Why Do the Malikis Pray With Their Hands to The Sides? [part one]


Asalamu alaykum,

Undoubtedly a lot of us [Malikis] have been confronted with this question many times. Such question are important and, if answered correctly, can foster a greater sense of tolerance, love and appreciation for one another. However, some like to insist that there is “no dalil” for this practice and even claim that Imam Malik was beaten and prayed like that due to his injuries. Others hold that since Imam Malik related in his collection of hadith the hadith which mentions praying with one’s hands on the chest and that this is enough to nullify the schools position.

This article is not, by any means, the final word on this matter, nor is it meant to create the latest debate in our Islamic centers. The goal of this article is to provide enough proof for those who want to practice what is known as al-Sadl to do so based on proofs and fare arguments.

Contention Number One: There is no evidence from the Sunna for this practice

This, in and of itself, is a problematic statement that only shows one’s immaturity in grasping the essence of Islamic Law. However, when one says such things we should assume the best and know that it is only a sign of his sincere love and connection with the Messenger of Allah [sa]. That being said, this is not the place, nor will time permit for it to be elaborated on. Thus, let’s move right along to the proofs:

The First Proof: The Hadith “Go back and pray for, indeed, you have not prayed!”

It is related from Abu Hurayra,

“The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, entered the mosque and a man entered and prayed. He greeted the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, who returned the greeting and said, ‘Go and back and pray. You have not prayed.’ He went back and prayed as he had prayed before. Then he came and greeted the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace,who said three times, ‘Go back and pray for you have not prayed.’ He said, ‘By the One who sent you with the truth, I cannot do any better than that, so teach me.’ He said, ‘When you stand for the prayer, say the takbir and then recite something you know well from the Qur’an and then do ruku’ until you are at rest in your ruku’ . Then stand back up until you are completely upright. Then go into sajda until you are at rest in your sajda. Then sit back until you are at rest in the sitting position. Do that throughout all of your prayer.’ ”

Related by al-Bukhari hadith(s) 715,751, 5782, 6174. Muslim hadith 602.

Understanding the Proof:

The Prophet [may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him] taught this man how to pray and did not tell the man to place his hands on his chest. Thus, according to the Malki school, this is a proof for placing one’s hands on the sides. [see Ibn Batal's explanation of Sahih al-Bukhari]

Imam al-Nawawi responded to this by stating that this hadith only illustrates the obligatory acts of prayer and not the sunnas. This is answered by the narration of al-Hakim, which is considered sound, in which the Prophet [may Allah be pleased with him] not only mentions the pillars of prayer, but also mentions how to make wudu and the sunnas of prayer as well. After that the Prophet [may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him] said, “None of your prayers will be complete until he does it like this [how the Prophet [may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him] described it]. al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihayn of al-Hakim #847.

In this narration, the Prophet [may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him] after mentioning how to pray and saying “None of your prayers will be complete until he performs it in this manner” did not mention to the person to place his hands on his chest. Thus, what is understood from this, according to the popular opinion in the school, is that placing one’s hands to the sides is sunna.

The Second Proof:

It is related from Muhammad ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Ata’ that he was sitting with a group of the Companions of the Prophet. “We mentioned the prayer of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and Abu Humayd as-Sa’idi said, ‘I remember the prayer of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, better than any of you. I saw that when he said the takbir he lifted his hands level with his shoulders. When he did ruku’, he placed his hands on his knees and then bent his back straight. When he raised his head, he stood up straight until each vertebra had returned to its place. When he went into sajda, he placed his arms so that they were neither stretched out nor held close. The toes of his feet pointed towards the qibla. When he sat after the first two rak’ats, he sat on his left foot and kept his right foot upright. When he sat after the last rak’at, he extended his left foot across, keeping the other upright and sat on his buttocks.” Sahih al-Bukhairi # 794.

In the narration of Abu Dawood we find: “I heard Abu Humayid As-Saa’idi say while in the company of ten of the companions of the Messenger of Allah – may Allah bless and grant him peace: “I am the most knowledgeable of you of the prayer of the Messenger of Allah – may Allah bless him and grant him peace.” They said, “How (so)? For by Allah, you were neither the one who spent the most time with him, nor the eldest of us to him in companionship.” He said, “True indeed.” They said, “Show (us).”

Commenting on this al-Shaykh Muhammad al-’Abid wrote that “this is a clear proof for the practice of placing one’s hands to the side.” His reasoning was that this description of the Prophet’s prayer [may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him] took place during a gathering of the companions [may Allah be pleased with them all] who initially questioned Abu Humayid’s contention. However, after relating what he knew of the Prophet’s prayer they responded, “You have stated the truth! That is how he [may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him] used to pray.” Notice, as al-’Abid noted that they did not say, “You forgot to mention clasping the hands!”

Some may counter and say that Abu Humayid did not mention placing the hands on the sides? The response is that, such a statement supports placing one’s hands on the sides since something so common did not have to be mentioned and the origin, while standing, would be to place one’s hands to the sides.

It is hoped that this brief look at this issue will open the doors of understanding between those who follow the school of Imam Malik and those who don’t. It is important to realize that this contention is based on sound evidence and over 1000 years of academic rigor. The Schools of Fiqh represent a treasure of guidance and direction and are not simply based on whims and fashions. While not perfect, they must be respect and honored for one to truly understand and grasp the Shari’ah.

May Allah’s peace and blessing be upon the Prophet and those who follow him.

www.suhaibwebb.com

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47 Comments

  1. Are you claiming that one must pray with their hands to their side, or that either is acceptable?

    Prayer is a service of the heart, and although there is a prescribed way to pray one must keep in mind that one can have the best of “form” in their prayer but without the proper intention and concentration it is nothing but callestinics. (not spelled correctly.)

    I mean not to make trivial your well thought out and written discourse but it seems that we oft get mired in details and loose sight of what is important.

    Peace, and blessing upon you and may your site have much success.

    • abdullah says:

      both are acceptable inshallah prophet muhammad saw prayed in many different styles and so did the four caliphas inshallah

  2. munir says:

    Assalamu Alikum Imam Suhaib,

    I hope all is well in Egypt.

    I must admit that I rarely open your blog, but I just did and read the article about the placement of the hand to the side while praying. JAK for the write-up.

    I must say that the reasoning or evidence used above are not conviencing evidence to the arguement. Just like it wasn’t mentioned the placement of the hand on the chest, there was no mention of the placement of the hand to the side. That applies to both hadiths mentioned above.

    On the contrary, other hadiths have clear statments where the hands are placed on the chest (with different variations). Amongst them, is the hadith mentioned by Imam Malik in his Muwata’. Of course there are several other hadiths along with that one. Also, what’s common among most of the Sahaba and Madahib is the placement of the hand on the chest area.

    What I think is important to people to understand is that this is “Hay’aat Al-Salaah” and there is different variations of these hay’aat (movements or however you can translate Hay’aat). Since these Hay’aat don’t affect the validity of the prayer and there is some sort of opinion to support them, regardless of its strength, people should understand these differences and accept them. The most important thing is “Sihaatt” correctness of the Fara’id (obligations) of the prayer. Which is very clear from the 1st hadith you mentioned where the Prophet pbuh focused on the mandatory aspects of prayer and also mentioned some sunnan as well.

