Raf ul yadain : A detail study of how raf’ul’yadain is obsolete
Raf al yadain simply means to raise the hands during prayer.
When people begin their Salaah, they raise their hands to signify that they have left all things and submitted themselves towards Allah alone. This also signifies the individuals’ testimony of Allah’s Unity.
The Hanafis, [as members of the Ahl as Sunna wa’al Jamma] believe that this act (raising hands to the level of the ears) should only be undertaken at the start of the prayer and not during it.
There are those who hold the opinion that the Raf’ul-yadain should also be done before and after the ruku’, they hold their position because of the following reasons:
1) The Prophet [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace] used to do this.
2) This was the practice of the Khulafa:- Rashidun and the ‘Ashar-ul-mubasharah [The ten companions of the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) who were given news of Jannah on this earth during their lives]. Altogether, there are proofs from twenty companions.
3) The narrations of raf’ul-yadain are mutawaatir [Hadith which has been narrated by many authentic narrators during the period of the companions, their students, and the students of the Tabi’een]
4) Raf’ul-yadain is a pillar of Salaah and leaving it makes the Salaah invalid.
However, the position of the Hanafi madhab is that towards the end of our beloved Prophet’s [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace] life the practice of raf’ ul yadain had been abrogated, and that the Messenger of Allah [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace], during his last prayers on this earthly life only performed raf’ ul yadain at the beginning of his Salaah.
However, there were still some Sahaba who unknowingly continued the practice of raf’ ul yadain, without realizing that it had indeed been abrogated and obsolete. It was for this reason that at times, those who knew of its abrogation, began to ask to those who continued its practice for their reason for doing so.
Regarding the claim that twenty companions, including Ashar-ul-mubasharah and the khulafaa-ur-Rashideen performed raf’ul-yadain – This incidentally, proves that the majority of the companions didn’t practice raf’ul-yadain.
Secondly, if this claim is true then why isn’t this recorded in Bukhari and Muslim, or in any other famous book of sunah? If the support for twenty companions practicing raf’ul-yadain is not found in any Ahadith boo then, how can this claim be true?
The claim that the Hadith regarding raf’ul-yadain is mutawatir is also not true. This is because Imam Muslim and Imam Bukhari have only narrated the action of raf’ul yadain from two companions – Abdullah bin Umar (Radiall hu anhu), and Malik bin Huwairis. Imam Zuhri narrated the Hadith from Saalim and Saalim narrated from Abdullah bin Umar. Abu Qalaabah and Nasr narrated from Malik bin Huwairis, and from them, Khalid and Qatadah narrated.
In anyone of these chains there is only one narrator at a time, in the other there were two at a time. How can this be called mutawatir? The above narrators’ position and the narrations which go against the above narrations will be discussed later, Insha’Allah.
Regarding the claim that omitting raf’ul-yadain invalidates Salaah, nobody from among the companions or even the Prophet [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace] himself said that omitting raf’ul-yadain invalidates Salaah. The evidence for raf’ul-yadain being a pillar of Salaah is not even found in the books, which contain collections of fabricated Hadith. It is another matter if someone decides to introduce fabricated Hadith!
Analysis of those narrations which prove raf’ul- yadain
Ibn Jurayj narrated from Zuhri who narrated from Saalim who narrated from Abdullah bin Umar [Radi allah hu anhu] that ibn Umar [Radi allah hu anhu] said:
I saw that Prophet [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace] offering Salaah; he raised his hands up to his shoulders, at the beginning of Salaah and also before and after the ruku’, but not between the two prostrations.
[Muslim & Bukhari, Chapter Raf’ul-yadain]
Those who follow the Hanafi madhab believe that this Hadith only proves that the Prophet [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace] performed raf’ul-yadain during his lifetime, but it does not prove that he [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace] performed it in his last prayers. Also it does not prove that raf’ul-yadain is an emphasized Sunna. One example is given below:
Imams Bukhari & Muslim record that when hadrat Aa’isha (Radiall hu anhaa) was in her menistration, the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to place his head in her lap and recite the Qur’an.
(Muslim & Bukhari, bab-ul-Haid)
From this Hadith we cannot conclude that reciting the Qur’an in the lap of one’s menstruating wife is an emphasized sunnah. In the same way, the naration from ibn Umar does not prove that raf’ul-yadain is an emphasized sunnah. Also ibn Umar’s narration seems to go against some of his other narrations.
Imam Dhabee writes that ibn Umar said that he swore by Allah that raf’ul-yadain is bidah and that he had never seen the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) practicing it.
