stopped performing Raful-Yadayn indifference to the Shafi'ie view of performing it. Imam Tahawi lived in a time when most of the Hadith had been collected (after Bukhari, Muslim etc), hence he had an ideal opportunity to sift through the Hadith on Raful-Yadayn and he came to the conclusion that Imam Abu Hanifah's (rahimahullah) view point was more convincing to him, and in this regard he quoted some Hadiths negating the practise of Raful-Yadayn in some of his works.

(B) Imam Muhammad Amin Ibn Abidin (d.1252/1836; rahimahullah):

Imam Ibn Abidin was also originally a Shafi'ie scholar who changed his school and became the foremost Hanafi Imam of his time. Hence he also changed his original opinion of performing Raf-ul-yadayn, to not performing it. His most famous work is 'Hashiya Radd al-Mukhtar'. Al-Albani has quoted from him in 'Sifah Salah an-Nabee' (pg's viii, xvii).

3.3.4 - The View of Imam Malik and his Madzhab on Raful-Yadayn 

I have already quoted the opinion of Al-Albani with regard to his quotation from Imam Ibn Asakir. Al-Albani has claimed that Imam Malik used to perform Raful-Yadayn right up to his death. But this is in direct contradiction to what has been related from Imam Malik (rahimahullah) by his famous disciple, Imam Ibn Al-Qasim. The foremost book of the Maliki Madzhab in terms of Fiqh is a book called 'Al-Mudawwanah' (A Book of Legal Cases).

It is a recension of Qadi Sahnoon (rahimahullah), containing his questions, answered by Imam Ibn Al-Qasim (rahimahullah). These answers repeat the literal words of Imam Malik (rahimahullah) by occasional personal interpretation of Ibn Al-Qasim himself. It is written in "Al-Mudawwanah", (vol. 1, pg. 71): "Imam Malik has said that he does not know of Raful-Yadayn being done in any Takbīr, even when going into (Rukū’) or rising from it, except in the Takbīr Tahrimah (the initial Takbīr), then Ibn Al-Qasim said that in the opinion of Imam Malik the performance of Raful-Yadayn was Dha’ief (a weak practice)." 

The diligent reader may have noticed that Imam Malik has quoted two Hadith which seems to support the practice of performing Raf-ul-Yadayn, in his celebrated Al-Muwatta! The Hadith quoted is as follows, "Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab from Salim Ibn Abdullah from Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiyallahu’anhum) that the Messenger of Allah, (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), used to raise his hands to the level of his shoulders when he began the solāh and when he raised his head from ruku he raised them in the same way, saying, 'Allah hears whoever praises him, our Lord and praise belongs to You.' He did not raise them in sujud." Also, "Yahya related to me from Malik from Nafi that Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiyallahu’anhum) used to raise his hands to the level of his shoulders when he began the solah and when he rose from the ruku’ he would raise them less than that." (See: Muwatta section 3.4, no. 17 and 21, pg. 27, trans. by A. Abdarahman and Y. Johnson). The above Hadith has also been related by Imam's Bukhari and Muslim in their respective collections, besides many other books of Hadith with slight variations in wording and description. 

The above Hadith has been one of the main proofs used to prove the performance of Raful-Yadayn by some great scholars. But, the Hanafi and Maliki schools put forward some of the following arguments to explain their contention. 

The Imam Abu Dawūd (rahimahullah) reported a Hadith very similar to the one above, he said that Imam Nafi said on the authority of Ibn Umar (radiyallahu’anhu) that when he began his solah, he uttered the Takbīr (Allah is most great) and raised his hands; and when he bowed (he raised his hands); and when he said: "Allah listens to him who praises Him," (he raised his hands); and when he stood up at the end of two raka'at, he raised his hands. He (Ibn Umar) traced that back to the Apostle of Allah (May peace be upon him). Abu Dawūd then said: "What is correct is that the tradition reported by Ibn Umar (radiyallahu’anhu) does not go back to the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam)." Abu Dawūd then said: "The narrator Baqiyyah (found in the Isnad) reported the first part of this tradition from Ubaid Allah and traced it back to the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam); and the narrator Al-Thaqafi reported it from Ubaid Allah as a statement of Ibn Umar himself (not from the Prophet). In this version he said: 'When he stood at the end of two raka'at he raised them up to his breasts. And this is the correct version." Abu Dawūd then said: "This tradition has been transmitted as a statement of Ibn Umar (and not of the Prophet) by Al-Layth Ibn Sa'ad, Malik, Ayyub, and Ibn Juraij; and this has been narrated as a statement of the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) by Hammad Ibn Salamah alone on the authority of Ayyub. Ayyub and Malik did not mention his raising of hands when he stood after two sujud, but Al-Layth mentioned it in his version. Ibn Juraij said in his version: I asked Nafi, "Did Ibn Umar raise (his hands) higher for the first time?' He said, 'No.' I said, 'Point out to me. He then pointed to the breasts or lower than that.'" (See: Sunan Abu Dawūd, 1/740, pg. 191, English ed'n). 

