Fiqh class- Salaah.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Weekly Fiqh classes on various important subjects are conducted by Mufti Kaleem. These are beneficial and practical summaries of the classes.

Six Points in Salah

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th           6th
Qiyaam Ruku’ Qawmah Sajdah Jalsah Qa’dah


Laws pertaining to the Qiyaam (Standing)

  1. Standing, taking support on both legs
  2. Toes facing towards the Qiblah
  3. Lines must be straight, this is achieved by placing the heels on the markings and straightening the shoulders.

Question: Where should one praying on a chair place his chair?

Answer: Generally, the straightening of the lines is achieved by the heels of the Worshipers all being in the same line. As for those who offer Salah sitting, for them the straightening of the lines would be achieved by placing the posterior (buttocks) in line. Therefore, if a person is offering Salah seated on a chair he should place the two back legs of the chair on the line. NB: Those performing Salah on a chair do not need to stand, rather it is better for them to sit. The reason being is that, for such a person, Qiyaam (standing) is not obligatory upon him and thus the ruling of a person sitting will also be applicable to him.

  1. Feet spaced apart the distance which is comfortable (preferably the width of four fingers)[1]

Question: Ruling on standing with the feet spaced apart and toes touching.

Answer: Standing is such a manner is contrary to the established Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ. This was not something instructed by the Prophet ﷺ nor was it an action endorsed by the Prophet ﷺ. Furthermore, it is a not view held by the main stream Scholars of Islam through the past centuries, rather it is a newly invented matter stemmed from a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the Hadith of the Prophet ﷺ.

The Prophet ﷺ has instructed and emphasized in numerous Ahaadith the importance of straightening the lines for Salah and filling the empty gaps. The wordings used in many authentic narrations for the straightening of lines and filling of gaps are; the joining of the Shoulder, joining of the necks, joining of ankles and joining of the knees. Thus is clear that the literal meaning is not intended rather it shows extra emphasis and exaggeration on the matter. Furthermore this innovated manner of standing distracts a person in Salah as he has to make adjustments at every posture in Salah. It also causes great discomfort to those standing next to such a person. Also the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ is that the toes be faced towards the Qiblah as is clearly mentioned in the Sahih of Imam al Bukhari.

  1. Raising the hands with the palms facing the Qiblah
  2. Looking at the Qiblah (and not the ground) when raising the hands
  3. Raising the hands before saying Takbeer[2]
  4. Takbeer must uttered and pronounced, merely raising the hands will not suffice.
  5. If a person prolongs the Alif in the word Allah his Salah will be invalid. Similarly if he prolongs the Hamzah in the word A
  • It is Makrooh to prolong the Baa in the word Akbar
  • It is Makrooh omit the Shaddah in the word All
  • When raising the hands, the fingers should not be closely joined nor should they be spaced apart, rather it should be in their natural state.
  • Hands should be raised until (parallel to) the earlobes (without touching). If a person raises his hands in such a manner that the tip of his fingers are parallel to his earlobes with his wrists and palms in line with the shoulders, it will also be correct except that the former is the preferred view of the Madhab. [3]
  • Placing hands after Takbeer below the navels without dropping then at the sides.
  • After Takbeer the gaze should be at the place of Sajdah.
  • If a person turns his face away from the Qiblah his Salah will still be valid. If however, his chest is turned away his Salah becomes nullified.
  • Placing the right hand on the left.

Question: How should the hands be placed?

Answer: The method of placing is described in the Hadith of the Prophet ﷺ as “placing the right on the left” and in other narrations “grasping the left with the right”. For this reason the Hanafi Jurists have stated that both evidences can be acted upon by, grasping the left wrist with the thumb and little finger of the right hand while placing the other three fingers straight upon the left forearm.

Question: What is the ruling on placing the hands beneath the Neck when performing Salah?

Answer:  Placing the right hand over the left is an established Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ.

Al-Kamal ibn al-Hamam author of Fath al-Qadeer is of the opinion that; “There is no authentic Hadith stating that one must place the hands on or near (under) the chest or below the navel. Thus the Scholars of Islam differ regarding the most preferable place.

Imam Abu Hanifa (ra): below the navel

Imam Shafi’e (ra): on the chest.

Despite the differences of opinion among the scholars of Islam, there are no records of placing the hands below the neck.

Imam Ahmad (ra): It is correct to place the hands on the navel, above the navel and below the navel. [Badai’ al Fawaid by Ibn Qayim Pg.91 Vol3].

The author of “La Jadeeda fi Ahkaam al-Salah (Sheikh Bakr ibn `Abdullah Abu Zaid)[4] states; placing the hands on the Nahr (the portion of the chest closest the neck), beneath the beard is a new manner (innovation) which is not established from the Sunnah of the Prophet or any Athar (statements and verdicts from the Sahaba, Tabi’een, Imams, Muhadith etc), it is not a reliable and substantiated view. It (such view) is the result of an over exaggeration in the understanding and implementing the hadith of the Prophet .  (Pg.33)

In conclusion, placing the hands just beneath the neck or collar-bone is a newly invented matter (innovation).