    I think its important for everyone of us to focus on what’s Fard (obligatory) in prayer first, and then move on to study the Sunnan’s and try to apply more than one Sunnah while prayer. I know persnally that sometimes I place my hands to the side when we are praying Taraweeh if I get very tired from keeping placing my hands on my chest.

    Wish to see you soon ISA in teh Bay Area.

    wasalam,
    Munir

    • Khan says:

      Dear brothers

      The last messenger of Allah “Muhammad” saying is that “Sallu kma rayitomooni Osalli”, so we must obey Muhammad (PBUH), There is not any hadith that mentioned to leave hands during prayer. In aforementioned hadith, there is not mentioined the place of hands where to keep, while we have hadith that clearly mentioned that Prophe Muhammad (PBUH) keep his hands on his chest (Right arm on left arm on chest)and hadith is sahi. Why you do not accept this hadith that clearly mentioned the way.

      Regards

    • Sufian says:

      “what’s common among most of the Sahaba and Madahib is the placement of the hand on the chest area” is not supported by evidence. Most Sahaba lived in Madina and it is known fact that people of Madina practiced Sadl.

  3. As-salamu `alaykum,

    Al-Hamdulillah, I have lived to finally see the day that this issue is addressed and out in the open. It is interesting to note that three groups of Muslims all pray in this manner, i.e. with sadl: the Malikis, the Ibadis (practically the entire country of Oman), and the Shiah. Even more interesting is the time period that the latter two groups split from “mainstream” Islam. From this fossil the paleontologist now has an exposed and dated record. These three groups that have had little or no contact with each other since well before the time of the 4 great Imams (Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Imam Shafi’i, and Imam Ahmad), were all praying with their arms by their sides, not folded over their chests. From where did they get this practice?

    A person can certainly read a book to learn how to play tennis, golf, or even fly an airplane, but I am certainly glad that most airline pilots learn from experienced pilots directly.

    For this reason, I chose the school of Imam Malik, the best Salafi, in my own humble opinion, who rigorously promoted following the Sunnah of our Prophet (solallahu `alayhi wa sallam). Based on this observation I have presented, I am certain that our Prophet (solallahu `alayhi wa sallam) prayed with sadl instead of qabd during the later years of his mission in Madinah. Otherwise why would the people of Madinah be praying in this manner up until the time of Imam Malik?

    Jazakum Allah Khayr

    John (AbdurRahman) Kirch

    [Please post this to your blog]

    • Shams ul islam says:

      MashaAllah Wht a beautiful reply. I’m hanafi but I loved ur reply. Majority of sahaba and tabieen used to pray as imam malik taught us.

    • abdullah says:

      actually in kufa when ali ra was the fourth calipha he led the prayer in the hanafi fiqh ways many times, prophet muhammad saw and his sahaba ra didnt alwyas pray int he same style allah revealed to his messenger saw the different ways to perform salah, if the hadith is sahih then why are we fighting on which method i the best

      that alone shows no method of salah is the best it has all been revealed by allah and we use the ones revealed by allah and just do it its not a matter to argue on

      if in quran and sunnah follow it if not dont

  4. admin says:

    Asalamu alaykum,

    I think a number of us maybe missing the boat here. This is a simple argument, written in a simple style that explains the proof for the school. It is not an argument telling one that they have to pray this way, nor is it claiming to be that. It is only an article explaining the position of the school. I myself pray with my hands on my chest and, at times, pray with them to the side. The point being that this schools position is not based on hot air but the work of great scholars and Imams. Thus, one should not got all bent out of shape when he sees his fellow Muslim praying in such a fashion and vice versa. In other words, lets roll with the Rodney King Madhab, “Can’t we all get along!”

    SDW

  5. Abul-Hussein says:

    AS
    When we look to the hadiths we find a number of positions for the hands:

    1.) Textual proof for folding the right hand over the left and placing the hands under the belly button.

    (This is the school of the Muhaddith Imam Ishaq Ibn Rahwayah (r) and Imam Abu Hanifa (r) and the Muhaddith Imam Ahmad (in one narration).

    The text to support this position can be found in Abu Dawood and in the Musannaf of Abi Shaiba. The texts mentions folding the hands right over left and placing them under the belly button this last aspect of the hadith which mentions placing the hands under the belly button is an addition (ziyadat) to the major part of the hadith which mentions the folding the hands right over left and it is of a disputed nature.

    Some scholars of hadith A good many if not the majority) have said that the addition to the hadith which enjoins the practice of placing one’s folded hands under the bellybutton is not valid (not sound).

    Other scholars particularly the Ulema (scholars of hadith) from India and Pakistan found the addition to be sound and recently the Muhaddith from Syria Muhammad Awaama (h) included this addition as sound in his critical edition of the Musannaf Of Imam Abi Shayba (r).

    There are details as to the ways the hands are folding in the madhab of Imam Numan Ibn Thabit (Abu Hanifa). These details vary a bit from Syria to India but all are found in the main works of the madhab.

    2.) The hands are folded right over left and placed on the middle area of the chest.

    Then the hands are placed above the belly button and below the upper part of the chest. this is the madhab of the majority of scholars including Imam Shafi and Malik (in one narration)and Imam Ahmad (in a narration).

    This act is based on the text narrated by Abu Dawood. The narration on Imam Malik is mentioned in the Sharh of Imam Muslim of the Muhaddith Qadi Iyad al Maliki (r). Qadi Iyad mentioned that this is the position of Imam Malik in both the fard and nafl salawaat.

    3.) The hands are folded right over left.

    Then they are placed on the upper part of the chest.
    The hadith for this position is recorded in the Sahih of Imam Ibn Khuzaima (r).

    This is the madhab of Shaikh al Albani (r) and the Hanbalis in Saudia, Ahl al Hadeeth in India as recorded by Bedadeen as Sindi (r).

    4.) One can chose between number one and two. This is an opinion narrated on Imam Ahmad. Qadi Iyad narrated this as an opinion of the scholars and noted that the Maliki opinion is for the hands to be placed above the belly button after being folded.

    The Muhaddith Imam Shaukani (r) narrated in Daarari al Bayhiyyah that there are three opinions in regard to the folding of the hands, in salah, placing the right over left:
    1.) placing the folded hands on the middle of the chest while standing
    2.) placing the folded hands under the belly button while standing
    3.) one is left to choose between opinion 1 and 3

    As far as the hadiths that identify where the hands are to be placed specifically some scholars hold the strongest and clearest hadith is that of Imam Ibn Khuzaimah according to scholars of hadith.

    For the Malikis a good many of their scholars make recourse to the Amal of Madina in this issue and hold that it was their practice to leave the hands to the sides and this was the opinion of Imam Ibn Qasim in the Maliki school.

    The Maliki school as is clear has two positions regarding the hands and our scholars differ over this issue but the well known position in the madhab is the position of Imam Ibn Qasim (r). Up until the contemporary
    period this issue is debated among the scholars of Maliki fiqh.

