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When making Takbeer-e-Tahrirna (to begin one’s Salaah), it is Sunnat for men to raise their hands until their ears. Doing so is proven by many Ahadith. For the sake of brevity, we present only a few:

1. Hadrat Maalik ibn Huwairath رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, “When the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم used to make Takbeer, he would lift his blessed hands until his cars.” 33.1 Other words of Hadith state that he lifted them until his earlobes. – Bukhari. Muslim, Tahaawi

2. Hadrat Baraa ibn Aazib رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ narrates, “I saw the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم lifting his hands until his ears when beginning namaaz, After that, he would never lift his hands (until his ears) again during the Salaah.’.33.1a -Abu Dawood

3. Hadrat Wail ibn Hajar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ says, “I saw Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم lift his hands when entering narnaaz.’ 33.2 Another narrator states that he used to lift them to his ears and thereafter cover his hands in his clothes.-­Muslim

4. Hadrat Abu Qulaaba رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, “Maalik ibn Huwairath رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ saw the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم lift his hands until his earlobes when making Takbeer-e-Tahrirna and lifting his head from Ruku.’ 33.3 – Bukhari, Abu Dawood, Nasaa.

5. And Hadrat Anas رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ to narrates, “I saw the Prophet lift his hands until his ears when he made the Takbeer-e- Tahrima of Narnaaz.’ 33.4 _ Mustadraq, Daar Qutni, Baihaqi

To tie the hands below the navel in Salaah is also Sunnah. Many Ahadith confirm this:

1. Hadrat Wail ibn Hajar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, “I saw the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم place his right hand over his left, below his navel, namaaz. Ibn Abi Shaiba رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ has narrated this Hadith with a Sahih chain (sanad). All of its narrators are credible.

2. Ibn Shaaheen رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ reports that Hadrat Ali رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہonce said, “There are three habits of prophethood: hunying in breaking the fast, delaying Sehri and placing the right handover the left below the navel in Namaaz.”33.6

3. Hadrat Ali رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, “In Namaaz, to place the hand on the other (and in another narration: “to place the right hand over the left”) below the navel is Sunnat., 33.6a -Daar Qutni

4. Hadrat Anas رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, “To place the right hand over the left below the navel is one of the characteristics of prophethood.” 33.7 Ibn Hazam

5. Hadrat Abu Jubaifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states that Hadrat Ali رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ once said, “To tie the hands in namaaz is Sunnat, and both must be placed below the navel.” 33.8 -Razeen

In Salaah, to silently read Bismillah before Surah Fatiha is also Sunnat.
Audible recitation should commence with Surah Fatiha:

1. Hadrat Anas رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ narrates, “I performed Salaah behind Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم , Hadrat Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ and did not hear any of them read ‘Bismillaahir-Rahmanir-Raheem’.” 33.9 – Muslim, Bukhari, Ahmad

2. Hadrat Anas رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, “Indeed the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم, Hadrat Abu Bakr and Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ used to begin their recitation (Qirat) with ‘Alhamdulillahi Rabbil-Aalameen’.” 33.10 – Muslim

3. Hadrat Anas رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ says, “Undoubtedly, the Noble Messengerصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم, Hadrat Abu Bakr and Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, used to recite ‘Bismillaahir­Rahmanir-Raheem’ softly.” – Tabrani, Abu Nuaim, Ibn Khuzaima, Tahaawi

4. Ibn Abi Shaiba reports, “Hadrat Abdullah ibn Mas’ud رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ used to recite ‘Bismillah’, ‘A’uzubillah’ and ‘Rabbanaa lakal-Hamd’ softly.” 33.12

5. And Hadrat Aisha رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہا states, “The Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم used to be in his Salaah with Takbeer and his Qirat with “Al-Hamdu …” 33.13 ­Muslim, Abu Dawood

When performing Namaaz behind an Imam, for a follower (muqtadi) to recite the Holy Quran is strictly prohibited. This is proven from Quranic ayats and Ahadith.
Quranic Ayats:

I. “When the Holy Quran is recited, listen attentively to it and remain silent so that you may be shown mercy.” 33.14 _ Surah Aaraaf Verse 204

2. “And stand for Allahعزوجل in obedience (silence).” 33.15 _ Surah Baqarah, Verse 238