  • Recitation of Thana, Ta’awuz, Tasmiya, Fatiha, Ta’meen and Surah/s or selected verses of the Quran.
  • It is commendable/desirable to recite Tasmiya after Fatiha before commencing a surah. If however verses of a surah other than the beginning is recited then there is no need to recite Tasmiya after Fatiha.[5]
  • A person performing Salah behind an Imam (in congregation) will only recite Thana.
  • One should avoid swaying back and forth and side to side when standing in Salah. If such movements are deliberate then Salah becomes Makrooh (disliked).
  1. A person should avoid scratching unless it there is a dire need. If such is the case then it should be minimal.
  • If a person joins the congregation after the Imam commences the recitation, he will not recite anything after Takbeer.
  • If a person joins the congregation while the Imam is in ruku’ he must recite Takbeer standing, thereafter join the Imam in ruku’. There is no need to recite Thana, fold the hands and place them beneath the navel. If however, one has sufficient time to do above Sunnah acts before the Imam raises from ruku’ then he should not leave them out. NB: If time is not sufficient one can still raise his hands while saying Takbeer thereafter join the Imam.
  1. Recitation of the Quran is among the fundamental aspects of Salah without which the Salah is null and void. Thus it is compulsory that the Quran be recited with the proper pronunciation while adhering to the rules of Tajweed.
  2. The person who does not endeavor to learn to recite the Quran correctly with Tajweed and continues to recite incorrectly will be sinful.
  3. The Arabic Language is very delicate, a change in a letter causes the entire meaning to change and may even nullify the Salah.
  • If the Imam did not differentiate between certain letters such as Seen and Thaa and read Thaa instead of Seen then such a mistake changes the meaning of the Holy Qur’an, which cause the Salah to become nullified.
  • Recitation must be done by moving the lips and articulation of the tongue. If a person recites in his mind his Salah will be void.

Question: Is it permissible to perform Salah behind an Imam who does not adhere to the rules of recitation.

Answer: If the mistakes made do not change the meaning of the Quran the Salah will be valid however, it will be makrooh. If however, the mistakes made changes the meaning of the Quran, the Salah will be nullified and will have to be repeated.

  1. The least amount a person is allowed to recite after Fatiha is three verses or one long verse.
  2. If the person makes such a mistake in which the meaning of the Holy Quran is changed. The Salah in this case will be deemed invalid irrespective of whether three verses of the Holy Quran was recited or not.
  3. If the mistake is such that the vowels were changed. Then the Salah will be Valid. However, if by changing the vowels the meaning of the Quran changes then the Salah will become void.

[1] In Ma’arif al-Sunan, a commentary of Sunan al-Tirmidhi by the great Scholar Allama Yusuf Binnori (ra), it is stated that there is no mention, among authentic hadith narrations, of a stipulated amount of space to be left between one’s own feet during the prayer. For this reason, it could be concluded that the Sunnah method of positioning the feet in prayer is whatever distance a person finds convenient and comfortable while praying. [Ma’arif al-Sunan 2:298]

كان ابن عمر لا يفرج بين قدميه و لا يمس إحداهما بالأخرى و لكن بين ذلك, لايقارب ولا يباعد –المغني لابن قدامة


[2] البناية شرح الهداية (2/ 169)

(والأصح أنه يرفع أولا ثم يكبر) ش: أي الأصح في المذهب أن المصلي يرفع يديه أولا ثم يكبر، قال في ” المبسوط “: وعليه أكثر مشايخنا


[3] بدائع الصنائع في ترتيب الشرائع (1/ 199)

وأما الحديث فالتوفيق عند تعارض الأخبار واجب فما روي محمول على حالة العذر حين كانت عليهم الأكسية والبرانس في زمن الشتاء فكان يتعذر عليهم الرفع إلى الأذنين يدل عليه ما روى وائل بن حجر أنه قال: قدمت المدينة فوجدتهم يرفعون أيديهم إلى الآذان ثم قدمت عليهم من القابل وعليهم الأكسية والبرانس من شدة البرد فوجدتهم يرفعون أيديهم إلى المناكب، أو نقول: المراد بما روينا رءوس الأصابع، وبما روي الأكف والأرساغ عملا بالدلائل بقدر الإمكان.

[4] Prominent Saudi Scholar, died 2008. He was the president of the International Islamic Fiqh Council and a member of the permanent fatwa committee in Saudi Arabia. He was a student of Sheikh Bin Baaz and Sheikh Al Uthaymeen.

[5] حاشية الطحطاوي على مراقي الفلاح شرح نور الإيضاح (ص: 261)

ثم هل يخص هذا بما إذا قرأ السورة من أولها أو يشمل ما إذا قرأ من أوسطها آيات مثلا وظاهر تعليلهم كون الإتيان بها لشبهة الخلاف في كونها آية من كل سورة يفيد الأول كذا بحثه بعض الأفاضل