Placing the Hands Back on the Chest after the Rukoo’

A Detailed Research By Shaykh Muhadith Rabee ibn Hadi al-Madkhali of Placing the Hands Back on the Chest after the Rukoo’ Translated by Abbas Abu Yahya

Shaykh ul Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah -Rahimahullaah-

ولا يستحب في قيام الاعتدال من الركوع ، لأن السنة لم ترد به ، ولأن زمنه يسير يحتاج فيه إلى التهيؤ للسجود

‘It is not recommended in the standing up from Rukoo, because the Sunnah does not mention it and also because the time in this standing is short and it is required to prepare for going into Sajood.’

[From ‘Kitaab Sifat as-Salat min Sharh al-Umdah p.66]

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A Detailed Research By Shaykh Muhadith Rabee ibn Hadi al-Madkhali of

Placing the Hands Back on the Chest after the Rukoo’

Translated by Abbas Abu Yahya

Shaykh ul Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah -Rahimahullaah-

ولا يستحب في قيام الاعتدال من الركوع ، لأن السنة لم ترد به ، ولأن زمنه يسير يحتاج فيه إلى التهيؤ للسجود

‘It is not recommended in the standing up from Rukoo, because the Sunnah does not mention it and also because the time in this standing is short and it is required to prepare for going into Sajood.’

[From ‘Kitaab Sifat as-Salat min Sharh al-Umdah p.66]

A Summary of the Opinion of Shaykh Rabee ibn Hadi al-Madkhali regarding the issue of Placing the Hands Back on the Chest after the Rukoo’.

1 – The Shaykh said:

Indeed a number of noble Companions -Ridwaan Allaah alayhim- narrated the description of the prayer of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- and a number of the Imams of the Sunnah mentioned them in the recordings of Islaam, in the books  where there are the collections  of ‘Saheeh’, Sunnan and al-Mua’jim. I do not find in their Ahadeeth the placing of the hands upon the chest whilst in the standing position coming up from Rukoo.

2 – The Shaykh said:

I (Rabee) say: indeed Abu Humayd -radiAllaahu anhu- mentioned in this Hadeeth of his a number of Arkaan (pillars)  of the prayer, its obligatory actions and its recommended ones.  He did not mention placing the hands on the chest whilst in the standing position after the Rukoo, and ten of the Companions approved this description of the prayer.

3 – The Shaykh said:

placing them on his chest during standing straight after the Rukoo was not mentioned, if it was that Abu Humayd had forgotten it then why did not the ten Companions who were with him remind him

The Complete presentation of the Shaykh’s research was entitled:

Is it established from the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- that he would place his hands on his chest after standing up straight from Rukoo?


In the Name of Allaah The Most Kind and The Most Merciful

All praise belongs to Allaah. May Allaah’s praise and security be upon the Messenger of Allaah -SallAllaahu alayhi wa Sallam- and upon his Companions and whoever follows his guidance.

To Proceed:

Indeed a number of noble Companions -Ridwaan Allaah alayhim- narrated the description of the prayer of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam. Likewise a number of the Imams of the Sunnah have mentioned them in the works of Islaam, in the books of the collections  of ‘Saheeh’, Sunnan and al-Mua’jim. I do not find in their Ahadeeth the placing of the hands upon the chest whilst in the standing position after coming up from Rukoo.

From the Ahadeeth regarding the description of the prayer of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- are the following:

The Hadeeth of Abu Humayd as-Sa’adi -radiAllaahu anhu and in the result of my research, this Hadeeth takes the place of a number of Ahadeeth, so I will mention it and perhaps I will bring some supporting evidences for it.

Imam al-Bukhari -rahimahullaah- said in his book ‘as-Saheeh’ hadeeth no.828:

Yahya bin Bukayr narrated to us, who said that al-Layth narrated to us from Khalid from Sa’eed from Muhammad bin Amr bin Halhalah from Muhammad bin Amr bin Atta.

