Tag Archives: Hanafi Fiqh

Raf’ al Yadayn – Raising the Hands for Ruku’ [Hanafi Opinion]

By Mufti Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf D.B

Similar to the issue of Aameen, the question of whether or not to raise the hands anywhere in the prayer after the opening takbir, is not as serious difference of opinion as has made out to be. Whether one should raise his hands or not, before and after the bowing [ruku‘], is merely a difference in ascertaining the better of two ways. Sometimes it is taken so seriously that some proponents of raising the hands at these instances, label those who do not raise them as ignorant, deviant or guilty of reprehensible innovation. These are serious allegations. Likewise, the latter group has also been known to sometimes criticize the former group in a similar way.

It must be remembered that just as not raising the hands at any instance beyond the opening takbir [tahrima] is derived from the hadiths, so is the practice of raising them in bowing. Hence, both methods are permissible according to most scholars. The only difference is that according to some scholars, not raising the hands is more virtuous than raising them, whereas the others assert a contrary view. In the terminology of the jurists [fuqaha], this issue is referred to as the issue of raf’ al Yadayn or ‘raising of the hands’.

The following sections discuss the hadiths and evidences pertaining to this issue. They also seek to demonstrate the strength of the Hanafi position on this issue.


Let us first take a look at the difference of opinions regarding the raising of the hands at various points in the prayer:

(1) Raising the hands while saying the opening takbir – all scholars are unanimous that the hands should be raised at this point.

(2) Raising the hands before bowing [Ruku’] and after returning from it – one group (who will be referred to as “group one”  in this chapter) state that it is sunnah and more virtuous to raise the hands at these instances. Another group, which includes Imam Malik and Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahumullah), is of the opinion that it is sunnah abd more preferable not to raise the hands at these instances.

(3) Raising the hands at any other point in the prayer, for instance, when moving into prostration [sajdah] or returning to the third standing [qiyam] – there is no difference of opinion regarding these instances. All the scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah are unanimous that it is no longer Sunnah to raise the hands at these instances, since the practice was abrogated.

It should be remembered, however, that since this is not a debate about something being obligatory [fardh] or unlawful [haraam], the scholars state that it is permissible for a person following the opinion of group one not to raise his hands, just as it is permissible for a Hanafi or Maliki to raise them. However, it is preferable to follow the preferred practice of one’s own school of fiqh, since that entails greater reward.

Some history regarding the issue

The whole debate concerning the “raising of the hands” revolves around two points. The first is regarding the differences  found in the hadiths pertaining to this issue, and the second is regarding the differences found in the practices of the people of the three great cities of Islam during the first century A.H. – Makkah, Madinah and Kufa.

Imam Malik (rahimahullah) based his opinion on the conduct [ta’amul] of the people of Madinah, who did not observe the practice of raising the hands. Hence, he was of the opinion that one should not raise the hands anywhere after the opening Takbir. It states in al-Mudawwana:

Imam Malik (rahimahullah) said, “I do not consider the raising of the hands to be part of any takbir of the prayer, neither of any descending or ascending motion, except at the beginning of prayer” Ibn al Qasim states, “Raising the hands [at any other point] was considered a weak practice according to Imam Malik” [al-Mudawwanat al-kubra 1:71]

This is Imam Malik (rahimahullah) sitting in the capital of Islam of the time, the city of Madinah, where the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and the rightly guided caliphs (khulafaa Rashideen) resided, stating that raf’ al Yadayn was a weak practice.

The opinion of Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) on the other hand, were usually based on the fiqh of Makkah. Hence, he preferred the raising of the hands, as it was the practice of most of the inhabitants of Makkah in accordance with the teachings of ‘Abdullah ibn Zubayr (radhiyallahu anhu).

Other than these two cities, the most significant center of Islamic learning was Kufa. ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) has sent ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) to Kufa as its teacher, in addition to approximately fifteen hundred other Companions who had previously taken up residence there. ‘Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) had transferred the center of the Islamic Caliphate to Kufa as well, where he also took up residence. Hence, the people of Kufa, based on the teachings of Ibn Mas’ud and Ali (radhiyallahu anhuma), did not practice the raising of the hands. The great Hadith master ‘Allamah ‘Iraqi reports in his book Sharh al-Taqrib that Muhammad ibn Nasr al-Marwazi said regarding the inhabitants of Kufa:

We are not aware of any city, in which all its inhabitants had completely abandoned the practice of raising the hands at all instances of ascending or descending in prayer, besides the people of Kufa. None from among them would raise their hands except at the initial takbir. (Ithaf al-sadat al-muttaqin bi sharh ihya ulum al-din)

Hence, only one city from amongst the three great centers of Islam gave preference to raising the hands. The practice in the other cities was the contrary. This is a very strong evidence in favor of the Hanafi opinion, because many of the people of Kufa travelled to Makkah but still chose not to adopt the pracrice of the people of Makkah in raising the hands.

Imam Tirmidhi, in his Sunan, composed two chapters concerning this issue: one contains the hadiths of raising the hands, and the other contains the hadiths of not raising them. At the end of the first chapter, he remarks concerning the raising of the hands, “This is the opinion of a few [ba’d] Companions.” At the end of the second chapter, on not raising the hands, he remarks, “This is the opinion of more than one companion.” The expression used-ghayru Wahidin, “more than one”- indicates a greater number than the term ba’d “few.” These remarks of Imam Tirmidhi indicates that the practice of not raising the hands was very widespread one.

The Differences found in the Narrations

The hadiths regarding raf’ al Yadayn are of three types:

(1) There are those which clearly mention the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) raised his hands at the time of ruku’.

(2) There are those which mention that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) never raised his hands except when uttering the opening takbir.

(3) There are those which describe the complete prayer of Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), but do not mention whether or not he raised his hands after the opening takbir.

The hadiths of the first category stands as evidence for group one, whose opinion is of raising the hands; whereas the second category of hadith stands as evidence for those whose opinion is not to raise the hands. Although the hadiths of the first category seem to outnumber those of the second, but this does not mean anything, because the hadiths of the third category could also be used as a conjunction with the second as evidence for not raising the hands. The reason for this is that not mentioning something only evidences that it was not a popular practice. It is also very difficult to accept that while demonstrating the prayer of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), a narrator could have failed to mention something as significant as eaising of the hands, had it been an important aspect of the prayer. Hence, along with the hadiths of the third category, which are supplementary evidence for those of the second category, the hadiths in support of not raising the hands would actually outnumber those in support of it.

To elaborate further, it must be understood that the Messenger’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) not raising the hands is a “nonexistent” action, and people do not mention nonexistent actions in their conversations. For instance, if an individual returning home from the masjid, happened to fall down and hurt himself, the eeport would state, “he fell down,” since his fallaing down became an existent action (something that actually took place). On the other hand, if this same person arrived home without any accident, nobody would remark, “He did not fall,” since this is a nonexistent action. It is just another one of several hundred other such incidents that did not occur.

The case of these hadiths is similar because, since the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not raise his hands at all, the narrators did not report it. If it had been a regular practice of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) that he failed to do sometimes, the narrator would certainly have mentioned it.

This can be likened to the example of a person who has a fixed time for eating. If, for some reason, he failed to eat at that time, someone vould remark that he did not eat, since eating at that time should have been an existent action for him but it did not occur. Nobody would comment on his not eating at any other time, since eating at other times is a non-existent action for this person, and nonexistent actions are normally not mentioned.

Now, the hadiths of the third category do not mention anything about the raising of the hands being a habitual action of Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). As a result, this hadiths can also be used as evidence, along with those of the second category, for the Hanafi point of view. This would significantly increase the number of hadiths in the favor of Hanafi opinion, causing them to outnumber the hadiths of the first category.

Another Complication

Another complicating aspect of this issue is that there are other hadiths which inform of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) raising his hands at various instances within the prayer. More specifically, there are seventeen instances in the salaat where the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is reported to have raised his hands at one time or another; (1) at the initial takbir; (2) before and after bowing [ruku‘]; (3) before descending in prostration [sajdah]; (4) between the two prostrations [sujud]; (5) when beginning the second rak’a; (6) when beginning the third rak’a; (7) in fact, some narrarions mention that he raised his hands at the change of every new posture in the prayer.

The opinion of group one is that one should raise his hands at the first and second instances mentioned above, while the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Malik is that one should raise his hands at the first instance only. The question that arises here is: “Why has group one adopted the first two instances only and not the others?” Whatever their reason is for adopting only two instances and abandoning the rest will be the reason for Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Malik adopting the first instance only and abandoning the others.

Undoubtedly, all of the Imam’s have their reasons for not classifying the raising of the hands being Sunnah in all seven instances, inspite of these hadiths which mention that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) frequently raised his hands during salaat. By the end of this chapter, it should become clear as to why such a practice was discarded, and why the raising of the hands was restricted to the opening takbir only.


Group one normally presents the narrations of Ibn ‘Umar and Malik ibn al-Huwayrith (radhiyallahu anhuma) as their primary source of evidences, since both of these Companions have reported the raising of the hands at the time of bowing. However, both of these Companions have also reported the raising of the hands regarding all seven instances mentioned above. Group one has only accepted those narrations of the two Companions which mentions that the Messenger of Allah raised his hands at the opening takbir and when bowing, and have disregarded the other narrations.

The Hanafi scholars dis not base their opinion on these narrations but on those reports whose reports are consistent. Their primary source are the narrations of Hadhrat ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu), who states that the hands were raised at the initial takbir only, and not repeated at any other time in the prayer. All reports from him explain the same practice.

Weakness of Hadhrat Abdullah ibn ‘Umar’s (radhiyallahu anhu) narration:

Now we come to the issue of the narrations of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), which are normally quoted by those who claim that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) frequently raised his hands during salaat. It is well known that Imam Malik received many narrrations from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu). In fact, his famous chain of transmission, which runs through Nafi’ to ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) is known as “the golden chain” [silsilat al dhahab]. However, in this issue, Imam Malik (rahimahullah) did not base his opinion on these narrations, but rather adopted the narrarions of Ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) instead, and gave preference to the practice [ta’amul] of the people of Madinah, which was to raise the hands at the initial takbir only.

Second, Ibn Abi Shaybah and Imam Tahawi (rahimahumullah) have related another hadith of Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) through Mujahid, in which there is also no mention of raising the hands. If this was the constant practice of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), then why it is not mentioned in this narration?

Furthermore, although there are many hadith’s of Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) regarding the raising of the hands, there are many inconsistencies found in them. Such confusion in the reports of the narrator will not allow his narrations to be adopted in the presence of other reports that are precise and consistent. For example, in one of his narrations, which is mentioned in Imam Tahawi’s Mushkil al-Athar, it states that the hands were raised at every moment of the prayer, whereas in his other narrations, this is not mentioned.


