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Friday, 27 Ramadân 1435 AH / 25th July 2014 CE


On Raising the Hands in Prayer #2

by Abű al-‘Alâ Muhammad ‘Abdur-Rahmân bin Abdur-Rahîm al-Mubârakpűrî

Translated by Abu Rumaysah

Discussion Of The Hadith Of Bara’a Bin ‘Azib And Ibn Mas’ud

  • His saying, "Waki' narrated to us" He is ibn al-Jarrah.
  • His saying, "from Sufyan" He is ath-Thawri.
  • His saying, "from 'Asim bin Kulayb"
Al-Hafidh said in his introduction to al-Fat’h,

  “'Asim bin Kulayb al-Jarmi: he was declared thiqah by an-Nasa'i and ibn al-Madini said, 'he is not depended upon in that which he is alone in narrating'."

  • His saying, "so he prayed and he did not raise his hands except the first time."
This is depended upon by those who state that the raising of hands at the time of going into ruku' and rising from it is abrogated. However this hadith is da'if as you will come to know and there is no authentic hadith to support this stance.
  • His saying, "and the hadith pertaining to this are reported from Bara'a bin 'Azib"
He said,

  "I saw the Messenger of Allah (SAW) when he started the prayer raise his hands to near his ears, then he did not repeat that."

Reported by Abu Dawud and ad-Daruqutni and it is from the narration of Yazid bin Abu Zayd from 'Abdur-Rahman bin Abu Layla from him (i.e. Bara'a). The Hadith Masters (Huffadh) have agreed that his saying, "then he did not repeat that" is mudraj[1] in the narration from the saying of Yazid bin Abu Ziyad. The hadith is reported from Bara'a without the addition by Shu'ba, ath-Thawri, Khalid at-Tahhan, Zuhayr and other Hadith Masters.[2]

Al-Humaydi said, "this narration was narrated by Yazid, and Yazid added to it.”

'Uthman ad-Darimi said, quoting from Imam Ahmad, "it is not authentic." Similarly al-Bukhari, Ahmad, Yahya ad-Darimi, al-Humaydi and others declared it to be da'if.

Yahya bin Muhammad Yahya said, "I heard Ahmad bin Hanbal saying, 'this hadith is flimsy, Yazid used to narrate this for a period of time in his life without saying, "and he did not repeat that", and when he had suggestions whispered to him, he mentioned it.'"

This was mentioned by al-Hafidh in at-Talkhis [p. 83] and he added that "ad-Daruqutni reported this hadith via the route of 'Ali bin 'Asim; from Muhammad bin Abdur-Rahman bin Abu Layla; from Yazid bin Abu Ziyad. Ibn Abi 'Asim said, 'I went to Kufah and I met Yazid bin Abu Ziyad and he narrated this hadith to me but he did not mention, "then he did not repeat that", so I said to him, 'verily ibn Abu Layla narrates this hadith to me from you and in it is, "then he did not repeat that"'. He replied, 'I have not preserved this'"[3]

  • His saying, "the hadith of ibn Mas'ud is a hasan hadith"
It is reported by Ahmad and Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi declared it hasan and ibn Hazm declared it sahih.

Ibn al-Mubarak declared it da'if and said, "the hadith of ibn Mas'ud is not established." as mentioned by at-Tirmidhi.

Abu Dawud said in his Sunan [p. 272] after reporting this hadith, "this hadith is a summary of a long hadith and it is not sahih with this wording."[4]

Imam Bukhari said in Juz' Raf'i-l-Yadayn after mentioning the hadith, "Imam Ahmad said, narrating from Yahya bin Adam who said, 'I saw the hadith of 'Abdullah bin Idris; from 'Asim bin Kulayb, and there was not in it, "then he did not repeat that" '. This is more authentic as the [contents of a] book are more preserved according to the People Knowledge because a man narrates something, then he consults the book and it is as it is in the book. Al-Hasan bin Rabi' narrated to us; from ibn Idris; from 'Asim bin Kulayb; from 'Abdur-Rahman bin al-Aswad; 'Alqama narrated to us that, ''Abdullah [i.e. ibn Mas'ud] said, "the Messenger of Allah (SAW) taught us the prayer" so he stood and made takbir and raised his hands, then performed the ruku' and put his hands together between his knees. This reached Sa'd who said, 'my brother has spoken truthfully but we used to do that in the beginning of Islam, then we were commanded with this [i.e. placing the hands on the knees in ruku').' Imam Bukhari said: and this is what is preserved according to the People of Research into the hadith of ibn Mas'ud"

Al-Hafidh ibn 'Abdi-l-Barr said in at-Tamhid, "as for the hadith of ibn Mas'ud, 'shall I not pray with you the prayer of the Messenger (SAW)' so he prayed and did not raise his hands except once then indeed Abu Dawud said, 'this is a summary of a long hadith and it is not sahih with this meaning'. Al-Bazzar said, 'it is not established and the likes of this is not depended upon.' As for the hadith of ibn 'Umar mentioned in this chapter then the hadith was said in Madinah and is sahih, having no narrators accused of anything. The likes of what he reports has been narrated from more than twelve Companions."