(Meezan-ul-I’tidaal, biography of Bishr bin Harab, by Imam dhahabi)
Ibn Umar in another place said that the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) said raf’ul-yadain is only done in seven places: once to start Salaah and six times during hajj.
(kanz-ul-ammaal, volume 7, p35)
The teacher of Imam Bukhari and Muslim, Imam Humaidi, writes that the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to only practice raf’ul-yadain at the start of the prayer.
(Musnad Humaidi, volume 1, p177)
From the above narrations ibn Umar’s narration of raf’ul-yadain goes against his own narrations based on a direct commandment from the Prophet (May Allah bless Him and Grant Him peace) This also goes against Maalik bin Huwaris’ narration.
Imam Nasaa’ee writes that Malik bin Huwairis reported that the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to perform raf’ul-yadain before and after the ruku’, and also between the two sajdahs. (Nisaa’ee Baab raf’ul-yadain)
Examination of Above Narrations
(1) Imam Bukhari’s above narration is against Imam Nasa’ees narration
(1) Imam Abu Dawood said this narration is not Marfu to the Prophet [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace], but is in fact the action of Abdullah bin Umar [May Allah be pleased with Him]
[Sunan e Abu Dawood chapter Salaah]
(3) In Ibn Umar’s above narrations it proves that the Prophet [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace] did Raf ul Yadain 9 or 10 times in Salaah.
[Bukhari chapter Salaah]
(4) Imam Malik writes about the above narration by Ibn Umar that the Prophet use to do Raf’ul Yadain 5 times in Salaah. He also said that this is the action of Ibn Umar [May Allah be pleased with Him] not the action of the Prophet [May Allah be pleased with Him].
[Muatta Imam Malik chapter Salaah]
We can see that when this narration was narrated in Madina it was narrated to be 5 Raf ul Yadian in Salaah. When it reached Bukharaa it changed from 5 Raf ul Yadian to 9 or 10 Raf’ul Yadain in Salaah.
Let’s first examine the narrators of ibn Umar’s Hadith -Abdul Malik bin Jurayj and Imam Zuhri.
Abdul malik bin jurayj
Imam Dhabi and Imam Asqalani write:
Ibn Jurayj did not take narrations directly from people but he would attribute the narrations to them in such a way as to convince people that he actually heard the narrations from those people directly. The scholars of Hadith have called this process ‘tadlees’. Imam Ahmad said that ibn Jurayj has narrated some Ahadith, which were fabricated. Also ibn Jurayj is said to have done Mut’ah (a marriage contract for a limited period) with 90 women in Makkah mukarramah, (This was after it was made Haraam for Muslims) Kharasaanee said that his narrations were weak. Also he never heard a narration from Imam Zuhri but only asked his permission if he could use his name in narrations.
(Tahdheeb-ut-tahdheeb, Meezaan-ul-I’tidaal, Tadhkarat-ul-Huffaz, biography of Abdul Malik ibn jurayj)
The main narrator of the above narration is Imam Zuhri, also the narration is almost completely based on his narration. Before Imam Zuhri, the chain of narration of this Hadith was Umar bin abdul Azeez, then saalim, then Imam Zuhri. After Imam Zuhri, his students made it more famous.
Imam Dhabee writes that Imam Zuhri’s full name was Muhammad bin Muslim bin Abdullah, bin Shuhaab, az-zuhree. But, he is famous as ibn Shuhaab-uz-zuhree. He was born in the 50th year of Hijrah in Madinah. He saw only a few companions of the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace]. He was such a great a scholar that many scholars of his time used to praise him, even Abdullah bin Umar (Radiall hu anhu).
(Tadhkarat-ul-huffaz, Tahdheeb-ut-tahdheeb, biography of Imam Zuhri)
We feel sad to highlight weaknesses in Imam Zuhri but we have below, only just quoted what other scholars of Hadith have said about him. We also respect Imam Zuhri greatly as a muhaddith, but he was a man like us and had weaknesses.
Another fact is that Imam Zuhri has narrated Hadith (which have been collected by Muslim and Bukhari) which show that the family of the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] and the companions did not get on well with each other
(Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari, bab-ul-fayy)
The fact is that the Prophet’s [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] family and the companions did get on well with each other.