We will now present the narrations of various Companions, including those of Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), which state that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) raised his hands for the opening takbir only.

The Hadiths of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu)

1. ‘Alqama reports that,

‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) said: “Should I not demonstrate the prayer of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) for you?” He performed the prayer, and did not raise his hands except at the initial takbir. [Sunan al-Tirmidhi 1:59, Sunan al-Nasa’i 1:161, Sunan Abi Dawud 1:116]

Imam Tirmidhi classifies this hadith as sound [hasan]. ‘Allama Ibn Hazm classifies this as rigorously authenticated [Sahih] (al-Muhalla 4:88), and ‘Allama Ahmad Muhammad Shakir, rejecting the criticism of some scholars, writes in his commentary of Sunan al-Tirmidhi:

This Hadith has been authenticated by Ibn Hazm and other hadith masters [huffaz], and whatever has been stated about it containing defects, it is incorrect

It is mentioned in al-Jawhar al-Naqi that its narrators are those of Sahih Muslim. [I’la al-Sunan 3:45]

2. Alqama reports that,

‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) asked: “Should I not inform you of Allah’s Messenger’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) prayer?” He stood up and raised his hands at the outset and did not do so again. [Sunan al-Nasa’i 1:158, I’la al-Sunan 3:48]

3. ‘Alqama narrates from ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu):

The Messenger of Allah would raise his hands at the opening takbir, then would not raise them again. [Sharh Ma’ani ‘l-Athar 224]

4. Hadhrat ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) relates:

I prayed with the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhuma). They dis not raise their hands except at the beginning of the prayer. [Nasb al-raya 1:526, Majma’ al-Zawa’id 2:101]

Judging from the above hadiths, it can be concluded so easily, that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) dis not raise his hands regularly during the course of the prayer. Ibn Mas’ud, ‘Ali (radhiyallahu anhuma), and other Companions would never have narrated such reports had they observed the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and the Caliphs [khulafa] regularly raising their hands? It has also been observed that all the narrations of Ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) are consistent that they relate the hands being raised only at the beginning of prayer and not at any other instance.

The Hadiths of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu)

The following narrations of Ibn ‘Umar speak of the hands being raised at the opening takbir only.

5. Salim report that his father (Ibn Umar) said:

“I observed that when the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would begin his prayer, he would raise his hands while leveling them: one say at shoulder level. Thereafter he would not raise them again  before the bowing or after it. Some have added that he woul not raise them between the two prostrations [sujud] either.” [Sahih ibn ‘Awana 2:90]

In this narration, Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) actually confirms that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not raise his hands at the time of ruku’. Imam Humaydi, the shaykh (teacher) of Imam Bukhari, has also reported this very hadith through his own chain, which is one of the most reliable chains (Musnad al-Humaydi 2:277). It is an agreed upon fact that all of the hadiths of Sahih ibn ‘Awana, where this hadith is be found, are rigorously authenticated [Sahih].

6. Salim reports from his father that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would raise his hands to shoulder level when beginning the prayer [al-Mudawwanat al-Kubra 2:71]. Imam Malik rejected raf’ al-yadayn at the time of bowing due to this hadith.

7. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas and Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

The hands are to be raised at seven instances: at the beginning of prayer, when setting sight on the house of Allah, at Safa, Marwa’, Arafat, Muzdalifah, and when saluting the Black stone [Nasb al-Raya 1:521]

In this hadith, there is no mention of the hands being raised at the time of bowing [ruku’].

The Hadiths of Jabir ibn Samurah (radhiyallahu anhu)

8. Jabir ibn Samurah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates:

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) approached us and remarked, “Why is it that I see you raising your hands as though they are the tails of restive horses? Remain calm in prayer” [Sahih al-Muslim 1:81, Sunan al-Nasa’i 1:176, Sunan Abi Dawud 1:150].

In this hadith, the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) prohibits the raising of the hands while performing prayer. This could only mean at the time of bowing, prostration and the like. It cannot be considered prohibited to raise them whem proclaiming the openin takbir, since the raising of the hands at that time is not considered to be inside the prayer and, as such, does not interfere with the calmness recomended in the salaat.

Some scholars however assert that this hadith is regarding the prohibition of raising the hands  while making salaam at the end of salaat. This is a misconception that has risen from another similar hadith regarsing salaam, which states:

Whenever we prayed with the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), we would say, “al-salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah, al-salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah,” and we would gesture with our hands towards our sides. The Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) asked, “What are you gesturing towards with your hands, as though they are the tails of restive horses? It is sufficient for you to leave your hands on your laps and make salaam to your brother on your right and on your left” [Sahih Muslim  1:181]

This misconception may have occurred because of a statement in both narrations mentioning raising the hands “as though they are the tails of restive horses.” This may have lead some scholars to conclude that both narrations are concerning one and the same incident [i.e. the raising of the hands while saying salaam]. However, if both the narrations are analyzed and the circumstances of each investigated, it is evident, Insha Allah, that both are concerning two different and separate incidents. Some of these differences are highlighted below:

(a) In the first Hadith (Jabir ibn Samurah’s narration), it states that the Companions were engrossed in their own prayers when the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) addressed them. The second hadith mentions that they were  performing prayer behind Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), after which he addressed them.

(b) The first hadith states that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) pronibited them from  “raising their hands during prayer,” and in the second hadith he prohibited them from “gesturing to the right and left with their hands when making salaam

(c) In the first hadith, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) instructed them to exercise calmness in prayer after prohibiting them from raising their hands, whereas in the second one he only instructed them on how to properly perform the salaam.

(d) In the first hadith, the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) uses the words “in prayer” whereas salaam is made at the end of prayer. This means the hadith is concerning observing calmness throughout the prayer, and not just at the time of making salaam.

(e) If the first hadith were taken for a moment to be referring to calmness during salaam, it would then mean that remaining calm in the prayer itself, when bowing for example, would be even more important. If raising of the hands during salaam is prohibited, it would be more conclusively be prohibited throughout the prayer.

The Hadiths of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu)

9. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) reports that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

The hands should not be raised except at seven instances: at the beginning of the prayer, when entering the Masjid al-Haram [“the Sanctified Masjid”], and setting sight on the House of Allah, when standing on Safa’, Marwa’, and when standing [Yaqifu] with the pilgrims in ‘Arafat, and at Musdalifah. [Nasb al-Raya 1:290, Mu’jam al-Tabarani 1:389]

10. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) also narrates:

The hands should not be raised except at seven instances: when beginning the prayer, when setting sight on the House of Allah, at Safa’, at Marwa’, at Muzdalifah, and when pelting the jamarat [stone pillars representing the Satan at Mina’] [Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah 1:237]

The Hadiths of Bara’ ibn Azib (radhiyallahu anhu)

11. Ibn Abi Layla reports that he heard Bara’ (radhiyallahu anhu) narrate to a group of people, among whom was Ka’b ibn ‘Ujra (radhiyallahu anhu):

I observed the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) at the initial takbir when beginning the prayer [Daraqutni 1:293]

It is mentioned in the Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah  that Ibn Abi Layla was also known not to raise his hands [except at the initial takbir] [1:237]

12. Bara’ ibn Azib (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that,

When the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would begin the prayer, he would raise his hands up to his ears, then not do so again.

One version of this narrarion adds: “Only once” (i.e. he raised his hands only once), and another adds: “then he  would not raise them again until completing the prayer” [Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah 1:236, Sunan Abi Dawud 1:109]

This further clarifies that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) only raised hos hands at the beginning of the salaat. Like these narrations, there are many countless others which informs us that the hands were not regularly raised beyond the first takbir. For those seeking further clarification, additional narrations and commentary can be found in the following books: Nasb al-raya of ‘Allama Zayla’i, 2:389-416, Awjaz al-Masalik of Shaykh Zakariyyah Khandlawi, 1:202-210, and I’la al-Sunan of Shaykh Zafar Uthmani 3:43-72.


1. Aswad reports

I performed prayer with ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) and he raised his hands only when beginnimg the prayer. [Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah 1:237]

2. ‘Abd al Malik states:

I observed that Sha’bi, Ibrahim al-Nakh’ai and Abu Ishaq did not raise their hands except at the beginnimg of the prayer. [Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah 1:237]

3. ‘Asim ibn Kulayb, reports from his father who was a Companion of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (radhiyallahu anhu), that,

“‘Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) would raise his hands only at the initial takbir when beginning his prayers; thereafter, he would not raise them again at any other place in the prayer.” [Muwatta Imam Muhammad 94, Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah 1:236]

4. Ibrahim al-Nakh’ai reports that,

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) would raise his hands at the beginning of the prayer, then would not raise them again. [Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah 1:236]

5. Mujahid reports:

“I did not see ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) raise his hands except at the beginning of the prayer”  [Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah 1:236]]

6. Imam Malik reports that,

Na’im ibn Abdullah al-Mujmir and Abu Ja’far al-Qari informed him that Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu) would lead them in prayer. He would say the takbir every time he moved from one posture to another, and would raise his hands when saying the takbir at the beginning of the prayer. [Muwatta Imam Muhammad 90]

7. Abu Ishaq reports that,

the Companions of Ibn Mas’ud and ‘Ali (radhiyallahu anhum) would not raise their hands except at the beginning of the prayers, Waki’ confirms that they [the Companions] would not raise them thereafter.  [Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah: 1:236]

8. Isma’il reports that

Qays would raise his hands when entering into prayer, after which he would not raise them again. [Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah 1:236]

The narrator Qays has the honor of transmitting from all ten of the Companions who were given glad tidings of Paradise by the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in one sitting [‘ashara mubashshara]

9. It is reported from Aswad and ‘Alqama that

they would raise their hands when beginning the prayer, after which they would not raise them again [Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah 1:236]

10. Sufyan ibn Muslim al-Juhani reports that

Ibn Abi Layla would raise his hands at the beginning [of the prayer] when saying the takbir.

11. It is reported from Khaythama and Ibrahim al-Nakh’ai that they would only raise their hands at the beginning of prayer [Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah 1:236]

12. It is reported regarding Sha’bi that he would raise his hands at the initial takbir (only), then he would not do so again. [Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah 1:236]

13. Abu Bakr ibn ‘Ayash narrates

I have never seen a jurist do such a thing i.e. raising the hands at any point other than the initial takbir [Sharh Ma’ani l’ Athar 1:228]

Here are the likes of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Ali, ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, Ibn ‘Umar, Abu Hurayrah and many other Companions (radhiyallahu anhum) followed by Sha’bi, Ibrahim al-Nakh’ai, Abu Ishaq, Qays, Aswad, ‘Alqama and Ibn Abi Layla, all from the Followers – they have reported to have not raised their hands except at the initial takbir. It is quite clear that they would not have omitted the “raising of the hands” at the time of bowing, had it been the regular practice of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).