    The Malikis have 7 proofs to refer to without weakening any hadith in Bukhari and Muslim to prove the validity of sadl.

    Despite this we find two opinions on the matter in the madhab the sadl position being the well known in the madhab and folding the hands on the middle part of the chest.

    One thing to be understood is that there is great flexibility in this issue. Folding the hands is not a part of the pillars of the Salah in any madhab.

    Following any of the schools above over and against one’s madhab does not invalidate one’s salah.

    There is no hardship in the matter as the people of knowledge have narrated on more than one occasion.

    In fact, the best approach is to conform to the practice of the community one belongs to as long as what is being followed is a legitimate opinion. And this for the sake of avoiding controversy with people who have limited knowledge of differences or to going against the group the group.

    In the madhab of Imam Malik (r) this is flexible matter for a number of reasons:

    1.) because it is not a pillar of the salah
    2.) based on the principle murahtul khilaf (acknowledging the evidence of another school as holding a strong position while acknowledging the evidence of one’s own school)
    3.) both opinions are in the school (hands to the side hands on the chest)
    4.) the majority opinion is the opposite of the practice of sadl so in the case of stirring conflict it is best to abide by the majority opinion on the grounds of dalil (in and out of the madhab) and predicated upon the principle in the Usul of Imam Malik, the principle of Maslaha (seeking to realize the common good) and based on the fiqhi principle hardship necessitates ease.

    Shaikh Suhaib Webb, aimed to illustrate in a simple manner that sadl has a basis and that as a Maliki there is no need to press an issue and as a non Maliki there is no need to make an issue wherein there is evidence for an action.

    Unfortunately, our community suffers from extremes:

    1.) Those who fight to press the issue about sadl in the name of establishing the madhab (as has been reported being the case and New Jersey and California and Cleveland in the US)

    2.) From those who look at the practice of the madhabs as ungrounded.

    In one case, we have madhabism (pushing people to taqleed) and it another case we have a staunch push to qualify the madhabs as useless and in some cases bid’ah. I hope that in this period that followed the bash against madhabs that we do not go over board and initiate madhabism as a reaction.

    The Ulema of al-Azhar ash Sharif teach that the common person can make talfiqh, and that he is on the madhab of the person that gives fatwa. The person who follows a madhab or aims to follow the approach of the Muhadithoun these people should be easy with others the key is to follow scholars.

    Our community is to diverse to create fights over non-starters. There is not a real issue in this topic for the Ulema this is an issue (the matter of hands) for those who are not well versed in fiqh. If one is reading a basic matn in fiqh in any madhab then it ought be clear that the issue of placing the hands on the sides or chest is not from the pillars of the salah and if not done does not invalidate the salah. The goal of madhab studies is to realize when an act is valid or not and if one has not achieved this level of understanding then it is best to be humble and seek to understand rather than debate.

    This is why fiqh is taken from living Ulema that are well versed in Fiqh and know how to deal with people and is not taken from books or gained via internet chats and articles. It is one thing when we learn what is in a text and it is another thing when we apply it.

    Allahu Alam Wa Al’aa
    Abul-Hussein

  6. Muslim says:

    Not being a Maliki, I am happy that now i know that there is basis for this act, cause all this time it was simply Husn Al Dhan (“They must have dalil”) but now I can be sure.

    Cool

  7. Aadil says:

    Salaam,

    Br. Suhaib, forgive me my insolence, but I do not see how the proofs stated are proofs for the maliki position. Do you know of any hadith which talk about the prophet (s) praying with his hands to the side? Otherwise, the commentaries don’t make much sense, because there are many things that are ommitted from those sayings (i.e. none describe how the prayer is ended). Additionally, there could be many reasons why certain particulars were ommitted (i.e. maybe some of the details were widely accepted, maybe they were focusing on the errors, maybe they were giving the general outline of the necessary acts, maybe they were paying attention to things that people often forget, etc.)

    I think for all of us who make a point for certain particulars to be attended to during the prayer, the aformentioned sayings indicate that the earlier generations probably weren’t as particular about the details as some of us might be. This isn’t to belittle the need to pray properly, but to emphasize what is the true important aspect of prayer, khushu.

    • Hedaya says:

      Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah,

      Br. Aadil and whomever else, this was not intended to be an exhaustive study of the proofs of the position of the Maliki school, which are far more extensive. It was to open our minds to the realization that there are in fact proofs. More can also be found at http://www.lamppostproductions.com/?p=1282.

      What’s a proof that might be hard for people to understand is this: Imam Malik grew up and taught in a city of scholars, where the “7″ in fact were centered. If the only valid position is clasping, how in the world would an imam, who considered the actions of the ulama of Madinah a living proof, take such a stance?

      Think about it. Fiqh (which literally means “deep understanding”) is more subtle than just: “I have this hadith so I must understand everything about the subject now” mentality.

  8. Abu Majeed says:

    As I have known him to do for over 6 years Abul-Hussein broke it down. If I’m not mistaken, Suhaib was simply trying to shed some light on a minor issue that many of us wondered about whether it be about Malikis or Shi’ah. I think as illustrated by Sh. Suhaib and Abul-Hussein we can all agree that this is a matter of disagreement well rooted into the millenium + old rich tradition of our Deen. Therefore no one may oblige anyone to do or not to do it, although it is encouragable to inform (with gentleness) a blind follower (muqallid) of al-sadl of the other more clear (qati’) texts and the overwhelming majority opinion of the other madhahib based upon all texts on the subject. Of course that would be a foolish move to do in Libya where it is the common practice wherein it would be encouraged by a vistor who is aware of the texts on the matter to leave that SUNNAH in order to fulfill the obligatory (wajib) in being part of the Jama’ah and not sowing discord.

    As for my dear brother John Kirch I commend you on your choice to be a Maliki, but your reason for choosing the madhahab could be just as well or even more to be Hanbali. I advise you to choose a madhhab that is popular around you especially someone who can first hand teach it to you. And Allah knows best

  9. Lumumba K. Shakur says:

    The comments on this article demonstrate all too well why enjoining a compromising stance is bound to fail in the face of intolerance. With all due respect, especially in places like the West where there is no such thing as an established practice, people need to learn that my salat is none of their business.

  10. Labib says:

    I found Munir and Adi’s post extremely rude and lacking in adab. Perhaps both could list their qualifications that allows them to understand what and what doesn’t constitute a proof? What are your qualifications say in front of………emm the entire school of the Malikis? It is well known that al-’Awazi prayed with his hands to the sides as well as ‘Umar bin ‘Abdul ‘Aziz. Where do you stand in relationship to their scholarship?

    Westerners need to realize that it is not upon them, each and every time, to come out on top. Unfortunately we are in need of a little humility more than a lot of ‘Ilm.

    Thanks for this post

    Labib

    • Hedaya says:

      Please add Hasan al-Basri and Imam Layth (whom imam ash-Shafi’i spoke so highly of) to that list. And Shaykh Hamza Yusuf mentioned that Umar b. al-khattab(R) prayed with sadl.

