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A Description of the Prophet's Prayer
  On Placing the Hands in the Prayer
Author: Al-Haafidh al-Mubaarakfooree
Article ID : IBD040002  [21752]  
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The author of ‘ad-Durra’ said, ‘and as for the hadeeth of Anas, "from the manners of the Prophethood is placing the right hand upon the left below the navel" about which al-Aini said that it is reported by ibn Hazm, then it’s sanad is not known so as to look into it’s narrators and see if they are acceptable or not. And this hadeeth has been reported by more than one of the Muhadditheen without the addition, "below the navel", and an addition (to the wording of a hadeeth) is only acceptable from known and reliable narrators.’

Ash-Shaikh Haashim as-Sindee said in his letter, ‘Diraahim as-Surra’, ‘and from them is what az-Zaahidee mentioned in his ‘Sharh al-Qudooree’, and ibn Ameer al-Haaj and ibn Najeem mentioned in ‘al-Bahr ar-Raa’iq’, that it is reported from the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) , "three are from the habit of the Messengers: hastening the iftaar, delaying the suhoor, and placing the right hand upon the left below the navel in prayer." He said: I have not come across the sanad to this hadeeth except that az-Zaahidee added that it is reported by Alee bin Abu Taalib (RA) from the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) . But ibn Ameer al-Haaj and ibn Najeem said, "that the reporters of hadeeth do not know the wording, ‘below the navel’ from a marfoo or mawqoof narration."’

So these ahaadeeth that are depended upon to place the hands below the navel as you have come to know that none of them are correct to use as evidence.

Section 2: In mention of the one who sticks to holding the hands above the navel.

I have not come across a marfu’ hadeeth that lends evidence to this position. Yes there is the narration of Alee (RA) which indicates this, as reported by Abu Dawood in his ‘Sunan’ from Jareer ad-Dabbi who said, ‘I saw Alee grasping his left wrist with his right hand above the navel.’

I say: this isnaad is saheeh or hasan, but it is the action of Alee and is not marfu’. Also the clear meaning of his saying, ‘above the navel’ is a place raised from the navel, i.e. upon the chest or near the chest, as occurs in the hadeeth of Wa’il bin Hujr and the hadeeth of Halb at-Taa’ee and the mursal of Tawwoos, and these three ahaadeeth will follow. And this interpretation is supported by his (RA) tafseer of His saying, "wanhar" by placing the hands upon the chest in the prayer as has preceded.

Section 3: In mention of the one who holds to placing the hands upon the chest.

These depend on some ahaadeeth, from them the hadeeth of Wa’il bin Hujr who said, ‘I prayed with the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) and he placed his right hand upon his left on his chest in the prayer.’ Reported by ibn Khuzaimah, and this hadeeth is authentic, authenticated by ibn Khuzaimah as was made clear by ibn Sayyid an-Naas in his ‘Sharh at-Tirmidhee.’ And ash-Shaikh Muhammad Qaa’im as-Sindee al-Hanafee acknowledges this in his letter, ‘Fawz al-Kiraam’ that this hadeeth fulfills the conditions of ibn Khuzaimah where he says, ‘I believe that this hadeeth fulfills the conditions of ibn Khuzaimah, and this is strongly suggested in the manner of al-Haafidh in ‘al-Ittihaaf’, and is obvious from the words of ibn Sayyid an-Naas after he mentioned the hadeeth of Wa’il bin Hujr in ‘Sharh at-Tirmidhee’ - "and ibn Khuzaimah authenticated it".’

And ibn Ameer al-Haaj, who outdid his shaykh ibn al-Hammaam in research and depth of investigation, said in ‘Sharh al-Minniyyah’, ‘What is established in the Sunnah is to place the right hand upon the left in prayer, and there is no authentic hadeeth that establishes the place of placing them on the body except the aforementioned hadeeth of Wa’il.’

And this was likewise said by the author of ‘al-Bahr ar-Raa’iq’ as is found in ‘Fath al-Ghafoor’ of Shaikh Hayat as-Sindee. And ash-Shawkanee said in ‘Nail’, ‘and ibn Khuzaimah reported in his ‘Saheeh’ and authenticated it.’

And al-Haafidh said in ‘Fath al-Baaree’ , ‘and he did not mention (i.e. Sahl bin Sa’d) the place to put them on the body. And ibn Khuzaimah reported from Wa’il that "he placed them upon his chest", and in al-Bazzaar (the wording is) "near his chest" (‘inda sadrihi), and Ahmad reports a similar hadeeth from the hadeeth of Halb. And in the ‘Zawaa’id al-Musnad’ is the hadeeth of Alee that he placed his hands below the navel and it’s isnaad is da’eef.’

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