(1) Not raising the hands beyond the opening takbir is most in conformance with the Holy Qur’an. Allah Ta’ala says:

“Successful indeed are the believers, those who humble themselves [khashi’un] in their prayers” [al-Qur’an 23:2]

The word khushu means humility and humbleness. Similarly, in another verse, Allah Ta’ala says:

“Stand before Allah, in a devout frame of mind [qanitin]” [al-Qur’an 2:238]

From these verses, it is understood that both humility and calmness are required in salaat. The Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) prohibited the raising of the hands (as in hadith 8 above) because it interfered with the maintainance of humility and calmness in it. Not raising the hands so frequently will help achieve the peace, tranquility and devotion encouraged by Allah Ta’ala in the Qur’an.

Furthermore, according to the principles of Ahadith [Usul al-Hadith], when some hadiths are in apparent conflict with others – as in this case – those most in conformance with the Qur’an will be regarded as most superior.

(2) Raising the hands at the opening takbir is a sunnah by consensus, and raising them before and after bowing is where the difference of opinion lies. Raising the hands beyond these two instances is unanimously viewed as not being sunnah. Now let us determine whether the takbir at the time of descending into ruku’ and the tasmi’ [sami’Allahu liman hamidah] when retirning from it, are similar to the opening takbir or to the takbirs at other instances in the prayer.

They are not similar to the opening takbir, because the opening takbir is an integral [rukn] of salaat, whereas the takbir and the tasmi’ for ruku’ are  sunnah. The takbirs at all other instances in the prayer, however, are also sunnah and the hands are not raised when saying them. Since the takbir and tasmi’ when bowing resemble these other takbirs in their being sunnah, it should follow that the hands should never be raised at the time of bowing either, as they are not raised these other takbirs.

(3) Since there are two types of hadiths found – those which state the hands were raised when bowing and those which state on the contrary – it is important to find out which practice abrogated the other. Whenever an abrogation [Naskh] occurred regarding any particular action of prayer, it was always regarding an action that was initially commanded and practised. Nonexistent practice were not abrogated. For instance, in the earlier period of Islam, it was permissible to talk and move around during prayer. Both of these actions were later prohibited and no longer remained valid. This is what abrogation is; when a practice is cancelled after having been existent.

We cannot say that something which was never practised to begin with, became abrogated by an injunction commanding its performance. That would just be considered a new command. Similarly, it should be understood here that raising the hands at the time of bowing, while being initially allowed, was later abrogated, just as the Hanafis have said.

(4) The narrations on this issue are of two types. There are those which outline the method of the Messenger’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) prayer and whether he raised his hands or not. Many differences are to be found in these narrations. Some state that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) raised his hands at every takbir, whereas others state that he raised them for the initial takbir only and so forth.

The second type of narrations are those in which the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) issues direct commands about raising the hands in prayer. Unlike the first category,  there is no confusion or inconsistency found in these narrations. They all mention that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) prohibited the raising of the hands in prayer. For instance, hadith 8 above clearly prohibits the raising of the hands while engrossed in prayer. According to principle of hadith [Usul al-Hadith], the narrations which contradict each other will be rejected, and those which are consistent will be accepted. Hence, since the hadith of the second category are very consistent in their prohibition of raising the hands, they will be preferred over the first category, which are inconsistent.

(5) The narrators of the hadiths who, like ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), mention the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) raising the hands at the time of bowing, have themselves been reported to have not raised their hands. However, the primary narrator of this hadiths which mention the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as having not raised his hands, is ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu). He has not been reported to have adopted any method besides what is mentioned in his narrations. This means that Ibn Mas’ud’s (radhiyallahu anhu) hadiths hold a stronger position in this issue, since, according to the principles of Hadiths [Usul al-Hadith], the narrations of a narrator whose personal practice contradicts his narrations are usually not accepted.

(6) Those who narrated that the hands were not raised, were higher ranked jurists [fuqaha]  than those who narrated that it was a constant practice. For instance, it is well known that ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) was a greater jurist than ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu); and Ibn Mas’ud’s (radhiyallahu anhu) students, ‘Alqama and Aswad, were greater jurists than Nafi’, who reported from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu). Hence, according to the principles of Hadith [Usul al-Hadith], the narrarions of Ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu), ‘Alqama and Aswad on this issue are preferred over those of Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) and his students, due to their status in jurisprudence [fiqh].

(7) Since Ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) was older than Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), he had more opportunity to stand in the first row closer to the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), giving him a closer view of the Messenger’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) prayer. Ibn ‘Umar’s (radhiyallahu anhu), due to his young age, would not stand in the front rows. Hence, Ibn Mas’ud’s (radhiyallahu anhu) narrations will be regarded as stronger than Ibn ‘Umar’s (radhiyallahu anhu) narrations in this issue.

Besides this, Ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) enjoyed a very  close relationship with the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). ‘Allama Dhahabi, describing the status of Ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu), writes:

“Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu), the learned leader [al-Imam al-Rabbani], ‘Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Abdullah ibn Ummi’ ‘Abd al-Hudhali; Companion and personal servant of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam); among the first to embrace Islam; among the veterans of the battle of Badr; among the expert jurists and teacher of the Qur’aan; among those who strove to convey the words of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) accurately; extremely scrupulous in his narrations; and one who would admonish his students upon their negligence in recording the exact words of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)…Due to extreme caution, he would narrate very little himself….His students would never give preference to any Companion over him….Surely he was from among the leading Companions, the bearers of sacred knowledge, and the exemplars [a’imma] of guidance” [Tadhkirat al-Huffaz].

Imam Tahawi relates a very interesting incident:

Mughira ibn Muqsim reports, “I mentioned to Ibrahim al-Nakh’ai the hadith of Wa’il ibn Hujr (radhiyallahu anhu) regarding the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) raising his hands before and after bowing” Ibrahim al-Nakh’ai said, “If Wa’il has seen the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) raising his hands once, then Ibn Mas’ud has seen him fifty times not raising them” [Sharh Ma’ani ‘l Athar]

‘Urwa ibn Murra stated:

When I entered the masjid (mosque) in Hadhramaut. I heard ‘Alqama ibn Wa’il narrate from his father that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would raise his hands before and after the bowing posture. I mentioned this to Ibrahim al-Nakh’ai, who responded angrily, “Is Wa’il ibn Hujr the only one ro have seen the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)? Did not Ibn Mas’ud and his Companions also see him?” [Muwatta Imam Muhammad 92]

(8) One other reason for not raising the hands at the time of bowing is that we find all of the various invocations of prayer accompanied by a specific body motion. For instance, there is takbir before bowing and tasmi’ before returning from it, and likewise, when descending into the prostration there is a takbir. Since there was no accompanying body motion for the beginning and ending of prayer, raising the hands was allocated for the opening takbir, and the tuening of the heads for taslim [salaams]. Now, if the hands were also to be raised at the time of bowing, then the takbir and tasmi’ at that time will be accompanied by two actions (i.e. bowing down and raising the hands) and in turn cotradicting the standard of having only one motion for every invocation.


The Hadiths which mention that the hands were raised at the time of bowing, do not constitute sufficient evidence to establish that the raising of the hands remained a permanent practice of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Therefore, raising the hands before and after bowimg cannot be called a Sunnah mustamirrah or “permanant or continuous practice of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),” due to the many authentic narrations which state that the hands were never raised after the opening takbir. The pracrice of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs [khulafa’ rashidun] and many of the Prominent Companions was also not ro raise them, and hadith 8 (above)  actually prohibits raising them. All of these points indicate raising the hands when bowing iw a Sunnah matruka or “an earlier practice of Allah’s Messenger which he later abandoned;” hence, it would be Sunnah and more preferable not to raise the hands before and after bowing.

To expound further, the Hanafis do acknowledge tgat the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) raised his hands at the various instances in the salaat that are outlined in the hadiths; however, they recognize this as a temporary practice. It was only at the time of the opening takbir that he raised them regularly. Npt a single narration is found from those presented by group one which establishes that the hands were raised by the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) on a permanant basis before and after bowing.

One narration of Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), which is sometimes mentioned, ends with the words, “Thus, this remained the practice of Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in prayer until he met with Allah.” This narration is either extremely weak or fabricated due to it containing ‘Isma ibn Muhammad in its chain of narrators. This narrator has been described as follows: (a) Yahya ibn Ma’in calls him as “flagrant liar [kadhdhaab] who fabricates hadiths;” (b) ‘Uqaylu states, “He narrates nonsense from reliable narrators [Mizan al I’tidal 3:68];” (c) Ibn ‘Adi states, “None of his narrations are free from defects” [Mizan al I’tidal 2:582]

It also contains another narrators, ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Quraysh, who has also been criticized and called a fabricator. [Mizan al I’tidal 2:582].

Hence, all the hadiths which have been brought forth as evidence by group one only mention that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) raised his hands at the time of bowing, just as some hadiths also explain that he raised them at various other instances as well. None of these hadiths, however, state that these additional raises were a constant and lifelong practice of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

The Position of Hanafi Madh-hab on Non-Dhabeeha Meat

[by Mufti Ibrahim Desai]



Halaal means that the Shari’ah has made it permissible to consume.

What are the qualifications for the meat to be Halaal??

The animal must be slaughtered in a Shar’i manner, i.e. the windpipe, oesophagus and the 2 jugular veins must be severed or at least 3 of them. The name of Allah must be taken at the time of slaughtering. The slaughterer must not be a Mushrik (one who ascribes partners to Allah), nor one who denies the existence of Allah.