Ahadith:

1. Hadrat Ataa ibn Yasaar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ asked the Sahaabi, Hadrat Zaid ibn Haarith رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, about recitation (Qirat) with the Imam “انہ سئل زید ابن ثابت عن القراء ۃ مع الامام فقال لا قراءۃ مع الامام فی شیء” .He answered, “Qirat is completely not allowed with the Imam.”- Muslim, Baabu Sujoodit- Tilaawat

2. Hadrat Abu Bakr رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ to once asked Salmaan, “What do you think about the Hadith of Abu Hurairah رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ .He replied, “It is entirely sound (Sahih).” 33.16 In other words, the Hadith “When the Imam makes Qirat, you must remain silent” is Sahih. – Muslim, Baabut­Tashahud

3. Hadrat Jaabir رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ narrates, “The person who performed namaaz but didn’t recite Surah Fatiha has not performed namaaz, except for when he behind an Imam (In other words, he shouldn’t recite Surah Fatiha at that time). 33.17- Tirmidhi

4. Hadrat Abu Hurairah رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ reports that Sayyiduna Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم said, “The Imam has been ppointed so that he may be followed. So, when he makes Takbecr, you
make Takbeer, and when he recites, you remain silent.” 33.18 – Nasaa’i

5. Hadrat Ali رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ narrates, “A man asked the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم “Should I recite behind the Imam or remain silent?” He replied, “Remain silent. The Imam is sufficient for you.” 33.19 -Daar-Qutni

 According to the Hanafi muzhab, every person reading Salaah (whether he is an Imam, follower or alone; or whether the namaaz is audible (Jahri) or silent (Sirri)) must say “Aameen” silently:

I. Hadrat Abu Hurairah رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states that the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم once said, “When the lmam says “Aarneen”, you say it too, because whoever’s Aameen conforms to the Aameen of the angels will have his previous sins forgiven.” 33.20 – Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, Maalik, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, Nasaa’i, Ibn Majah
This Hadith establishes that the previous sins of he whose “Aameen” corresponds to the “Aameen” of the angels arc forgiven, and it is apparent that the angels say “Aameen” silently, since no one has heard it until today. Thus, we should also say “Aameen” softly.

2. Hadrat Waa’il ibn Hajar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, “I performed Salaah behind the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم .When he reached “… walad-Daaleen”, he. said “Aameen” while keeping his voice soft.” 33.21 – Ahmed, Abu Dawood Tayaalsi, Abu Ya ‘laa. Daar-Qutni, Mustatrak

3. He also narrates, “قال سمعت رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم قرء غیر المغضوب علیھم و لا الضالین فقال امین و خفض بہ صوتہ” (The translation is the same as the above Hadith.) – Abu Dawood, Tirmidhl, Ibn Abi Shaiba

4. And, “Hadrat Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ and Hadrat Ali رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ never recited “Bismillah” or “Aameen” loudly.” 33.22 – Tahaawi, Tahzeebul-­Asaar

5. Hadrat Abdullah ibn Mas’ud رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, “The Imam must say four things silently: ‘Bismillah’, ‘Rabbana lakal-Hamd’, ‘A’uzubillah’ and ‘At-Tahiyaat’.,,33.23 – Baihaqi

According to the Hanafi muzhab, when going to and coming up from Ruku, the hands shouldn’t be lifted:

1. Hadrat Alqamah رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, “Once, Hadrat Abdullah ibn Mas’ud رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ said, “Should I demonstrate the method of Rasoolullah’sصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم namaaz?” He then performed Salaah and, except for Takbeer-e-Tahrima, never raised his hands.” Imam Tirmidhi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ has said that this Hadith of Hadrat Abdullah ibn Mas’ud رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ is Hasan. Not raising the hands during the namaaz (Rafa Yadain) is the practice of many Ulama of the Sahaaba and Taba’een.” 33.24 – Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, Nasaa’i, Ibn Abi Shoiba

2. Hadrat Baraa ibn Aazib رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ once said, “When the Messengerصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم used to begin namaaz, he would lift his hands and never raise them again until its end.” 33.25 – Ibn Abi Shaiba

3. Hadrat Mujaahid رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, “I performed namaaz behind Abdullah ibn Umar 4-. Except for the first Takbeer of narnaaz, he never raised his hands again.”33.26 – Tahaawi, Ibn Abi Shaiba

4. There is a narration regarding Hadrat Ali رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, that, “… He used to lift his hands for the first Takbeer of namaaz and never again in any position.” 33.27 – Baihaqi, Tahuawi

5. Hadrat Aswad رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, “I saw Umar ibn Khattab رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ raising his hands for the first Takbeer. After that, he didn’t raise his hands again in namaaz.” 33.28 Imam Tahaawi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ has stated that this Hadith is Sahih.

