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Raising Hands During Supplication


By Ustadh Abdullah Ibn Hamid Ali

An Excerpt from Ibn Hajar’s Well-Acclaimed Commentary on Imam Al-Bukhari’s Sahih Collection, Fath Al-Bari (Revelation of the Creator):
Imam Al-Bukhari reports the following in the Book of Supplications under the chapter #23 he entitles ‘Raising the Hands during Supplication:’  

Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari said,  

The Prophet – may Allah bless and grant him peace – supplicated. Then he raised his hands. And I saw the whiteness of his armpits.”  

Ibn ‘Umar said,  

The Prophet – may Allah bless and grant him peace – raised his hands, and then said: “O Allah! I declare my innocence to You from what Khalid has done.””  

(6341) – Abu ‘Abd Allah said: And Al-Uwaysi said, “Muhammad ibn Ja’far related to me about Yahya ibn Sa’id and Shurayk [that] they heard Anas say about the Prophet – may Allah bless and grant him peace: “He raised his hands until I saw the whiteness of his armpits.””

Ibn Hajar Al-‘Asqalani said in Fath Al-Bari,

[As for] His saying: “The Chapter of Raising the Hands during Supplication”: That is, [he raised them] according to a particular fashion…

[As for] His saying: “And Abu Musa said”: He is the Ash’ari[i]. “The Prophet – may Allah bless and grant him peace – supplicated. Then he raised his hands. And I saw the whiteness of his armpits”: This is a portion of his long hadith pertaining to the story about the murder of his paternal uncle, Abu ‘Amir Al-Ash’ari. It has been presented with an unbroken chain (mawsulan) in [the chapter dealing with] Military Campaigns (Al-Maghazi) during the Battle of Hunayn. And I alluded to it three chapters ago in ‘The Chapter of Allah’s Saying: “And pray for them.”

[As for] His saying: “And Ibn ‘Umar said: “The Prophet – may Allah bless and grant him peace – raised his hands, and then said: “O Allah! I declare my innocence to You from what Khalid has done””: And this is a portion of the narration about the Battle of Banu Jadhima…It has been presented with an unbroken chain (mawsulan) with its explanation in [The Chapter of] Military Campaigns after the Battle of the Conquest. And the aforementioned ‘Khalid’, is Ibn al-Walid.

[As for] His saying: “And Al-Uwaysi said: He is ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abd Allah. Muhammad ibn Jaf’ar is Ibn Abu Kathir. And Yahya ibn Sa’id is the Ansari[ii]. This is also a portion of the hadith of Anas regarding the prayer for rain (al-istisqa). It was presented there with this chain along with the omission of most of its transmitters (mu’allaqan). But Abu Nu’aym established its connectedness (wasalahu) through the version of Abu Zur’a Al-Razi. He said, “Al-Uwaysi related to us by way of him.”

And Al-Bukhari mentioned the narration about the rain prayer at length through the version of Shurayk Ibn Abu Namir - alone - on the authority of Anas from [different] avenues (turuq)[iii]. Some of them contain (the statement) “And he raised his hands.” But none of them contain [the statement] “…until I saw the whiteness of his armpits” except for this one.

Plus, the first hadith contains a rebuttal against those who say, “One should not raise [his hands] in this manner unless it is the rain prayer.” Rather, it as well as what comes after it[iv] contains a rebuttal against those who say, “One should not raise the hands during supplication (du’a) at anytime unless it is during the rain prayer” while clinging to the hadith of Anas [which states], “The Prophet – may Allah bless and grant him peace – did not raise his hands during supplication unless it was during the rain prayer.” It is rigorously authenticated (sahih).

However, reconciliation can be made between it and the hadiths of the chapter [under discussion], as well as what they mean by [saying] that the thing negated [in the hadith of Anas] is a specific description [of how the hands were raised] not the raising [of them] itself. And I’ve alluded to that in the chapters dealing with “The Rain Prayer.”