Dhabeeha in Qur’an:

Almighty Allah Ta’ala in His infinite mercy has made certain animals Halaal (permissible) for this Ummah. We are required to be thankful to Him by following the dictates of the Qur’aan and Sunnah by ensuring that His name is taken upon slaughtering of the animal. Allah Ta’ala states in the noble Qur’aan:

وَلِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ جَعَلْنَا مَنسَكًا لِيَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ عَلَى مَا رَزَقَهُم مِّن بَهِيمَةِ الْأَنْعَامِ فَإِلَهُكُمْ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ فَلَهُ أَسْلِمُوا وَبَشِّرِ الْمُخْبِتِينَ

To every people did We appoint rites (of sacrifice), that they might celebrate the name of Allah over the sustenance He gave them from animals (fit for food). But your Allah is One Allah. submit then your wills to Him (in Islam): and give thou the good news to those who humble themselves,- [Surah Al Hajj (22): 34]

وَلاَ تَأْكُلُواْ مِمَّا لَمْ يُذْكَرِ اسْمُ اللّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَإِنَّهُ لَفِسْقٌ وَإِنَّ الشَّيَاطِينَ لَيُوحُونَ إِلَى أَوْلِيَآئِهِمْ لِيُجَادِلُوكُمْ وَإِنْ أَطَعْتُمُوهُمْ إِنَّكُمْ لَمُشْرِكُونَ

And consume not of that whereupon the name of Allah Ta’ala was omitted (at the time of slaughter). Indeed it is a transgression. Verily the Shayaateen inspire their friends to cause division with you. If you obey them, you are indeed Mushriks (ascribing partners to Allah).’ [Surah An’aam 122]

وَالْبُدْنَ جَعَلْنَاهَا لَكُم مِّن شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ لَكُمْ فِيهَا خَيْرٌ فَاذْكُرُوا
اسْمَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهَا صَوَافَّ فَإِذَا وَجَبَتْ جُنُوبُهَا فَكُلُوا مِنْهَا وَأَطْعِمُوا الْقَانِعَ وَالْمُعْتَرَّ كَذَلِكَ سَخَّرْنَاهَا لَكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

The sacrificial camels we have made for you as among the symbols from Allah. in them is (much) good for you: then pronounce the name of Allah over them as they line up (for sacrifice): when they are down on their sides (after slaughter), eat ye thereof, and feed such as (beg not but) live in contentment, and such as beg with due humility: thus have We made animals subject to you, that ye may be grateful. [Qur’an 22:36]

وَقَالُواْ هَـذِهِ أَنْعَامٌ وَحَرْثٌ حِجْرٌ لاَّ يَطْعَمُهَا إِلاَّ مَن نّشَاء بِزَعْمِهِمْ وَأَنْعَامٌ حُرِّمَتْ ظُهُورُهَا وَأَنْعَامٌ لاَّ يَذْكُرُونَ اسْمَ اللّهِ عَلَيْهَا افْتِرَاء عَلَيْهِ سَيَجْزِيهِم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفْتَرُونَ

And they say that such and such cattle and crops are taboo, and none should eat of them except those whom – so they say – We wish; further, there are cattle forbidden to yoke or burden, and cattle on which, (at slaughter), the name of Allah is not pronounced; – inventions against Allah’s name: soon will He requite them for their inventions. [Qur’an 6:138]

حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةُ وَالْدَّمُ وَلَحْمُ الْخِنْزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللّهِ بِهِ وَالْمُنْخَنِقَةُ وَالْمَوْقُوذَةُ وَالْمُتَرَدِّيَةُ وَالنَّطِيحَةُ وَمَا أَكَلَ السَّبُعُ إِلاَّ مَا ذَكَّيْتُمْ وَمَا ذُبِحَ عَلَى النُّصُبِ وَأَن تَسْتَقْسِمُواْ بِالأَزْلاَمِ ذَلِكُمْ فِسْقٌ الْيَوْمَ يَئِسَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن دِينِكُمْ فَلاَ تَخْشَوْهُمْ وَاخْشَوْنِ الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الإِسْلاَمَ دِينًا فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ فِي مَخْمَصَةٍ غَيْرَ مُتَجَانِفٍ لِّإِثْمٍ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Forbidden to you (for food) are: Al-Maytatah (the dead animals – cattle-beast not slaughtered), blood, the flesh of swine, and the meat of that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah, or has been slaughtered for idols, etc., or on which Allah’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering, and that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by the goring of horns – and that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal – unless you are able to slaughter it (before its death) ­ and that which is sacrificed (slaughtered) on An-­Nusub (stone altars). (Forbidden) also is to use arrows seeking luck or decision, (all) that is Fisqun (disobedience of Allah and sin). This day, those who disbelieved have given up all hope of your religion, so fear them not, but fear Me. This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islâm as your religion. But as for him who is forced by severe hunger, with no inclination to sin (such can eat these above-mentioned meats), then surely, Allah is Oft­-Forgiving, Most Merciful

From the above Aayaats, the following points are understood:

1. Meat is not in the same category as other nutrients.

2. The most important condition is that Tasmiyah (taking the name of Allah) be pronounced at the time of slaughter. The Aayaats clearly explain the impermissibility of those animals whose slaughter was not preceded by Tasmiya.

3. The impermissibility of those animals whose lives were ended by means other than Dhabah (Shar’i slaughter) of which Tasmiya is a condition. All such animals are Maytah (carrion) and are expressly forbidden.

4. The Dhabeeha (animal slaughtered) by a Kaafir (non-believer) or Mushrik (polytheist) is Haraam (unlawful). However, those Ahlul Kitaab (people of the book) who also hold the Aqeedah (belief) of Tasmiya at the time of slaughter have been excluded from the Kuffaar majority.

5. The Aayaat number 122 of An’aam explains consumption of meat not slaughtered with Tasmiyah as Fisq – transgression and disobedience. The Aayat then explains that to regard consumption of such meat as Halaal is nothing but a teaching of Shaytaan to cause division among the Ummah. The Aayat also warns that obedience of Shaytaan in this matter is a kin to Shirk (ascribing partners to Allah).

Imaam Bukhari has quoted this same Aayat in his magnum opus under the chapter, ‘Intentional Ommission of the Tasmiyah at the time of Slaughter’ to the same import as explained by Hafiz ibn Hajar, the renowned commentator of Sahih Bukhari in the following words:

Imaam Bukhari (rahmatullah alayh) wishes to point out by citing this Aayat is the reproach against using this Aayah as proof to legalise omission of Tasmiyah by inventing baseless interpretations of the Aayat and understanding it in a manner contrary to clear import.’ (Fathul Bari vol.9 pg.778; Qadeemi)

Intentional Omission of Tasmiyah neglectfully or out of Istikhfaaf (regarding it as insignificant)

The Jurists (Fuqaha) have unanimously agreed that consumption of an animal slaughtered by a Muslim with intentional omission of Tasmiya or regarding such as insignificant is unlawful (Haraam). Imaam Shaaf’i (rahimahullah) has also concurred with this view. (Jawaahirul Fiqh, vol.2 pg.388; Darul Uloom from Kitaabul Umm and Tafseer Mazhari)

Imaam Abu Yusuf states:

The ruling regarding the animal upon which Tasmiyah was omitted (at the time of slaughter) is not subject to Ijtihaad (independent deduction of a ruling from Qur’aan and Hadith). If a judge rules the permissibility of its sale, his ruling will not be given effect due to it being contrary to consensus of opinion.’ [Ibid pg.390; Hidaaya]

It should be noted significantly that the above discussion of impermissibility is with regard to a Muslim slaughterer not to speak of a non-Muslim. In the case of a Muslim forgetfully omitting the Tasmiyah, the animal will be permissible for consumption as is the ruling of all the four Madhaahib based on the Hadith of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam):

A believer always slaughters upon the name of Allah, whether he (remembers to) recites it or not.’ [Fathul Bari vol.9 pg.793; Qadeemi]

Animals Slaughtered by Modern Day Jews and Christians ‘The food of Ahlul Kitaab (people of the book) is lawful for you as is your food for them.’ (Maaidah 5)

الْيَوْمَ أُحِلَّ لَكُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتُ وَطَعَامُ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ حِلٌّ لَّكُمْ وَطَعَامُكُمْ حِلُّ لَّهُمْ وَالْمُحْصَنَاتُ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَالْمُحْصَنَاتُ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ إِذَا آتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ مُحْصِنِينَ غَيْرَ مُسَافِحِينَ وَلاَ مُتَّخِذِي أَخْدَانٍ وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِالإِيمَانِ فَقَدْ حَبِطَ عَمَلُهُ وَهُوَ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

Made lawful to you this day are At­-Tayyibat [all kinds of Halaal (lawful) foods, which Allah has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, etc., milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits, etc.). The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals, etc.) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them. (Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from the believers and chaste women from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) before your time, when you have given their due Mahr (bridal money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage), desiring chastity (i.e. taking them in legal wedlock) not committing illegal sexual intercourse, nor taking them as girl-friends. And whosoever disbelieves in the Oneness of Allah and in all the other Articles of Faith [i.e. His (Allah’s), Angels, His Holy Books, His Messengers, the Day of Resurrection and Al­-Qadar (Divine Pre-ordainments)], then fruitless is his work, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers. [5:5]

Regarding the word, ‘Ta’aam’ (food), ibn Abbas, Ibn Umamah, Mujaahid and others (Radhiallaahu Anhum) say that it refers to slaughtered animals. This matter (permissibility of these animals) is unanimously agreed upon by all scholars since they also hold the belief of the prohibition of slaughter save in Allah’s name and also due to the fact that they mention only the name of Allah Ta’ala upon their animals of slaughter. [Jawaahirul Fiqh vol.2 pg.404; from Isma’eel Ibn Kathir]

The reason for permissibility has been explained clearly by Allaamah ibn Kathir that due to the unity of belief regarding slaughter between Muslims and the Jews and Christians of that particular time, Allah Ta’ala had permitted consumption of their slaughter. The Ulama of the time had based their rulings on this very same reasoning. When this unity of belief came into doubt, many great Sahaaba (Radhiallaahu Anhum) had not hesitated to rule prohibition.

With regards to a Kitaabi, when he omits Tasmiyah (the name of Allah) upon his slaughter and takes some other name, his slaughter is not consumable. This is the ruling of Abu Darda, Ubadah bin Saamit and large faction of the Sahaaba (Radhiallaahu Anhum).’ [Jawaahirul Fiqh vol.2 pg.407; Darul Uloom – from Bahrul Muheet]

Regarding the Christian tribe of Banu Taghlib, Hadhrat Ali (Radhiallaahu Anhu) ruled the following: ‘Hafiz ibn Jawzi (rahimahullah) has narrated with his Sanad (chain of narrators) from Ali (Radhiyallahu Anhu), ‘Do not consume the slaughter of the Christians of Banu Taghlib since they have not held to any more of Christianity than their drinking of wine.’ [Ibid pg.460 – from Tafseer Mazhari].

It is a well-known fact that the majority of present-day Christians and Jews no longer hold to this Aqeedah (belief) regarding slaughter. They do not hesitate to consume meat slaughtered by even Pagans and Mushriks (polytheists) and atheists. They have held to even less of Christianity than the Banu Taghlib. Most of them are just Christians and Jews by name, ‘atheistic’ in their beliefs and actions.

Their abbatoirs employ machine slaughter wherever possible and do not hesitate to employ pagans and polytheists, e.g. Chinese, Koreans, etc. to carry our slaughter.

The Ruling Based on the above Juridical references, Qadhi Thanaullah (rahimahullah) a renowned Jurist of his time states the following:

The correct and accepted view according to us is the first one that the slaughter of the Ahlul Kitaab with intentional omission of Tasmiyah (taking the name of Allah) or slaughter on some other name (besides that of Allah) is not consumable, if this fact is ascertained with certainity or this is the condition prevailing among them. By this, the prohibition (of the Sahaaba) from consuming the slaughter of the Christian Arabs can be easily understood.