Hafidh Asqalanee wrote:
It was a habit of Imam Zuhri to perform tadlees and attribute the narrations to people like Abdur-Rahmaan bin Azhar, ibn K’ab, Abbaan, ibn Uthmaan, ibn Hakim, Ibn Us-saalimee, Abdullah bin ja’far, Ubaada bin saamid, raafi’, umm abdullah, abu hurairah, and abdullah bin Umar. Concerning Abdullah bin Umar, the scholars of Hadith are split as to whether Imam Zuhri actually saw him or not. In the same way, there is no proof that Imam Zuhri did take narrations from ‘Urwa bin zubair. But, the scholars of Hadith accept these narrations which Imam Zuhri allegedly took from Urwa. For us, this is evidence and we should therefore believe that Imam Zuhri heard something from Urwa. Imam Zuhri was from a group of scholars of Hadith who used to ‘grab’ Hadith when they heard them.
(Tahdheeb-ut-tahdheeb, biography of Imam Zuhri)
Tadlees – What is it?
Hafidh Asqalani writes:
The literal meaning of the arabic word ,tadlees, is “hiding”. Technically, it means to hide a Hadith narrator. If a muhaddith did tadlees, he would use a narrator’s name but it would be a name by which he wasn’t commonly known. Thus, the identity of the weak narrator was hidden. The stronger narrators in the chain would be emphasized so that the attention of the hearer of the Hadith would be diverted.
(Sharh An-nukhbah, chap. on tadlees, by Hafidh Asqalani)
Imam Dhahabi and Hafidh Asqalani write:
Imam Zuhri narrated 1100 Hadith, of which about a half have a chain leading to the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace]. He used to perform tadlees even though it was a small amount. Imam Zuhri’s maraseel Ahadith used to be weaker than other peoples (A tabi’i would claim a Hadith directly from the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] without mentioning a companion’s name)
(Tadhkarat-ul-hufaaz, Tahdheeb-ut-tahdheeb, biography of Imam Zuhri).
Imam Dhahabi writes that Imam Shubah waastee wites:
“I would rather fall from the skies and be broken to pieces, than to perform tadlees”
(Tadhkarat-ul-huffaz, biography of Imam Shubah waastee)
Hafidh Asqalani writes:
Yazeed bin zurayy was asked, “What is the legal ruling regarding tadleees?” To this, he replied “It is an absolute lie.”
(Tahdheeb-ut-tahdheeb, biography of Yazeed bin Zurayy)
Imam Dhahabe writes:
Sulaimaan bin harb said that Imam Jareer ‘azdee was asked about tadlees. The Imam said, “I reject it. A mudallis shows that which he has not heard.”(Tadhkarat-ul-huffaaz, biography of Imam Jareer bin haazin azdee)
Hafidh ibn Kathir writes:
Imam shaafi’ee rejects all the narrations of any muhaddith who did tadlees, but other scholars say that if a mudallis identified who he took narrations from and if that was a reliable source, that particular narration would be accepted.
(Ikhtisaar uloom-ul-Hadith, chap on tadlees, by Hafidh ibn Kathir)
Hafidh Asqalaanee writes:
If a mudallis uses the words “Qaala”, so-and-so said, or “’And”, from so-and-so, in a narration, the Hadith will be rejected. But, the mudallis uses a word implying that he directly heard the narration e.g.”sami’tu” – I heard, the mudallis would be lying. The rule concerning such people is that even if the mudallis was truthful, the Hadith would not be accepted.
(Sharh nukhbah, chap. Hadith mu’dal)
Idraaj and Imam Zuhri
Imam Zuhri used to do idraaj, so it was difficult for people to understand his narrated Hadith.
Hafidh Asqalaanee writes:
Idraaj literally means “Inserting something”. Its technical meaning is to insert one’s own words into the text of a narration. Sometimes the text could be added at the start or, at the end. To find the actual Hadith text from a mudrij was very difficult. Either the Hadith was analyzed be someone who had very deep knowledge, or the mudrij showed which words he inserted into the Hadith text. (Sharhan-nukhbah, chap. Hadith mudrij)
Imam Bukhari writes:
It was reported by Imam malik that the famous scholar of Hadith Rabee’a turrayy used to advise Imam Zuhri to show clearly in his narrations, which were his own words and which were those of the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace]
(Taareekh-ul-kabeer, biography of Rabee’a Turrayy).
Muslim and Bukhari contain Ahadith in which Imam Zuhri has inserted his own words. Scholars of Hadith have refuted these words. An example is given below:
Imam Muslim and Imam Bukhari write:
When Hadrat abu bakr (Radiall hu anhu) became the khaleefah, hadrat Ali (Radiall hu anhu) did not give bayah (Pledge of allegiance) to him nor did the tribe of banu hashim. But, after six months when hadrat Faatima (Radiall hu anhu) passed away they all gave bayah to him.
