Saturday, 30 April 2011

Ibn Khuzaima’s narration about placing hands on chest in Salah

Normally three Ahadith are quoted as evidence for placing the hands on the chest during salah. Not just that some people seek evidence with these dubious narrations, they also contend that this alone is the right way. Let us see the actual status of these narrations.

We discuss the status of the narration from Sahih Ibn Khuzaima today and shall look into the other two narrations (one from Musnad Ahmad and other from Sunan Abu Dawud) in coming days.

Narration from Sahih Ibn Khuzaima:


Wa’il bin Hajr said: I offered salah with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah send peace and blessings unto him, and he placed his right hand over the left on his chest. (Sahih Ibn Khuzaima, Hadith 479)

Shaykh Albani in his research of Sahih Ibn Khuzaima comments:


“Its chain is Da’if because of Mo’mal and he is Ibn Isma’il with bad memory. But the Hadith is Sahih for there are reports from other routes of the same meaning. And about placing the hand on the chest other Ahadith support it.”

So according to Shaykh Albani the narration is Da’if. As to his argument that it is supported by other narrations we shall see the reality of it in a future post.

Similarly Shaykh Shu’aib Arnaut also commented about this Hadith under a narration of Musnad Ahmad;


“And about the placing the hands on chest during salah there are reports from Wa’il bin Hajr in (works of) Ibn Khuzaima (479) and Baihaqi (2/30) both with Da’if chains.” (Musnad Ahmad, comment to Hadith 21967)

Similarly Shaykh Nimawi’s comment on the narration is;


“In its chain is a problem and the addition ‘on his chest’ is not safely preserved.” (Athar as-Sunan, Hadith 325)

Wallahu ‘Alam!

Friday, 29 April 2011

“Aameen” aloud or silently? Classical commentary to Qur’an 7:55

One of the best things about the Hanafi Fiqh is its being most close to the Qur’an. And the Hanafi scholars seek evidence with the Qur’an along with Ahadith on a lot of issues.

One of the most debated issues of Fiqh is about tone in saying, “Aameen”, after the Imam ends the recitation of al-Fatiha.

Not only that the position of Hanafi scholars is well supported by authentic narrations from the Prophet, may Allah bless him, it is also supported by the Holy Qur’an.

Allah Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an;


“Supplicate to your Lord humbly and secretly.” (al-‘Araf 7: 55)

In commentary to this Ayah, Imam Fakharuddin al-Razi writes;

razi aameen

“Abu Hanifa, may Allah have mercy on him, said: Saying Aameen silently is better and al-Shafii’, may Allah have mercy on him, said; Saying it aloud is better. In support of his view Abu Hanifa said; the word “Aameen” has two angles to look at. One, it is a supplication and second that it is one of the names of Allah. And if it is a supplication then saying it silently is a must because of the saying of the Almighty, “Supplicate to your Lord humbly and secretly.” And if it a name from amongst the names of Almighty Allah, then silence in saying it is mandatory for Almighty’s saying, “Remember your Lord in your heart with humility and awe, and without speaking loudly” [7: 205] And if it does not prove its being mandatory, it atleast proves its being desirable. And we are of the same opinion!”

Imam Razi was a sixth century post Hijrah scholar and died in year 606 of the Hijrah based calendar.

This also answers the people who allege that seeking evidence with this verse in this issue is a recent innovation and is not proved from classical scholars.

Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair Alizai argues like that in his work, “al-qawl al-mateen fil jahr bil-tameen” Nauman publications p. 60. Infact he even categorically mentions Tafsir al-Kabir saying that it is among the earlier commentaries not having a word about the issue of tone in “Aameen” in commentary to Qur’an 7: 55.

Below is the image of what Hafiz Zubair Alizai wrote.

ali zy ameen

Wallahu ‘Alam!

Monday, 25 April 2011

On Combining Two Salahs

Dars-e-Tirmidhi (1/440-445) by Mufti Taqi Usmani

باب ما جاء في الجمع بين الصلاتين

جمع رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم بين الظهر والعصر

The Imams agree that it is not allowed to combine two salahs without any (genuine) excuse. However the Three Imams hold that with a (valid) excuse combining the salahs is permissible. And then for the excuse the detail is; According to the Shafiya and the Malikiya journey and rain is an excuse. And according to Imam Ahmad illness is also a (valid) excuse. Then Imam Shafii’ says complete journey is (time of) an excuse while Imam Malik says combining two salahs is permissible only when person is on the move and if he stayed somewhere enroute then combining two salahs will not be permissible at that time. Infact one report from Imam Malik says simply being on the move is also not enough but only if for some reason one has to move swiftly then alone the combining of salahs is permissible and not otherwise.

