the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. By Him we seek Assistance.
the following question is posed to many people: "Do you follow
the Deen of Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.) or the Deen of Rasulullah
(sallallahu alaihi wasallam)?" "Obviously the Deen
of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)," comes the instant
reply. The second question is then posed: "Why then do you call
yourself a Hanafi?" The person not well versed is perplexed
by this question. Doubts are then created in his mind. He soon starts
gradually drifting towards the abandoning of taqleed i.e. following
one of the four illustrious Imaams viz. Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.), Imaam
Shafi'i (R.A.), Imaam Malik (R.A.) and Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal (R.A.).
of the type of questions that have been mentioned above, a deliberate
attempt is made to create a misconception in the minds of the unwary
— that if you are a Hanafi, you are following the Deen
of Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.), NOT the Deen of Muhammad (sallallahu
alaihi wasallam). This is an absolute fallacy. Imaam Abu Hanifa
(R.A.), Imaam Shafi'i (R.A.) and the other Imaams did not invent any
Deen of their own. They strictly followed the one and only Deen
— the Deen of Islam brought by Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi
wasallam). Their followers are hence also following the same Deen
— the Deen of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).
that arises here is that why then should one follow any of the four
Imaams? This can be answered by posing a counter-question: "Do
you know all the various laws of Deen? Are you capable of extracting
and deriving the laws pertaining to wudhu, salaah, zakaah, etc.
directly from the Qur'an and Hadith? Do you know which Hadith
has abrogated another? Do you have the ability to reconcile between
the various Ahadith which apparently contradict each other? Do
you know which verses of the Qur'an are general in their application
and which verses are qualified by other texts? etc., etc." If one
does not have the knowledge of these aspects, then one definitely
does not have the ability to derive the laws directly from the Qur'an
and Hadith. In that case the following aayah applies directly
to oneself: "Ask those of knowledge if you do not know."
(43:7) Hence when we do not have the enormous amount of knowledge and
expertise that is necessary to derive the laws directly from the Qur'an
and Hadith, we have opted to follow one of those great people
who had attained that distinguished mastery in this field, among whom
is Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.). Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.) is a Taabi'i
(one who has seen a Sahabi). He attained the knowledge of Hadith
from approximately 4000 ustaads. His piety was such that for
40 years he performed fajr salaah with the wudhu of Isha
salaah (i.e. he did not sleep the entire night) [Tareekhul Baghdad].
His knowledge, brilliance and righteousness was such that all the great
scholars of his time attested to his mastery. Thus one can be well assured
that such a person is absolutely capable of deriving the laws directly
from the Qur'an and Hadith.
reason for adopting one of the Imaams as a guide is the following aayah
of the Qur'an: Allah Ta'ala says: "And follow the path of
those who turn to me" (31:15). In order to "turn"
to Allah Ta'ala, two aspects are basic requisites — knowledge and practicing
according to that knowledge. In this regard the four Imaams were in
an extremely high category. Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.) was regarded by
various Ulama of his time as being the most knowledgeable of
the people of that era (footnotes of Tahzeebut Tahzeeb vol. 1 pg. 451).
Makki bin Ibrahim, who was one of the renown ustaads
of Imaam Bukhari (R.A.), was a student of Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.).
Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.) compiled a book of Hadith entitled "Kitaabul
Aathaar" from among 40,000 Ahadith. Thus those who follow
such a guide can be satisfied that they are strictly following the commands
of Allah Ta'ala and His Rasul (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).
point somebody may ask: "If all the Imaams deduced the laws directly
from the Qur'an and Hadith, how is it possible for them to differ
on various aspects?" In order to understand the reality of these
differences, we will have to go back in history right upto the time
of the Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhum).
(sallallahu alaihi wasallam) had just returned from a battle
when he ordered the Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhum) to immediately
proceed to the place of Banu Quraizah — a clan of Jews who lived on
the outskirts of Madina Munawwarah. The purpose was to lay a siege upon
them for having broken the pact that they had made with the Muslims.
In order to impress the urgency of the matter upon the Sahaaba (R.A.),
Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said to them: "None
of you should perform your salaah al-Asr except in Banu Quraizah."
the Sahaaba (R.A.) were still en-route, the time of Asr arrived.
