Friday, 12 May 2017

Rafa Yadain (Raising Hands During Salat)


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

One of the controversial differences of opinion among the Muslims concerning the Salât is the issue of Raf’-ul-Yadain or raising the hands. There are several views on the matter, the main ones being catalogued here:

1. Hanafi view: Hands are raised once only during the first Takbîr which commences the Salat.  This is also the Mâliki view.
2. Shâfi’i view: Hands are raised during first Takbîr, when bowing, after raising head from bowing, and when standing up after the first Tashahhud.

3. Hanbali view: Hands are raised during first Takbîr, when bowing and after raising head from bowing.

4. Ibâdi view: Hands are not raised at all, not even during the first Takbîr!

Some Muslims, especially the Shî’ites and some of the so-called Ahlul Hadîth raise their hands between the two prostrations, or with every Takbîr, or even every movement from one position to the next in the Salât.

With the exception of the Ibâdi sect’s position, all other practices mentioned here are legitimate and have their evidence from the Sunnah of the Prophet

However, it appears that the Hanafi position is the strongest. Firstly, there is the Hadith of Sayyidina Abdullah b. Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him):

حَدَّثَنَا عُثْمَانُ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا وَكِيعٌ، عَنْ سُفْيَانَ، عَنْ عَاصِمٍ، - يَعْنِي ابْنَ كُلَيْبٍ - عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ الأَسْوَدِ، عَنْ عَلْقَمَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مَسْعُودٍ أَلاَ أُصَلِّي بِكُمْ صَلاَةَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ فَصَلَّى فَلَمْ يَرْفَعْ يَدَيْهِ إِلاَّ مَرَّةً

It was reported from Alqamah who said: Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said: Should I not pray for you the way the Messenger of Allah () prayed? So he prayed, raising his hands only once. (Sunan Abi Dawud)

The celebrated Muhaddith, Imam Albâni (rahimahullah) authenticated this narration:


Reference: Sahih Sunan Abi Dawud; v.1, p.216 (#748)

The rationale behind not doing Raf’-ul-Yadain in the rest of the Salât is that it is contrary to the Sakînah (tranquility) that is required in Salât. This means the one who is praying Salât should be as still and tranquil as possible; refrain from excessive and unnecessary movements. The proof that excessively raising one’s hands in Salât is contrary to this tranquility is based on the following Hadîth:

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ، وَأَبُو كُرَيْبٍ قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو مُعَاوِيَةَ، عَنِ الأَعْمَشِ، عَنِ الْمُسَيَّبِ بْنِ رَافِعٍ، عَنْ تَمِيمِ بْنِ طَرَفَةَ، عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ سَمُرَةَ، قَالَ خَرَجَ عَلَيْنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ ‏"‏ مَا لِي أَرَاكُمْ رَافِعِي أَيْدِيكُمْ كَأَنَّهَا أَذْنَابُ خَيْلٍ شُمْسٍ اسْكُنُوا فِي الصَّلاَةِ ‏"‏

Jabir b. Samura reported: The Messenger of Allah () came to us and said: “How is it that I see you lifting your hands like the tails of headstrong horses? Be calm in prayer.” (Sahih Muslim)
It is often argued that this Hadîth from Jâbir b. Samurah (Allah be pleased with him) is concerning the waving of hands during the Taslîm through which the worshiper exits the Salât. The Prophet saw that some of his companions while offering the Taslîm would gesture with their hands to those praying alongside them to the right and the left; the Prophet then forbade them to do this saying “why do you point out with your hands as if they are the tails of headstrong horses?”

Because the narrations to this effect are also narrated by Sayyidina Jâbir b. Samurah, it is assumed that the above cited narration is in that context and is not concerning the Rafa’ Yadain that is performed before going into Ruku’ and raising the head from Ruku’, etc.

However, a deeper analysis makes apparent that these are two separate incidents. Firstly, this narration of Jâbir b. Samurah is via Tamîm b. Tarafah; while the narrations of Jâbir b. Samurah concerning the Taslîm are via Ubaidullâh ibnul-Qibtiyyah.

Secondly, the narration via Tamîm b. Tarafah has the additional wording “be tranquil in the Salât”, indicating that it is concerning the Rafa’ Yadain that is offered inside the Salât, and not the Taslîm through which a person exits the Salât.


  1. *Note: A summary confirming and explaining why Imam Albani authenticated the Hadith of Abdullah b. Mas'ud (R.A) can be read here

    As regards the Hadeeth of Ibn Mas’ood, may Allaah be pleased with him about raising the hands in the prayer, then Shaykh Al-Albaani may Allaah have mercy upon him did not only classify it as Hasan; rather, he classified it as Saheeh. Indeed, he said in "Saheeh Abu Daawood": “I said: The chain of narrators of this Hadeeth is Saheeh according to the condition of Muslim.” However, Abu Daawood who reported this Hadeeth considered it as Dha’eef [weak], and many scholars agreed with him about this as we will clarify. However, they do not have strong arguments about considering this Hadeeth as Dha’eef. Therefore, the truth is that this Hadeeth is Saheeh [authentic] as stated by Ibn Hazm in "Al-Muhalla" (4/88) and At-Tirmithi classified it as Hasan, as we will clarify.”
    As regards Tadlees (i.e. a narrator reporting a narration from someone as if he heard it directly while in reality he did not), then Mudallisoon (the narrators who did Tadlees) are not all in the same category; there are many categories of Mudallisoon which Ibn Hajar may Allaah have mercy upon him had stated in his book "Categories of Mudallisoon". He described the Mudallisoon of the second category as follows: “People who might have done Tadlees, nevertheless the Imaams of Hadeeth have accepted their narrations and reported them in the books of the Saheeh Hadeeth because those Mudallisoon are great scholars who rarely did Tadlees such as Imaam Sufyaan Ath-Thawri may Allaah have mercy upon him or because those Mudallisoon are like Sufyaan ibn 'Oyaynah may Allaah have mercy upon him who would never have done Tadlees except from a Thiqah (trustworthy) narrator, i.e. they never did Tadlees to cover up weak or rejected narrators." [End of quote]
    Thus, a narrator being a Mudallis does not necessarily mean that the Hadeeth that he narrates is Dha’eef. In addition to this, Sufyaan Ath-Thawri may Allaah have mercy upon him is not the only one who reported this Hadeeth from ‘Aasim Ibn Kulayb; rather, many other narrators reported it from him.

  2. Unsure about raf al yadain.. Go read "Juz Raf al Yadain" by Imam Bukhari (May Allah have mercy on him). Clear as daylight where abundance of proof is.

    1. Imam Bukhari came centuries after Imam Abi Hanifah رحمه الله. Our method of practicing raf al-yadain is taken from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم via Ibn Mas'ud رضى الله عنه through his students based in Kufah.
      Our source for this Sunnah is Amal at-Tawatur, which is weightier than Riwayat (narrations). Therefore, our practice of raising hands only at the beginning of the Salah is derived from the mass practice of Muslims, especially those of the Sahabah and their students and their students who settled in Kufah (Iraq). This source of the Sunnah carries more weight than the narrations that were collected centuries later by Imam al-Bukhari رحمة الله عليه


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