Moreover, according to all of them Jama’ Tadqim (combining the salahs at the time of the first one of the two) is allowed as well as Jama’ Takhir (combining the salahs at the time of the second one of the two). For Jama’ Takhir they apply a condition of having made the intention to combine salahs before the time of the first one expires and for Jama’ Tadqim they put the condition of having made the intention to combine the salahs before finishing the first one.

Imam Abu Hanifa’s opinion is that Jama’ Haqiqi (combing the two salahs during the time of one) is allowed in ‘Arafat and Muzdalifa only (i.e. during Hajj) and is not permissible elsewhere. And excuse or no excuse makes no difference in this, however Jama’ Sauri which is also called Jama’ Fi’li is permissible. It will be like praying Zuhr towards its last time and praying ‘Asr just at the start of its time. This way, both salahs will be in their respective timings but for their being close, it is cosmetically called Jama’ (i.e. combing two salahs).
The Three Imams (Malik, Shafii’ and Ahmad) seek evidence with those narrations from Anas and Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them both, that say the Holy Prophet, may Allah bless him, combined Zhur and ‘Asr at the eve of Battle of Tabuk. Narrations with this meaning are found in almost all of the Authentic Books. Moreover, in Abu Dawud etc. there is a narration from M’az bin Jabal which seems to allow Jama’ Taqdim.

Evidences of the Hanafis:

1- Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an:

إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَوْقُوتًا

“Surely, Salah is an obligation on the believers that is tied up with time.” (4:103)

فَوَيْلٌ لِلْمُصَلِّينَ () الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنْ صَلَاتِهِمْ سَاهُونَ

“So, Woe to those performers of Salah , who are neglectful of their Salah,” (107: 4-5)

And His words:

حَافِظُوا عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ وَالصَّلَاةِ الْوُسْطَى

“Take due care of all the prayers, and the middle prayer.” (2: 238)

From all these verses it is clear that salah timings are fixed and being mindful of them is obligatory. And that neglecting them can bring Allah’s wrath. Certainly these verses are absolute categorical in proof and Ahad (i.e. not Mutawatir) narrations cannot compete with them especially when the interpretation of Ahad narrations is possible.

2- It is narrated from ‘Abdullah bin Masud, may Allah be pleased with him, in Sahih Bukhari (Book of Hajj about prayers in Muzdalifa):

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: مَا رَأَيْتُ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ صَلَّى صَلاَةً بِغَيْرِ مِيقَاتِهَا، إِلَّا صَلاَتَيْنِ: جَمَعَ بَيْنَ المَغْرِبِ وَالعِشَاءِ، وَصَلَّى الفَجْرَ قَبْلَ مِيقَاتِهَا "

It is related that 'Abdullah said, "I never saw the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, pray a prayer outside of its time except for two - he joined Maghrib and 'Isha' and prayed Fajr before its time." (Sahih Bukhari, Book of Hajj, Chapter: The time Fajr is prayed at Muzdalifa, Hadith 1682)

3- Abu Qatadah’s narration has been quoted by compilers of the Sunan, according to which the Propht, may Allah bless him, said;

لَيْسَ فِي النَّوْمِ تَفْرِيطٌ إِنَّمَا التَّفْرِيطُ فِي الْيَقَظَةِ بِأَنْ يُؤَخِّرَ صَلَاةً إِلَى وَقْتِ أُخْرَى

“Indeed there is no squandering in sleep. Only when one is awake is there negligence that one delays a salah till the time of the next.” (M’ani al-Athar, Hadith 987)

4- The prayer timing is proved from sources that reach the degree of Tawatur and Ahad reports cannot change them.