Some Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhum) felt that they should perform
their Asr immediately. They regarded the instruction of Rasulullah
(sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as actually being a command to proceed
very swiftly to their destination. It did not imply that the Asr
salaah could not be performed en-route. They thus performed their
salaah there. Another group of Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhum.) viewed
the instruction literally. They therefore continued and only performed
their Asr salaah after having reached Banu Quraizah. Later when Rasulullah
(sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was informed about this, he did
not rebuke either group. [Sahih Bukhaari]
find that the difference arose from a point of interpretation. However,
this difference of interpretation is only entertained when it comes
from a person who has in-depth knowledge of Deen and has attained
a mastery in the Qur'an and Hadith and the other related aspects.
At times a difference of opinion occurs due to the different narrations
that are found with regards to a particular aspect. One Imaam gives
preference to one narration on the basis of various criteria while the
other Imaam, in the light of his knowledge, prefers the other narration.
This is basically the manner in which these differences occur. However,
just as Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) did not rebuke
either of the two groups in the incident mentioned above, similarly
since the Imaams have attained the status of a mujtahid (one
who is capable of deriving the laws directly from the Qur'an and Hadith),
they will not be blame worthy even if they have erred. Rasulullah (sallallahu
alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: "When a haakim
(ruler) passes judgement, and after having exerted his utmost effort
he arrives at the correct solution, he gets a double reward. And if
he errs after having exerted his utmost ability, he gets one reward."
(Bukhari vol. 2 pg. 1092). Ibn al-Munzir (R.A.) while commenting
on this Hadith writes that a ruler will only get this reward if he has
thorough knowledge and in the light of his knowledge he passed judgement.
(see footnotes of Sahih Bukhari; ibid). The four Imaams had the
ability and necessary knowledge to practice ijtihaad. Thus they
fall under the ambit of this Hadith.
point that often comes up is the following: Why is it necessary to follow
one Imaam only? Why can one not follow a certain Imaam in one aspect
and another Imaam in another aspect? The simple answer to this is: On
what basis will one pick and choose, especially since one does not have
the knowledge required to derive the laws. Thus one will not be in a
position to evaluate the deductions of each Imaam. Hence it will obviously
be on the basis of what suits one. This is nothing but following one's
desires — regarding which Allah Ta'ala has issued severe warnings in
the Qur'an. Following one's desires sometimes even leads a person to
kufr. Thus great jurists of latter times, among them Shah Waliullah
(R.A.), have reaffirmed that it is wajib for the masses to follow
one Imaam only.
more point needs clarification with regards to the authenticity of Ahadith.
The general masses are made to believe that a Hadith is only
authentic if it is related in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. This is
a misconception. The authenticity of the Hadith is based on its
chain of narrators, irrespective of whether it appears in any one of
the Sihah Sitta (the famous six authentic compilations of Hadith)
or in any other compilation besides these. Imaam Muslim has written
in his muqqadama (introduction to Sahih Muslim) that he has not
recorded every authentic Hadith in his Sahih. Actually,
according to Imaam Bukhari and imaam Muslim, there are more authentic
Ahadith which are not recorded in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim
than the number of narrations contained in these two books. The Hanafi
madhhab is derived directly from the Qur'an and Hadith, like
all the other madhhabs. However, to truly appreciate the conformity
of the Hanafi madhhab with the Hadith, one will have to
undertake a thorough study of the following books of Hadith:
(1) Sharah Ma'anil Aathaar (2) Aljawharan Naqi (3) Nasbur
Raayah (4) I'la as-Sunan (5) Bazlul Majhood (6) Fathul
Mulhim (7) Awjazul Masaalik (8) Aathaarus Sunan, etc
already been explained above that the differences between the Imaams
are based on the different narrations or the difference of interpretation.
However, all the Imaams have their proofs from the Qur'an and Sunnah.
Thus it is the duty of every person, while strictly following his Imaam,
to respect and honour the other Imaams and their followers. Nevertheless,
in this belated age there are many people who have cast aside the following
of any of the four Imaams completely. Instead, while claiming to follow
the Qur'an and Hadith directly, they in reality have begun to
follow the interpretations of (make taqleed of!) some modern day ghair
muqallid (one who has abandoned taqleed). However, coupled
with this they often will be found denigrating the followers of an Imaam
and classifing them as people following the Deen of Imaam Abu Hanifa
and others — not the Deen of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).