And al-Layth narrated to us from Yazeed bin Abee Habeeb and Yazeed bin Muhammad from Muhammad bin Amr bin Halhalah from Muhammad bin Amr bin Atta that he was sitting with a number of the Companions of the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- and we mentioned the prayer of the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- so Abu Humayd as-Sa’adi said:

‘I was the one who had memorised the prayer of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- the best from amongst you. I saw him when he would say the Takbeer (Allaahu Akbar) he would raise his hands until they were opposite his shoulders and when he would go into Rukoo he would place his hands firmly upon his knees and he would bend his back [meaning in Rukoo] and when he would raise his head he would stand straight until every part of the spine returned back to its place, and when he went into Sajda he would place his hands on the floor not widespread nor clenching them.  He would point his toes towards the Qiblah and when he sat in Tashhaud in a two Rakah prayer then he would sit on his left leg and his right foot would be propped and when he sat in the final Rakah he would put forward his left leg and prop up his other foot and sit in his place.’

Al-Layth heard Yazeed bin Abee Habeeb and Yazeed from Muhammad bin Hulhalah and Ibn Hulhalah from Ibn Atta who said Abu Salih from Al-Layth:

 ‘every part of the spine.’

Ibn al-Mubarak said from Yahya bin Ayoob who said that Yazeed bin Abee Habeeb narrated to me that Muhammad bin Amr narrated to him:

‘every part of the spine’.

I say: ‘Ibn Khuzaimah collected in his book ‘Saheeh Ibn Khuzaimah’ hadeeth no. 643 with his Isnaad to Ibn Wahb from Al-Layth from Yazeed bin Muhammad al-Qurashi and Yazeed bin Abee Habeeb from Muhammad bin Amr bin Halhalah with this narration.

Al-Bayhaqi  collected in ‘as-Sunnan al-Kubra’ 1/127/97 with his Isnaad to Yahya bin Bukayr from Al-Layth bin Saad from Yazeed bin Abee Habeeb from Muhammad bin Amr with this narration.

In these sources it mentions:

‘until every part of the spine returns back to its place.’

Imam Ahmad collected in his book ‘al-Musnad’ 5/424, and said: Yahya bin Sa’eed narrated to us from AbdulHameed bin Jafar who said Muhammad bin Atta narrated to me that I heard from Abee Humayd as-Sa’adi say whilst he was amongst ten of the Companions of the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam.

One of them was Abu Qatada bin Raba’aee who said: I am the most knowledgeable of the prayer of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam-  and they said to him:

You were not the most senior in companionship with the Prophet nor were you the one out of us who followed the Prophet the most.

He replied: But of course I was.

They said: Show us [the prayer.]

Abee Humayd as-Sa’adi said:

‘When the Messenger would prayer he would stand straight and raise his hands until they were opposite his shoulders. When he wanted to perform Rukoo he would raise his hands until they were opposite his shoulders and he would say Allaahu Akbar, then he would make Rukoo after that he would stand straight. Whilst in Rukoo he would keep his head level, his head was not tilting up or down, and would place his hands upon his knees. Then he would stand and say SamiAllaah limun hamida (Allaah Hears the one who praises Him). Then he would rise and stand straight until every bone went back in its place straight. Then he would go down into Sajda, and would say: Allaahu Akbar and in this position he would place his arms at a distance and keep his elbows away his from his stomach. Then he would [come up from the Sajda] spread his toes and bend his left leg and lean on it and would sit straight until every bone returned to its place then he would fall down in Sajda again after that he would say: Allaahu Akbar bend his leg and sit upon it until every limb returned back to its position then he would stand up and do in the second Rakah what he did in the first Rakah until he would stand up from the two Sajda, he would say Allaahu Akbar and raise his hands until they were opposite his shoulders as he did when he began the prayer. Then he would do  likewise until the end of the Rakah (unit of prayer) of which he would complete the prayer in, then [in the sitting position] he would push back his left leg and sit leaning upon his thigh on one side then he would give Salam.’

Collected by Abu Dawood in ‘Sunnan’ hadeeth no.730, Tirmidhi in ‘Sunnan’ hadeeth no.304.

Both of them collected it with its Isnaad to Yahya bin Sa’eed from AbdulHameed bin Jafar with the narration.

Collected by ad-Darmi in ‘Musnad’ hadeeth no. 1363.

