Some people raise their hands (Raf al-Yadayn) before and after Ruku (the bowing), but the Hanafis do not do it. What is the reason for this?

ⓘ Supported by Al Medina 313.



Islamic Text

The Hanafi scholars are more convinced of the interpretation of the Sahabah who considered the raising of the Hands (Raf al-Yadayn) to be abrogated. Therefore, they do not consider it Sunnah. There are numerous authentic Hadith narrations supporting this position.

عَنْ عَلْقَمَةَ، قَالَ: قَالَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مَسْعُودٍ: أَلَا أُصَلِّي بِكُمْ صَلَاةَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ؟ فَصَلَّى، فَلَمْ يَرْفَعْ يَدَيْهِ إِلَّا فِي أَوَّلِ مَرَّةٍ. وَفِي البَابِ عَنْ البَرَاءِ بْنِ عَازِبٍ. حَدِيثُ ابْنِ مَسْعُودٍ حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ، وَبِهِ يَقُولُ غَيْرُ وَاحِدٍ مِنْ أَهْلِ العِلْمِ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَالتَّابِعِينَ، وَهُوَ قَوْلُ سُفْيَانَ الثَّوْرِيِّ، وَأَهْلِ الكُوفَةِ

Alqamah narrated that (Sayidina) Abdullah bin Mas’ud (May Allah Most High be pleased with him) said, ‘Shall I not demonstrate the Prayer of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ to you?’ Then he offered Salat and he did not raise his hands except while saying the first Takbir. (Tirmidhi 257, Hasan).

The Hadith above has also been narrated by Abu Dawood (748), Nasai (1058), Ahmad (3681) and many others. The narrations are Sahih. As for the narration above, Imam al-Tirmidhi declared it Hasan. Therefore, we have numerous sound narrations from Sayidina Abdullah bin Masood (May Allah Most High be pleased with him) establishing that the Prophet ﷺ did not raise his Mubarak Hands in Salah except at the beginning.

After narrating the Hadith, Imam al-Tirmidhi mentioned that a number of the Sahabah and Tabieen held this opinion. See the links below for more details.

عَنِ الْبَرَاءِ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ كَانَ إِذَا افْتَتَحَ الصَّلَاةَ رَفَعَ يَدَيْهِ إِلَى قَرِيبٍ مِنْ أُذُنَيْهِ، ثُمَّ لَا يَعُودُ

(Sayidina) al-Bara’ (ibn Azib) narrated that when the Messenger of Allah ﷺ began the prayer, he raised his hands up to close to his ears, then he did not return to it. (Abu Dawood, 749).

The above Hadith has been narrated by Abu Dawood numerous times (750, 751, 752). Although these narrations are not as strong as the Hadith above, they do support it. This narration is also found in the Musanaf of Imam Ibn Abi Shaybah (2440) and others.

As well as these prophetic narrations establishing the absence of Raf al-Yadayn (raising the hands), there are narrations from numerous leading Sahabah practicing the same, as mentioned by Imam al-Tirmidhi. However, this does not negate the difference of opinion that exists. Rather there were also scholars who felt that Raf al-Yadayn (raising the hands) should be practiced.

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا، قَالَ: ” رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِذَا قَامَ فِي الصَّلاَةِ رَفَعَ يَدَيْهِ حَتَّى يَكُونَا حَذْوَ مَنْكِبَيْهِ، وَكَانَ يَفْعَلُ ذَلِكَ حِينَ يُكَبِّرُ لِلرُّكُوعِ، وَيَفْعَلُ ذَلِكَ إِذَا رَفَعَ رَأْسَهُ مِنَ الرُّكُوعِ، وَيَقُولُ: سَمِعَ اللَّهُ لِمَنْ حَمِدَهُ، وَلاَ يَفْعَلُ ذَلِكَ فِي السُّجُودِ “

(Sayidina) Abdullah bin Umar (May Allah Most High be pleased with them both) said, ‘I saw that whenever the Messenger of Allah ﷺ stood for the prayer, he used to raise both his hands up to the shoulders. He ﷺ used to do the same upon uttering the Takbir for bowing and on raising his ﷺ head from it, and he ﷺ used to say, “Allah (Most High) hears the one who praises Him”. But he did not do that (i.e. raise his hands) in prostration.’ (Sahih al-Bukhari, 736).

The Sahih narration above establishes Raf al-Yadayn (raising the hands). However, this does not negate the existence of a difference of opinion amongst the Sahabah. Some people attempt to oversimplify the issue and negate room for any valid difference of opinion.

There are also Hadith narrations that establish Raf al-Yadayn (raising the hands) during Sujood. See Abu Dawood (739), Ahmad (20537), Ibn Maja (861) and others. Yet many of the people who practice Raf al-Yadayn (raising the hands) will not do so during Sujood.

It is clear that the issue of Raf al-Yadayn (raising the hands) is not agreed upon and the Sahabah differed over it. In such cases it is the way of Ahl al-Sunnah to respect such differences and not to attempt to undermine them.

عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ سَمُرَةَ، قَالَ: خَرَجَ عَلَيْنَا رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَ: مَا لِي أَرَاكُمْ رَافِعِي أَيْدِيكُمْ كَأَنَّهَا أَذْنَابُ خَيْلٍ شُمْسٍ؟ اسْكُنُوا فِي الصَّلَاةِ

(Sayidina) Jabir bin Samurah (May Allah Most High be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ came to us and said, ‘Why is it that I see you raising your hands like the tails of headstrong horses? Be tranquil in Salah.’ (Sahih Muslim, 430 – 119).

In the Sahih Hadith above we find a prohibition upon Raf al-Yadayn (raising the hands). Once again demonstrating that this is not a simple issue. Rather there is room for Ikhtilaaf.

فظهر بما رَوَيْنا من الطرفين: ثبوت كلٍ من الأمرَيْن عن النبيّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ثم اختلف أصحابه في بقائه وعدمه. فآثرنا قول ابن مسعود ومن وافقه. (فتح باب العناية بشرح النقاية)

Therefore, it is clear from what we have narrated from both sides that both (i.e. Raf al-Yadayn and refraining from it) are established from the Prophet ﷺ. Thereafter, his companions differed over it remaining or being discontinued. (Imam Ali al-Qari, Fath Bab al-Inayah).

The position of Ahl al-Sunnah is summarised by Imam Ali al-Qari above. We recognise that both positions, establishing and negating Raf al-Yadayn (raising the hands), are substantiated through Hadith narrations. We also recognise a valid difference of opinion and respect it.

And Allah Most High Knows Best.

-Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen Rashid (11.01.2023)

See also:
Respecting difference of opinion
Sayidina Ali did not practice Raf al-Yadayn

Ibn Masood did not do Raf al-Yadayn

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