They make themselves out as being the only ones who follow Hadith
while all others are regarded as being contradictory to the Hadith.
Many people have become entrapped in this propaganda. Thus this book
sets out to explain proofs of specifically those aspects regarding which
the Hanafis are generally made a target of abuse. The purpose
is to simply bring to the attention of the unwary person that he is
following the Deen of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam.)
— not some other Deen. This book is not intended to create a
climate of debate and argument. As already explained, all the Imaams
have their proofs. It is hoped that by the means of this book the baseless
propaganda against those who follow one of the four illustrious Imaams
will be halted in its tracks.
Initially a very detailed book on this topic was written in urdu by Sheik
Muhammad Ilyas Faisal of Madina Munawwarah. A concise version was later
published. This is the english rendering of the concise version which
was translated by Moulana Abdul Qadir Vawda of Madrasah Taaleemuddeen.
Some additions and alterations have been made where it was deemed appropriate.
It must also be pointed out that every narration quoted in this booklet
is highly authentic and of such a category which, according to the muhadditheen,
can be used to derive the laws of Deen from it. May Allah Ta'ala
accept this humble effort and make it a means of assisting in our salvation
on the day of Qiyaamah. Aameen.
Hazrat Usman (radhiallahu anhu) once asked: "Should I not
show you the manner in which Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
performed his wudhu?" Thereafter he performed wudhu
in such a manner that he washed every limb thrice. [Sahih Muslim,
ch. on wudhu, Hadith 23]
Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah
(sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: "Whoever performs wudhu
and makes masah over his nape, he will be saved from wearing
a necklace (of fire) around his neck on the the day of judgement".
The famous commentator of Sahih al-Bukhari, Allamah Ibn Hajar Asqalaani
(R.A), writes in his book Talkheesul Habeer (vol. 1: p.92) that
this narration is Sahih. Allamah Shawkani (R.A.) has also affirmed
this in Naylul Awtaar (vol. 1, p.204).
It is not
permissible to make masah over ordinary socks (cotton, woollen,
nylon, etc. — i.e. all socks other than leather socks) in wudhu. There
is no authentic narration sanctioning this practice. In the commentary
of Tirmidhi, Tuhfatul Ahwazee, the famous Ahle Hadith
scholar Allamah Mubarakpuri, has written that this practice of making
masah on woollen, cotton, nylon socks and socks made from similar
materials is not established from any authentic Hadith (vol. 1, pg.333).
Many other high ranking scholars of the ghair muqallid sect (those
who do not prescribe to taqleed) have refuted this practice and
declared it as impermissible. (see fatawa Nazeeriah; 1:423)
Abu Huraira (radhiallahu anhu) narrates: "When the length
of your shadow (from the sun) is equal to your height then perform the
zuhr salaah. When the length of your shadow becomes twice your
height, perform the asr salaah. Perform the maghrib salaah
when the sun has set. Perform the esha salaah before one-third
(1/3) of the night passes. And perform the fajr salaah while
it is still dark." [Muwatta Imaam Maalik vol.1, pg.8, Hadith 9]
(sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has said: "When the heat becomes
very intense (after mid-day), then delay the zuhr salaah until
it cools down, for verily the intensity of the heat is from the effects
of Jahannam". [Sahih Muslim, Hadith 615]
the noble habit of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) that
he used to delay the performance of asar so long as the sun remained
white and clear. [Abu Daud; Waqtul Asr]
(sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: "Perform
the fajar salaah when the sky brightens at the time of dawn (i.e.
before sunrise) since this is a means of earning greater reward. [Tirmidhi,
explains that the majority of the Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhum)
used to perform fajar salaah at this time (i.e. when the sky
had brightened up).
Hazrat Bilal (radhiallahu anhu), Rasulullah's (sallallahu alaihi
wasallam) muazzin, used to call out the words of azaan
and iqaamah twice. (This Hadith is classified as Sahih
— Musannaf Abdur Razzaak; see Aathaarus Sunan v.1, pg. 53)
of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), Abu Mahzoora (radhiallahu
anhu) and Thaubaan (radhiallahu anhu) also used to call out
the azaan and iqaamah in the above mentioned manner (i.e.
by saying the words twice).
