Method of Salat in the Light of Authentic Ahadith
used by the Hanafi Madhhab
By Shaikh Muhammad Ilyas Faisal
To Raise the Hands upto the Earlobes
Hazrat Qataada (radhiallahu anhu) relates that he saw Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) performing his salah. He relates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) used to lift his hands until they were in line with his earlobes. [Sahih Muslim, ch. on Istihbaabur Raf’, Hadith 391]
To Tie the Hands Beneath the Navel
Hazrat Ali (radhiallahu anhu) relates that the sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is to place one hand over the other below the navel. [Abu Daud, ch. on Wad’ul Yumna, Hadith 756]
The above-mentioned method of tying the hands is also related by Hazrat Anas (radhiallahu anhu).
Reciting Bismillah Softly
Hazrat Anas (radhiallahu anhu) states, "I have performed congregational salah behind Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthmaan (radhiallahu anhum) and I did not hear any one of them recite Bismillahir rahmaan nir raheem" [Sahih Muslim, Hadith 399]
Imam Tirmidhi (Rehmatullah Alaih) states that the majority of the Sahaba (radhiallahu anhum) also used to recite Bismillah softly.
The Muqtadi (follower) Should Listen and Remain Silent
Allah Ta’aala says: "When the Qur’an is being recited then listen attentively and remain silent so that mercy will be showered upon you".
Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud, Abu Hurairah, Abdullah Ibn Abbas and Abdullah Ibn Mughaffal (radhiallahu anhum) state that this verse of the Quran was revealed with regards to the Khutba (of Juma’ah) and with regards to Salaah. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir, vol. 1 pg. 281]
The dictates of this verse of the Holy Qur’an is that when the Imam recites the Qur’an aloud, the followers should listen attentively, and when he recites softly, the followers should remain silent.
Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: "When you begin your congregational prayers, straighten your rows. Thereafter when the Imam says the takbeer (i.e. when he says Allahu Akbar aloud) you must also say the takbeer. However, when he begins the recital of the Qur’an, you must remain silent. And when he recites walad daalleen then you should say Ameen". By performing your salah in this manner Allah Ta’ala will love you." [Muslim; ch. on tashahhud]
(A similar Hadith has been narrated by Abu Hurairah (radhiallahu anhu)-Imam Muslim has attested to its authenticity; ibid).
The muqtadi Must Not Recite Surah Fatiha
It is reported from Hazrat Ataa Ibn Yasaar (radhiallahu anhu) that he questioned Hazrat Zaid Ibn Thaabit (radhiallahu anhu) concerning reciting Qira’at with the Imam. Hazrat Zaid (radhiallahu anhu) answered: "There is no recitation of the Glorious Qur’an in any salah behind the Imam". [Sahih Muslim, chapter on Sujood-ut-Tilaawah, Hadith 577]
The Qiraat of the Imam SUFFICES for the Muqtadi
Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiallahu anhu) used to repeatedly say: "Whoever performs salah behind the Imam, the Imam’s qiraat suffices for him". (Sunan Baihaqi; chapter on not reciting qiraat behind the Imam — Imam Baihaqi (Rehmatullah Alaih) has stated that this Hadith is Sahih.)
The Person Performing salah Individually Must Recite Surah Fatiha, Not the Muqtadi
Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiallahu anhu) was asked: "Must the muqtadi recite behind the Imam?" He replied that the qiraat of the Imam is sufficient for the muqtadi. But if he performs salah individually, then he must recite qiraat. It was the practice of Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiallahu anhu) also that he would not recite surah fatiha behind the Imam. (In Aathaarus Sunan (Vol. 1 pg.89) this Hadith has been classified as sahih).
Hazrat Jaabir (radhiallahu anhu) narrates that the one who does not recite sura fatiha even in one rakat, his salah is not valid. However, if he is behind an Imam he must not recite surah fatiha. (This Hadith has been classified as hasan — Tirmizi - ch. on not reciting behind the Imam). It is on the basis of this Hadith that Imam Tirmidhi (Rehmatullah Alaih) has narrated from Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Rehmatullah Alaih) [who was the teacher of the ustad of Imam Bukhari (Rehmatullah Alaih)] that the narration "Whoever does not recite surah fatiha his salah is not complete" refers to one who performs his salah alone. It does not include the muqtadi (Jami’ Tirmidhi, ibid). In the above Hadith it is very clearly mentioned that the muqtadi must not recite sura fatiha.
