[Q-ID0633] What is the proof for placing hands below the navel during Salah?

QUESTION: 

What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: What is the ruling of tying the hands below the navel in salāh, and is this proven from any Hadīth?

Questioner: Hamza from UK

ANSWER: 

بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

Tying the hands below the navel is sunnah according to Hanafīs and it is proven from an authentic Hadīth, just as it is mentioned in Sunan Abū Dāwūd.

Thus, it is narrated from Sayyidunā Abū Juhayfah that,

“أَنَّ عَلِيّارَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ:‏‏‏‏”مِنَ السُّنَّةِ وَضْعُ الْكَفِّ عَلَى الْكَفِّ فِي الصَّلَاةِ تَحْتَ السُّرَّةِ”

“Sayyidunā ‘Alī, may Allāh be pleased with him, stated that, ‘It is a sunnah to place one hand on the other in salāh below the navel.’”

[Sunan Abū Dāwūd, Hadīth 756]

The author of Nasb al-Rāyah states that,

وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ لَفْظَةَ السُّنَّةِ يَدْخُلُ فِي الْمَرْفُوعِ عِنْدَهُمْ، قَالَ ابْنُ عَبْدِ الْبَرِّ فِي التَّقَصِّي: وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ الصَّحَابِيَّ إذَا أَطْلَقَ اسْمَ السُّنَّةِ، فَالْمُرَادُ بِهِ سُنَّةُ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ”

“Know that according to the Noble Companions, the word sunnah falls under marfū’[1]. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr states in Taqassī that, ‘Know that when a Companion expresses the word sunnah, it means a Prophetic sunnah i.e. the sunnah of the Noble Prophet ﷺ.’”

[Nasb al-Rāyah, vol 1, pg 313]

It is mentioned in the hāshiyah [marginal notes] regarding this in Nasb al-Rāyah that,

“ثم ذكر في بدائع الفوائد أن السنة الصحيحة وضع اليدين تحت السرة، وحديث علي في هذا صحيح، وأن وضع اليدين على الصدر منهي عنه بالسنة”

“Then it has been mentioned in Badā’i’ al-Fawā’id that the correct sunnah is to place the hands below the navel, and the Hadīth of [Sayyidunā] ‘Alī, may Allāh be pleased with him, is sound. However, to place the hands on the chest is prohibited by sunnah.”

[Hāshiyah Nasb al-Rāyah, vol 1, pg 314]

It is mentioned in the renowned Hanafī book of Fiqh – al-Hidāyah – that tying the hands below the navel is a sunnah of qiyām [standing in salāh],

“وَيَعْتَمِدُ بِيَدِهِ الْيُمْنَى عَلَى الْيُسْرَى تَحْتَ السُّرَّةِ لِقَوْلِهِ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ «إنَّ مِنْ السُّنَّةِ وَضْعَ الْيَمِينِ عَلَى الشِّمَالِ تَحْتَ السُّرَّةِ۔۔۔ثُمَّ الِاعْتِمَادُ سُنَّةُ الْقِيَامِ عِنْدَ أَبِي حَنِيفَةَ وَأَبِي يُوسُفَ رَحِمَهُمَا اللَّهُ “

“A person praying salāh should place the right hand over the left and keep them below the navel, because it is a saying of the Noble Prophet ﷺ that, ‘Verily, placing the right hand over the left below the navel is from the sunnah.’ Then according to Imām Abū Hanīfah and Imām Abū Yūsuf, this tying of the hands is a sunnah of qiyām [standing].”

[al-Hidāyah & al-‘Ināyah, vol 1, pg 287]

There is more reverence in tying & placing the hands below the navel and this i.e. reverence is the aim, purpose & goal in salāh, just as it is stated in al-Hidāyah,

“وَلِأَنَّ الْوَضْعَ تَحْتَ السُّرَّةِ أَقْرَبُ إلَى التَّعْظِيمِ وَهُوَ الْمَقْصُودُ”

[al-Hidāyah & al-‘Ināyah, vol 1, pg 287]

[1] A particular category of Hadīth.

واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Haider Ali

Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0633] What is the proof for placing hands below the navel during Salah?

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