Shawkani (R.A.) has affirmed the authenticity of the above narrations
in Naylul Autaar, (vol.2. pg.24.)
(R.A.) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
wore a white hat. (Tabarani — Allama Suyuti has classified this
Hadith as highly authentic: see Sirajul Muneer; v.4, pg.112).
It is written in Fataawa Thunaaiyya vol. 1, pg. 525), and in
the Fatawaa of the Ahle Hadith Scholars (vol. 4 pg.291) that Rasulullah
(sallallahu alaihi wasallam) always used to keep his mubarak
head covered during salaah. In the same books it is also mentioned
that to intentionally remove the headgear (hat) and perform salaah
bare-headed is contrary to the sunnah. (vol. 1, pg.523.)
Qataada (radhiallahu anhu) relates that he saw Rasulullah (sallallahu
alaihi wasallam) performing his salaah. He relates that Rasulullah
(sallallahu alaihi wasallam) used to lift his hands until they
were in line with his earlobes. [Sahih Muslim, ch. on Istihbaabur
Raf’, Hadith 391]
Hazrat Ali (radhiallahu anhu) relates that the sunnah of
Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is to place one hand over
the other below the navel. [Abu Daud, ch. on Wad’ul Yumna,
method of tying the hands is also related by Hazrat Anas (radhiallahu
Hazrat Anas (radhiallahu anhu) states, "I have performed congregational
salaah behind Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), Abu
Bakr, Umar and Uthmaan (radhiallahu anhum) and I did not hear any
one of them recite Bismillahir rahmaan nir raheem" [Sahih
Muslim, Hadith 399]
Tirmidhi (R.A.) states that the majority of the Sahaba (radhiallahu
anhum) also used to recite Bismillah softly.
Ta’aala says: "When the Qur’an is being recited then listen
attentively and remain silent so that mercy will be showered upon you".
Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud, Abu Hurairah, Abdullah Ibn Abbas and Abdullah Ibn
Mughaffal (radhiallahu anhum) state that this verse of the Quran
was revealed with regards to the Khutba (of Juma’ah) and with
regards to Salaah. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir, vol. 1 pg. 281]
of this verse of the Holy Qur’an is that when the Imaam recites
the Qur’an aloud, the followers should listen attentively, and when
he recites softly, the followers should remain silent.
(sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: "When
you begin your congregational prayers, straighten your rows. Thereafter
when the Imaam says the takbeer (i.e. when he says Allahu
Akbar aloud) you must also say the takbeer. However, when
he begins the recital of the Qur’an, you must remain silent. And when
he recites walad daul leen then you should say Aameen".
By performing your salaah in this manner Allah Ta’ala will love
you." [Muslim; ch. on tashahhud]
Hadith has been narrated by Abu Hurairah (radhiallahu anhu)-Imaam
Muslim has attested to its authenticity; ibid).
reported from Hazrat Ataa Ibn Yasaar (radhiallahu anhu) that
he questioned Hazrat Zaid Ibn Thaabit (radhiallahu anhu) concerning
reciting Qira’at with the Imaam. Hazrat Zaid (radhiallahu
anhu) answered: "There is no recitation of the Glorious Qur’an
in any salaah behind the Imaam". [Sahih Muslim,
chapter on Sujood-ut-Tilaawah, Hadith 577]
Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiallahu anhu) used to repeatedly say:
"Whoever performs salaah behind the Imaam, the Imaam’s
qiraat suffices for him". (Sunan Baihaqi; chapter on not
reciting qiraat behind the Imaam — Imaam Baihaqi (R.A.) has
stated that this Hadith is Sahih.)
Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiallahu anhu) was asked: "Must
the muqtadi recite behind the Imam?" He replied
that the qiraat of the Imaam is sufficient for the muqtadi.
But if he performs salaah individually, then he must recite
qiraat. It was the practice of Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiallahu
anhu) also that he would not recite surah fatiha behind
the Imam. (In Aathaarus Sunan (Vol. 1 pg.89) this Hadith
has been classified as sahih).
Jaabir (radhiallahu anhu) narrates that the one who does not
recite sura fatiha even in one rakaat, his salaah
is not valid. However, if he is behind an Imam he must not
recite surah fatiha. (This Hadith has been classified
as hasan — Tirmizi - ch. on not reciting behind the Imaam).