Evidences for Jama’ Sauri:

In light of all these proofs, answer to the evidences of the Three Imams is that all the reports from the Holy Prophet, may Allah bless him, about combining salahs refer to Jama’ Sauri and not Jama’ Haqiqi. Arguments in support of taking them to mean Jama’ Sauri are as under;

1- In Sahih Bukhari it is narrated from Abdullah bin Umar, may Allah be pleased with him:

رَأَيْتُ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِذَا أَعْجَلَهُ السَّيْرُ يُؤَخِّرُ المَغْرِبَ، فَيُصَلِّيهَا ثَلاَثًا، ثُمَّ يُسَلِّمُ، ثُمَّ قَلَّمَا يَلْبَثُ حَتَّى يُقِيمَ العِشَاءَ

"When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was travelling in a hurry, I saw him delay Maghrib and then pray it doing three rak'ats. Then he would say the taslim and then after a short time the iqama was said for 'Isha' and he prayed …” (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 1092)

The narration is explicitly saying that Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, waited for some time after Maghrib and then offer ‘isha’. This waiting cannot be except that he wanted to ensure beginning of the time of ‘isha’. Even Hafiz Ibn Hajr (himself a Shafii’) has accepted that in it is the evidence for Jama’ Sauri (Fath al-Bari 2/581).

2- A even more categorical narration is narrated in Sunan Abu Dawud through Nafi’ bin ‘Abdullah from ‘Abdullah bin Waqid;

أَنَّ مُؤَذِّنَ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، قَالَ: الصَّلَاةُ، قَالَ: سِرْ سِرْ، حَتَّى إِذَا كَانَ قَبْلَ غُيُوبِ الشَّفَقِ نَزَلَ فَصَلَّى الْمَغْرِبَ، ثُمَّ انْتَظَرَ حَتَّى غَابَ الشَّفَقُ وَصَلَّى الْعِشَاءَ، ثُمَّ قَالَ: «إِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ كَانَ إِذَا عَجِلَ بِهِ أَمْرٌ، صَنَعَ مِثْلَ الَّذِي صَنَعْتُ

The Mu’adhdhin of Ibn ‘Umar said: Salah! (i.e. time for prayer has come). He (Ibn ‘Umar) said, “Keep moving!” Then before the disappearance of the twilight he alighted and offered Maghrib Salah, then he waited till the twilight disappeared and then he offered ‘isha and said, “When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him, was in a hurry about something, he would do as I did.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadith 1212)

Imam Abu Dawud has not only refrained from commenting on it (which is a sign of his acceptance of the narration) but has also mentioned a supporting narration. Its wording is;

عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ الْعَلَاءِ، عَنْ نَافِعٍ، قَالَ: حَتَّى إِذَا كَانَ عِنْدَ ذَهَابِ الشَّفَقِ نَزَلَ فَجَمَعَ بَيْنَهُمَا

‘Abdullah bin al-‘Ala’ – Nafi’, He said: “When it was near the disappearance of the twilight he alighted and combined the two (i.e. Maghrib and ‘Isha’) (Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadith 1213)

Moreover Imam Darqutni has also reported it through different chains in his Sunan and has not commented thereon (which is a sign of his acceptance).

3- In Sahih Muslim it is reported from Ibn Abbas:

قَالَ: «صَلَّيْتُ مَعَ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ثَمَانِيًا جَمِيعًا، وَسَبْعًا جَمِيعًا» ، قُلْتُ: يَا أَبَا الشَّعْثَاءِ أَظُنُّهُ أَخَّرَ الظُّهْرَ، وَعَجَّلَ الْعَصْرَ، وَأَخَّرَ الْمَغْرِبَ، وَعَجَّلَ الْعِشَاءَ، قَالَ: وَأَنَا أَظُنُّ ذَاكَ

He said: I observed with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him, eight (rak'ahs) in combination, and seven rak'ahs in combination. I (one of the narrators) said: O Abu Sha'tha', I think that he (the Holy Prophet) had delayed the Zuhr Salah and hastened the ‘Asr Salah, and he delayed the Maghrib Salah and hastened the 'Isha' Salah. He said: I also think so. (Sahih Muslim, Hadith 1521)

In this report the thinking of two narrators is according to the view of the Hanafis. All these narrations are categorical on Jama’ Sauri.

4- The next narration from Jami’ Tirmidhi which is reported from the Prophet, may Allah bless him, through Ibn ‘Abbas;

قال من جمع الصلاتين من غير عذر فقد أتى بابا من أبواب الكبائر

The Prophet said: “Whosoever combines two prayers at a time without a valid reason then he has entered door of the doors of the Kaba'ir (grave sins).” (Jami’ Tirmidhi, Hadith 188)

Although it is Da’if (i.e. weak) in chain for it comes through Hanash bin Qays about whom Imam Tirmidhi says;

وهو ضعيف عند أهل الحديث ضعفه أحمد وغيره

“And he is Da’if in the sight of scholars of Hadith. Ahmad and others have graded him Da’if.”