Its summation is that raising [the hands] during the rain prayer differs from [raising them] at other times either by the over-extension [of the arms] (al-mubalagha) to the point that the hands are parallel with the face - for instance - while during supplication (du’a) they are parallel with the shoulders. And the fact that [the saying] “until the whiteness of his armpits were seen” has been established in both cases doesn’t disturb that [interpretation]. Rather reconciliation [between the two] is made by [saying] that the whiteness [of the armpits] is seen more during the rain prayer than on other occasions – or the palms [of the hands] during the rain prayer face the ground, but in supplication they face the sky.

Al-Mundhiri said,

And while presuming that it is impossible to reconcile [between them], the side confirming [the raising of the hands] is weightier.” 

I say: And especially in view of the multitude of hadiths found in that regard. For there exist many hadiths about it. Al-Mundhiri mentioned them all in a single volume that Al-Nawwawi presented in Al-Adhkaar and in Sharh al-Muhadhdhab in brief.

Al-Bukhari also composed a chapter dealing with them in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad wherein he mentioned the hadith of Abu Hurayra [which states],

Al-Tufayl ibn ‘Amr came to the Prophet – may Allah bless and grant him peace – and then said: “Verily, Daws has disobeyed. So pray to Allah against them.” So, he faced the qibla, raised his hands, and then said: “O Allah! Guide Daws!””

It is in the Two Sahihs without his saying, “he raised his hands.”

Another is the hadith of Jabir that, “Al-Tufail ibn ‘Amr migrated.” Thereafter he mentioned the narration about the man who migrated with him. In it is [the statement],

Then the Prophet – may Allah bless and grant him peace – said: “O Allah! And for his hands – Forgive!” Then, he raised his hands.”

Its chain is sahih. And Muslim reported it.

Another is the hadith of ‘Aisha that [says that], “She saw the Prophet – may Allah bless and grant him peace – supplicating while raising his hands saying: “O Allah! I am merely a mortal…”” to the end of the hadith. It has a sound chain (sahih al-isnad).

And amongst the sahih hadiths regarding that is what the author (Al-Bukhari) has reported in ‘The Collection (juz’) on Raising the Hands’ [stating that],

I saw the Prophet – may Allah bless and grant him peace – while he was raising his hands - supplicating for ‘Uthman.”

And Muslim has [reported] by way of the hadith of ‘Abd Al-Rahman ibn Samura in the narration about the eclipse [prayer],

“…Then I reached the Prophet – may Allah bless and grant him peace – while [he was] raising his hands supplicating.”

Also with him[v] in the hadith of ‘Aisha regarding the eclipse is [the statement],

“…Then he raised his hands supplicating.”

And [there is] in her hadith with him (Muslim) during his (the Prophet’s) supplication for the People of Al-Baqi’ [the saying], “Then he raised his hands three times” to the end of the hadith.

Another [report] is from the long hadith of Abu Hurayra regarding the Conquest of Mecca [wherein it reads],

Then he raised his hands and he begun to supplicate.”

And another [report] is in the Two Sahihs from the hadith of Abu Humayd regarding the narration from Al-Lutbiyya [it reads],

Then he raised his hands until I saw the dust-color of his armpits while he said: “O Allah! Have I proclaimed?””

Another [report] is from the hadith of ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Amr that,

The Prophet – may Allah bless and grant him peace – mentioned the statement of Ibrahim and ‘Isa. Then he raised his hands and said: “O Allah! My nation!””

And in the hadith of ‘Umar [he says],

The Messenger of Allah, whenever the revelation would descend upon him, the like of the humming of bees was heard near his face. Then Allah gave revelation to him one day, and it was removed from him. Then he faced the qibla, raised his hands, and supplicated” to the end of the hadith.

Tirmidhi reported it. And the wording is his and Nasai’s. Al-Hakim reported it also.

And in the hadith of Usama [he says],

I was riding with the Prophet – may Allah bless and grant him peace – in ‘Arafat. Then he raised his hands supplicating. So his she-camel leaned for him, and its nose-rein fell. So he grabbed it with his hand while raising the other hand.”

Nasa’i reported it with a good chain (bi sanad jayyid)[vi].

And in the hadith of Qays ibn Sa’d in Abu Dawud [he says],

Then the Messenger of Allah – may Allah bless and grant him peace – raised his hands while he was saying: “O Allah! Your blessings and Your mercy be on the family of Sa’d ibn ‘Ubada” to the end of the hadith.