  11. Hassan Abdul Jihaad says:

    As Salaamu Alaikum yes 2 hadith that come to mind Sunan Abu Dawud Vol#1 Hadith#730 Arabic edition and Hadith #729 the English translation and this same Hadith can be found in Ibn Majah Vol#1 Hadith #1061 the Arabic Edition or the English translation Ibn Majah Vol # 2 Hadith # 1061.The transliteration ” yaqirra kulla ‘azma fee maudi’ihi mu’tadila” referring to letting all of his limbs to settle in their proper places. In the school of Imam Maalik that the Amal is the proof of the people of Medina that Sadl had abrogated the Qabd which was a earlier practice of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Imam Maalik in the Fard he had no knowledge of it meaning Qabd, in sunan the chioce is yours.In the school of Maliki’s it is: Irsaal AlYadayn (Sadl) the dominant opinion, but Qabd is practise. Br. Hassan Abdul-Jihaad

  12. Musa Maguire says:

    As Salaamu alaikum

    What is the source of the claim that Imam Malik prayed with his hands at his sides due to the effects of torture. Is there any evidence for that or is it just speculation?

    • Hedaya says:

      That’s just an urban legend. He was specifically asked about the practice and said that he disliked for one to do so in the fard prayer, but saw no harm in it in the sunnah.

  13. Muhammad says:

    As salamu alaikum wa ramahtullah

    It should be noted that the Prophet peace be upon Him has stated in an authentic hadith, “Pray as you have seen me pray”. So in light of this hadith the muslim is required to pray in a manner that has it’s legitimacy or foundations in the sunna of the prophet first and foremost and then in those matters that may not be clear, the explanations of the scholars of this umma-may Allah have mercy on them.. With that being said, not every opinion is a strong one and the length of time it took to establish a position of one of the four madhabs is not a legitimization for weak opinions. The noted Maliki and Muhadith Abdur-Al Barr has noted, “Nothing has come from the Prophet in contrast to it (the placing the right hand on the left). The jamhoor (majority) of the sahaba and the taabe’een have related this. This is what Imam Malik has reported in the Muwatta, also Ibn Al-Mundhir has not spoking of this from Imam Malik nor anyone else. But it has been related by Ibn Al-Qaasim from Malik the practice of Irsaal (keeping the hands on the side) and this is what most of his followers do. Also, he (Al-Qaasim) has related the differentiating between the nafl (supererogatory) salaat and the fareeda or (obligatory). And from them (Malikis) are those who disliked Imsaak (placing one hand on the other) and Ibn Al-Haajib stated that this dislike was due to the person who would hold one hand supporting the other in order to rest. (Nayl Al-Awtar (201/2), also Fath al-Bari). Also, Imam An-Nawawi says, “the encouraging (istihbaab) of the practice of placing the right hand on the left and placing them below the chest and above the navel is our well known position, and the opinion of the majority.” Then after stating the different hadiths and positions of other scholars he states, “and the wisdom behind the placing of one hand on the other is that it is closer to khush’u or fear (being conscious of Allah) in the prayer and the preventing the two hands (from being placed on the sternum) is playfulness.

    Amongst the Malikis themselves there is no consensus between them as to keeping the hands on the side (irsaal), so to present it as the Maliki position is not necessarily the case, there are those from the Malikis who oppose it and from them are those who see it as valid. As for the later Malikis , their position is holding the hands above the belly button and under the chest and that it is a sunna act (mandoob, not obligatory) for the one praying Nafl salaat and also Fard or obligatory salaat. But for the one who does this out of the desire to rest on the hands, then it is disliked.(the Sheik Mashoor Hasan Salman speaks on this issue in his book Al-Qawl Mubeen fi akhta’i Al-Musaleen) Al-Baaji (Who is from the major scholars of the Malikis) stated, “Malik’s statement with regards to disliking holding the hands could be understood as his fear that the general masses would take this as a pillar from the pillars of Salaat which would nullify the salaat if left.”

    When we look at the hadiths that Bro. Suhab –May Allah preserve him- wrote as being proofs for the position of the Maliki position (that is if we agree that it is indeed their position!). None of them addresses the sound hadiths and hasan hadiths that have been related on this issue. If we look at the total picture of what has been related with regards to the Prophet’s prayer in it’s entirety it will give a more comprehensive picture and the hadiths will serve to clarify themselves as some hadiths don’t mention every action of the prayer although these actions may be mentioned in other hadiths, etc. Some of these are as follows:
    1) On the authority of Sahl ibn Sa’ad, ‘The people used to command the man to place his right hand on his left forearm in the salaat.’ (Sahih Bukhari, 224/2), (the Musnaad Ahmad 336/5) and Malik in his Muwatta (48/159/1)
    2) “The prophets were commanded to delay the suhoor and expedite the breaking of the fast and hold with our right hands our left hands in our prayer” (Ibn Hibban relates it in his sahih, (13-14/3 #1767)
    3) The hadith of Wail Ibn Hujr, “The prophet peace be upon him used to place his right hand on his left” (Abu Dawood, 115,1), An Nisaa-ii (141/1), Al Bayhaqii (132/2) and ibn Hajar has said it is sahih on the condition of muslim in Fath Al-Baari and An Nawawai has said it is sahih in Al-Majmoo as has Ibn Khuzayma.
    4) “The prophet passed by a man praying with his left hand on his right, so the Prophet Peace be upon him , placed the man’s right hand on his left” (Ahmad, 381/3), Ad-Darqutni (107) and Tabaraani fil Awsaat.

    Also if we look at the Maliki logic presented by Bro. Suhaib in proof one: In this narration, the Prophet [may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him] after mentoning how to pray and saying “None of your prayers will be complete until he peforms it in this manner” did not mention to the person to place his hands on his chest. Thus, what is understood from this, according to the popular opinion in the school, is that placing one’s hands to the sides is sunna.
    The principle in Qawaa’id Al-Fiqhia is that in regards to worship the rule or principle is that any action done as an act of worship must be refrained from until proof is established that it is an authentic practice. As-Sa’di says, “wa Kulu f’el taa’atin mahdhoro, siwa aladhi fi shar’ena madhkooru” “Any action of obedience (worship) is to be refrained from, except that which in our law (shariah) has been mentioned ( as proof ).” We’ve established from the abovementioned hadiths (1-4) that the Prophet used to hold his hands rather than placing them on his side, so the Maliki proofs brought by Suhaib do nothing to refute that. The above mentioned proof only shows that placing the hands is not obligatory it does not establish that the placing of the hands on the side was an established practice.
    Also, since it is recognized that the prophet used to hold his hands in prayer, the fact that it’s not specifically mentioned in the hadith doesn’t negate that the man did it and there is a principle in usool fiqh “ma la yudhbu al-ihtimaal la yaslah lil istidlaal” What doesn’t nullify a supposition isn’t fit to be used as a proof. One can say to the Malikis with regard to proof one, the hadith doesn’t mention that the man did it or did not do it (it could have been so well known as to not need mentioning like brother Suhaib mentions “something so common did not have to be mentioned”) in the hadith it’s simply not mentioned.
    In regards to the second proof, after the hadith and the commentary by al-’Abid,” Notice, as al-’Abid noted that they did not say, “You forgot to mention clasping the hands!” One could use the same argument presented above, the hadith doesn’t nullify an established principle (placing the hands on the chest) and it could have been so widely known as to not need mentioning.
    The essence of the matter is following the Prophet. When we have clear hadiths from the Prophet who we are commanded to follow and obey, why would one leave these clear proofs under the guise that hundreds of years of scholarship went in to formulating these opinions so we should respect and follow them. Most if not all schools of thought no matter what the issue may be –fiqh or aqeeda- have proofs for their positions, that in itself doesn’t determine right or wrong. Of course our Ulama –may Allah have mercy on them- are to be respected and honored in the best possible terms but it doesn’t mean following them in their errors. Our following them is exemplified by our following what they tried to establish, and that is the correct sunna of the Prophet –peace be upon him. Ibn Abbas has stated, “It may happen soon, that a stone rain down upon you, I tell you Muhammad -peace be upon him- has said something and you tell me that Abu Bakr and Umar say something else .” Also Imam Ahmad has said, “I found it strange, the kind of people who know the isnad and it’s soundness, and leave it for the opinion of Sufyan.” Imam Malik himself said, “Any person’s statement can be accepted or rejected except the person in this grave and then pointed to the grave of the Prophet”
    Of course opinions can be sound or weak, the Maliki position is of the latter, not only does it contradict the established sunna of the Prophet, but it goes against the jumhoor or majority of scholars and there is not ONE sahih or hasan hadith saying that the prophet prayed with his hands on his side or any of the companions. I ask Allah that He guides us to that which he loves. AMEEN!