Al-Hafidh az-Zayla'i said in Nasb ar-Rayah, "ibn Abi Hatim said in Kitabu-l-'Ilal, 'I asked my father about the hadith related from Sufyan ath-Thawri; from 'Asim bin Kulayb; from 'Abdur-Rahman bin al-Aswad; from 'Alqama; from 'Abdullah "that the Prophet (SAW) stood and made takbir and raised his hands and then did not repeat that." My father said, "this is a mistake, and it is said the mistake is from ath-Thawri for a group of people have narrated from 'Asim and all of them have said, "that the Prophet (SAW) stood in prayer and he raised his hands, then he performed the ruku' and placed his hands together between his knees." Not one of them narrate what ath-Thawri reports." ' "

Al-Hafidh ibn Hajr said in at-Talkhis, "this hadith is declared hasan by at-Tirmidhi and sahih by ibn Hazm. Ibn al-Mubarak said, 'it is not established with me' and ibn Abi Hatim said from his father that 'this hadith is a mistake'. Ahmad bin Hanbal and his Shaykh Yahya bin Adam said, 'it is da'if'. Al-Bukhari quoted this from them and followed them in their verdict. Abu Dawud said, 'it is not authentic.' Ad-Daruqutni said, 'it is not established'. Ibn Hibban said in as-Salah, 'this is the best narration that the people of Kufah narrate with regards to negating raising the hands in prayer at the ruku' and at rising from it. In reality it is the weakest of things to depend on because it has defects that invalidate it'"[5]

So with all of this it is established that the hadith of ibn Mas'ud is not sahih or hasan, rather it is da'if and the likes of it is not used as proof. As for the declaring of it to be hasan by at-Tirmidhi then that is not to be depended upon due to his being lenient in his verdicts [of authenticity]. As for ibn Hazm declaring it sahih then what is obvious is that his authentication is from the point of view of sanad (chain of narration) and it is known that the authenticity of the sanad does not necessitate the authenticity of the matn (text). This despite the fact that the declaring sahih of ibn Hazm is not to be depended upon in the light of it being declared da'if by these precise Hadith Masters. So depending upon this weak hadith for leaving the raising of hands and its abrogation except when commencing [the prayer] is not correct.

Even if we concede and accept that the hadith of ibn Mas'ud is sahih or hasan, then what is obvious is that ibn Mas'ud forgot about it as he forgot about many matters.

Al-Hafidh az-Zayla'i said in Nasb ar-Rayah, quoting from the author of at-Tanqih that, "there is nothing strange in the forgetting of ibn Mas'ud, for ibn Mas'ud forgot from the Qur'an that which the Muslims afterwards did not disagree upon - the mu'awwadhatain (i.e. including them as part of the Qur'an)[6]. He forgot about that which the scholars have agreed as regards its abrogation, like placing the hands together [between the knees when in ruku'][7] and how two people stand behind the Imam[8]. He forgot about that which the scholars do not differ about that the Prophet (SAW) prayed subh at its time on the Day of al-Nahr. He forgot how the Prophet (SAW) combined [prayers] on 'Arafah and he forgot about that which the scholars do not differ about with regards to placing the elbow and the forearm on the floor in prostration. He forgot how the Prophet (SAW) used to recite, "wa ma khalaqadh dhakara wal untha"[9]. So if it is possible that ibn Mas'ud forgets the likes of these in prayer then how is it not possible that he forgets the raising of the hands?'"[10]

If we accept that ibn Mas'ud did not forget this, then the ahadith of raising the hands in three places takes precedence over the hadith of ibn Mas'ud. This is because it has been narrated by such a large number of Companions (RAA) to the extent that as-Suyuti said, “the hadith of raising hands [at ruku'] are mutawatir from the Prophet (SAW)” as you have come to know in what has preceded.

Al-'Ayni said in Sharhu-l-Bukhari, "from amongst the methods of choosing the stronger opinion [is to consider] the large number of narrators and the fame of what is narrated. Even if one of two narrations is narrated by one and the other by two, then the one narrated by two takes precedence in acting upon."