"Aameen" Must be said softly
Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: "Do not hasten before the Imam! When he says the takbeer, then you should do the same. When he recites Walad daalleen, then you should say Aameen. When he makes ruku’ then you should make ruku’. And when he says sami’-Allahu liman hamidah then you should say Allahumma Rabbana wa lakal hamd". [Sahih Muslim, Hadith 415]
With regards to the saying of Ameen this narration is very clear and explicit. Like in the case where the Imam says Allahu Akbar and sami’-Allahu liman hamidah aloud, but all the followers say "Allahu Akbar"and "Rabbana lakal hamd" softly. In the same manner when the Imam recites "walad daalleen" aloud, the followers should say Aameen softly. It is also reported from Abu Ma’mar that Umar (radhiallahu anhu) used to say: "The Imam will recite four things softly-Ta’awwuz, Bismillah, Aameen and Rabbana Lakalhamd" (Aini Vol. 1 pg. 620)
Raising the Hands (upto the shoulders) During Salaah
Hazrat Jaabir Ibn Samurah (radhiallahu anhu) relates that once Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) came out of his house towards us and said: "Why is it that I see you all raising your hands as though they are the tails of stubborn horses. Be tranquil in salah". [Sahih Muslim, Hadith 430]
This hadith alone makes it clear that those narrations which mention the raising of the hands (during the salah) were narrated prior to the prohibition of this practice.
Proof from the PRACTICE of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud (radhiallahu anhu) said: "Shall I not show you the manner in which Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) performed his salah?" Thereafter he performed the salah but he did not raise his hands except at the beginning (of his salah). [Tirmidhi, Hadith no.257] This Hadith is classified Hasan. Ibn Hazm (Rehmatullah Alaih) has declared it as sahih. Ahmed Shakir (Rehmatullah Alaih) has also declared it as sahih.
Proof from the Practice of the Sahaabah (radhiallahu anhum)
It is related that Hazrat Ali (radhiallahu anhu) used to raise his hands at the time of the first Takbeer (during his salah). Thereafter he did not raise them. [Sunanal Bayhaqi]
(The commentator of Bukhari Shareef, Allama Ibn Hajar, Allama Zayla'i and Allama ‘Aini (Rehmatullah Alaih) have said that this narration and its chain of narrators is Sahih)
One should take note of the fact that the practice of Hazrat Umar, the remaining Khulafa-e-Raashideen, Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud and many more Sahaabah (radhiallahu anhu) was the same, that they only raised their hands at the time of the first takbeer. Imam Tirmidhi (Rehmatullah Alaih.) also states that this was the practice of a great number of the Sahabah (radhiallahu anhum).
Jalsatul Istiraaha - Sitting briefly After The 2nd Sajdah Of The First Or Third Rakaat
In a narration from the ibn Sahl (radhiallahu anhu) it is mentioned that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said the takbeer and simultaneously went into sajdah. Then he said the takbeer and simultaneously stood up erect without sitting. [Abu Daud, Hadith no. 966]
Imam Bayhaqi (Rehmatullah Alaih) has recorded in his Sunan that this was the practice of Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radhiallahu anhu). Allama Zayla'i (Rehmatullah Alaih) has recorded in Nasabur Raayah that the same procedure was the practice of Hazrat Umar, Ali, Abdullah Ibn Zubeir and Abdullah Ibn Abbaas (radhiallahu anhu). (vol. 1, pg. 289)
Likewise Allaamah Turkumani has recorded in Jauharun Naqi regarding several Sahaba (radhiallahu anhum) that it was their practice that after the first and third rakat they would stand up straight from sajdah without sitting. (vol. 1, pg. 125)
Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: "When you sit during salah (for Qa’dah Akheerah, the last Qa’dah) read the following:-
"All oral, physical and monetary worship is due to Allah alone. Salutations to you ‘O Nabi, and the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you. Peace be upon us and upon all the righteous servants of Allah. I bear witness that none is worthy of worship besides Allah and that Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is his servant and messenger.)
Thereafter he would choose from the supplications whatever he wished."
[Sahih Muslim, Hadith no. 402; Sahih Bukhari, chapter on Tashahhud].
Rasing the Index Finger During Tashahhud
It is narrated that when Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) used to sit down to supplicate, (to recite tashahhud) he used to place his right hand on his right thigh and his left hand on his left thigh. He would indicate at the time of reciting the shahadah by raising his index finger. He would also join the ends of his thumb and middle finger (thereby forming a circle). [Sahih Muslim, chapter on the description of sitting-Hadith no.579]
The Sahaabah-e-Kiraam (radhiallahu anhum) inquired from Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as to which durood should they recite (during salah). Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) replied: "Recite the following durood- Allahuma salli `ala Muhammadin wa `ala ali Muhammadin kama sallata `ala Ibrahim wa `ala ali Ibrahim. Innaka hameedun majeed. wa barik Allahuma `ala Muhammadin wa `ala ali Muhammadin kama barakta `ala Ibrahim wa `ala ali Ibrahim. Innaka hameedun majeed.