  14. Kaleem says:

    AA Imam Suhaib,

    I have been so interested in learning more about the school of Imam Malik. I am from the east coast (D.C. metropolitan area) and was wondering if you knew anyone or of any resources I could get a hold of to further my quest to learn more.

    May Allah Bless you,

    Kaleem

  15. El Hondure~o says:

    As-Salaam ‘Alaykum

    Could the Imam comment on the role of the Amal of Madina (Pracitce of the people of Madina( during Imam Malik’s time)), its application in Sunnah as understood by Imam Malik, and its role in influencing the Maliki school’s inference that the Salah may be prayed with the hands to the sides, rather than one over the other?

    Thank You,

    Gabriel Hernandez

    • Tabassum says:

      wassalam,
      It was not the Amal of Medina which he considered to be sunnah , but the practice of the Knowledgeable people of Medinah as mentioned in the Muwatta was considered Sunnah by him.Do we have better salaf than the knowledgeable people of Madinah of his time?

  16. shahbaaz says:

    Clear narration from the Sahabi, Muad bin Jabal:

    Ibn Hajr Asqalani writes in ‘Talkhees al Jabeer fee Takhreej Ahadeeth’ Volume 1 page 333, Bab Sifat al Salat:

    “Muad narrated that when the Prophet (s) would stand for Salat, he would raise both hands to his ears, and after saying Takbeer would then drop his hands”.

    Online ‘Talkhees al Jabeer fee Takhreej Ahadeeth’ by Ibn Hajar Asqalani – (Cached)

    We read in Nayl al Autaar, Volume 2: (BY IMAM SHAWKANI RA)

    “Narrated by Ibn-el-munzar from Ibn Alzubair, Alhasan Al-Basri and Al Nakh’ey that (Holy Prophet) used to pray with unfolded hands and do not fold the right hand on the left hand, quoted by Al Nawawi from Al Laith bin Sa’edd and quoted by Al-Mahdi in Al-Bahr from Al-Qasimiyya, Al-Nasiriyya and Al-Baqer”

    Online Nayl al Autaar – (Cached)

    the well known scholar of Ahl e Hadeeth, Allamah Waheed’udeen uz Zaman Khan writes:

    “Whoever says that offering prayers with unfolded hands is a custom related to Shi’as, that person is at fault in this regard, because not only the Shi’as but the whole Muslim Ummah offered the prayers in the same way, especially during the life time of Holy Prophet (s) the companions did it the same way and no one knew about the folding of hands.”
    Hadiyatul Mahdi, by Maulana Waheed uz Zaman, Volume1, page 126

    WASALAAM.

  17. salim says:

    Assalamu aleykum
    There is some confusion regarding Imam Malik’s opinion about the position of hands at the time of the standing posture (qiyaam) during prayers. The primary basis of this confusion emanates from the following statement recorded in Mudawwanah al-Kubraa:

    وقال مالك في وضع اليمنى على اليسرى في الصلاة قال لا أعرف ذلك في الفريضة وكان يكرهه ولكن في النوافل إذا طال القيام فلا بأس بذلك يعين به نفسه (مدونة الكبرى ج 1، ص 74)

    And about placing one’s right hand over the left during Prayers, Malik said: ‘I am not aware of this practice in the obligatory prayers’. Malik detested this practice [in obligatory prayers], but considered it acceptable in supererogatory prayers, to support oneself, when the standing posture (qiyaam) can be quite prolonged.

    Had the matter ended here, there would not have been any confusion about Imam Malik’s opinion regarding the issue under consideration. However, contrary to the opinion expressed in the foregoing statement, the two narratives reported by Imam Malik in his compilation of Hadith – Muwatta – give a contrary view regarding his opinion on the issue. The two narratives quoted by the Imam are given below:

    عن عبد الكريم بن أبي المخارق البصري أنه قال من كلام النبوة إذا لم تستحي فأفعل ما شئت ووضع اليدين إحداهما على الأخرى في الصلاة يضع اليمنى على اليسرى… (مؤطا إمام مالك، رقم الحديث 375)

    Abd al-Kareem al-Basariy says that amongst the sayings of the Prophet (pbuh) was: If you do not have shame in your heart, then you do whatever you may feel like doing and that he [i.e., the Prophet (pbuh)] put one hand over the other during Prayers, he would put his right hand over his left…

    عن سهل بن سعد أنه قال كان الناس يؤمرون أن يضع الرجل اليد اليمنى على ذراعه اليسرى في الصلاة قال أبو حازم لا أعلم إلا أنه ينمي ذلك (مؤطا إمام مالك، رقم الحديث 376)

    Sahl ibn Sa`d says that people used to prescribe upon others to put their right hands on their left elbows during prayers. Abu Hazim [who reports from Sahl ibn Sa`d] says: I am sure that this was ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh).

    The fact that these narratives have been reported by the Imam without the addition of any note of dissension clearly implies that the Imam held the implication reported in these narratives to be correct. Furthermore, an overwhelming majority of Muslim scholars also agrees that the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) kept their hands folded while in the standing posture during prayers.

    Another important factor which renders Imam Malik’s opinion cited in Mudawwanah al-Kubraa quite questionable is the fact that the people of Medinah, whose actions form one of the primary basis of the juristic opinions of Imam Malik, are generally reported to have offered their prayers with their hands folded in front of them, while in the standing posture.