Darmi said: Abu Assim narrated to us from AbdulHameed bin Jafar with the narration.
Collected by Ibn Majah in ‘Sunnan’ hadeeth no. 1061 with his Isnaad from AbdulHameed bin Jafar.

An-Nisa’ee mentioned it in a number of places in [his book] ‘al-Mujtaba’ and in [his book] ‘al-Kubra’, however, he only presented them in a summarised form.

Also in ‘Saheeh Ibn Hibban’ hadeeth no. 1865.

It is not mentioned in all these references, about placing the hands on the chest, not in the first standing, nor in rising and standing straight after the Rukoo, and in all these narrations it mentions:

‘Then he raised his head and said: SamiAllaah limun hamida and raised his hands until they were opposite his shoulders and he stood straight.’

He did not say: until every bone went back to its place.

[The Second Sitting after the Sajood][1]

And he said in the second sitting after the Sajood:

‘. . . .he sat and was straight until every bone returned to its place being straight.’

[Beginning the Prayer]

Also in ‘Saheeh Ibn Hibban’ from way of AbdulHameed bin Jafar with the narration no. 1867, he said:

‘When the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- would stand for the prayer he would say Allaahu Akbar, then raise his hands until they were opposite his shoulders, and every bone would be straight in its place.’

[Whilst Rising Up From Rukoo]

And he mentioned in his saying whilst rising from Rukoo:

‘Until every bone is stable in its place.’

[Sitting Between the Two Sajda]

And  he mentioned similarly about the sitting between the two Sajda.

And he presented the narration no.1870, and mentioned in it with his saying about rising up from Rukoo and in the sitting between the two Sajda:

‘Until every bone returned back to its place.’

And he also presented  the narration from the Hadeeth of AbdulHameed bin Jafar no. 1876. So he mentioned in the first standing the saying:

‘And he raised his hands until they were opposite his shoulders, and every bone was stable in its place being straight.’

And he said about rising up from Rukoo:

‘Then he raised his head and said: ‘SamiAllaah limun Hamida’, and would raise his hands until they were opposite his shoulders until he was straight,’

but he did not mention the wording:

‘Until every bone returns back to its place.’

And he said after he mentioned the second Sajda:

‘and he would bend his left leg and sit upon it until every bone went back to its place being straight.’

I (Rabee) say: indeed Abu Humayd -radiAllaahu anhu- mentioned in this Hadeeth of his a number of Arkaan (pillars)  of the prayer, its obligatory actions and its recommended ones.  He did not mention placing the hands on the chest whilst in the standing position after the Rukoo, and ten of the Companions approved this description of the prayer.

Indeed some of the noble scholars held the opinion of placing the hands on the chest while standing after the Rukoo, they took from the statement of Abu Humayd -radiAllaahu anhu: ‘then he raised up and was straight until every bone went back in its place.’

The truth is that this section of the Hadeeth does not indicate to the opinion which these noble scholars hold. Since the intent of the Hadeeth is an explanation of having complete tranquility and standing straight in this position.
What explains my understanding is the following:

1 – The statement of Abu Humayd -radiAllaahu anhu: ‘then he raised up and was straight until every bone went back in its place.’

The intent of this narration is a clarification of the Sharia’ permissibility of standing up straight in this pillar of the prayer.

So he concentrates in this section on standing straight and that every bone of the spine returns back to its place, the standing in this pillar of the prayer is not complete except with the description mentioned [every bone going back to its place].

There is no mention of placing the hands on the chest whilst in this standing, nor does it imply this meaning.

But rather the meaning is the alignment of every bone of the spine.

2 – What indicates to the weakness of the opinion of placing the hands back on the chest whilst standing straight is that none of this whatsoever was mentioned in the different narrations of this Hadeeth regarding the first standing.

3 – From that which confirms the absence of including placing the hands on the chest in this standing, is his statement about after standing straight, after coming up from the sitting position after the Sajda:

‘Then he bent his leg and sat upon it until every limb returned back to its place.’

This is present in the narration of Imam Ahmad and the narration of Tirmidhi, Darmi, Ibn Majah and other than them. Therefore, is it correct to say it is legislated to place the hands on the chest whilst in the sitting position?