It is on the basis of this Hadith that Imaam Tirmidhi (R.A.)
has narrated from Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (R.A.) [who was the teacher
of the ustaad of Imaam Bukhari (R.A.)] that the narration "Whoever
does not recite surah fatiha his salaah is not complete"
refers to one who performs his salaah alone. It does not include
the muqtadi (Jami’ Tirmidhi, ibid). In the above Hadith
it is very clearly mentioned that the muqtadi must not recite
(sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: "Do
not hasten before the Imaam! When he says the takbeer,
then you should do the same. When he recites Walad da ul leen,
then you should say Aameen. When he makes ruku’ then
you should make ruku’. And when he says sami’-Allahu liman
hamidah then you should say Allahumma Rabbana wa lakal hamd".
[Sahih Muslim, Hadith 415]
regards to the saying of Aameen this narration is very clear
and explicit. Like in the case where the Imaam says Allahu
Akbar and sami’-Allahu liman hamidah aloud, but all the
followers say "Allahu Akbar"and "Rabbana
lakal hamd" softly. In the same manner when the Imaam
recites "walad daul leen" aloud, the followers should
say Aameen softly. It is also reported from Abu Ma’mar that
Umar (radhiallahu anhu) used to say: "The Imaam will recite
four things softly-Ta’awwuz, Bismillah, Aameen and Rabbana Lakalhamd"
(Aini Vol. 1 pg. 620)
Jaabir Ibn Samurah (radhiallahu anhu) relates that once Rasulullah
(sallallahu alaihi wasallam) came out of his house towards
us and said: "Why is it that I see you all raising your hands
as though they are the tails of stubborn horses. Be tranquil in salaah".
[Sahih Muslim, Hadith 430]
hadith alone makes it clear that those narrations which mention
the raising of the hands (during the salaah) were narrated
prior to the prohibition of this practice.
Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud (radhiallahu anhu) said: "Shall I
not show you the manner in which Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi
wasallam) performed his salaah?" Thereafter he performed
the salaah but he did not raise his hands except at the beginning
(of his salaah). [Tirmidhi, Hadith no.257] This Hadith
is classified Hasan. Ibn Hazm (R.A.) has declared it as sahih.
Ahmed Shakir (R.A.) has also declared it as sahih.
related that Hazrat Ali (radhiallahu anhu) used to raise his
hands at the time of the first Takbeer (during his salaah).
Thereafter he did not raise them. [Sunanal Bayhaqi]
(The commentator of Bukhari Shareef, Allaama Ibn Hajar, Allaama Zayla'i
and Allaama ‘Aini (R.A.) have said that this narration and its chain
of narrators is Sahih)
should take note of the fact that the practice of Hazrat Umar, the
remaining Khulafa-e-Raashideen, Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud
and many more Sahaabah (radhiallahu anhu) was the same, that
they only raised their hands at the time of the first takbeer.
Imaam Tirmidhi (R.A.) also states that this was the practice of a
great number of the Sahaabah (radhiallahu anhum).
a narration from the ibn Sahl (radhiallahu anhu) it is mentioned
that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said the takbeer
and simultaneously went into sajdah. Then he said the takbeer
and simultaneously stood up erect without sitting. [Abu Daud,
Hadith no. 966]
Imaam Bayhaqi (R.A.) has recorded in his Sunan that this was the practice
of Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radhiallahu anhu). Allaama Zayla'i
(R.A.) has recorded in Nasabur Raayah that the same procedure
was the practice of Hazrat Umar, Ali, Abdullah Ibn Zubeir and Abdullah
Ibn Abbaas (radhiallahu anhu). (vol. 1, pg. 289)
Allaamah Turkumaani has recorded in Jauharun Naqi regarding
several Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhum) that it was their practice
that after the first and third rakaat they would stand up
straight from sajdah without sitting. (vol. 1, pg. 125)
(sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: "When
you sit during salaah (for Qa’dah Akheerah, the last
Qa’dah) read the following:-
oral, physical and monetary worship is due to Allah alone. Salutations
to you ‘O Nabi, and the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon
you. Peace be upon us and upon all the righteous servants of Allah.