(Bukhari, chap. on khaybar. Muslim chap. bab-ul-fayy)
Hafidh Asqalaanee writes:
Imam ibn habbaan, Imam bahiaqqee, and other scholars of Hadith say that this narration contains some of Imam Zuhri’s own words. Somebody said to Imam Zuhri, that when abu bakr (Radiall hu anhu) became the khaleefah, hadrat Ali (Radiall hu anhu) did not give bayah for six months. Imam Zuhri said, not only Ali, but the whole of the tribe of banu Haashim did not give bayah to abu bakr until hadrat faatimah (Radiall hu anhu) passed away. The fact is that Imam Zuhri’s words are wrong, and also that Hadrat Ali (Radiall hu anhu) gave bayah to Hadrat Abu bakr on the first day he was appointed khaleefah
(Fath-ul-baari, end of Chap. on Khaybar).
Hafidh Qastalani also writes the same as above.
Hafidh ibn Kathir writes that the narrations which say that Ali (Radiall hu anhu) gave bayah to Abu bakr (Radiall hu anhu) on the first day he was appointed khaleefah are more authentic than those which do not support this. The reason for this is that Ali (Radiall hu anhu) used to pray behind Abu Bakr (Radiall hu anhu) and stayed with him all the time
(Taareekh ibn Kathir, chap. yaum-us-saqeefah).
The references prove that Imam Zuhri used to perform tadlees and Idraaj. The scholars have pointed out that some of his narrations are not reliable.
Ijazah and Imam Zuhri
Ijazah literally means “giving permission”. Its technical meaning is for a muhaddith to give permission to his students to narrate his Hadith, or any book of Hadith which he has knowledge of
(Sharh-ul-nukhbah, by Hafidh Aasqalaanee, chap. Ijazah).
This was the correct way to give Ijaazah, but Imam Zuhri’s way to give Ijaazah was very strange.
Imam Dhahabi writes that Ubaidullah reported:
I saw that the students of Imam Zuhri used to bring books to the Imam and ask him for permission to narrate from it using the Imam’s name. The Imam used to allow them without knowing what was in those books. This was because neither the Imam used to read the Ahadith, nor did the students read the Hadith to him (Tadhkarat-ul-Huffaaz, biography of Imam Zuhri).
Shiekh Saalih Subhi writes:
Imam ibn Hazm said that if a scholar of Hadith gives permission to his students to narrate a book of Hadith using his name, and the Scholar has not read the narrations, nor has anyone read them to him then, this is a bid’ah and not permissible. Other scholars of Hadith have been more strict in this respect and have said that the scholars of Hadith who used to do this, in effect, gave permission to their students to attribute lies to them.
(Uloom-ul-Hadith, chap. on Ijaazah)
From the above, it is evident that the authenticity of Imam Zuhri’s narrations are in question. It could be the case that one of the students of the Imam used to narrate non-authentic Hadith and use the Imam’s name, as he had given him permission to do so without checking the Hadith.
Our Shaykh Shah Abul-Hasan zaid faarooqee writes:
Hafidh ibn-ul-qayyim writes in his book, Alaam-ul-muwakki’een Vol. 3 p85, that Imam Malik wrote a letter to his colleague Imam layth bin sa’ad, whose knowledge was greater than Imam Malik’s. When Imam lays replied to the letter, he wrote a few things about Imam Zuhri. He wrote:
There is no doubt that our teacher, Imam Zuhri was a great scholar, but we have to accept that some of Imam Zuhri’s verbal and written statements used to contradict another. When we used to ask him something, sometimes the written answer would be different from the answer he used to give us verbally. Even some of his written statements used to contradict one other. The Imam did not realize what he had said before and what he was writing at the time. These are the reasons, why I have left him (Sawaanee Hayaat Imam abu Haneefah, biography Imam Lays).
This statement highlights the fact that Imam Zuhri’s narrations are not necessarily authentic. For this reason, we cannot use a single narration from Imam Zuhri as being more authentic than the practice of the companions, the Taabi’een, the Tab’a taabi’een and of a great group of scholars. The raf’ul-yadain narration is only taken from Imam Zuhri. His students made the narration famous after this.