4 – What indeed confirms the intent of the statement ‘until every bone returns back to its place’ – is [that it means] every single section of the spine returns to its place, also that rising up and being straight in this standing cannot be complete except by the spine returning back to its straight position – as was narrated by Imam al-Bukhari, Ibn Khuzaimah and al-Bayhaqi.

In all these narrations it mentions: ‘until every part of the spine returns back to its place’ but the hands are not mentioned as every part of the spine.

Also that this is the wording in the narration of al-Bukhari and those who narrate with him, which explain and clarify that the intent of  the statement in the narration of Tirmidhi and other than him:

‘until every bone went back in its place.’

Indeed that is the return of  every section of the spine in every section of the prayer from standing straight, from the Rukoo and the sitting up after Sajood (prostration).

Also that the narration of al-Bukhari and those with him, is clear in the intent  and an explanation of what is in the narration of Tirmidhi and those who are with him.

So it has a stronger and more authentic Isnaad (chain), whereby it was narrated by al-Layth bin Saad with two authentic chains.

What increases its strength is the statement of Imam Bukhari which confirms it:

‘Al-Layth heard Yazeed bin Abee Habeeb and Yazeed from Muhammad bin Hulhalah and Ibn Hulhalah from Ibn Atta that Abu Salih said from Al-Layth:

‘Every part of the spine.’

Ibn al-Mubarak said from Yahya bin Ayoob who said that Yazeed bin Abee Habeeb narrated to me that Muhammad bin Amr narrated to him:

‘Every part of the spine.’

Therefore, these are a number of narrations which emphasis that Abu Humayd said this about the standing in the prayer:

‘until every part of the spine returns back to its place.’

This negates the understanding of some of the people that the wording ‘every limb’ includes the hands.

It becomes apparent to the reader that there is no difference between the statement : ‘Every limb’ and between: ‘Every part of the spine.’ Since none of the scholars of Fiqh and Hadeeth understood this difference.  If one of them understood that there was a difference between the two wordings, and it was not possible to combine between the two with explaining the limb with meaning the spine, then they would have to resort to the following steps which is that one of the two is a stronger opinion, which is giving precedence to the more authentic of the two narrations.  Since the narration of al-Bukhari and those with him is more authentic than the narration of Tirmidhi and those with him, to add to this is that in the narration of Tirmidhi and those with him which emphasises this point of the stronger opinion, which is the statement expressed about the description of how the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – sat in the prayer:

‘Then he bent his leg and sat on it until every limb returned back to its place.’

So does anyone understand from this statement that the Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- placed his hands on his chest whilst he was sitting?

Therefore, if we removed this understanding of placing the hands on the chest whilst sitting then surely we remove this whilst standing, and the issue is clear and praise is for Allaah.

Also, I add to the explanation and clarity I say:

O dear noble reader look at the statements of Abu Humayd -radiAllaahu anhu- while standing straight, and understand the intent with fairness.

1 – His saying: ‘when he would stand for the prayer he would stand up straight’
2 – His saying about the Rukoo: ‘he went into Rukoo then stood straight and whilst in Rukoo he kept his head level with his back he would not tilt his head up or tilt it down. ‘

3 – His statement describing his sitting straight after the first Tashhaud (sitting straight in the prayer):

‘Then he would bend his left leg  and sat upon it and was straight until every bone went back in its place.’

4 – His statement in describing sitting after the second Sajda: ‘Then he bent his left leg and sat upon it and was straight until every bone went back in its place.’

This is so that you understand, that the intent of Abu Humayd was indeed that the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- would be upright and straight in all these positions whereby every limb returned back to its place in which Allaah placed him in. Also that the meaning of the word ‘limb’ means the ‘parts of the spine’ which cannot be complete except by being straight and by being tranquil and also when every limb ‘spine’ being in its place.

[The Movement of the Prophet’s Hands in his Prayer]

Reflect once more over Abu Humayd’s expression of the movement of the Prophet’s hands in his prayer:

1 – Abu Humayd described the movement of the Prophet’s hands whilst performing the Takbeeratul Ihraam: ‘He raised his hands until they were opposite his shoulders.’