I bear witness that none is worthy of worship besides Allah and
that Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is his servant
Thereafter he would choose from the supplications whatever he wished."
Muslim, Hadith no. 402; Sahih Bukhari, chapter on Tashahhud].
is narrated that when Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
used to sit down to supplicate, (to recite tashahhud) he
used to place his right hand on his right thigh and his left hand
on his left thigh. He would indicate at the time of reciting the
shahadah by raising his index finger. He would also join
the ends of his thumb and middle finger (thereby forming a circle).
[Sahih Muslim, chapter on the description of sitting-Hadith
The Sahaabah-e-Kiraam (radhiallahu anhum) inquired from Rasulullah
(sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as to which durood should
they recite (during salaah). Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi
wasallam) replied: "Recite the following durood-
O Allah shower your mercy upon Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
and the family of Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as
you have showered your mercy upon Ibrahim (A.S.) and the family
of Ibrahim (A.S.). Behold, you are Praiseworthy, Glorious. O Allah
shower your blessings upon Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
and the family of Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as
you have showered your blessings upon Ibrahim (A.S.) and the family
of Ibrahim (A.S.). Behold, you are Praiseworthy, Glorious.
is narrated that Abdullah Ibn Zubair (radhiallahu anhu) saw
a man raising his hands and making dua before completing
his salah. When the person had completed his salaah,
Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Zubair (radhiallahu anhu) went up to
him and said: "Verily, Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
used to only raise his hands and make dua after completing
his salaah" (the narrators of this Hadith are
all trustworthy — Majmauz Zawaaid, vol. 1, pg. 169).
is also mentioned in the Fataawa of Ahle Hadith (vol.
1, pg.190) as well as in Fataawa Nazeeriyyaa (vol. 1, pg.
566) that in the light of the Sharia, the dua after
salaah is an authentically established practice and it is
mustahab to do so.
(sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has said: "Whoever performs
four rakaats before the fardh of zuhr and four
rakaats after it, Allah Ta’aala will make him haraam
upon the fire of Jahannam". [Tirmidhi, Hadith
(sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has said: "May Allah show
mercy upon that person who performs four rakaats before the fardh
of asr". [Tirmidhi, chapter on the narrations
regarding the four rakaats, Hadith no. 430]
Abu Ma’mar (radhiallahu anhu) has said that the Sahaabah
(radhiallahu anhum) used to consider 4 rakaats after
the Fardh of maghrib to be mustahab. [Qiyaamul-Layl
of Marwazi pg.58]
Sa’eed Ibn Jubair (radhiallahu anhu) narrates that the Sahaabah
(radhiallahu anhum) used to regard the performing of four
rakaats before the fardh of isha as mustahab.
A’yesha (radhiallahu anha) is reported to have said (with
regards to the tahajjud salaah of Rasulullah (sallallahu
alaihi wasallam): "He (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
never used to perform more than eleven rakaats, whether in
Ramadhan or out of Ramadhaan. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
would perform long rakaats in two units of four rakaats
each with such excellence and devotion which cannot be described.
Thereafter he would perform three rakaats of witr salaah".
[Sahih Muslim, chapter on salaatul layl, Hadith 738]
Hazrat Aasim (radhiallahu anhu) narrates: "I inquired
from Hazrat Anas Ibn Malik (radhiallahu anhu) concerning
the qunoot of witr. He affirmed its occurrence in
the witr salaah. Then I asked whether it should be recited
before the ruku or after it. He replied: "It should
be recited before the ruku". I then informed him of
a certain person who had heard him (Hazrat Anas (radhiallahu
anhu) saying that it should be recited after ruku.
Hazrat Anas (radhiallahu anhu) most vehemently denied this".
Furthermore he said: "Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
recited the qunoot after the ruku for only one month.(referring
to the qunootun naazilah)" [Sahih Bukhari,
chapter on qunoot before ruku].
In Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah it is mentioned that for this
very reason the Sahaaba-e-Kiraam (radhiallahu anhum) used
to recite the qunoot before ruku.