How the narration became Famous
Imam ibn ‘Abdul-barr writes:
Ibn Umar’s narration became famous from Imam Zuhri’s students. Eleven students took this narration from Imam Zuhri. They are: Imam Malik, az-Zubaidi, Ma’mar, Auzaa’ee, Muhammad bin Ishaaq, Sufiyaan bin Husain, Aqeel bin Khaalid, abu Hamzah, ibn ooyainah, yoonus, and yahya. Twenty six of Imam Malik’s students narrated this Hadith from him. They are: Yahya bin Yahya, ibn Bukayr, abu Mas’ab, Sa’eed, ibn Wahab, ibn-ul-Qaasim, ibn Sa’eed, ibn abi Awais, Abdurrahman, Juwairia bint Asmaa’, ibrahim, ibnur Mubaarik, Bishr, Uthmaan, Abdullah, Khaalid, Makee bin Ibrahim, ibn Hasan, ibn mas’ab, abdul malik, ibn naafi’, abu quraa, Musaa, matraf, qutaibah, and Imam Shafi’ee. After all these people narrated this Hadith and told their students this narration, so it became very famous.
(At-tamheed, chap. on Raf’ul-yadain)
From this, it can be concluded that this narration was not famous at the time of the Sahaabah and the taabi’een. When people try to find evidence to support raf’ul-yadain, they say that there are over a hundred Hadith supporting it. In reality, there is only one Hadith which has been transmitted by Imam Zuhri, and his students have transmitted it further. So many chains were produced after Imam Zuhri.
When Imam Auzaaee debated with Imam abu Hanifah concerning raf’ul-yadain, the only Hadith Auzaaee could give as evidence for it was the one from Imam Zuhri. This demonstrates that if there were any other Hadith to support raf’ul-yadain then Auzaaee would have used one of them as evidence. Also, Bukhari and Muslim only wrote Hadith with chains leading to Imam Zuhri. If there were any other Hadith, then they would have included them.
Imam Malik – Narration of raf’ul-yadain
Imam Malik had the most knowledge of Imam Zuhri’s narrations. Let us see what his opinion about this was.
Imam Ibnul-Qasim, who was Imam Malik’s student, writes that Imam Malik says that apart from the begining of the prayer, I am unaware of performing raf’ul-yadain at any other time. I believe that the practice of raf’ul-yadain during the prayer is weak
(al-maduunah, Baab raf’ul-yadain).
Imam Malik’s saying that he was unaware of performing raf’ul-yadain does not mean that he was unaware of the Hadith. This was because he himself heard it along with ten of his colleagues and transmitted it to twenty-six of his students. The real meaning of his saying is that he was unaware of the practice of it. This was because neither Imam Zuhri, nor any of his students did raf’ul-yadain. Neither did people in Maienah do it nor the people coming for Hajj from all over the world do it. Another point to raise is that Imam Malik who is a main narrator of this Hadith did not practice raf’ul-yadain himself. The practice of raf’ul-yadain was very uncommon in Imam Malik’s time.
How can we use this narration as evidence for raf’ul-yadain when the scholars who narrated it did not act upon it, and when the two main narrators have doubts in them? (Ibn Jurayj and Imam Zuhri)
The second evidence of people who peforming raf-ul-yadain is that Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim write, Abu Qalaaba and Nasr-bin-Asim, say that they saw Malik bin Huwairis performing raf-ul-yadain before ruku and after ruku in Salaah and he reported that the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] used to do this as well.
(Bukari and Muslim, baab raf-ul-yadain)
The people who perform raf-ul yadain give this as their evidence and say that it is a sunnah-muakkadah and that non performance of it means that the prayer is not accepted properly.
We answer this by saying that this narration cannot prove that raf-ul-yadain is sunnah-muakkadah and also you cannot prove from this narration that the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] used to perform Raf-ul-yadain all the time. Malik bin Huwairis’ narration goes against his other narration.
Imam Nasaa’ee writes that Malik bin Huwairis reported that the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] used to perform Raf-ul-yadain before and after the ruku and in the middle of the two sajdahs.
(Nasaa’ee baab Raf-ul-yadain)
From Malik bin Huwairis’ narration, there is also proof of performing raf-ul yadain between sujuud, but the people who perform raf- ul-yadain only do it before and after the ruku and not in the middle of the sajdahs. Their argument is that this action has been abrogated. This, inspite of the fact, that Malik bin Huwairis’ narration does not confirm this.
Secondly, Malik bin Huwairis was only in Madinah for a few weeks and did not stay with the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] at times, so he did not know the last actions of the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant him peace]. This suggests that he did not know whether the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant him peace] performed raf-ul-yadain or not. On the other hand, Abdullah bin Ma’sood saw the Prophet’s [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] last actions concerning raf-ul-yadain. He saw the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] perform the prayer without raful-yadain. Abdullah bin Ma’sood’s narration is more reliable than Malik bin Huwairis’ as ibn Ma’sood stayed with the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] all the time.
Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim write that Malik bin Huwairis came to Madinah with some other people and stayed in Madinah for 10 nights and then they really wanted to go home. So, when the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] found this out, he gave them permission to leave for Basra, where Malik was from.
(Bukhari Muslim, Baab-ul-adhaan)
From this narration there is proof that Malik bin Huwairis was only in madeenah for a short time so, he could not have known the last actions of the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] concerning raf-ul-yadain. Malik bin Huwairis’ narration about raf-ul-yadain does not prove that the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] performed raf-ul-yadain all the time; it only proves that malik bin huwairis saw him [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] perform Raf-ul-yadain in that period. This also does not prove that it is a sunnah muakkadah. If someone tries to prove from this narration that it is sunnah muakkadah to perform Raf-ul-yadain then people could also say that it is sunnah muakkadah to pick a child up during Salaah!
Imam Bukharai writes that the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] while praying Salaah picked up his grand-daughter Amama and put her down when he went to sujood.
No one can say from this narration that it is a sunnaah to pick up a child while praying, so how can some say that because Malik bin huwairis saw the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] perfomed Raf’ul-yadain in Salaah, and it is sunnah muakkadah.
There are four main narrators of the narration supporting raf’ul-yadain. They are, Abu Qalaabah, khaalid-al-hazza, Nasr bin Aasim, and Qatadaa. Of course, we believe that they had full knowledge of Hadith but they were human and had some weaknesses.
Imam dhahabi and Hafidh Asqalani write:
Abu Qalaabah’s full name was Abdullah bin Zaid, he used to live in the city of Basra. He was a great and knowledgeable man. He was against Ali (Radiall hu anhu), he had no regards Ali (Radiall hu anhu) and used to narrate Hadith from people whom he had never met before. For example: Abdullah bin Umar, Abdullah bin Abbaas, Ai’sha, and abu Hurairah. When he related Ahadith, it seemed as if he had heard the Hadith directly from the companions of the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace], but in reality heard them from other people.
(Meezaan-ul-I’tidaal, tahdheeb-ut-tahdheeb, taqreeb, biography of Abu-Qalaabah)
Khalid bin Hazzah
Imam Dhahabi and Hafidh Asqalani write:
Imam ibn sa’ad khalid, was not an authentic Imam. Abu khatam said that khalid’s narrated Hadith cannot be used as evidence. When khalid came to Syria, he told Hadith to the people but the scholars rejected his narrations. he had also lost his memory. But still, Ibn mu’een and nisaa’ee praised him.
(Tahdheeb-ut-tahdheeb, meezaan-ul-I’tidaal, Muqaddamah Fath-ul-baari, biography of khalid bin Hazza).
Abu Qalabah’s other student Ayyoob also narrated this Hadith, but he never mentions raf-ul-yadain. This Hadith is also found in Sahih Bukhari. The scholars of Hadith agree that Ayyoob was more knowledgeable than khalid.
Nasr bin Aasim
Hafidh Asqalani writes:
Imam Da’ood said that he was from amongst a misled sect, but others said that he repented from his wrong beliefs.
(Tahdheeb-ut-tahdheeb, biography of Nasr bin Aasim)
Imam Dhahabi and Hafidh Asqalani write:
Qatadah was a great scholar and a mufassir. He was very intelligent, and many scholars praised him. He narrated Hadith of such people whom he had never heard, met, nor seen. He saw only one companion of the Prophet, Malik bin Anas, but he attributed narrations from many other people despite this.
He had evil beliefs about Islam; he openly declared his sinful beliefs. Despite the fact that Qatadah held wrong beliefs, the scholars still took narrations of Hadith from him (May Allah forgive him)
(Meezaan-ul-I’tidaal, Tahdheeb-ut-tahdheeb, tadhkarat-ul-huffaad and biography of Qatadah basri).
From all the above references, it cannot be proved that the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] did raf’ul-yadain all the time. Also, Malik bin Huwairis did not stay with the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] during the last period of the Prophet’s [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] life. The four main narrators of this Hadith have been criticized by the scholars of Ahadith.
This Hadith does not stand at the same level as Abdullah bin Ma’sood’s Hadith.
The third evidence used to support raf’ul-yadain
Qadhi Shawkani writes that the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace], when performing his last Salaah, performed raf’ul-yadain.