Its chain is good (jayyid). And the hadiths in that regard are numerous.

As for what Muslim reported from the hadith of ‘Imara ibn Ruwayba…that, “He saw Bishr ibn Mirwan raising his hands. So he condemned that [act]. So he said: “Verily I saw Allah’s messenger – may Allah bless and grant him peace – without adding more to this - while pointing with his index finger”, Tabari narrated about one of the Salaf that he construed it according to its appearance. He said: “The Sunnah is that the one supplicating points with one finger.”

The rebuttal of it is that it has been mentioned only with respect to [what] the orator [should do] while he is giving the sermon. And that is apparent in the context of the hadith. So there is no use of clinging to it in prohibiting the raising of the hands during supplication when the reports confirm the legitimacy of it.

Abu Dawud reported it as well as Tirmidhi while grading it as being fair (hasan), in addition to others from the hadith of Salman that he attributed to the Prophet (rafa’ahu),

Verily your Lord is Living, Generous. He is shy - from His servant when he raises his hands to Him – to return them with zilch (sifran)”…meaning, emp 

Its chain is good (jayyid).

Tabari said,

Ibn ‘Umayr and Jubayr ibn Mut’im disliked raising the hands in supplication (du’a). And Shurayh saw a man raising his hands while supplicating. So he said: “Who reaches [things] with them? You are without a mother.”[vii] 

And Tabari conveyed that with its different chains on their authority.

Ibn Al-Tin mentioned about Abd Allah ibn 'Amr ibn Ghanim that he relayed about Malik that raising the hands in supplication is not one of the affairs of the learned (al-fuqaha). He said,

"And he said in Al-Mudawwana [that] raising [the hands] is specific for the rain prayer. He should place the palms of them towards the ground."

And as for what Tabari relayed about Ibn 'Umar, he merely objected to raising them parallel with the shoulders. And he said,

"Let him place them parallel to his chest."

Likewise, Tabari confirmed it (asnadahu) on his authority (i.e. Ibn ‘Umar) and on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas that this is the description of the supplication (du'a). And Abu Dawud and Al-Hakim reported on his authority from a different chain. He said,

"The petition is [done by] raising the hands parallel to the shoulders. Asking forgiveness (al-istighfar) is [done by] pointing with one finger. And, the earnest prayer (al-ibtihal) is [done by] extending your hands together."

And Tabari reported from another chain on his authority [that] he said,

"He raises his hands until he lifts them above his head."

And the opposite of what has been presented has been proven true about Ibn 'Umar. Al-Bukhari reported it in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad by way of Al-Qasim ibn Muhammad, [He said] "I saw Ibn 'Umar supplicating at Al-Qas raising his hands until he made them parallel to his shoulders. The palms of them were facing him (i.e. his lower body). And the backside of them were facing his face."


 

[i] That is, he was from the clan of Banu Ash’ar, not that he is a follower of Imam Abu al-Hasan Al-Ash’ari even though Abu al-Hasan was a direct descendant of the Companion, Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari.

[ii] That is, he is from the Ansar of Medina.

[iii]Turuq is the plural of the word ‘tariq’, which means ‘path’ or ‘way.’ It is also used as an alternate meaning for the word ‘isnad’ (chain of narration).

[iv] It is a reference to the aforementioned hadiths.

[v] Him here is a reference to Imam Muslim.

[vi] A hadith is said to be jayyid when a hadith scholar is uncertain whether it belongs in the category of hasan or sahih. So he calls it jayyid. (Refer to Suyuti’s Tadrib Al-Rawi).

[vii] This portion of this sentence is very awkward. It contains the expression ‘la am laka?’ that translates as ‘no or for you?’  or ‘not or for you?’.  So the complete translation would be “Who takes with them no or for you?” or “Who takes with them not or for you?” Or it says, ‘la umma laka’. That means ‘you have no mother.’ In this case it would appear to be a word of condemnation similar to the statement made by the Arabs, ‘May your mother be bereaved of you.’ I’m unsure if this is a typo. And Allah knows best what is more correct.


Article taken (with Thanks) from LampPost Productions

 

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