Allaama Ibn Hajar (R.A.) writes in his commentary on Bukhari,
Fath al-Bari that after analysing all these narrations we
learn that it was the normal practice to recite the qunoot
on certain occasions (such as the befalling of a calamity, etc.)
the qunoot would be recited after ruku. (vol. 1,
Hazrat A’yesha (radhiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah
(sallallahu alaihi wasallam) used to perform three rakaats
witr without making salaam in between (i.e. after
two rakaats.) [Zadul Ma’aad, pg.110]
Allama Ibn Hajar (R.A.) writes in Fathul Baari, the commentary
on Sahih Bukhari, that Hazrat Ubay Ibn Ka’b, Hazrat Umar,
Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud and Anas Ibn Malik (radhiallahu anhum)
used to make salaam at the end of three rakaats witr,
not in between. (vol. 1, pg. 291)
It is narrated that once Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud (radhiallahu
anhu) reached the masjid whilst the Imaam was leading
the salaah of fajr with the congregation.
since he had not as yet performed the two rakaats sunnah
of fajr, he stood behind one of the pillars of the masjid
and performed it (while the jama’ah was in progress).
Thereafter he joined the jamaat. [Majmauz-Zawaaid,
vol. 1, pg. 75]
This was also the practice of Abdullah Ibn Abbas, Abu Dardaa
and Uthmaan (radhiallahu anhum).
Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to
have said: "Whoever did not perform the sunnah of
fajr should perform it after the sun rises". [Tirmidhi,
Hadith no. 423]
In the Muwwatta of Imaam Malik (R.A.) it is narrated that this
was also the practice of Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiallahu anhu).
It is narrated that one night during Ramadhaan Rasulullah (sallallahu
alaihi wasallam) performed salaat al-tarawih in the
masjid. A group of Sahaabah joined him during his salaah.
The following night the same happened as the previous night
except that the number of followers had increased considerably.
Hence on the third (or fourth) night Rasulullah (sallallahu
alaihi wasallam) did not come out to the masjid to perform
salaat al-tarawih with the people. The following morning
he said to them: "Indeed I had seen your eagerness (to
perform the tarawih behind me), but for the fear that
this salaah will be made fardh (compulsory) upon
you during Ramadhaan, I did not come out to join you in the
tarawih". [Muslim, Hadith no.761]
Hazrat Yazeed Ibn Ruman (radhiallahu anhu) narrates that
during the khilaafah of Hazrat Umar (radhiallahu anhu)
the Sahaabah used to perform twenty rakaats tarawih and
three rakaats witr salaah (with jamaat). [Muwwatta
Imaam Maalik, chapter concerning standing in salaah
During the khilafah of Abu Bakr (radhiallahu anhu)
tarawih with jamaat was not in vogue. The practice of
performing twenty rakaats with jamaat in every night of Ramadhaan
and the completion of the entire Quraan began only during the
the khilaafat of Hazrat Umar (radhiallahu anhu).
All the Sahaabah present had agreed upon this practice. From
then onwards including the Khilafah of both Hazrat Uthmaan and
Hazrat Ali (radhiallahu anhu) upto this day the Muslim
Ummah (at large) has followed this practice.
Twenty rakaats tarawih is also performed in both the
Masjids of Makkah and Madinah upto the present time. However,
it is tragic that in recent times a group of people have conflicted
with the consensus of the Sahaabah (radhiallahu anhum)
and the rest of the Ummah with regards to the number of rakaats
in Tarawih salaah.
Hazrat Abu Musa Ash’ari (radhiallahu anhu) was asked
regarding the number of takbeers that Rasulullah (sallallahu
alaihi wasallam) used to say in both the Eid salaahs.
He replied: "He (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) used
to say four takbeers (in every rakaat), in the
same way as he used to say the takbeers in the salaat
al-Janaaza". Hazrat Hudhaifa (radhiallahu anhu)
also confirmed this practice of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi
wasallam). [Abu Dawud, Hadith no. 1153]
Imaam Tirmidhi (R.A.) has also recorded several narrations of
similar meaning from Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud and other Sahaabah-e-Kiraam
It is narrated that Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar and Abdullah Ibn
Abbas (radhiallahu anhu) would perform Qasr salaah
and that they would also make iftaar (i.e. they would
not fast) whenever they travelled the distance of four burud.