Likewise, the ruling of Ali (Radhiyallaahu Anhu) (regarding the Banu Taghlib)’ becomes clear. It is likely that Ali (Radhiyallaahu Anhu) had ascertained that their omission of Tasmiyah upon slaughter or that they slaughtered upon some other name (besides Allah). A similar ruling has been issued regarding the non-Arab Christians that if it is their normal habit to slaughter without Tasmiyah, their slaughter is not consumable. Concerning the present day Christians there is no doubt in the fact that their methods do not fulfil requirements of Shar’i slaughter, but they usually cause the death of their animals by other lethal measures, e.g. machine slaughter, etc. hence, their slaughter is impermissible.’ [Jawaahirul Fiqh vol.2 pg.411; from Tafseer Mazhari]

The Correct Understanding of the Hadith of Bukhari (cited by many people to justify their claims):

“It has been narrated from Aa’isha (Radhiyallaahu Anha) that some persons said to Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam), ‘People bring to us meat. We know not whether the name of Allah Ta’ala has been taken (upon its slaughter) or not? Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied, ‘You people say Bismillah and eat it.’ Aa’isha (Radhiallaahu Anha) says, ‘the people referred to (in this Hadith) were new Muslims.’ [Bukhari vol.2 pg.828; Deoband]

It is clear that the slaughterers were Muslims, not disbelievers. This is further elucidated by Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah)’s narration (of the same Hadith) where the addition of, ‘this was in the beginning of Islam.’ [Fathul Bari vol.9 pg.792; Qadeemi] is found.

To believe that these people were non-Muslims is in fact tantamount to accusing the noble Sahaaba of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) of the heinous crime of consuming meat slaughtered by polytheists which is expressly forbidden in the Qur’aan: ‘Forbidden to you is carrion … till … and that slaughtered for other than Allah.’ (Maaidah 3).

The actual meaning of this Hadith, as understood by similar narrations is that one should not entertain unfounded doubts about a Muslim that he would neglect to mention the name of Allah upon his slaughter.

This is what is understood by the context of the Hadith since the answer of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) to the question was, ‘Say Bismillah and eat.’ It is as though they (questioners) were told, ‘That is not your concern, rather what should concern you is to consume it (wholesomely in the Sunnah manner) by saying Bismillah before partaking thereof.’ [Fathul Bari vol.9 pg.793; Qadeemi]

Hafiz ibn Abdul-Barr (rahimahullah) has emphasised on this point very clearly:

Similarly, the slaughter of the Bedouin Muslims will be permissible (for consumption) since they usually know of the Tasmiya (at the time of slaughter).
Ibn Abdul Barr (rahimahullah) has concluded, ‘In this Hadith, it is understood that the slaughter of a Muslim should be consumed and he should be regarded as having taken Tasmiyah upon its slaughter (even when one is not certain about this fact) because with regards to a Muslim, one should entertain nothing but good thoughts unless concrete evidence is established to the contrary.’  [Fathul Bari vol.9 pg.793; Qadeemi]

This import is borne out by other narrations of this same Hadith as follows:

The narration of Ibn Uyayna (one of the Huffaaz of Hadith) has the addition, ‘accept their oaths and eat’, i.e. take their word for it that they have taken Tasmiyah upon slaughter (and partake without doubts).  [Ibid pg.793]

The narration of Abu Sa’eed:

Imaam Tabrani has recorded the narration of Abu Sa’eed though with a difference in wording that he said, ‘accept their word that they have effected (Shar’i) slaughter.’ (and consume it without doubt).  [Ibid]

The narration of Imaam Abu Ja’far at-Tahawi (rahimahullah):

Some of the Sahaaba (Radhiallaahu Anhum) questioned Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) that, ‘Some Bedouins bring to us meat, cheese and fat. We know not the condition of their Islam, (i.e. they are Muslims but of what calibre, we are unaware).’ Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied, ‘Check that which is prohibited by Allah and abstain therefrom. Whatever Allah Ta’ala has not discussed, he has concessioned you. Your Rabb does not forget. Thus, say Bismillah (and partake).  [Ibid]

Explaining this Hadith, Allaamah ibn Teen comments:

Concerning Tasmiyah upon slaughter carried out by others of which they are unaware, there is no obligation upon them regarding it. The (slaughter) will only be held incorrect when such evidence is established.’ Allah Ta’ala has not made it obligatory upon any Muslim to be aware of Tasmiya upon the slaughter of another Muslim, since the slaugher of another Muslim will be always regarded as correct (accompanied by Tasmiya) unless evidence is established to the contrary.  [Ibid pg.794]

The above should be sufficient to clarify any doubt in the meaning of the Hadith of Bukhari.

Importance of Muslim Unity with regards to Halaal Meat

Shaytaan is ever prepared to bring about division as this will inevitably lead to the collapse of the Muslim Ummah. In his untiring efforts, he has overlooked no sphere of life to cause his mischief even to the extent of nourishment. Allah Ta’ala has warned us of Shaytaan’s inroads in this regard as has been explained already. Shaytaan, possessed of a keen intelligence and discernment knows full well that once the Muslims cannot interact and mix with one another due to suspicion in regards to Halaal and Haraam, this will bring about the much awaited split in the global community of Islam. To combat this, it is required that Muslims take courage and band together to solve this problem, irrespective of colour and race, since the commands of Allah Ta’ala are universal. Due to this solidarity, the Muslims of South Africa, although a minority (around 3 – 4 %) have progressed far ahead in eliminating this problem. With a bit of extra physical and monetary sacrifice, they have managed to establish their own abattoirs in different parts of the country. If Muslims in other parts of the world who have, Alhamdulillah, become a sizeable community were to show such unity and get together, there is every confidence that the problem would be eliminated with little difficulty.

To conclude this, let us ponder upon the following words of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam): The lawful is clear and the unlawful is clear. Between these lie matters of confusion. Regarding these, many are ignorant. Whomsoever falls into these, falls into the unlawful, like a shepherd grazing (his flock) upon a sanctuary’s perimeter, very soon falls into trespass. Beware! Every king posesses a sanctuary and the sanctuary of Allah Ta’ala are His prohibitions. Take note! In the body resides a piece of flesh, upon its reformation is the entire body’s reform. Upon it’s corruption is the whole body corrupted. Listen! It is the heart.’ [Arba’een Nawawi]

And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best.

Saying Aameen Silently in Salaat – Explained

[By Maulana ‘Abdur-Rahman bin Yusuf Mangera D.B]

Saying Amin (pronounced aameen) after completing the recitation of Surat al-Fatiha holds great virtue and is a sunna of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) states in one hadith:

When the imam says “ghayr al-maghdubi alayhim wala’l-daaleen.” Say Aameen, because the angels say amin. And whoever’s amin coincides with the amin of the angels, all his past sins are forgiven (Sahih al-Bukhari 1: 108)

There is no controversy whatsoever regarding the virtue of saying amin at the completion of Surat al-Fatiha. All scholars are unanimous that it is sunna to say amin at that time. The difference of opinion, however, is regarding whether it should be uttered audibly or silently.

It is established that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said amin audibly as well as silently during his lifetime; therefore, it should be not made an issue of great debate. At times it is taken so seriously that some of those who choose to say it aloud criticize the practice of those who say it silently by labelling them ignorant and even deviant ; and some from the latter group criticize the practice of the former group as well.

It must be realized that the difference of opinion is only concerning which method is superior i.e is it more virtuous to say amin aloud or silently? Ibn al Qayyim (rahimahullah), explaining the nature of this issue, writes:

This issue is from among the valud differences of opinion in which no criticism should be directed at those who do it [i.e say amin aloud] nor at those who do not [i.e who say it silently]. This issue is similar to that of raising or not raising the hands [raf ‘al-Yadain] in prayer (Zad al-ma-ad 1:70)

Thus, the following discussion will constitute a combined study of verses of the Holy Qur’an and hadiths of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) that are relevant to the issue of amin, in order to ascertain the more preferred procedure. As mentioned earlier, it is clearly established that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did say amin aloud as well as silently. The Hanafis and many others accept this.

However, the question is: for how long did the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) say amin aloud?? Since there seems to be no evidence to established that amin was said aloud on a permament basis, it is necessary totake a closer look at the various evidences on this issue that have been utilized by the different schools of fiqh.

                THE VARIOUS OPINIONS

The Hanafi opinion is that amin should be said inaudibly at all times during the prayer. They uphold that it was said aloud by the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) a few times, in order to familiarize the Companions with saying amin after the Fatiha; after which he would say it silently just like all other invocations and supplications of prayer. Others state that amin should be said aloud in all audible prayers (i.e Fajr, Maghrib and ‘Isha) and silently in the silent prayers (i.e Zuhr and ‘Asr).

The following points detail how the imam and the follower [muqtadi] should say amin:

a) All scholars agree that the imam should say amin silently during the silent prayers. As for the audible prayers, Imam Malik and Imam Abu Hanifa (rahimahumullah) are of the opinion that amin should be said silently in them, and another group of scholars says it should be said audibly

(b) Imam Malik (rahimahullah) (according to al-Mudawwanat al-kubra) and Imam Abu Hanifa (rahimahullah) are of the opinion that the follower should always say amin silently in both the audible and silent prayers. This is also one opinion of Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah). Another group is of the opinion that the followers should say amin audibly during the audible prayers and silently during the silent prayers.

As mentioned earlier, the difference of opinion is only concerning which of the two is more virtuous. Technically speaking, saying amin aloud or silently is regarded by all the scholars as being a sunna act of the prayerand not a fard, or integral part of it.


According to the most accurate definition, amin is a verbal noun meaning “accept [our] prayer.” Hence, it is a du’a’ [invocation]. This is clearly indicated in Surah Yunus, where, after mentioning the du’a’ of Musa (alayhissalaam), Allah Ta’ala says:

“Accepted is your prayer (O Musa and Harun)!” [al-Qur’an 10:89]

Allah Ta’ala uses the dual tense in this verse and says “da’watukuma,” to mean “the prayer of you both.” Since only Musa (alayhissalaam) is mentioned to have made the du’a’ and not Harun (alayhissalaam), the use of this dual has been explained as implying that Musa (alayhissalaam) was making the du’a’ while Harun (alayhissalaam) was endorsing it with amin. Since amin is a du’a’, Allah referred to them both as invoking Him and said He had accepted the du’as of both.