The muzhab of Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ also rules that Witr Salaah is Waajib and the person who omits it is a sever sinner. Making it’s Qadhaa is necessary. According to us, Witr Salaah has 3 rakaats.
On Witr being Waajib:
I. Hadrat Abu Ayub رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states that the Messengerصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم once said, “Witr is necessary on every Muslim.” 3).29 – Abu Dawood, Nasaa’i, Ibn Majah

2. Hadrat Abdullah ibn Mas’ud رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ also reports the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم to have said, “قال قال رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم الوتر واجب علی کل مسلم”. The translation is the same as the above Hadith.

On Witr being 3 rakaats:

1. The Holy Prophet’sصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم practice is reported by Hadrat Aisha رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہا “He used to perform 3 rakaats of Witr and only make Salaam on the last rakaat.”31.30 -Nasaa ‘i, Tahaawi, Tibrani, Haakim

2. Hadrat Abdullah ibn Mas’ud رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states that the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم once said, “The witr (odd number of rakaats) of the night has three rakaats, just as the witr of the day (Maghrib Salaah).” 33.31 _ Daar­Qutni, Baihaqi

3. And Hadrat Ibn Abbas رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, “Indeed the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم used to perform three rakaats as Witr Salaah.,,33.32 – Tahaawi

In both At-Tahiyaats, a male must sit on his legs by raising the sole of the right leg while keeping the left spread:
1. Sayyidah Aisha رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہا states, “The Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم used to spread his left leg and keep his right leg raised:,)3.3 – Muslim

2. Hadrat Abdullah ibn Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, ‘The Sunnat of namaaz is lifting the right leg and spreading the left.” 33.34 The narration of Nasaa’i also states that the toes of the right leg should face the Qibla. – Bukhari, Nasaa’i

3. Hadrat Abu Saeed Khudri رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states; “when you sit in namaaz, raise your right leg and keep your left leg spread.” 33.35 -Baihaqi

 If a person comes to the Musjid while the jamaat of Fajr salaah is being made and he hasn’t yet read the two rakaats Sunnat, he should stand away from the jamaat and perform them, on condition that he has a strong probability of being able to join the jamaat once he finishes (even if it’s at At- Tahiyaat):

1. Hadrat Abu Uthmau رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, “Hadrat Abdullah ibn Abbas رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ entered the Musjid while the Imam was leading the Fajr congregation. He hadn’t performed his Sunnah of Fajr yet, so he did away from the Imam and thereafter joined the jarnaat.” 33.36 – Tahaawi

2. Hadrat Abu Ubaidullah رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ narrates, “Hadrat Abu Darda رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ entered the Musjid while people were already in the saffs of Fajr namaaz.
He proceeded to perform two rakaats in a corner of the Musjid and then joined the jamaat.” 33.37 – Ibid

3. Imam Hasan رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ has said, “Perform the Sunnah of Fajr in a corner of the Musjid and thereafter join the jamaat in namaaz.”33.38 – Ibid

To recite Surah Fatiha or any part of the Holy Quran in Janaazah Salaah with the intention of recitation (tilaawat) is impermissible:

1. Hadrat Abdullah ibn Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ never recited the Holy Quran in Salaatul-Janaazah. – Mu ‘atta Imam Malik.
All of the above 10 Hanafi rulings regarding narnaaz are supported by other Quranic verses, Ahadith, interpretations and even rational thinking. So, Ghair­Muqallids (who say that Hanafi rulings have no basis from the Ahadith) should be cautious.
[Translator’s note: The learned author of this book has extensively discussed these and several other rulings of the Hanafi muzhab. This discussion is very scholarly and is better understood by the Ularna fraternity. We have presented only the above for the general Muslim public.]