2 – He said when he would go into Rukoo: ‘so when he wanted to go into Rukoo he would raise his hands until they would be opposite his shoulders.’

3 – He said describing his Rukoo: ‘…and he placed his hands upon his knees.’

4 – Then he said describing his standing straight after the Rukoo: ‘then he rose up and stood straight until every bone returned back to its place straight.’
The movement of his hands was not mentioned nor placing them on his chest, then how is it that the movement of his hands was mentioned in certain positions, and placing them on his knees in the Rukoo was mentioned, and placing them on his chest during standing straight after the Rukoo was not mentioned, if it was that Abu Humayd had forgotten it then why did not the ten Companions who were with him remind him, those to whom he said:

 “أنا أعلمكم بصلاة رسول الله –صلى الله عليه وسلم-“.

‘I am the most knowledgeable of you of the Salat of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam.’

Then also how can he speak about the condition of the Messenger’s -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- head whilst in Rukoo, saying:

“ولا يصوّب رأسه ولا يقنع”.

‘and did not tilt his head up nor did he tilt it down.’

He spoke about his legs and his toes, and did not speak about placing his hands during standing straight after the Rukoo. If the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- placed his right hand upon his left whilst in the standing position and that Abu Humayd -radiAllaahu anhu- had forgotten it then those from the noble Companions who were in his company would have reminded him.

[The Narration of Alqama]

Some people commented on the hadeeth of Alqama bin Wa’il from his father who said:

“رأيت رسول الله –صلى الله عليه وسلم- إذا كان قائماً في الصلاة قبض بيمينه على شماله”

‘I saw the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- that if he was standing in the prayer he would take a hold of his left hand by his right hand.’

Collected by Nisa’ee hadeeth no. 887.

They say this includes both the two standing positions in prayer, the first standing before the recitation and the second standing after rising up from Rukoo.
The reply to this use of evidence is from two angles:

Firstly – that this hadeeth is weak, this is because even though Alqama is Sadooq  (trustworthy) except that he did not hear (narrate) from his father. This is what al-Hafidh said in ‘Taqreeb’ in the biography of Wa’il.

Ibn Ma’een said:

‘He did not hear (narrate) anything from his father.’

See ‘Jamia at-Tahseel’ by Al-Laaee no. 537 p.293, & ‘Kaffaya at-Tahseel’ by Ibn al-Iraqi p.233.

Secondly – if we say for the sake of  argument that this hadeeth is established then it is understood to be in the first standing:

A – Due to the benefit of the narration of al-Bukhari and those with him.

B – Also due to the benefit from the established narration from Wa’il bin Hajr of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- placing his hands upon his chest was indeed in the first standing, only in the standing for recitation.

Imam Nisa’ee -rahimahullaah- said in ‘Sunnan’ (2/126) hadeeth (889),’Chapter: the place of the right hand from the left in prayer’

‘Suwaid bin Nasr informed us and said that Abdullaah bin al-Mubarak informed us from Zaida who said: Assim  bin Kulayb narrated to us who said:  My father narrated to me that Wa’il bin Hajr informed him who said:

‘I said: I will show you the prayer of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- and how he used to pray it. So I looked at him and he stood up and he made Takbeer (saying Allaahu Akbar) and he raised his both hands until they were close to his ears, then he placed his right hand upon the back of his left hand and wrist and forearm, and when he wanted to perform Rukoo he raised his hands like he did in the beginning.

Wa’il said: he placed his hands upon his knees then when he raised his head [came up from Rukoo] he also raised his hands as he did before.

Then he performed Sajda and placed his hands [on the floor] near his ears, then he sat and spread his left leg, and he placed his left hand upon his left thigh and knee, and he placed the length of his right  forearm upon his right thigh, then he clenched two of his fingers and formed a circle, then he raised his finger and I saw him moving it whilst making Du’a.’

Collected by ad-Darmi in ‘Sunnan’ hadeeth  (364) with his Isnaad to Zaida.

So here we see that he stipulates in this established narration of placing the  right hand upon the back of the left hand and the wrist and forearm only in the first standing of recitation and he did not mention that he placed his right hand upon his left one in standing up from after the Rukoo, and this increases the weakness of the narration of Alqama in regards to its Isnaad and its understanding.