    Finally, in his notes on Mudawwanah al-Kubraa, ibn Rushd writes:

    (قوله في وضع اليمنى على اليسرى الخ) قال أشهب أنه لا بأس به في الفريضة والنافلة للحديث ولأنها وقفة العبد الذليل لمولاه… وفي الواضحة لمطرف وابن الماجشون عن مالك قول ثالث في المسئلة وهو أن فعل ذلك في الفريضة والنافلة أفضل من تركه. (المدونة الكبرى، ج 1، ص 74)

    With reference to the statement ‘putting the right hand over the left…’, Ashhab has said that there is no harm in doing so whether in obligatory prayers or in supererogatory prayers due to the Hadith cited in this regard and also due to the fact that standing with one’s hands folded in front is the posture of servitude and subservience in front one’s Lord… In Matraf’s and Ibn Majshoon’s ‘Al-Waadihah’ there is a third saying ascribed to Imam Malik in this regard according to which it is held that the Imam preferred to fold one’s hands, over not doing so.

    The foregoing points raises a few question marks regarding the opinion cited to Imam Malik in the Mudawwanah. Possible as it is, there may have been some error in recording the Imam’s opinion under consideration or a significant part thereof may have been omitted. Whatever the case may be, it is obvious that the issue under consideration is not very clear.

    As for my personal opinion and preference regarding the issue under consideration, I consider standing with hands folded in front to be traditionally a more appropriate posture to indicate one’s subservience, submission and servitude towards a higher authority. Nevertheless, I do not consider it incorrect to offer prayers with one’s hands hanging by one’s sides, while standing in prayers.

    I hope this helps.

  18. salim says:

    Praise be to Allaah.

    It was narrated that Sahl ibn Sa’d said: the people used to be instructed to place the right hand over the left forearm when praying. (narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 840)

    It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “We Prophets have been commanded to delay our suhoor and to break our fast straight away, and to place our right hands over our left hands when praying.” (narrated by Ibn Hibbaan in al-Saheeh, 3/13-14).

    From these two ahaadeeth it is clear to us that the one who puts his hands by his sides in prayer is making a mistake. Putting the right hand over the left hand is the teaching of our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and of the Prophets who came before him.

    (See Zaad al-Ma’aad, 1/202)

    Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said:

    Nothing to the contrary has been narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and this is the view of the majority of the Sahaabah and Taabi’een. This is what was mentioned by Maalik in al-Muwatta’, and Ibn al-Mundhir and others did not narrate any differing view from Maalik… (See al-Fath, 2/224; Nayl al-Awtaar, 2/201)

    The Maalikis said, concerning the report about holding one hand with the other in fard and naafil prayers, that this is the more correct meaning, because people were commanded to do this during the earliest generations (See al-Qawaaneen, 65).

    What is well-known from the later books of the Maalikis is that it is recommended for the worshipper to place the hands below the chest and above the navel, in both naafil and fard prayers. If a person does this with the intention of following the Sunnah, or with no specific intention,this is fine, but if his intention is to lean on his hands or find a more comfortable position by putting one hand on top of the other, then this is makrooh.

    Al-Baaji, one of the prominent Maalikis, said: “It may be that Maalik said that placing one hand on top of the other is makrooh because he was afraid that the common people would believe that this was one of the esential pillars of the prayer and that prayer would be invalid if one did not do this.”

    Anyone who thinks about this matter will realize for certain that they all acknowledge that the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is for the worshipper to place his hands on his front, not to hold them by his sides. Whatever Imaam Maalik said about holding the hands by one’s side – if indeed the reports from him are saheeh – was only to counteract an action that was not prescribed in the Sunnah, which was leaning on the hands, or an incorrect belief, i.e., the belief of the common people that this was obligatory. It was said that when Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on him) refused to accept the position of qaadi (judge), he was beaten, and he could not put his hands on his chest when praying, so he held them by his sides because of the pain. Some of those who saw that thought this was Sunnah so they transmitted this from him. But he (may Allaah have mercy on him) definitely did not say that the arms should be held by one’s side at all. This is a misunderstanding of some written statement and it goes against what he stated clearly in al-Muwatta’ about the right hand being placed on top of the left. This was explained by a group of Maalikis and others, in various books which number approximately thirty, apart from what is mentioned in various commentaries.

    Moreover, if it were proven that Maalik did hold his arms by his side for no reason, which is more deserving of being followed, the actions and words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as mentioned in the ahaadeeth quoted above, or the words of Imaam Maalik?

    Every seeker of the truth will follow the Sunnah of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and give it priority over the views of anyone else.

    And Allaah knows best.

    • Suhaib Webb says:

      Asalamu alaykum,

      Salim:

      May Allah reward you for your noble efforts and sincere concerns. Unfortunately your response, as well as Munir’s above, exhibits an ignorance of the Usol used in the Maliki madhab as well as the adilah. While the Muwattwa is a collection of reports, fatwa and hadith, it does not represent the major reference for the madhab, the Mudawwana does. It is said that if the Muwatta is a book of dalil, then the Mudawwana is the understanding of them.

      One of the things I learned from my teachers while learning about other schools is to rely on their relied upon texts and to look at the books which hold their proofs. I’m sure you and Munir both did that, but if you didn’t then for the sake of sincere research and respect of the knowledge, it would be a wise method to follow. Even Sh. Shanqiti, who memorized the six major books of hadith and the Muwatta said, “Putting the hands to the side is allowed, putting the hands on the chest is sunna.”

      Perhaps you could share the education that allows you to point at others practice, one that has been sanctioned by noble scholars for over 1400 years and say it is a mistake? You are correct in your assumption that one should follow the Prophet, but it is through the understanding of the people of knowledge that we insure that our following is correct.

      The scholar quoted in the Mudawwana is Abu al-Rahman ibn Qasim who said, “I studied with Malik for 20 years. For 18 years I learned adab, and for 2 I learned knowledge. I wish I could the last 2 could have been in adab as well.” He is considered a Mujtahid Mutlaq and listed by the major scholars as a trustworthy person whose narrations are acceptable and respected as the major player in relating Malik’s opinions. In fact, it is AQ’s opinions regarding what Malik said that form the relied upon opinion in the school.

      I would encourage you to have a look at Fath al-Bari and see the number of companions that Ibn Hajar lists who prayed with their hands to the side. Coupled with the fact that it was a practice of the People of Medina, the grandchildren of the Companions, I feel very comfortable with the Maliki position. Even Ibn ‘Abdul Barr wrote about both practices, “They are from the Sunna.”

      May Allah reward your comments and the research you’ve put in
      Suhaib

  19. Abu Adam says:

    What a succint and powerful statement regarding the respect that we all must have for the different madhahib. To respect the madhahib is to respect the Sunnah and the scholars of Islam.

  20. Jason Wilson says:

    Bismillah ir rahman ir raheem,

    As salamu ‘alikum wr wb.

    I think another thing to look at is this. Take Abu Dawud for example. There are three hadiths reported in his collection.

    The Mursal of Tawus (hands on the chest)
    Those of Ali and Abu Hurayra (below the navel)

    Sahl (laid straight to the sides)

    He reports three different manners but which one did Abu Dawud do?

    So just because someone reports something i.e (Imam Malik raheemullah in the Muwatta) doesn’t mean he acted upon that.

    I think when students of knowledge understand this it may be beneficial and helpful insh’Allah.

