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A Description of the Prophet's Prayer
  On Placing the Hands in the Prayer
Author: Al-Haafidh al-Mubaarakfooree
Article ID : IBD040002  [18660]  
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[Start of Quote from at-Tirmidhee]

"Chapter: what occurs with regards to placing the right hand upon the left in prayer

‘....and some of them were of the opinion that you place them above the navel, and some below the navel. And all of that was comprehensive according to them.’

[End of quote from at-Tirmidhee]


His saying, ‘And all of that was com prehensive according to them (wa kullu dhaalik waasi’un ‘indahum)’

It’s clear meaning is that the difference of opinion between them over placing the hands above or below the navel is one of choice and excellence. And know that the ahaadeeth and narrations that occur on this subject differ, and due to this there occurred a difference amongst the Imaams, may Allaah have mercy upon them. Here I shall mention the evidences (for each opinion) in 3 sections, alongwith an explanation of what is for them and against them.

Section One: In explanation of the one who holds to placing the hands below the navel, and they stick to the following ahaadeeth:

1) The hadeeth of Wa’il bin Hujr (RA) reported by ibn Abee Shaybah in his ‘Musannaf’ from Wakee’ from Musa bin Umar from ‘Alqama bin Wail Bin Hujr from his father who said, ‘I saw the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) placing his right hand over his left below the navel.’

al-Haafidh al-Qaasim bin Qatloobagaa said in his ‘Takhreej Ahaadeeth al-Ikhtiyaar Sharh al-Mukhtaar’ - ‘this sanad is good.’ And ash-Shaykh Abu at-Tayyib al-Madanee said in ‘Sharh at-Tirmidhee’ - ‘This hadeeth is strong from the point of view of the sanad.’ And ash-Shaikh Aabid as-Sindee said in ‘Tawaali al-Anwaar’ - ‘it’s narrators are trustworthy.’

I say: even if the isnaad of this hadeeth is good, affirming the words, ‘below the navel’ poses a serious problem. Ash-Shaikh Muhammad Hayat as-Sindee said in his book, ‘Fath al-Ghafoor,’ ‘the addition, "below the navel", is problematic, in fact it is a mistake arising from neglect. For I checked the authentic text of the ‘Musannaf’ and I saw this hadeeth in it with this sanad, with this wording but without the additional wording, "below the navel". After this hadeeth is mentioned the narration of an-Nakha’i and it’s wording is close to the wording of this hadeeth, and at it’s conclusion are the words, "below the navel." So maybe the sight of the scribe (of the texts of the ‘Musannaf’) slipped from one place to the other and interpolated the wording of the mawqoof narration into the marfu’ narration (as occurs in some of the texts of the ‘Musannaf’)’

And the writer of ‘ad-Durra fee Adh’haar Gash Naqd as-Surra’ said, ‘And as for the hadeeth of Wail which is depended upon, reported by ibn Abee Shaybah, then there is a lot of discussion on this hadeeth. For ibn Abee Shaybah reported this hadeeth, and after it narrated the narration of an-Nakha’i and the wording of the two is close, and at the conclusion of the wording of the narration are the words, "below the navel." So the texts (of the ‘Musannaf’) differ, and in some of them occurs the mention of the hadeeth without specifying the place of the hands followed with the narration of an-Nakha’i, and in other texts the hadeeth is mentioned with the additional wording without the narration of an-Nakha’i following it. So it is possible that the addition arises from negligence on the part of the scribe (of the ‘Musannaf’) by his interpolating the wording of the narration into the hadeeth. Just as it is possible that the absence of the wording "below the navel" in the earlier texts (of the ‘Musannaf’ arises from neglect of the writer). But the differing in this way shows that the wording of the narration got interpolated into the hadeeth.’

I say: and the saying of these scholars is supported by the fact that Ahmad relates the hadeeth with the same sanad as ibn Abee Shaybah and the addition does not occur in it. So in the ‘Musnad’ of Ahmad occurs, Wakee’ narrated to us from Musa bin Umar al-’Inbaree from ‘Alqama bin Wail al-Hadramee from his father who said, ‘I saw the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) placing his right hand upon his left in prayer.’

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