In the “Chapter on the Imam proclaiming Amin Aloud” [Baab Jahr al-imam bi-l-tamin], Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) quotes the words of ‘Ata ibn Abi Rabah, “Amin is a du’a‘” (Sahih al-Bukhari 1:102). Hafiz ibn Hajr (rahimahullah) further clarifies thos in his commentary where he states,

The one saying amin is considered a da’i [or “invocant]as mentioned on the words of Allah, “Accepted is your prayer (O Musa and Harun)!” Musa (alayhissalaam) was making the du’a’ and Harun (alayhissalaam) was saying amin , as related by Ibn Mardawayh through the narration of Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) [Fath al-Bari]

Thus, once it is established that amin is a form of du’a,’ we must observe the etiquette which Allah Ta’ala has taught us:

“Invoke your Lord woth humility and in secret. He likes not the aggressors” (al-Qur’an 7:55)

Allah Ta’ala commands that prayers and du’a’s be made to Him with humility, sincerity and in silence [khufya]. Many examples are provided in the Qur’an of how the various Envoys [anbiya’] of Allah would invoke Him. Allah Ta’ala says, speaking of the calmness of Zakariyya (alayhissalaam) when he beseeched his Lord:

“When he called out his Lord (Allah)– a call in secret” (al-Qur’an 13:3)

The description of the du’as of other Envoys is also mentioned by Allah Ta’ala:

“Verily, they used to hasten in performing good deeds; and they used to call on Us with hope and fear; and they used to humble themselves begore Us” (al-Qur’an 21:90)

At another point, the Qur’an provides a glimpse of the Last Day when the Trumpet will be blown. Allah Ta’ala says,

“And all voices will be humbled for the Most Beneficient and you all shall hear nothing but the low sound of their footsteps” (al-Qur’an 20:108)

This establishes that since amin is a du’a’, it should be said silently just like other du’as. The various Envoys of Allah preferred to make their invocations silently when they would beseech the All-Hearing [al-Sami’] and the Nigh [al-Qarib]

In many hadiths, the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) advised the Companions to invoke Allah Ta’ala silently. He informed them that Allah is the Nigh and All-Hearing, and that there was no need for them to invoke Him too loudly. Therefore, since amin is also a du’a’, it would be more preferable to utter it silently just
as other invocations and prayers.


It may have been misconceived from the above analysis that the Hanafis seem to have based their view on mere reasoning and analogy. Therefore, in this section, we will present hadiths to, God-Willing, dispel such misunderstandings and to provide concrete proof of the Hanafi opinion being in total accordance with the Sunna.

1. In a narration of Samura ibn Jumdub and ‘Imran ibn Husayn (radhiyallahu anhum) it is mentioned that

They had a conversation [during which] Samura (radhiyallahu anhu) related two occasions when the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would observe a short silence [sakta] [in prayer]- one following the initial takbir and the second when completing the wala’l Daalleen. ‘Imran ibn Husayn (radhiyallahu anhu) could not acknowledge this, so they wrote to Ubay ibn Ka’b (radhiyallahu anhu). His reply stated thay Samura (radhiyallahu anhu) has remembered [correctly] (Sunan Abi Dawud 1:120)

‘Allama Nimawi, commenting on this narration, states:

The first silence was observed to recite the thana silently and the second to say the amin silently. It is possible that ‘ Imran bin Husayn (radhiyallahu anhu) initially refuted Samura (radhiyallahu anhu) in regards to the second silence, because it was so brief and he did not think it worthy of mention; and therefore acknowledged rhe first silence because it was longer. It is quiet clear that the amin was recited during the second silence, because there was no other reason to discontinue the recitarion for a brief moment at that instance (Athar al-Sunan 382)

2. Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allag (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

When the imam recites “ghayr al-maghdubi ‘alaihim wala’l-daallleen,” say aameen, because the angels say it and so does the imam (Sunan al-Nasa’i)

This hadith proves that the imam should say amin silently. The reason for this is that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ordered the companions to say amin and informed them that the angels and the imam also say it. If it had been more preferable for the imam to say it aloud, the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would have had no reason to inform the Companions of the imam’s saying amin, because they would have heard it themselves. Since the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) informed them that the imam also said amin , it meabs that amin was normally said in a subdued tonem

3. Shu’ba reports from ‘Alqama ibn Wa’il that:

He [Wa’il] performes prayer with the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), When the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) reached “ghayr al-maghdubi ‘alayhim wala’l-dallin,” he said amin and kept his voice subdued (Musnad Ahmad,Daraqutni; al-Mustadrak, Nasb al-raya 1:494)

This hadith has been narrated from Wa’il ibn Hujr (radhiyallahu anhu) by Sufyan al-Thawri and Shu’ba. The two reports differ however in that Shu’ba, whose narration is above, relates that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said amin silently; whereas Sufyan relates from Wa’il that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) prolonged his voice [madda biha sawtahu] while saying amin.

Sufyan’s (rahimahullah) report has been used as evidence by those who claim that amin was said aloud by the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). They have criticized Shu’ba’s report in a number of ways and in doing so, have attempted to show Sufyan’s report as being the superior narration. On the other hand the Hanafis have taken Sufyan’s report to mean that the initial “alif” of amin was prolonged and not that the volume of the Messenger’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was raised. The Hanafi scholars have answered all the criticism levelled against Shu’ba’s report and have firmly established it to be the more acceptable one regarding this issue [see Athar al-sunan, Fath al-Mulhim, Darse Tirmidhi, etc.].

4.Abu Hurayra (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

When the imam says wala’l-dallin, say amin (Sahih al-Bukhari 1:108).

Had it been more preferable for the follower to say amin aloud, the wording of this hadith could have read, “when the imam says amin, you say it,” as the imam’s amin would have been the signal to the follower to say amin. However, the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) instructed them to say amin after the imam recited “wala’l-dallin,” since the amin was pronounced silently by the imam.

There are in fact some narrations which contain the words, “when the imam says amin, you say it; however, this is interpreted as, “When the time comes for the imam to say amin, you say it.” It is not taken literally since the normal practice of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was to say amin silently.


1. Abu Wa’il narrates that ‘Ali and ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhum) did not recite bismi’llah, a’udhubillah, or amin aloud [during the prayer] (majma’ al-zawa’id 2: 208).

2. Abu Wa’il narrates that ‘Umar and ‘Ali (radhiyallahu anhum) would not recite bismi’llah or amin aloud (I’la al-sunan 2:215)

3. Imam ‘Abd al-Razzaq in his musannaf and Imam Muhammad in his kitab al-athar have related that the prominent Follower [tabi’i]  Ibrahim al-Nakh’ayy (rahimahullah) said:

There are five things the imam should say silently: subhanaka ‘llahumma [thana], ta’awwudh, bismillah, amin and Allahumma rabbana laka’l-hamd (Musannaf ‘Abd al-Razzaq 2:87)


(1) We know it is necessary [wajib] to recite the Qur’an aloud in the audible prayers. By saying amin aloud , someone could be misled into assuming that it is part of the Qur’an along with the Fatiha; whereas all scholars qgree that amin is not part of the Qur’an.

(2) Some scholars consider bismi’llah to be a verse of Surat al-Fatiha yet to do not recite it aloud during the prayer. This proves that invocations, like amin – which no scholar considers to be part of the Qur’an-should not be said aloud.


1. Wa’il ibn Hujr (radhiyallahu anhu) says,

The Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) recited “ghayri’l-maghdubi ‘alayhim wala’l dallin” and followed it with amin, prolonging his voice while saying it [madda biha sawtahu] (Sunan al-Tirmidhi 1:57, Abi Dawud 1: 142)

This is Sufyan’s report from Wa’il ibn Hujr (radhiyallahu anhu), which was previously discussed. It was stated above that the Hanafis prefer Shu’ba’s report over Sufyan’s in this issue.

The word “madda” used in this narration literally means “he stretched.” Hence, the hadith means that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) stretched the initial alif of the amin ane prolonged it, not that he said it aloud. Shu’ba’s version of Wa’il ibn Hujr’s (radhiyallahu anhu) report (hadith 3 above), which supports this interpretation, clearly mentions that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) subdued his voice while saying amin.

2. Abu Hurayra (radhiyallahu anhu) says,

When the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) recited wala’l-dallin, he said amin after it, which could be heard in the first row (Sunan Abi Dawud)

The version of Sunan Ibn Maja contains the additional phrase, “The masjid echoed with the sound” (Sunan Ibn Maja 1:61).

The answer to this hadith is that it is weak abd cannot be accepted as evidence, as one of its narratora Bishr ibn Rafi’, has been strongly criticized by a number of hadith experts. Imam Bukhari states, “He is not consistent in his narrations;” Imam Ahmad calls him weak; Imam Nasa’i states, “He is not strong;” and Ibn Hibban states, “He relates spurious narrations.” (Mizan al-i’tidal).

The second point to consider here is that if the sound of the amin only reached the first row (as the main portion of the narration mentions), then how did the whole masjid echo with it (as is added in Ibn Maja’s version)? Had amin echoed throughout the masjid, everyone would have heard it. It is not clear how one version states it was heard from the first row only, while the other states it was so loud that the whole masjid echoed with its sound. Thus, this hadith is self-contradictory and, as a result, cannot be accepted as evidence in proving that amin was said aloud permanently.


There are other apparently contradicting narrations which state that amin was said aloud during the prayer. However, many of these have been judged to be extremely weak and inadmissible as evidence. These narrations have not been discussed here but can be found in larger works such as Athar al-Sunan and I’la al-Sunan.

A general answer for all such narrations is that even the Hanafis accept that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said amin aloud; however, they say it was only said aloud for a short period of time and that there is no evidence to establish it was said aloud on a permamant basis. The few times the Messenger (sallalaahu alayhi wasallam) said amin audibly was to emphasize its importance to his Companions. ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) did the same with thana. He recited it aloud for a few days to teach the Companions, after which he continued to recite it silently . This is further confirmed by a report from Wa’il ibn Hujr (radhiyallahu anhu) transmitted by Hafiz Abu Bishr al-Sulabi in his Kitab al-asma’ wa’l-kuna, which states:

I do not think the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said it [amin] aloud except to teach us (athar al-sunan:93, Fath al-Mulhim 2:50-52, I’la al-sunan 2:186).

Ibn al-Qayyim, concluding on the nature of this issue, writes in Zad al-Ma’ad under the discussion of qunut:

If the imam recites it [qunut] aloud a few times to teach the followers, there is no harm in that. ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) recited thana aloud to teach the followers, and Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) recited Surat al-Fatiha during the funeral prayer to teach them it was sunna. Likewise, the issue of the imam saying amin aloud is from the same category (Zad al-ma’ad 1:70)

Ibn Jarir al-Tabari (rahimahullah) states:

Both types of reports [i.e those which state that the amin was said aloud and those which state that it was said silently] have been transmitted from the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and both are reliable [sahih] (Fath al-Mulhim 2:50)

Hence, both types of reports are authentic, but refer to different occasions. The narrations that mention that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said amin silently, refer to the normal practice of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), and the other refer to the few instances when he said amin aloud to teach the Companions.

