Chapter Six

Tying the hands below the navel

The hadith I have used is by no means to go against the great Imams i.e. Imam Malik, Imam Shafi’i and Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal. There method of Salaah is also correct as it is according to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). The hadith quoted are to show that the Fatwas of Imam Abu Hanifa are according to the Sunnah as the Ghair Muqalids object to this.

Note: The hadith numbers before the hadith indicate the different chains of narrations, hence, each chain will count as a separate hadith.

Hadith 1- 2

Wa’il bin Hujr reported: I saw the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) placing his right hand in the left one below the navel, in prayer.1

Hadith 3 – 4

‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) states, “To place one palm over the other, beneath the navel is from the Sunnah of Salaah.”2

Hadith 5 – 6

Hajjaj ibn Hassan informs, “Either I heard Abu Mijlaz saying or I asked him, ‘How should one place his hands (during Salaah)?’ He replied, ‘He should place the inner portion of his right palm on the back of the left hand beneath the navel.”3

Hadith 7

‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that “Three things are from the practices of the Prophets. To haste in opening the fast, to delay the closing of the fast, to place the right hand on top of the left hand below the navel in Salaah.”4

Hadith 8 – 9

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates: (The established way of holding hands is) to hold one hand by the other hand in prayer below the navel.5

Hadith 10 – 14

‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that “It is a Sunnah to place the right hand on the left hand in prayer below the navel.”6

Hadith 15

Abi Hujayfa reports; “In Salaah to tie the hands is Sunnah, and place both hands below the navel.7

Hadith 16

Ibrahim Nakh’i reports: “He would keep his right hand on the left below the navel.”8 Hadith 17 Ibrahim Nakh’i reports: “keep your right hand on the left below the navel.”9

Hadith 18

Anas reports: that there are three actions from the good qualities of Prophethood: “To open the fast early, to delay the Sehri and to place the right hand on the left below the navel.”10

Hadith 19 – 20

Abu Wa’il narrates that in Salaah you should keep your hand over the other and below the navel.11

Hadith 21

Abi Hujayfa reports that ‘Ali said, “To keep the hands below the navel and the hand on top of the other is Sunnah.”12

The “Ahle Hadith” have taken this narration out of Abu Dawud, hence, when people buy these books they will not be able to find this hadith misguiding people. However, this is nothing new, this is the reason why Allah (The Exalted) revived the Sunnah of the Prophet (may Allah be pleased with him) through the four great Imams, hence, people will practice the Sunnah till the last day. May Allah save us from misguided people and from their literature, Aameen!

These ahadith is related with few different chains, hence when few strings are tied together it becomes a strong rope. Similarly, when few narrations that are weak become strong.

There is no evidence from ahadith in Bukhari or Muslim that prove placing the hands on the chest. When the Ghair Muqalids can’t find ahadith to prove their actions they use from Bukhari and Muslim they use even weak ahadith. What a shame! Picking and choosing the religion as they wish, isn’t that a bid’at now? Imam Tirmidhi writes: “Some scholars say to place the hands above the navel (not the chest) and some below, all are permissible according to them.”

If Imam Tirmidhi found any ahadith regarding placing the hands on the chest then he would definitely have mentioned it and not write what the scholars have said.

The mens’ Salaah differs from the women’s, the woman would raise her hands upto the shoulders due to the different physical structure of a woman and modesty etc. hence proving that the Great Imam Aazam Abu Hanifa (may Allah be pleased with him) has used the ahadith that are mentioned of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as well as those ahadith where the hands are raised to the shoulder. Imam Aazam Abu Hanifa took all ahadith into consideration and also the practises of the companions to decide that raising the hands to the ears is a Sunnah.

Common Sense

When people stand in respect they will stand with their hands below the navel and not on the chest. If there was a minute’s silence you would not find people with their hands on the chest but by their sides or below the navel. When standing in front of the Lord of the worlds common sense tells us stand with your hands in respect below the navel.

Ibn Humam states in Fathul-Qadeer, “Due to the inconsistency and contradictions found between the various narrations, it is best to resort to analogy and reasoning. Standing before the Lord demands a pose which is filled with respect and reverence. To locate the hands beneath the navel is probably the most respectful form of standing, hence, the placing of the hands beneath the navel will be deemed superior. On the other hand, the reason for women being advised to place their hands on their chest is due to the greater adherence of purdah achieved by it.”

In ‘Ayni it states; “To join the hands beneath the navel has great benefits: it is a posture which signifies a greater amount of respect, it holds a greater contrast to the posture of the disbelievers.” He also says, “This is the exact posture in which one stands before the rulers (of the world).” He then further states, “By placing the hands on the chest, it creates a similarity with women, thus, and that cannot classified as being the Sunnah for men.”13

Questions and Answers


Question: In Sahih ibn Khuzaymah Wyle says I saw that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was performing his prayers with his hands placed upon his chest.

Answer: We respond to the above narration with the observation that it is neither present in Muslim nor Bukhari. It is amazing how people who rigorously promote Bukhari and Muslim, as the only book to follow for Sunnah will quickly use a Hadith that doesn’t appear in either, just as long as they feel it will win them an argument! A close examination of the Hadith in question will show who is following a Sahih Hadith and who is blindly following the mistakes of their scholars – who have the audacity to criticise scholars of the orthodox four schools of Fiqh but don’t see their own glaring mistakes.