Al-Hafidh al-Hazimi said in Kitabu-l-I'tibar, "and from what makes one hadith weightier than another is the number of narrations of one of them. This fact is taken into consideration in the subject of narration because it takes one closer to that which necessitates definitive knowledge - the mutawatir hadith."

Furthermore the hadith of ibn Mas'ud does not lend evidence to the abrogation of raising hands except at the beginning [of the prayer] rather it lends evidence to it not being obligatory. Ibn Hazm said in his discussion of the hadith of Bara'a bin 'Azib mentioned previously, "if it is authentic, it is evidence that he (SAW) did that [i.e. leave the raising of the hands at ruku'] to explain its permissibility, so there is no contradiction between it and the hadith of ibn 'Umar and others."[11]

I say: and all of this is if one concedes to the fact [that the hadith is indeed authentic], and if not then the hadith of ibn Mas'ud is da'if and is not to be used as a proof as you have come to know.

  • His saying, "and of this opinion were more than one of the people of knowledge from the companions of the Prophet (SAW)"
That is what is narrated from 'Umar, 'Ali and ibn 'Umar, and the discussion on these narrations will follow.[12]


1 i.e. an addition to the hadith interpolated by one of its narrators, in this case Yazid, and therefore not from the words or actions of the Prophet (SAW).

2 Talkhis al-Habir [1/400].

3 Talkhis al-Habir [1/401].

4 'Awn al-Ma'bud [2/446].

5 Talkhis al-Habir [1/402].

6 Some of the scholars mentioned that ibn Mas'ud only rejected the fact that they should be written in the mus`haf, not that he rejected their actually being a part of the Qur'an. For a detailed discussion concerning this refer to Fat`hu-l-Bari [8/963-964].

7 An-Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim [5/13] said, “our madh`hab and the madh`hab of the entirety of the scholars is that it is the Sunnah to place the hands upon the knees [during ruku'] and that it is reprehensible to place the hands together between the knees (tatbiq). [All scholars that is] except ibn Mas'ud and his two companions 'Alqamah and al-Aswad, for they held that the Sunnah was tatbiq because the abrogating text did not reach them. The abrogating text is the hadith of Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas (RA). The correct opinion is the opinion of the majority due to the existence of an explicit abrogating text.”

8 As-Sarakhsi, al-Mabsut [chpt. Iftitahu-s-Salah] said, “as for that which is reported that ibn Mas'ud (RA) prayed with 'Alqamah and al-Aswad in one house, [leading them] by standing in the middle of them [in the same row], then Ibrahim an-Nakha'i (RH) said that this was due to lack of space in the house. However the most correct view is that this was the actual opinion of ibn Mas'ud (RA) and this is why the [author] said in his book, "and if the Imam does not come forward but prays with them, then their prayer is complete."…”

An-Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim [5/14] said, ”this is the opinion of ibn Mas'ud and his two companions. All of the scholars from amongst the Companions differed with them on this as did all scholars to this day saying that if there are two people with the Imam then they should form a row behind him. This is due to the hadith of Jabir and Jabbar bin Sakhr.”

The hadith concerning this action of ibn Mas'ud is to be found in Muslim [chpt. 'The recommendation of placing the hands on the knees in ruku' and the abrogation of tatbiq'].

9 Qur'an [92:3].

10 The editors to Zad al-Ma'ad of ibn al-Qayyim, Shu'ayb and 'Abdu-l-Qadir al-Arna'ut, in there footnotes [1/218-219] endorse these words of az-Zayla'i and refer them to Nasb ar-Rayah [1/394, 397]. Similarly an-Nawawi quotes this in Majmu'

11 It is in this light that the narrations from some of the Companions that they did not raise their hands at ruku' are to be understood. This is especially true as the basic principle is the absence of abrogation.

12 Ash-Shawkani, Nayl al-Awtar [2/202] said, "...and they seek support also with what is reported from ibn 'Abbas that he said, 'the Messenger of Allah (SAW) used to raise his hands whenever he made ruku' and whenever he rose from it. Then it came about that he raised them at the commencement of prayer only and left the rest.' Ibn al-Jawzi reported it and said, 'it has no basis, and I do not know who narrates it and what is authentic from ibn 'Abbas contradicts this.'

The like of this narration is reported from ibn Zubair. Ibn al-Jawzi said, ”it has no basis and I do not know who narrates it and what is authentic from ibn Zubair contradicts this.' "

Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Mawdu'at [2/97 chpt. "The forbiddance of raising hands at prayer except when commencing it"] also mentions a hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah and Anas, "the one who raises his hands in prayer, then there is no prayer for him," and declared it to be fabricated.

Likewise adh-Dhahabi endorsed this in his Tartib to al-Mawdu'at [no.471].


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