Had it been the permanent practice of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and the Companions to say amin aloud, it would surely have been narrated from more than just a few Companions. There are five prayers in a day. If amin were said aloud in three of them, it would certainly have been widely reported as such.

Besides the narrarions of Wa’il ibn Hujr, Abu Hurayra (radhiyallahu anhum) and few others (of which most extremely weak and cannot stand as evidences anyway), few Companions reported that the amin was said aloud during the prayer. Even Wa’il (radhiyallahu anhu) himself, whi was a resident of Yemen, visited the illuminated city of Madinah just a few times, so it is possible that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said amin aloud in his presence in order to teach him. Wa’il also mentions something to this effect, as transmitted by Hafiz al-Dulabi:

I do not think the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said it [amin] aloud except to teach us (Darse Tirmidhi  1:523).

This is not the only report from Wa’il (radhiyallahu anhu) in this regard. Another narration of his, mentioned in Sunan al-Nasa’i, states:

When the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) recited ghayr al-magudubi ‘alayhim wala’l-dallin,” he said amin. I heard him [say it] since I was behind him. (Sunan al-Nasa’i 1:147)

This indicates that he only heard the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) say it because he was behind him, and not because it was pronounced loudly.

Hence, even the narrations of Wa’il (radhiyallahu anhu), which are considered as strong evidence for those who say amin aloud, are surrounded by confusion. On the other hand, the evidence of he Hanafi school is from great Companions like ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, ‘Umar and ‘Ali (radhiyallahu anhum), who have plainly reported that one must say amin silently.

Therefore, since it is established that amin was said silently by the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) for the most part of his life, and that many of the Companions and others gave priority to this method, it is the preferred way.

[Fiqh al-Imam]

Refuting La-Madhabi’s Regarding the Timing of Salaat al ‘Asr

[By: Majlisul Ulama  of  South Africa]


Like many issues of the Deen, the time of ‘Asr Salaat was resolved and settled fourteen centuries ago during the Khairul Quroon.  The Four Madhabs (Hanafi, Maaliki, Shaafi and Hanbali) have their Qur’aanic and Hadith proofs for their respective views and rulings on the various laws of the Shari’ah. The followers of the Four Islamic Madhabs which constitute the  Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah have been practising  the teachings and tenets of Islam in accordance with the expositions of their respective Madhabs throughout the passage of Islam’s centuries in harmony, understanding and accepting the validity of the standpoints of all Madhabs.

In recent times there has developed a sect  of misguided people called  Ghair-Muqallids  who have resolved to make unnecessary conflict and controversy a salient feature of their deviated madhab. Teachings of the Madhabs which have been settled and accepted fourteen centuries ago have been unnecessarily and baselessly criticized and branded as being in conflict with the Qur’aan and Sunnah

Although the La-Madhabis criticize all Four Madhabs in general, they have displayed considerable rancour and gorged out much invective for the Hanafi Math-hab in particular. Their main allegation against the Ahnaaf is that Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh) and the Fuqaha of the Hanafi Madhab issued rulings  in conflict with the Hadith, which of course, has to be dismissed with contempt. The charge is utterly baseless.


The present discussion is on the question of Asr time. When does it begin?  According to the Ahnaaf, Asr time commences at  Mithlain, i.e. when the length of the shadow of an object has reached twice the length of the object plus  Fay-e-Zawaal.  If, for example, the length of the shadow of a meter stick at Zawaal is 10 centimetres, then Asr time will begin when the length of the shadow is two metres and 10 centimetres.

According to the deviant Salafis, Asr  time commences at one  Mithl, i.e. when the shadow equals one length of the object plus  Fay-e-Zawaal.  This is also the viewpoint  of the other Madhabs.

The purpose of our article is not to refute the validity of the viewpoints of the other Madhabs. There is no dispute with them. However, the criticism and baseless charges directed against the Hanafi Madhab by the La-Madhabis have necessitated a response to show that the Hanafi view is based on the Hadith in the same way as the other Mathhabs claim that their views are structured on the Hadith.

Since the La-Madhabis and other Ghair Muqallideen of their ilk, in obedience to desire and  opinion, have embarked on spreading confusion in the Ummah on masaail which have been resolved many centuries ago, the need for this response and refutation developed. In sha’Allah, this discussion will debunk their baseless claim that the Hanafi Fuqaha have employed logic in conflict with the Sunnah to formulate the rules of the Shari’ah. It is there allegation that the Ahnaaf resort to opinion and interpretation inspite of the existence of clear Hadith proofs to the contrary.

At the very outset we should say that on the issue of the beginning of Asr time, the la-madhabis have no Hadith which categorically asserts  the  Mithl  view. They have resorted to interpretation of the Ahaadith in order to arrive at their opinion of  Mithl.  They simply lack even a single Hadith which clearly states the  Mithl  view. Thus, their charge of logic directed to the Ahnaaf rebounds on themselves and their opinion. It will, therefore, be correct for us to say that the deviant British registered la-madhabis have no Hadith evidence for their  Mithl opinion. Let us now examine the basis and proofs of the two viewpoints on this question.


The only Hadith which the La-Madhabis present to substantiate their view of  Mithl,  i.e. Asr begins after the shadow has reached one length), is the Hadith which explains the times when Jibraeel (alayhis salaam) led Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in Salaat, The Hadith is as follows:

“Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Jibraeel led me (i.e. became the Imaam) in Salaat by the Bait twice. On the first of the two occasions he performed Zuhr when the shadow was the length of a shoelace (i.e. very early) Then he performed Asr when the shadow of every object was equal to one mithl (once its length). Thereafter he performed Maghrib……………On the second occasion he performed Zuhr when the shadow of every thing was its mithl (one length) which was the Asr time of the day before. Then he performed Asr when the shadow was mithlain (twice the length of the object)……”   (Tirmidhi)

This Hadith constitutes the strongest proof for the one Mithl  view. Our argument in refutation of the Ghair Muqallideen’s view pertaining to this particular Hadith is as follows:

(a) When it suits their desires, the Ghair Muqallideen conveniently overlook their own principles of deduction and formulation of rules. They always demand  unambiguous/ categoric (SareehAhaadith of the  Saheeh  class from their adversaries for the masaail. However, when they fail to discover any such Ahaadith to bolster their claims, they have no hesitation in accepting narrations of lesser degree of strength than  Saheeh  and even  narrations of ambiguous and contradictory meanings.

This particular Hadith which is their strongest  daleel (proof) is of the  Hasan  category. Ahaadith of this category are valid as basis by the Ahnaaf. But it devolves on la-madhabis who are so vociferous in their demand for  Saheeh and Sareeh  Ahaadith to produce such narrations. Presentation of narrations of a lesser category than  Saheeh  is improper for them.
(b)  Although this Hadith mentions that on the first of the two occasions Asr was performed at one  Mithl, it is ambiguous in view of the contradiction of Zuhr having been performed also at one  Mithl  on the second occasion. In terms of the principle:  “When the proofs are contradictory, they are discarded.”,  this Hadith should not be tendered as proof for Asr time. The contradiction has constrained the operation of this principle.

While the Hadith should not be used to substantiate the one  Mithl  view on account of  the contradiction, a suitable interpretation has to be offered to avoid dismissing the Hadith which is of an authentic class albeit not of the  Saheeh  category. The best and most logical answer for the ostensible contradiction is that the performance of Zuhr at one  Mithl  on  the second occasion abrogates the Asr time of the previous day when Asr was performed at one Mithl.

On the basis of the interpretation of abrogation, the contradiction is eliminated and the Asr view of  Mithlain (twice the length of the object) is upheld, in fact categorically confirmed by the following statement appearing in this very same Hadith: “Then he performed Asr when the shadow was mithlain.”

(c)  The other contradiction apparent here is that the Hadith clearly states that on the second occasion Zuhr was performed  “at the time of Asr of the day before”.   Zuhr may not be performed during Asr time. It has to be performed in its own time. Inspite of this, Hadhrat Jibraeel (alayhis salaam) led Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in  Zuhr Salaat at a time which was Asr time the day before. This is further confirmation of the abrogation of the Asr time  of the previous day.

While one  Mithl  was the Asr time yesterday, today it was abrogated practically by performing Zuhr Salaat  in the same time, i.e. the time when it was Asr the day before.

(d)  The following Hadith in Saheeh Muslim goes against the grain of the la-madhabis and rejects the one  Mithl  view for Asr:

Abdullah Bin Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates: “Verily, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “The time of Zuhr is when the sun has past the zenith  and (at that time) the shadow of  a man was as his length— and it lasts until the time of Asr has not set in…….

This Hadith  categorically states that Zuhr time  was at one Mithl.  It is quite obvious that Asr cannot therefore also be at one  Mithl.  This Hadith also confirms the view of abrogation, namely, that Asr which was performed at one Mithl  on the first occasion of Jibraeel’s  imamate was abrogated when he performed Zuhr at one  Mithl  on the next day.

(e)  Since the Ghair Muqallideen in general rely so heavily on this particular Hadith, they should act in accord with it in entirely, not selectively. The Hadith states with clarity that on the second day Zuhr was performed at the time when Asr was performed the previous day. But this is not the madhab of the ghair muqallideens. They discard this section of the Hadith inspite of it being after the practice of the first day. The Asr time of the previous time became the Zuhr time of the next day. But this is not the view of the la-madhabis inspite of  the clarity of the Hadith on this aspect.  Thus, this Hadith goes contrary to the view held by the la-madhabis.

The la-madhabis have attempted to overcome this difficulty  by arguing that Asr was performed  after  one mithl on the first day and  Zuhr   before  one  mithl on  the second day.  This argument is devoid of substance  because:

(1) The Hadith in question states with clarity that Asr was performed on the first day at one Mithl, not  after  one  Mithl.

(2) The Hadith likewise states explicitly that Zuhr on the second day was performed at one  Mithl, not  before  one  Mithl.

(3) The Hadith is very clear in mentioning that Zuhr was performed on the second day  “at the time of Asr of the previous day”.

(4) The Hadith of Abdullah Bin Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) also confirms that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) stated that the time of Zuhr is after Zawaal, and that was a time when the shadow was one  Mithl.

(5) The Hadith of Jaabir (radhiyallahu anhu) in Nasai states that Zuhr was performed when the shadow was one  Mithl.   This Hadith relates to the very same episode of the imamate of Jibraeel (alayhis salaam). The relevant words are:  “Then he (Jibraeel) came the next day when the shadow of a man was its mithl. He then said: ‘Stand up, O Muhammad! And perform Salaat.’ Then he performed Zuhr.”