(trans: O Allah shower your mercy upon Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and the family of Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as you have showered your mercy upon Ibrahim (Alaihi Salam) and the family of Ibrahim (Alaihi Salam). Behold, you are Praiseworthy, Glorious. O Allah shower your blessings upon Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and the family of Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as you have showered your blessings upon Ibrahim (Alaihi Salam) and the family of Ibrahim (Alaihi Salam). Behold, you are Praiseworthy, Glorious.
Read Any Dua-e-Mathura
"Allahumma Rabbana aatina fidduniya Hasanatav Wafil Aakhirati Hasanatav Waqina Azabannar"
To end the Salah, First look at your right shoulder and say "Assalamo alaikum wa Rahmatullah" and then do the same for your Left shoulder. Now your salah has ended.
Raising Both the Hands and Making Dua
It is narrated that Abdullah Ibn Zubair (radhiallahu anhu) saw a man raising his hands and making dua before completing his salah. When the person had completed his salah, Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Zubair (radhiallahu anhu) went up to him and said: "Verily, Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) used to only raise his hands and make dua after completing his salah" (the narrators of this Hadith are all trustworthy — Majmauz Zawaaid, vol. 1, pg. 169).
It is also mentioned in the Fataawa of Ahle Hadith (vol. 1, pg.190) as well as in Fatawa Nazeeriyya (vol. 1, pg. 566) that in the light of the Sharia, the dua after salah is an authentically established practice and it is mustahab to do so.
Manner of standing in the rows of the jama`ah
It is established from several ahadith that the row should be absolutely straight and no gaps should be left between the worshippers. However, some people insist on spreading their feet and standing in such a manner that their ankles touch the ankles of their neighbour. What is the reality of standing in this fashion?
Those who stand in this way base their practice upon a hadith narrated by Nu’maan bin Basheer (radhiallahu anhu). He says: "Once Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) faced us and said: "Straighten your rows". He repeated this thrice. He then said: "By Allah, you must most certainly straighten your rows or else Allah Ta’ala will disunite your hearts". Hazrat Nu’maan bin Basheer (radhiallahu anhu) says: "I then saw the people joining together their shoulders and ankles". [Abu Dawood, Sahih ibn Khuzaima]
The concluding statement of Hazrat Nu’maan (radhiallahu anhu) is also reported in Sahih Bukhari.
However, upon analysing this hadith, several points come to light: Firstly, Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) never commanded the joining of the ankles. No hadith has yet been found wherein Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) himself instructed the Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhu) to join their ankles. The Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhu) had themselves adopted this manner in order to fulfil the command of straightening the saff. Secondly, this hadith clearly mentions that Nu’maan bin Basheer (radhiallahu anhu) saw the Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhu) doing this PRIOR to the commencement of the salah. There is no mention of this position being maintained even after the salah had commenced. Therefore we find that great muhadditheen such as Hafiz ibn Hajar (R.A.) and Allama Shawkani (R.A.) have regarded this as an extreme measure which was occasionally adopted by the Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhu) to ensure that the row is straight.
In fact, a hadith of Hazrat Anas (radhiallahu anhu) makes it absolutely clear that this practice was merely a measure adopted BEFORE the salah to ensure the straightening of the row. He says: "If I had to do that (join the ankles) with anyone of them (the tabi’een) today, they would run like wild mules". [Fath al-Bari, vol.2, pg.176]
This simply means that the taabi’een severely disliked that anybody should join their ankles with them. Several points are understood from this: Firstly, Hazrat Anas (radhiallahu anhu) had stopped doing this completely. Had this been a sunnah and not just a manner of ensuring that the saff was straight, it is impossible that Hazrat Anas (radhiallahu anhu) would have left it out merely upon somebody disliking it.
Secondly, the taabi’een would never have disliked it if they had observed many of the Sahaba (radhiallahu anhum) continuously practicing upon this. It was only due to the fact that they had not generally observed the Sahaba (radhiallahu anhum) adopting this procedure that they disliked it. Hence this makes it crystal clear that the Sahaba (radhiallahu anhum) had only occasionally adopted this practice to ensure the straightening of the saff. It was not a sunnah in itself, otherwise they would never have left it out.
It has already been made clear that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) never himself instructed the joining of the ankles, nor is there any mention of the Sahaba (radhiallahu anhum) having maintained this position even IN salah. However, if for a moment we do accept that this position must be adopted during the course of the salah as well, the question is: In which posture of salah must this position be maintained? Must it be maintained during qiyam, ruku, sajdah and qada or in only some of these postures? If one says that the ankles should be joined only in the qiyam posture, on what basis were the other postures excluded? If it is argued that it is difficult to do so in ruku and sajdah, the same could be said for qiyam, since to stand with one’s feet spread apart is naturally awkward and hence it presents a certain amount of difficulty and uneasiness for many people. In short, this practice is not established as a sunnah of salah. It was merely adopted initially by the Sahaba (radiallahu anhum) BEFORE the commencement of salah to ensure that the rows are straight.