Secondly, the main narrator of this Hadith; bin Isma’il has been criticised by the scholars of Hadith. Imam Dhahabi and Ibn Hajar Asqalani write that Imam Bukhari said that bin Isma’il was amongst the Munkirul Hadith (deniers of Hadith). Imam Abu Khatim, Imam Abu Zhara, Imam Saje, Imam Ibn Sa’ad, Hafidhh Marwaze and Dar Qutni all consider bin Isma’il as having a weak memory. When informing others of Hadith bin Isma’il would make many mistakes. He has known to have burnt his books and hence made errors in transmitting his Hadith from memory. He also made erroneous claims by stating that he heard many of his narrations from the great scholars, whereas he had not done so. Only some scholars, such as Ibn Habban and Ibn Khuzayma claim that he was a knowledgeable scholar. 14

Question: Imam Bayhaqi wrote another two Ahadith in his book, Sunan, regarding the placement of the hands upon the chest during the Salaah.

Answer: However, neither of these Ahadith are authentic as their narrators have been criticised by the scholars of Hadith. We will look at each one in turn. First Hadith: One of the narrators of the Hadith is Muhammad bin Hujjar, whom Imam Dhahabi writes as having been criticised. Notably, he did not fit the criterion that Imam Bukhari has for accepting Hadith from someone. Imam Bukhari says that it is impermissible to accept any Hadith narrated by him because he narrates doubtful Ahadith from his uncle. The other narrator of that Hadith is Umm Jabbar, she is unknown. Imam Bayhaqi wrote himself that this Hadith is weak.

Second Hadith: The second narrator is known as Ibn Abbas while the main narrator is Ruh bin Musayyib. Imam Ibn Addi says that Ruh bin Musayyib has been criticised by the scholars of Hadith. Imam Ibn Habbaan says that Ruh narrates fabricated Hadith and therefore it is impermissible to accept his narrations. Also, Imam Fikri considers Ruh as transmitting unknown Hadith which should not be accepted.15

We close this chapter by stating that there exists no single authentic Hadith proving the permissibility of placing the hands upon the chest during the Salaah.

There are some who claim that placing the hands below the navel whilst performing the prescribed prayers is either of a weaker opinion than that of placing the hands upon the chest or has no evidence. This chapter will address this issue in the light of the Sunnah and prove that this false claim has absolutely no foundation. According to Imam Abu Hanifah (Allah be well pleased with him), it is part of the Sunnah for a man performing the ritual prayer, Salaah, to place his hands beneath the navel. Many companions of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), and their students (Tabi’een) performed their Salaah in this manner.

Imam Tirmidhi writes that it is Sunnah to place one hand over the other but there are different opinions amongst the companions and their students regarding the actual positioning of the hands.16

Shawkani17 writes that there existed different opinions amongst the scholars regarding the positioning of the hands during Salaah. The following consider it correct to place the hands beneath the navel; Imam Abu Hanifah, Sufiyan Thawri, Is-haaq-bin Rahwia and Abu Is-haaq.18

The aforementioned scholars were outstanding in the field of Hadith sciences and clearly knew the differences between authentic, acceptable, weak and fabricated narrations. Furthermore, if the Ahadith stating that the hands should be placed beneath the navel were fabricated then why would Imam Ahmed, Yahya bin Mo’een, the teacher of both Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim practice these narrations?

My question is split into two parts: “Did the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) with his hands tied on his chest all the time?” “Did the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) do this until he passed away?”

Hope you can prove these two questions and when doing so I do not want to hear the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) prayed with his hands tied on his chest etc. but I want Sahih hadith that clearly (no meanings or interpretations) states the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) prayed with his hands tied on his chest all the time and that he did this action until he passed away. Good luck!

1 Aathar as-Sunnah, 90. Ibn Abi Shaybah reports this with an authentic chain (Sahih). Al the narrators are trustworthy
2 Bayhaqi, 312. Ibn Abi Shaybah, 391:1.Musnad Ahmed, Dar Qutni, Abu Dawud, Chapter: Watul-YAmin Alashimal.
3 Ibn Abi Shaybah, 390:1. This chain is very strong and all narrators are trustworthy (Thiqa). Also hasan by Allamah Al
Maaridini in Al- Jawharun Naqi

4 Ibn Shaheen
5 Abu Dawud, Book of prayer, # 757. Al-Jawharun Naqi, 31:2.
6 Abu Dawud, Book of prayer, Hadith # 755. Ahmad. Dar al-Qutni and Bayhaqi. Footnote of Ibn ‘Aarabi.
7 Razeen.
8 Imam Muhammad, Book of Aathar.
9 Ibn Abi Shaybah, 390:1. With a Hasan chain.

10 Ibn Hazam.
11 Abu Dawud in footnote of Ibn ‘Aarabi.
12 Abu Dawud

13 ‘Ayni, 16:3.
14 Mezan-ul-Itidal Tahzeeb-ul-Tahzeeb, biography of bin Isma’il by Imam Dhahabi and Hafidhh Ibn Hajar Asqalani

15 Sharh, Sahih Muslim, Chapter on Wujube Qira’at by Allama Saeedi.

16 Tirmidhi Chapter Watalya’meen alashimal
17 A Ghayr Muqalid.
18 Nal-ul-Awatar, Chapter: WazalyAmin alashimal

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