  21. zaki says:

    Barakallahu feek shaykh, it was a nice primer to the khilaf on the issue. My question is a simple one: “Is it acceptable to reject and/or compromise all the tawatur and saheeh athar that mention the placing of the hands explicitly?” If Imam Malik was not fully aware of the vastness of the evidence for the placing of the hands, should it be encouraged that we ‘accept’ it as a valid khilaf today?

    Wassalaamu ‘alaykum,
    Zaki.

  22. Abd al Mateen says:

    It was narrated that Sahl ibn Sa’d said: the people used to be instructed to place the right hand over the left forearm when praying. (narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 840)

    It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “We Prophets have been commanded to delay our suhoor and to break our fast straight away, and to place our right hands over our left hands when praying.” (narrated by Ibn Hibbaan in al-Saheeh, 3/13-14).

    Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said:

    Nothing to the contrary has been narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and this is the view of the majority of the Sahaabah and Taabi’een. This is what was mentioned by Maalik in al-Muwatta’, and Ibn al-Mundhir and others did not narrate any differing view from Maalik… (See al-Fath, 2/224; Nayl al-Awtaar, 2/201)

    The Maalikis said, concerning the report about holding one hand with the other in fard and naafil prayers, that this is the more correct meaning, because people were commanded to do this during the earliest generations (See al-Qawaaneen, 65).

    What is well-known from the later books of the Maalikis is that it is recommended for the worshipper to place the hands below the chest and above the navel, in both naafil and fard prayers. If a person does this with the intention of following the Sunnah, or with no specific intention,this is fine, but if his intention is to lean on his hands or find a more comfortable position by putting one hand on top of the other, then this is makrooh.

    Al-Baaji, one of the prominent Maalikis, said: “It may be that Maalik said that placing one hand on top of the other is makrooh because he was afraid that the common people would believe that this was one of the esential pillars of the prayer and that prayer would be invalid if one did not do this.”

    Anyone who thinks about this matter will realize for certain that they all acknowledge that the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is for the worshipper to place his hands on his front, not to hold them by his sides. Whatever Imaam Maalik said about holding the hands by one’s side – if indeed the reports from him are saheeh – was only to counteract an action that was not prescribed in the Sunnah, which was leaning on the hands, or an incorrect belief, i.e., the belief of the common people that this was obligatory. It was said that when Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on him) refused to accept the position of qaadi (judge), he was beaten, and he could not put his hands on his chest when praying, so he held them by his sides because of the pain. Some of those who saw that thought this was Sunnah so they transmitted this from him. But he (may Allaah have mercy on him) definitely did not say that the arms should be held by one’s side at all. This is a misunderstanding of some written statement and it goes against what he stated clearly in al-Muwatta’ about the right hand being placed on top of the left. This was explained by a group of Maalikis and others, in various books which number approximately thirty, apart from what is mentioned in various commentaries.

    Moreover, if it were proven that Maalik did hold his arms by his side for no reason, which is more deserving of being followed, the actions and words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as mentioned in the ahaadeeth quoted above, or the words of Imaam Maalik?

    From this it is clear to us that the one who puts his hands by his sides in prayer is making a mistake. Putting the right hand over the left hand is the teaching of our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and of the Prophets who came before him. (See also Zaad al-Ma’aad, 1/202)

    Every seeker of the truth will follow the Sunnah of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and give it priority over the views of anyone else.

    And Allaah knows best.

  23. Heba says:

    Jazkulahukharan Imam Suhaib!

    I have been wondering about this issue for along time now. Thanks for your clarifications and insights. Personally I have started to pray with my hands down. I feel more at ease and focused in my prayer. Which, to me is what really matters. Allah knows best. May Allah guide us all and protect us. Amen.

  24. Hedaya says:

    @ Salim, This last comment is pretty simplistic. Let’s take qira’ah. If you ask a person which qira’ah they read in, they will say Hafs or Warsh, or something. No one demands why they don’t read in the qira’ah of the Prophet(S). why? B/c every qira’ah is a qira’ah of the Prophet(S), and Hafs, Warsh, they were just means to get to that. the same goes for the madhhabs. No one is placing Imam Malik above the Prophet(S). He is just the means to accessing fiqh, just as the qaris are to accessing tajweed.

  25. Abu Mardiyyah says:

    placing your hands on your chest right over left is in many authentic hadith, so to neglect those hadith just because you want to use a general hadith were the prophet was being descriptive is not adila. When waking up from ones sleep, Aisha reported that the prophet said wash your hands. But in a very similar hadith Maimoonah said the prophet said when one wakes up from sleep wash your hands 3 times. The hadith of maimoonah is more specific. So you are using a general hadith that is not descriptive and applying that to the salah when there are many other reports of the prophet crossing his arms and not to the side. As a matter of fact i dont know of one single narration that specifically says the prophet prayed with his hands to his sides. Nor is there a narration from Imam Malik himself that said pray with your hands to the sides. Yes your prayer will be accepted, but this is not from the sunnah. This evidence if giving to a man of understanding would easily refute it with many authentic detailed reports of the prophets salah. Also the fact Imam Malik never reported it is also proof that this is not his opinion. The hadith that is sahih never says the prophet put his hands back down to his sides after the takbir, it just simply is a general hadith and then said he went to recite fatiha. This hadith is a weak adila even though it is authentic in itself. Because it says the prophet raised his hands for takbir, then recited, What happened after the Takbir? where did his hands go? it simply is just not mentioned, but there is hadith that say the hands should go on the chest.

  26. Ali says:

    As Salamu Alaykum

    I think what also many people forget is that none of the four madhahib consider how one places one’s hands in salah as a rukn (obligatory pillar which necessitates, if one omits, one’s prayer invalid and one must redo the prayer). In fact none of them even list it as even a sunnah mu’akkada (which in the Shafi’i school,if omitted, would necessitate prostration of forgetfullness). That is why it is important to learn fiqh.

    All the hadiths about qabd are not hadith mutawatir. If it was, then there would be no difference in the topic. Here is a good detailed article on the maliki proofs on the subject http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/misc/yadain.htm

    Someone already put out a link from Sh Abdullah bin Hamid Ali which is also useful.

    Also the hadiths do not mentioned to be put on the chest. There is below the navel and there hadiths about putting between the belly and chest but not directly on the chest. None of the four madhahib list that in the salah. Wa Llahu Alim.

  27. Omer Subhani says:

    Once I see a comment that starts with “Maaliki” I already know where that comment is going.

    Anyway, jazakallah khair Shaykh Suhaib on this post. As a student of the school of Imam Malik it was nice to read such a succinct statement regarding the issue of sadl. May Allah bless you and your family. Ameen.

    Omer

  28. Muhammad Ahsan says:

    aoa brothers…don’t u think that we should practise in both ways to avoid the concept that we belong to a certain group.