But it is supported by a narration from Muwatta of Muhammad:

قَالَ مُحَمَّدٌ: بَلَغَنَا , عَنْ عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ , أَنَّهُ «كَتَبَ فِي الآفَاقِ، يَنْهَاهُمْ أَنْ يَجْمَعُوا بَيْنَ الصَّلاتَيْنِ، وَيُخْبِرُهُمْ أَنَّ الْجَمْعَ بَيْنَ الصَّلاتَيْنِ فِي وَقْتٍ وَاحِدٍ كَبِيرَةٌ مِنَ الْكَبَائِرِ»

Muhammad (bin al-Hassan) said: “It has reached us that ‘Umar bin al-Khattab wrote to all the regions (means governors there) thereby forbidding them to combine two salahs and informing them that combining two salahs in the time of one is from the cardinal sins.”

أَخْبَرَنَا بِذَلِكَ الثِّقَاتُ، عَنِ الْعَلاءِ بْنِ الْحَارِثِ، عَنْ مَكْحُولٍ

(Muhammad bin al-Hassan said;) Trustworthy men narrated this to us from al-‘Ala bin al-Harith from Makhul. (Muwatta of Muhammad, Hadith 204)

5- in some cases even the proponents of Jama’ Haqiqi have also no choice but to take the combining as Jama’ Sauri e.g. Ibn Abbas’s (R.A.) narration;

جَمَعَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بَيْنَ الظُّهْرِ وَالْعَصْرِ وَبَيْنَ الْمَغْرِبِ وَالْعِشَاءِ بِالْمَدِينَةِ مِنْ غَيْرِ خَوْفٍ وَلَا مَطَرٍ

Sayyidina Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that Allah's Messenger , may Allah bless him, offered together the Zuhr and Asr, and the Maghrib and Isha in Madinah although there was no fear or rainfall. (Jami’ Tirmidhi, hadith 187)

Other Imams are also forced to take it to mean Jama’ Sauri. Only Imam Ahmad has taken it for the time of illness but this is farfetched for it not expected that all the population was ill at that time. Secondly when Ibn Abbas (RA) was asked as to what was the purpose of this combining of Salahs? He simply said:

أن لا يحرج أمته

“that his ummah should not be put to difficulty.”

Had it been about illness Ibn Abbas (RA) would have mentioned it. For this reason Hafiz Ibn hajr has accepted in Fath al-Bari (2/24) that it is better to take it to mean Jama’ Sauri. And this is a fact that there is no other way except to take this narration to mean Jama’ Sauri. And when this narration will be taken to to mean Jama’ Sauri then other narrations shall also be taken as such.

6- If by combing is taken as Jama’ Sauri then all the narrations are reconciled. On the other hand if it is taken as Jama’ Haqiqi then Ibn Abbas’ (RA) narration in this chapter and the report from Ibn Masud (RA) in Bukhari and Muslim have to be left out. And certainly an interpretation that reconciles all the narrations will take precedence.

7- Allama Usman in Fath al-Mulhim has made a subtle point in favour of taking it to mean Jama’ Sauri. Wherever in Ahadith is the mention of combining two salahs it is always about combining Zuhr and ‘Asr or Maghrib and ‘Isha’. Other than these cases combing two salahs is neither reported nor does anyone consider it permissible. Therefore the Three Imams also stand for combining in these two cases only. Combining Fajr and Zuhr, ‘Asr and Maghrib or ‘Isha’ and Fajr is neither permissible in anyone’s opinion nor is it reported in any narration. If it’s about Jama’ Haqiqi then there is no valid reason for this difference that combining Zuhr and ‘Asr is permissible but combining ‘Asr and Maghrib is not. However if it is taken to mean Jama’ Sauri then we get the reason for the difference. And that is, Jama’ Sauri between Fajr and Zuhr is not possible for there is wide gap between their timing and it is not allowed between ‘Asr and Maghrib and ‘Isha’ and Fajr as the last timing of both ‘Asr and ‘Isha’ is Makruh (i.e. reprehensible). This shows that Holy Prophet’, may Allah bless him, combining of two salahs was Jama’ Sauri and not Jama’ Haqiqi else it would have been for every two consecutive salahs.

Translated by Ahmad Shamil