(nayl ul-awutar, chapter On raf’ul-yadain)
The people who perform raf’ul-yadain say that the above narration proves that raf’ul-yadain was not abrogated. In response, to this we say that this Hadith is not authentic. This is the reason why it was not written in Sahih Bukhari, or Muslim, even Imam Bayhaqqi did not include it in his book of sunan. All the narrators of this Hadith are weak.
Examining the narrators of the Hadith
Imam Dhahabi writes that Harwi used to fabricate Hadith and telling them to people.
(meezaan-ul-I’tidaal, biography of Abdur-Rahman Harwi)
Harwi used to fabricate all his narrations of Hadith, now, how could we accept a Hadith that has been totally fabricated?
lAnother narrator of this narration is Usama-bin-Muhammad Ansari, the student of Musaa bin Uqbah.
Imam Dhahabi writes:
Imam Abu Khatim said that Usama was not strong in the knowledge of Hadith. Imam Yahyaa bin Mo’een said that he fabricated Hadith and attributed them to the great scholars of Hadith. He was a liar. Imam Dar-qutni said that he was not reliable and that is why the scholars did not take any narrations of Hadith from him. Imam Ibn Addi said that all his narrated Hadith are not safe. He narrates one Hadith that says that you should make dua to Allah Almighty when you see a beautiful face, and He will accept it.
(Meezan-ul-itidaal, biography of Usama-bin-muhammad Ansari)
Qadi Shawkani writes that Usama-bin-Ansari was a liar and he fabricated Hadith.
(Al-majmoo’at-ul-Ahadith, Chapter on Sadaqag pg.67 by Qadi Shawkani)
It is strange that Qadi Shawkani wrote in his book, that Usama bin Muhammad was a liar, but despite this took his narration as evidence in his other book.
The other surprising thing is that Qadi shawkaani always discusses the narrators of the Hadith, but with this Hadith, he does not mention or discuss anything about them. It seems as if he is totally unaware of them.
We are also surprised concerning those people who present this Hadith as evidence of their practice of radf’-ul-yadain. They are proud and say that they are following the sunnah of rasoolullah [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace].
Performing Salaah without Raf’ul-yadain – Proof from Hadith
Imam Muslim writes:
Once we were performing Salaah and the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] came to us and asked us: “Why are you doing raf’ul-yadain as a stubborn horse waving its tail?” He also told us: “Perform your Salaah with peace.”
(Muslim, chapter Sukoon fisSalaah)
The above Hadith proves that one must not perform Raf’ul yadain in the middle of one’s salaah.
Imam Muslim writes in another narration after the above one that:
Jaabir bin Samrah reported:
At the end of the salaah, we used to wave our hands left and right when saying Salaam, the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] told us not to wave our hands but only to say the Salaam.
The above narrations prove that the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] stopped raf’ul-yadain as well as waving the hands during the Prayer.
Imam Humaidi, who was the teacher of Imam Bukhari and Muslim writes:
Abdullah bin Umar said:
The Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] only perform raf’ul-yadain at the beginning of Salaah, not before or after doing ruku’.
(Musnad Humaidi, Volume 1 pg. 177, Printed Maktabah Salafiyyah, Madeenat-ul-munawwarah)
Imam Ibn Abee Shaibah and Imam Abdur-Rakaq writes:
Ali (Radiall hu anhu) reported:
The Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] performed raf’ul-yadain at the beginning of Salaah.
Abdullah bin Mas’ood and Brabin Azib reported:
We saw the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] only performing Raf’ul yadain at the beginning of the Salaah.
Aswad, Imam Shabi, Ibrahim Nakhee and Ali and Ibn Mas’ood’s student (Radialla hu anhu) only performed raf’ul-yadain at the beginning of Salaah.
(Musnad Ibn Abi Shaibah and Musnad Abdur-Razaq, chapter on raf’ul-yadain)
Imam Ibn-ul-Qasim writes:
Imam Malik said that Imam Zuhri told him that he heard from Salim, who said that his Father (Abdullah bin Umar) reported, that the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] only performed raf’ul yadain at the beginning of the Salaah and not in any other part of it.
This narration also proves that Imam Zuhri narrated a hadith stating that the practice of raf’ul yadain was only performed at the beginning of the Salaah.
Imam Malik also said that he has no knowledge of doing raf’ul-yadain in any other part of the Salaah apart from the beginning.
(Al madoonah-chapter on raf’ul-yadain)
Imam Malik also said:
To do raf’ul yadain is weak except at the beginning.
[Al Madoona chap Raf ul yadain]
How can Imam Malik say that he had no knowledge of someone who practices raf’ul-yadain, even when he himself heard a Hadith supporting it from Imam Zuhri?