What also increases the weakness of the narration of Alqama is what has been narrated by Muslim -rahimahullaah- in his book ‘Saheeh Muslim’ hadeeth  No. 401 whereby he says:

Zuhayr bin Harb narrated to us that Affan narrated to us that Hammam narrated to us that Muhammad bin Jahada narrated to us that Abdul Jabbar bin Wa’il narrated to me from Alqama bin Wa’il their freed slave that they both narrated from his father Wa’il bin Hajr that he saw:

The Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- raised his hands when he entered the prayer and said Allaahu Akbar, and Hammam described that he raised his hands close to his ears, then he gathered his hands in his  clothing. Then he placed his right hand upon his left and when he wanted to perform Rukoo he took his hands out from his clothing, then he raised his hands then made Takbeer and went into Rukoo. Then when he said SamiAllaah limun hamida (Allaah Hears the one who praises Him) he raised his hands and when he performed Sajda he did so between where he placed his hands.’

So here we see in the narration of Alqama and the freed slave of the tribe of Hajr what confirms the weakness of the narration of Alqama previously mentioned, whereby they mentioned in the narration of Muslim the statement of Wa’il -radiAllaahu anhu- where he described the prayer of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- in the first standing:

‘Then he placed his right hand upon his left . . . .’

He did not indicate neither from near or far about placing of his hands whilst in the position of standing straight, but rather he said:

‘When he wanted to perform Rukoo he took out his hands from his clothing, then he raised his hands then made Takbeer and went into Rukoo. Then when he said SamiAllaah limun hamida  (Allaah Hears the one who praises Him) he raised his hands and when he performed Sajda he did so between where he placed his hands.’

We see Wa’il -radiAllaahu anhu- describing the prayer of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- and he concentrates on the movements of the Prophet’s -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- hands, movement by movement. He did not mention the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- placing the right hand upon his left in the position of standing up straight from Rukoo.

So briefly, the hadeeth of Wa’il bin Hajr is affirmed and established from him in the mentioned sources and references which strengthen and agree with the narration of Abu Humayd which is collected by al-Bukhari and other than him about not placing the hands on the chest whilst standing up straight after the Rukoo, and indeed the meaning of the statement of Abu Humayd: ‘Then he raised up and was straight until every bone went back in its place straight,’ is that every bone is ‘in line and straight’ in this position whereby every part of the spine returns back to its place, as is in the narration of al-Bukhari.

From this it becomes clear to the just reader the weakness of the opinion of placing the right hand upon the left whilst in the standing position due to the weakness of its evidence, and also due to opposing this weak evidence with two affirmed evidences from Abu Humayd and from Wa’il bin Hajr -RadhiAllaahu anhumma.

Closing the Gaps in the Rows for Prayer

What prompted me to research this issue is because I saw many from the blindfollowers paying importance to placing their hands upon their chests after standing straight after Rukoo, whilst at the same time they were neglectful of important matters from the core of the prayer and that which the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- encouraged, which is established with clear authentic texts, but they do not pay attention to these issues.

From them is closing the gaps in the rows for prayer, joining the ankle with their ankle and the shoulder with the shoulder of the person praying next to them, indeed the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- commanded with closing the gaps in the rows for prayer and he was strict regarding this.

Imam Ahmad said in ‘Musnad’ (2/97) hadeeth no. 5724 : ‘Haroon bin Maroof narrated to us that Abdullaah bin Wahb  narrated to us from Muwaweeyah bin Salih from Abu az-Zahireeyah from Katheer bin Murra from Abdullaah bin Umar that the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said:

“أقيموا الصفوف فإنما تصُفُّون بصفوف الملائكة وحاذوا بين المناكب

وسُدُّوا الخللَ ولِينوا في أيدي إخوانكم ولا تذروا فُرُجاتٍ للشيطان ومن وصلَ صفًّا وصله الله تبارك وتعالى ومن قطعَ صفًّا قطعه الله”.