  29. Yoosef says:

    I think some people need to read these articles,

    http://www.suhaibwebb.com/islam-studies/no-condemnation-in-areas-of-ijtihad/

    and

    http://en.islamtoday.net/artshow-385-3373.htm

    And also chill out abit
    W.salam

  30. Adrian says:

    Well, all opinions of The Four Madhhabs are considered valid. So as a Muslim, we should not take this as a great issue. The sadl and qabd problem is just a sunnah in salah, not the fard one. You can choose your madhhab preference, and you still a Muslim, not a heretical one. We agree to differ for qabd and sadl, and still respecting each other, just like all Islamic jurisprudence imams respecting each other

  31. Khalid says:

    asalaam alaykum,
    not putting folding hands doesn’t invalidate your sala though folding gives extra reward as it is a practice of the prophet ( this is how i was taught)
    my observation.
    what i wonder is when a person is being told that the prophet said this or did this with evidences, still people say but ”sheikh or Imaam” said that or did that,i get in question marks…
    why is it that most the indian,Pakistani ( i met the so called themselves Tabligh jamaat) and some other groups of people differ with other muslims. for example in most cases you cannot stand feet to feet, shoulder to shoulder with these people in the prayer which is a common teaching of the prophet. on the other hand am aware that The Arabs and some other individuals choose not to stand feet to feet, sholder to shoulder out of ignorance while they know it was discouraged by the prophet.
    remember the saying; ”the time will come when islam will be split into 73 groups and 72 will be thrown into jahannam except one group that follows Sunnah and Quran teachings”
    Its ignorance to leave some of the recomended practises of the prophet by saying ”its just sunnah” while the sahabi fought to keep them, and its ignorance to ignore the proofs of the teachings of the prophet by sticking to madh-hab, remember the prophet had no madh-hab and since madh-hab is the difference of opinions on certain small matters one has to evaluate all opinions as done by nowdays shuyuks and not segregate or exclude himself from muslims by saying u r wrong n am right. Even Imam Maalik had said, if i teach you something and you find the evidence or proof that the prophet has tought different then follow what the prophet had taught.
    all i can advice my brothers, seek information, and make sure the info has truth background bcoz some people tend to use weak ahadiths in certain matters and when doing so time factor is important u can have two sahih ahadiths but the latest is the taken one as suggested by Anas bin Malik (r.a) when talking on praying behind the imaan who is sittng.
    Am not a knowledgable person in Islam and in case there is a mistake then it is mine and may Allah protect us from its harm.
    And Allah knows Best

  32. Khalid says:

    sorry about my punctuation and if there is mistakes in my info pliiiz correct me,
    as human beings,we forget to be reminded and make mistakes to be corrected. it is Allha’s Rahma to us..
    wa haadha Asalaam alakum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

  33. Mohamed Ashaif says:

    Assalamu alaikum, to the brother who wrote this, by saying it is clear proof that the hands could be on the side because the narrators did not mention the clasping of the hands together, is nothing but an assumption. Witch means the same argument can be used for other assumption such as; the Hadith did not mention the prophet turning his head from right to left when prayer was finished nor did the Hadith mention the recitation of anything. So my point is there is no room for assumptions, ijtihad, in the religion when there is factual proof, athentic narrations, that contradicts the assumption.

  34. Muslim says:

    Salam all, joining the discussion. I’m no scholar, not even a serious student of knowledge. I have heard that Rasool pbuh days that the Ummah will never all agree on falsehood. If I understood that Hadith correctly, then it becomes apparent to me that folding the hands is closer to the truth because the great majority of muslims around the world folds their arms in Salah. But no need to boycott those who choose a different position. They could be sincere in their understanding. Allah grant us tolerance. Ameen

  35. Reza says:

    Dear Brothers

    As Salamu Alaikum. I do not believe that any way of performing salah be it Hanafi, Maliki, Shafii, Hanabli and even Wahabi is correct. The way of performing salah has gone under many modifications. That is why, we should carry out research and discover the only one way what prophet (pbuh) did at his last life. That must be the perfect way of performing. Otherwise we will be involved in unnecessary debate. Moreover fatwa based on Abu Hurrairah’s hadiths should not be considered because he stayed with Prophet(pbuh)only for 4.5 years in his mid prophetic life and he did not meet again. As a result he missed with lots of updated and new hadiths. Sorry brothers, if I hurt someone, it is my personal opinion.

  36. Saidi Dhikirullah A. says:

    May Allah guide us to the straight path (Ameen)

  37. Jamal e Deen says:

    Assalamu alaikum wa rehmatullahi wa barakatuhu please read the following website.

    “Praise be to Allaah.

    It was narrated that Sahl ibn Sa’d said: the people used to be instructed to place the right hand over the left forearm when praying. (narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 740)

    It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “We Prophets have been commanded to delay our suhoor and to break our fast straight away, and to place our right hands over our left hands when praying.” (narrated by Ibn Hibbaan in al-Saheeh, 3/13-14).

    From these two ahaadeeth it is clear to us that the one who puts his hands by his sides in prayer is making a mistake. Putting the right hand over the left hand is the teaching of our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and of the Prophets who came before him.

    (See Zaad al-Ma’aad, 1/202)

    Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said:

    Nothing to the contrary has been narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and this is the view of the majority of the Sahaabah and Taabi’een. This is what was mentioned by Maalik in al-Muwatta’, and Ibn al-Mundhir and others did not narrate any differing view from Maalik… (See al-Fath, 2/224; Nayl al-Awtaar, 2/201)

    The Maalikis said, concerning the report about holding one hand with the other in fard and naafil prayers, that this is the more correct meaning, because people were commanded to do this during the earliest generations (See al-Qawaaneen, 65).

    What is well-known from the later books of the Maalikis is that it is recommended for the worshipper to place the hands below the chest and above the navel, in both naafil and fard prayers. If a person does this with the intention of following the Sunnah, or with no specific intention,this is fine, but if his intention is to lean on his hands or find a more comfortable position by putting one hand on top of the other, then this is makrooh.

    Al-Baaji, one of the prominent Maalikis, said: “It may be that Maalik said that placing one hand on top of the other is makrooh because he was afraid that the common people would believe that this was one of the esential pillars of the prayer and that prayer would be invalid if one did not do this.”

    Anyone who thinks about this matter will realize for certain that they all acknowledge that the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is for the worshipper to place his hands on his front, not to hold them by his sides. Whatever Imaam Maalik said about holding the hands by one’s side – if indeed the reports from him are saheeh – was only to counteract an action that was not prescribed in the Sunnah, which was leaning on the hands, or an incorrect belief, i.e., the belief of the common people that this was obligatory. It was said that when Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on him) refused to accept the position of qaadi (judge), he was beaten, and he could not put his hands on his chest when praying, so he held them by his sides because of the pain. Some of those who saw that thought this was Sunnah so they transmitted this from him. But he (may Allaah have mercy on him) definitely did not say that the arms should be held by one’s side at all. This is a misunderstanding of some written statement and it goes against what he stated clearly in al-Muwatta’ about the right hand being placed on top of the left. This was explained by a group of Maalikis and others, in various books which number approximately thirty, apart from what is mentioned in various commentaries.

    Moreover, if it were proven that Maalik did hold his arms by his side for no reason, which is more deserving of being followed, the actions and words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as mentioned in the ahaadeeth quoted above, or the words of Imaam Maalik?

    Every seeker of the truth will follow the Sunnah of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and give it priority over the views of anyone else.

    And Allaah knows best.
    Islam Q&A
    Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
    http://islamqa.info/en/6109

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