It should be noted that on the second day Hadhrat Jibraeel (alayhis salaam) arrived only  when the shadow was one mithl.  Thus the Zuhr Salaat which he commanded Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) to perform was  after one mithl, not before one mithl.

This portion of the Hadith confirms the  viewpoint of the Ahnaaf that after one  Mithl   it is still Zuhr time.

(2)  THE HADITH OF ABDULLAH IBN UMAR (radhiyallahu anhu)

Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:  “The time of Zuhr is when the sun has passed the meridian and the shadow of a man is his length, until Asr has not set in……..”  (Saheeh Muslim)

This Hadith explicitly mentions that Zuhr time begins after Zawaal and when the shadow is one  mithl. It is mentioned with clarity that Zuhr is during one mithl.

“Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) narrates: Verily,  Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) performed Asr while the sun was in her hujrah (room) while the shadow had not yet become apparent (on the walls).”

This Hadith ostensibly indicates that Asr was performed very early before  Mithlain.  The rationale for the one  mithl view in this narration is that if the shadow had already attained two lengths  (mithlain),  it would have been visible on the walls of the very small room.

The door of the  hujrah  faced west where the sun sets. There was no roof at the entrance of the  hujrah. This allowed the sun to shine inside the room.  Different explanations are given regarding the phenomenon of the shadow in this situation. Imaam Tahaawi (rahmatullah alayh) said: “There is no indication that (the Salaat) was performed early…..In fact, this narration indicates delay, not early performance.”

Whatever merit the la-madhabis may discern in this Hadith for their view,  the ambiguity of the narration constrains them to resort to interpretation. The narration is not a categoric proof for the one  mithl  view.


“Anas Ibn Maalik (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates: Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) would perform Asr while the sun was high and bright. A man would go to the outlying suburbs and reach there while the sun was still high. Some of the suburbs were about four miles from Madinah.”                (Bukhaari)

The argument is that the arrival of a person in the suburbs would have to be before  mithlain   because the sun would be quite high by the time he reached. 

This line of argument is extremely flimsy and cannot be presented as incontrovertible proof for the one  mithl  view, especially when this view is in conflict with other Ahaadith (already discussed) which explicitly mention one  Mithl for  Zuhr and Mithlain  for Asr. Furthermore, the Hadith has to be interpreted to conform to the one  mithl  view. It is not an explicit statement which substantiates the la-madhabis viewpoint.

This Hadith is not proof for the  mithl  view because it is quite possible to reach the outlying suburbs while the sun was still high after having performed Asr at Mithlain

Furthermore, the words ‘Was-shamsu murtiafah’  (the sun was high) means that the person would arrive quite some time prior to sunset. The sun being high in this context means, well before sunset. It does not mean before  mithlain.  While the sun was ‘high’, it was not at a height before  mithlain.   On the contrary it was close to setting. This is more reasonable since it would take approximately 1 hour 40 minutes to walk the 4 miles (7.2 kilometers). If the walk was commenced after Asr at  Mithlain,  the person would arrive while the sun was still quite high above the western horizon prior to sunset.

There is no evidence in this Hadith that Asr was performed at one  mithl.


“Anas Ibn Maalik (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates: Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) performed Asr. When he turned (to leave) a man from Bani Salmah came to him and said: O Rasulullah! We intend slaughtering a camel and wish you to attend. Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) replied: ‘Yes.’ He proceeded and we went with. We found that the camel had not yet been slaughtered. It was then slaughtered, cut up and cooked. We ate of it before the sun had set.”    (Saheeh Muslim)

This Hadith is also cited in substantiation of the one  mithl  view. It is argued that if Asr was performed  after  Mithlain, all this could not be possible. This claim is arbitrary and incorrect. It is quite possible to accomplish all this even after having performed Asr after  Mithlain.  The persons carrying out the work of slaughtering, skinning, cutting and cooking of the camel’s meat  were experts. This work did not pose a formidable task for them. The  interpretation of  Asr at one  mithl  claimed on the basis of this  Hadith is extremely flimsy and untenable.

Besides the aforegoing ambiguous Ahaadith, the la-madhabis have no  Sareeh  (explicit) Hadith to substantiate their claim that Asr commences at one  Mithl.  Their entire case is the product of interpretation. Ahaadith of ambiguous meanings have been interpreted to produce the ruling of one  Mithl.  Furthermore, the interpretations are far fetched, and this reduces the strength of their argumentation and the credibility of their view. On the contrary, the Hadith narrations speak with greater clarity in favour of the Hanafi view, namely, Asr begins at  Mithlain

The Hadith proofs of the Ahnaaf are as follows:

(1) The Hadith (No.1)  pertaining to the imaamate of Jibraeel (alayhis salaam) which has already been discussed and  explained.

(2)  The Hadith of Abdullah Bin Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) which explicitly mentions that Zuhr time was also at one  Mithl. This has already been discussed.

(3) The Hadith of Ibraad 

“Abu Dharr Ghafaari (radhiyallahu anhu) said: We were with Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) on a journey when the muath-thin intended to give Adhaan for Zuhr. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Wait until it becomes cool (i.e. delay the Athaan until it becomes a bit cool).’ (After some time), the muath-thin  again intended to give the Adhaan Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said to him: ‘Wait till it is a bit cool.’ (The Muath-thin waited) until we saw the shadow of the dunes. Then Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Verily, the intensity of the heat is  of the flames of Jahannum Therefore when the heat is intense, delay the Salaat until it is cool.”   (Bukhaari)

It is quite apparent from this Hadith that the Muath-thin had intended to recite the Athaan quite early, i.e. before one  mithl. However, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) twice ordered him to delay the Zuhr Athaan which the Muath-thin recited only after the appearance of the shadows of the sand dunes. The appearance of the shadows of the dunes was after one  mithl. Thus it is confirmed that one  mithl  and after it is still time of Zuhr.

In response to this proof of the Ahnaaf, it is argued that the instruction to delay Zuhr was on a journey, and perhaps this was for combining Zuhr with Asr. This argument is baseless because the Hadith explicitly mentions the reason for delaying Zuhr until the shadows of the dune became visible. The reason which  is explicitly stated in the Hadith is:  “The intensity of the heat is of the flames of Jahannam.”

This  illat  (reason) applies whether one is on a journey or not. It is common to both situations, hence the ruling will apply whenever and wherever the illat exists.

Furthermore, in another Hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu), Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:  “When the heat becomes intense, then delay the Salaat until it becomes cool, for verily, the intensity of the heat is of the flames of Jahannum.” (Bukhaari)

Another Hadith in this regard recorded in Nasaai confirms this position with greater clarity. Anas Bin Maalik (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates:  “When it would be hot, he would delay the Salaat until coolness, and when it was cold,  he would perform it early.”

We understand from this Hadith that delaying Zuhr Salaat when it was very hot, and performing the Salaat early when it was cold, were the normal practices of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Hence, to restrict the delay to  safar  (journey) is utterly baseless.

This Hadith is conspicuous proof for the view of the Ahnaaf that one  mithl  is still Zuhr time, not Asr. The question of the setting in of ‘coolness’ does not arise before  mithl (one shadowlength). Before one  mithl, the heat is intense.  The description of  “the flames of Jahannum” will appropriately apply to the heat prior to one  mithl, not to the heat after one  mithl.  The heat after one mithl  is ‘cool’ in relation to the heat before it.

Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) emphasis  on  ibraad (to perform Zuhr Salaat when the heat had relatively cooled) is adequate proof for the claim of the Ahnaaf that it was his normal practice to perform Zuhr after one  mithl.  This effectively negates the contention of Asr being at one mithl.

Some have attempted to argue against the Ahnaaf with an even  weaker interpretation. It is claimed that   ibraad  here does not mean to delay Salaat, but it means the opposite, viz. to perform Salaat early during the time called  Burdun Nahaar  (early afternoon). This weak interpretation is negated by the following facts:

In the Hadith cited by Abu Dharr Ghafaari (radhiyallahu anhu), Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) explicitly  instructed the Muath-thin on two occasions to refrain from the Adhaan and to delay it until it becomes cool. This instruction would be correct only if the Muath-thin had attempted to give the Adhaan early, as indeed he had.

It is incorrect to describe the  relatively ‘cooler’ heat of the early afternoon as being of  the flames of Jahannum.  This description aptly applies to the intense heat of the time after one mithl, not to the early afternoon heat. 

(4)  The one Mithl shadow

In the Hadith of Abdullah Ibn Umar (already discussed), the one  mithl  shadow of a man is not mentioned as the final time of Zuhr. It is stated as the  Awwal Waqt  (the Initial Time)  with clarity. It is therefore baseless to aver that this initial time of Zuhr is the beginning of Asr.


From the Ahaadith which we have discussed it is abundantly clear that Zuhr Salaat was performed even after one  Mithl.  There is not  a  single narration from which it could be inferred that Zuhr was performed after  Mithlain  (two shadow lengths). On the contrary,  the Hadith is explicit in stating that Asr was performed when it was  Mithlain.   Narrating the Hadith of the imamate of Jibraeel  (alayhis salaam), Hadhrat Jaabir (radhiyallahu anhu) says:

“Then Jibraeel came (on the second day) when the shadow of a man was twice his length. Then he said: ‘Stand up, O Muham mad and perform Salaat.’ He then performed Asr.”  (Nasaai) It has been established beyond doubt that Zuhr time continues after one  Mithl,  and that  Mithlain  is the time of Asr in the unanimous view of all authorities. While there is difference on the beginning of Asr time, no one disputes the validity of  Asr when it is  Mithlain.  There is no third view.  Mithlain  is confirmed to be exclusively Asr time. Hence, it is a logical necessity to accept that Zuhr time expires when it is  Mithlain  which ushers in the time for Asr.


The contention of the la-madhabis is that the case of the Ahnaaf is not based on Hadith, but is in conflict with Hadith. They pretend that their view is structured on  Sareeh  (explicit) Hadith narrations of the  Saheeh  class. But this is not the case. It has been seen that the primary basis of their view, viz., the Hadith of Jibraeel’s Imaamate,  is not a   Sareeh  substantiation for their view. On the contrary, it contradicts their opinion. The view of  Asr commencing with one  Mithl  has no  Sareeh Hadith to bolster it. Interpretation (Ta’weel)  has been adopted to support the one mithl view with Ahaadith.

All Madhabs employ the Hadith  of Jibraeel’s Imaamate as their basis. Just as the Ahnaaf  are constrained to resort to interpretation of the Ahaadith on this question, so too are all others compelled to adopt interpretation. There is, therefore, no justification for the allegation that the view of the Ahnaaf is in conflict with the Ahaadith.

This exercise has not been embarked on with the intention to disprove the views of the other three Madhabs on the question of Asr time. The aim is only to show that the ruling of the Hanafi Madhab is based on the Ahaadith, not  in conflict with it.