The answer to this is, as mentioned earlier, that Imam Malik knew the Hadith of raf’ul-yadain but he never saw anyone in Makkah or Madinah who practiced it. The reason for this is that the practice of raf’ul-yadain was abrogated.
Imam Tirmidhi writes:
Abdullah bin mas’ood said that he would perform the Salaah the way that the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] did. When he performed the Salaah, he only did raf’ul yadain at the beginning of the Salaah.
Many companions of the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace], their students (Tabe’een), Sufyan, the Scholars of Koofah and many other Scholars followed this Hadith.
Even other scholars wrote this Hadith in their books for example, Imam Aboo Da’ood, Ibn Abi shaibah, Imam Abdur-Razaq, Imam abu ya’ala and many others.
Imam Tirmidhi wrote in his narration:
The companions of the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace], Tabi’een and scholars of Kufa were performing salaah without Raf’ul yadain.
Who were the Scholars of Kufah?
Imam Ibn Sa’ad, Hafidh ibn ul-Qayyam, Hafidhh ibn Taymiyyah write:
Umar (Radiall hu anhu) gave an order to build the city of Kufa, when the city was built, people from various Islamic areas came to live in the city. Many companions of the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] moved to Kufa and started to live there. Umar (Radiall hu anhu) sent Abdullah bin Mas’ood and Ammar bin Yasar to teach the people in Kufa.
After 16 or 17 years, when Ali (Radiall hu anhu) became the Khalifah, he transferred the capital from Madinah to Kufa. A large number of companions moved to Kufa. They taught people about Islam. Kufa this became the center point for Islamic Scholars.
(Tabaqat, Ibn Sa’ad, minhaajussunnah a’laamul-mu’wakkieen, chapter on Kufa)
Kufa was the central point of Islamic Knowledge, which is why so many Scholars of Hadith travelled to it repeatedly to gain knowledge.
Hafidh Asqalani writes:
Imam Bukhari travelled to various cities to gain knowledge of Hadith. He went to the city of Jazeerah twice, Basrah four times, and stayed in Hijaz (Makkah and Madinah) for six years. Imam Bukhari said himself that he could not account for how many times he went to Kufa and Baghdad to learn knowledge of Hadith.
(Muqaddamah FathulBaari, biography of Imam Bukhari)
Imam Tirmidhi’s narrations prove that no one practiced raf’ul yadain in the city of Kufah which became the center point of Islamic knowledge and thought. Imam Malik’s narration proves that no one was practicing raf’ul-yadain in Makkah or Madinah, as this practice had been abrogated.
The debate between Imam Auzaaee and Imam Abu Haneefah
These two Imams debated the matter of raf’ul-yadain once and it is described by Sufyaan bin Uyayna.
Once Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Auzaaee met in a market in Makkah.
Imam Auzaaee asked Imam Abu Hanifah why he did not practice raf’ul-yadain during the Salaah.
Abu Hanifahh: There is no authentic Hadith about practicing raf’ul-yadain.
Auzaaee: Why isn’t there an authentic Hadith? Here is one, Imam Zuhri told me, who was told by Salim, who was told by Ibn Umar (Radiall hu anhu) that the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] practiced raf’ul-yadain before and after the ruku’.
Abu Hanifah: Hamad told me, who was told by Ibrahim, who was told by Ikrama, who was told by Aswad who was told by Abdullah binMas’ood (Radiall hu anhu) that the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant Him peace] only practiced raf’ul-yadain at the beginning of performing his Salaah and not afterwards.
Auzaaee:The narration that I have presented to you has a shorter chain and your Hadith has a longer chain, for this reason, my Hadith is more Reliable than your’s.
Abu Hanifahh: It does not matter if the chain of the Hadith is long or short, the Priority of the Hadith depends on the narrators of the Hadith and How much knowledge of Hadith they had. The narrators of the Hadith, which I have presented, possess more expertise in the knowledge of Hadith. For example, Hamad is more knowledgeable than Imam Zuhri. Ibraaheem is more knowledgeable than Salim. Ikrama is a great scholar and Ibn Mas’ood is unique.
Imam Auzaaee then became silent.
(Musnad Imam Abu Hanifah, Chapter on Raf’ul-yadain)
This debate shows that Imam Auzaaee had no other evidence. If he had then, he would have presented it to defend his case in support of Raf’ul-yadain. Imam Abu Haneefah replied so beautifully that Imam Auzaaee was forced to become silent.