Now, the Hadith related by Ibn Umar (radiyallahu’anhu) stated that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) "used to" perform Raf-ul-Yadayn; although Imam Malik (rahimahullah) quoted this particular Hadith it does not necessarily mean that he himself, as well as Ibn Umar (radiyallahu’anhu) performed Raf-ul-Yadayn! In fact we have to remember that Ibn Umar (radiyallahu’anhu) said that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), "used to" perform Raf-ul-Yadayn. I say this because we have many other Ahadith which have been related from Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiyallahu’anhu)  himself which prove that he did not always perform Raf-ul-Yadayn, as well as indicating that the Holy Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) himself stopped performing Raful-Yadayn; but Allah knows best! Here follows a few of these Ahadith from Ibn Umar (radiyallahu’anhu):  

(A) The Imam of Hadith, Abu Awānah (rahimahullah) related in his "Sahih" (vol. 2, pg. 90) from Sufyan Ibn Uyayna, who related from Ibn Shihab Al-Zuhri, who related from Salim Ibn Abdullah, who related from his father Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiyallahu’anhu), who said: "I saw the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) raise both his hands up to the shoulders when starting Solah, but he did not raise his hands when going into rukū, or when rising from it; not even between the sujud." 

(B) The Imam of Hadith and teacher of Imam Al-Bukhari, Abdullah Ibn Zubair Al-Humaidi (rahimahullah) related in his "Musnad" (2/614, pg. 277) from Sufyan Ibn Uyayna, who related from Ibn Shihab Al-Zuhri, who related from Salim Ibn Abdullah, and he from his father Ibn Umar (radiyallahu’anhu): "I saw the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) raise both his hands at the beginning of Solah up to his shoulders, but when going into Rukū’ and when raising his head from rukū’ he did not raise his hands, not even between the sujud." 

(C) The Hanafi scholar of Hadith, Imam Yusuf Al-Zaylai (d. 762 AH; rahimahullah) quoted in his book "Nasb ar-Rayah" (vol. 1, pg. 404), a narration from Abdallah Ibn Al-Kharraz, who related from Imam Malik, who related from Ibn Shihab Al-Zuhri, and he from Salim Ibn Abdallah, who related from Ibn Umar (radiyallahu’anhu), who said: "The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) raised his hands when beginning Solah, and he never repeated again." 

(D) The two well known scholars of Hadith, Imam Tahawi and Imam Ibn Abi Shaybah (rahimahumullah), related that Imam Mujahid (the disciple of Ibn Abbas, radiyallahu’anhum) said: "I prayed many times behind Ibn Umar (radiyallahu’anhu), but he raised his hands only once at the beginning." (See:  Ja'al Haqq, pg. 55, by Mufti Ahmad Y. Khan)   

These four narrations give strong evidence in favour of the Hanafi and Maliki views that Raful-Yadayn has been abrogated. So now ask yourselves, "Can the opinions of Al-Albani be relied upon, if he does not base his opinions from the books of the Hanafi and Maliki Schools, plus the proofs used by them for not performing Raful-Yadayn?" 

Now, I leave it to you to decipher for yourself, why certain Imams decided to perform Raful-Yadayn and others not to; but before I finish on this issue let me relate to you a famous incident that took place between the Imam's Abu Hanifah and Al-Awzaie (rahimahumullah) of Syria, when they met in Makkah. The purpose of the following debate is to show that even though the two great Imams had different narrations to prove their particular opinions, they did not abuse or despise each other in the derogatory way that some of us have become accustomed to! Insha'Allah, we should respect each other’s opinions, if it has a sound basis from the sources of the Shari'ah. 

Imam Al-Awzaie (rahimahullah) said, "Why do you not raise your hands just before rukū’ and after?" Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) replied, "There is no recorded word or action of the Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), to authenticate this (any longer)." "How so", replied Al-Awzaie, "When Al-Zuhri has reported this to me on the authority of Salim and that of his father (Ibn Umar) who said that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) used to raise his hands at the beginning of the Solah and before and after rukū’?" Abu Hanifah also reported, "Hammad related to me through Ibrahim, through Alqamah, through Al-Aswad, and through Ibn Mas’ūd, that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), only raised his hands at the beginning of the Solah and did not repeat this action again." Al-Awzaie then suggested that his authorities were more reliable than those of Abu Hanifah, who countered, "Hammad was more knowledgeable than Al-Zuhri, and Ibrahim was more knowledgeable than Salim. And if Ibn Umar (radiyallahu’anhu) is to be credited as a Companion of the Prophet, then Al-Aswad has many merits. And the merits of Abdullah Ibn Mas’ūd (radiyallahu’anhu) speak for themselves." At this, Al- Awzaie remained silent. (Vide: 'The Ethics of Disagreement in Islam', pg. 59-60, by Taha Jabir Al-Alwani; also see 'Imam Abu Hanifah: Life and Work' pg. 66-67, by Shibli Numani). This incident has also been recorded with slight variations by Hafiz Ibn Al-Humam in his 'Fath al-Qadir', and Shah Waliullah Dehlawi's 'Hujjat Allah Al-Baligha'. Allah Almighty knows best.

[Via entitled “Raful-Yadain: the Raising of Hands in the 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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