A brother said that using two hands in Salah will always be considered excessive movement, and therefore invalidate Salah. Is this correct?



Islamic Text

This is incorrect.

Although there is a relationship between using two hands and excessive movement, it is not always the case. Imam Ibn Abideen narrated the following from Sharh Munyah:

لِأَنَّ مَا يُقَامُ بِالْيَدَيْنِ عَادَةً يَغْلِبُ ظَنُّ النَّاظِرِ أَنَّهُ لَيْسَ فِي الصَّلَاةِ، وَكَذَا قَوْلُ مَنْ اعْتَبَرَ التَّكْرَارَ ثَلَاثًا مُتَوَالِيَةً فَإِنَّهُ يَغْلِبُ الظَّنُّ بِذَلِكَ، فَلِذَا اخْتَارَهُ جُمْهُورُ الْمَشَايِخِ. اهـ. (رد المحتار على الدر المختار)

Normally that which is done using both hands will cause an onlooker to think the person is not in Salah. Likewise, the opinion of those who said three consecutive movements (invalidate Salah), because it leads to the onlooker thinking the person is not praying. And due to this most scholars selected it (this opinion). (Radd al-Muhtaar).

The fact that there is not an absolute correlation between these two opinions and the strongest opinion (the onlooker concluding that one is not praying), is clear from the same book.

وَهُوَ مَبْنِيٌّ عَلَى تَفْسِيرِ الْكَثِيرِ بِمَا اشْتَمَلَ عَلَى الثَّلَاثِ الْمُتَوَالِيَاتِ، وَلَيْسَ الِاعْتِمَادُ عَلَيْهِ

And it (the ruling) is based upon the view that excessive movement is three consecutive moves, and that is not the relied upon opinion. (Radd al-Muhtaar).

In the above Nass (text) Imam Ibn Abideen explains that in this case, three consecutive moves has not invalidated the Salah because it is not the relied upon opinion. In other Masail three consecutive moves is considered to invalidate Salah, the reason for this is that three moves is usually considered excessive movement but not always, since the strongest opinion in the Madhab is that of the onlooker.

It is the same with regards to using two hands, it is not the sound opinion but sometimes coincides with the sound opinion.

ويكره رفع اليدين عند إرادة الركوع والرفع عندنا لا يفسد على الصحيح (مراقي الفلاح)

And it is Makruh (disliked) to raise the hands (Raff al-Yadayn) when intending Ruku (bowing) and rising (from it) according to us (the Hanafi scholars), but it does not invalidate Salah according to the sound opinion. (Maraaqi al-Falah).

رَفْعُ الْيَدَيْنِ لَا يُفْسِدُ الصَّلَاةَ

Raising the hands does not invalidate the Salah. (al-Fataawa al-Hindiyah).

رفع اليدين لا يفسد الصلاة

Raising the hands does not invalidate the Salah. (al-Muheet al-Burhaani).

In the above Nussoss (texts) we see that raising both hands does not invalidate Salah. Thus proving that there is not an absolute correlation between the opinion of using two hands and that of the onlooker. Rather there is sometimes a departure, despite a person using two hands for something the prayer remains valid.

It is clear from the above that using two hands is not always deemed excessive movement. So it is not always considered that an onlooker will deem the person to be outside of Salah. To equate the two opinions in an absolute sense is incorrect, and not a sound understanding of the Nass from Sharh Munyah.

And Allah (Most High) Knows best.

– Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen (22.03.2021)

See also:

Excessive movement whilst carrying a child

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