Four burud is sixteen farsakh i.e. 48 miles. [Bukhari,
chapter regarding the distance upon which one will perform Qasr
It is mentioned in Fataawa Thunaiyya that the majority
of the Muhadditheen say that 48 miles is the correct
distance of Shar’i travel (safar). Nine miles
is incorrect. (vol.1, pg.482)
Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiallahu anhu) stated that
whoever intends to stopover at any place along his journey for
fifteen days (or more), he should perform his salaah
fully (i.e. he should not perform Qasr salaah.) [Tirmidhi,
Hadith no. 548]
It is established from several ahadith that the saff
(row) should be absolutely straight and no gaps should be left
between the musallis (worshippers). However, some people
insist on spreading their feet and standing in such a manner
that their ankles touch the ankles of their neighbour. What
is the reality of standing in this fashion?
Those who stand in this way base their practice upon a hadith
narrated by Nu’maan bin Basheer (radhiallahu anhu). He
says: "Once Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
faced us and said: "Straighten your rows". He repeated
this thrice. He then said: "By Allah, you must most certainly
straighten your rows or else Allah Ta’ala will disunite your
hearts". Hazrat Nu’maan bin Basheer (radhiallahu anhu)
says: "I then saw the people joining together their shoulders
and ankles". [Abu Dawood, Sahih ibn Khuzaima]
The concluding statement of Hazrat Nu’maan (radhiallahu anhu)
is also reported in Sahih Bukhari.
However, upon analysing this hadith, several points come
to light: Firstly, Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
never commanded the joining of the ankles. No hadith
has yet been found wherein Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi
wasallam) himself instructed the Sahaaba (radhiallahu
anhu) to join their ankles. The Sahaaba (radhiallahu
anhu) had themselves adopted this manner in order to fulfil
the command of straightening the saff. Secondly,
this hadith clearly mentions that Nu’maan bin Basheer
(radhiallahu anhu) saw the Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhu)
doing this PRIOR to the commencement of the salaah.
There is no mention of this position being maintained even after
the salaah had commenced. Therefore we find that great
muhadditheen such as Hafiz ibn Hajar (R.A.) and Allama
Shawkani (R.A.) have regarded this as an extreme measure which
was occasionally adopted by the Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhu)
to ensure that the saff is straight.
In fact, a hadith of Hazrat Anas (radhiallahu anhu) makes
it absolutely clear that this practice was merely a measure
adopted BEFORE the salaah to ensure the straightening
of the saff. He says: "If I had to do that (join
the ankles) with anyone of them (the taabi’een) today,
they would run like wild mules". [Fath al-Bari,
This simply means that the taabi’een severely disliked
that anybody should join their ankles with them. Several points
are understood from this: Firstly, Hazrat Anas (radhiallahu
anhu) had stopped doing this completely. Had this been a
sunnah and not just a manner of ensuring that the saff
was straight, it is impossible that Hazrat Anas (radhiallahu
anhu) would have left it out merely upon somebody disliking
Secondly, the taabi’een would never have disliked it
if they had observed many of the Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhum)
continuously practicing upon this. It was only due to the fact
that they had not generally observed the Sahaaba (radhiallahu
anhum) adopting this procedure that they disliked it. Hence
this makes it crystal clear that the Sahaaba (radhiallahu
anhum) had only occasionally adopted this practice to ensure
the straightening of the saff. It was not a sunnah
in itself, otherwise they would never have left it out.
It has already been made clear that Rasulullah (sallallahu
alaihi wasallam) never himself instructed the joining of
the ankles, nor is there any mention of the Sahaaba (radhiallahu
anhum) having maintained this position even IN salaah.
However, if for a moment we do accept that this position must
be adopted during the course of the salaah as well, the
question is: In which posture of salaah must this position
be maintained? Must it be maintained during qiyaam, ruku,
sajdah and qa’dah or in only some of these postures?
If one says that the ankles should be joined only in the qiyaam
posture, on what basis were the other postures excluded? If
it is argued that it is difficult to do so in ruku and
sajdah, the same could be said for qiyaam, since
to stand with one’s feet spread apart is naturally awkward and
hence it presents a certain amount of difficulty and uneasiness
for many people. In short, this practice is not established
as a sunnah of salaah. It was merely adopted initially
by the Sahaaba (radiallahu anhum) BEFORE the commencement
of salaah to ensure that the rows are straight.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best