‘Straighten the rows [in prayer] indeed you are in rows with the rows of Angels. Line up your shoulders and close the gaps and be gentle amongst your brothers and do not make spaces for the Shaytaan. Whoever connects up the row then Allaah Tabaraka wa Ta’ala  connects him up and whoever breaks a row then Allaah breaks him.’

Imam Ahmad said in ‘al-Musnad’ (5/262) :

Hashim narrated to us that Farajun narrated to us that Luqman narrated to us from Abu Umamah who said that the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said :

إن الله وملائكته يصلون على الصف الأول

‘Indeed Allaah and His Angels send praise upon the first row.

The people asked O Messenger of Allaah and what about the second row?

إن الله وملائكته يصلون على الصف الأول

Indeed Allaah and His Angels send Salat upon the first row.

The people asked O Messenger of Allaah and what about the second row?

He answered ‘and the second’.

The Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said :

سوُّوا صفوفكم وحاذوا بين مناكبكم ولينوا في أيدي إخوانكم  وسُدوا الخلل

فإن الشيطان يدخل بينكم بمنزلة الحَذَفِ يعني أولادَ الضَّأن الصغار

‘Straighten your rows and bring  your shoulders closer with the person next to you and be gentle amongst your brothers and fill the gaps. Indeed the Shaytaan enters between you like that of a small baby goat.’

Regarded as Hasan with supporting narrations.

It is appropriate here to bring to attention about a matter from the important matters of the prayer, which is that the person praying should take a Sutrah [something in front] which comes between the person praying and a person or animal walking in front of him.

Indeed there are Ahadeeth from the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- where the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- commands for the person praying to take a Sutrah, from them are:

1 – From Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri -RadhiAllaahu anhu – who said that the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said:

“إذا صلَّــــى أحدكم فليصل إلى سترة وليَدْنُ منها”

‘When one of you prays then he should pray towards a Sutrah and should come close to it.’

Collected by Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah

2 – From Ibn Umar -RadhiAllaahu anhumma- who said:

“كان رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- إذا خرج يوم العيد يأمر بالحربة فتوضع بين يديه فيصلي إليها والناس وراءه، وكان يفعل ذلك في السفر”

‘When the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- used to go out on the Eid day, he would order that a spear be brought and planted in front of him and prayed towards it. The people would pray behind him. He also used do this whilst travelling.’

Collected by Bukhari and Muslim

The Distance Between the Person Praying & the Sutrah:

3 – From Sahl bin Saad -RadhiAllaahu anhu- who said:

‘The [distance] between where the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- used to stand for the prayer and the wall was the space for a sheep to pass.’

Collected by Bukhari and Muslim

4 – From Bilal -RadhiAllaahu anhu- that the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- entered the Ka’aba and prayed in it and between him and the wall was the distance of about three forearm lengths.’

Collected by Ahmad and Nisa’ee

The permissibility of preventing the one walking across the person praying and the sin upon the person walking across 

– From Abu Sa’eed -RadhiAllaahu anhu who said I heard the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- saying:

‘When one of you prays towards something which is a Sutrah between the people and if a person  wants to walk across in front of him then he should prevent him and if he refuses to stop then he should be fought for indeed he is a Shaytaan.’

Collected in the six books of Ahadeeth except by Tirmidhi

– From Abu Juhaym Abdullaah bin Al-Harith al-Ansaari who said that the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said:

‘If a person who walks in front of a person praying knew what is upon him then he would stand there for forty, which would be better for him than to walk in front of him.’

So these Ahadeeth indicate to the Muslim the importance of taking a Sutrah for the prayer and its status for the prayer. Indeed many of the people are neglectful regarding the issue of the Sutrah, its importance and its status.

I ask Allaah to give us and all the Muslims success in adhering to the Book of our Lord and the Sunnah of our Prophet in our beliefs, worship and the rest of the matters of our lives and that Allaah grants us seriousness in this.  Indeed Allaah is the One who hears and responds.

May Allaah send praise and security upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and his Companions.

Written by the one in need of Allaah’s pardon and His Mercy

Rabee bin Hadi Umayr al-Madkhali 8/5/1433 A.H.

https://www.sahab.net/forums/index.php?app=forums&module=forums&controller=topic&id=130681

[1] These Headings were added by the translator for clarification.

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