in category Rituals

Is it disliked to place the hands on the chest during prayer?

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In a Nutshell:
The jurists differed on this question due to reliance on ahadith that narrate differences in how the Prophet (saw) prayed.

Those who claimed it to be disliked comprised:

Ibn Taymiyyah says in his Sharh on Umdah:"As for placing them both on the chest it is disliked, as was stated. Abi Ayub reports from Abi Mashar that he said, "It is disliked to make takfir in the prayer" and he said, "Takfir is to place the right hand upon the chest in the prayer"

Ibn Jarir al Dhabbiyy reports from his father who said, "I saw Ali (ra) clasping his left hand with his right on the wrist, above the navel." [Abu Dawood 757]

And Abu Zakariyya ibn Abi Ishaq informed us: Al-Hasan ibn Ya'qub informed us: Yahya ibn Abi Talib narrated to us: Zayd informed us: Sufyan narrated to us from Ibn Jurayj, from Abuz-Zubayr who said: 'Ata' ordered me to ask Sa'id where the hands should be placed in the prayer? Above the navel or below the navel? So I asked him about it and he said: Above the navel. He meant Sa'id ibn Jubayr. (al-Bayhaqi in as-Sunan al-Kubra

Imam Nawawi said in Sharh Muslim, "he should place the hands below the chest and above the navel, this is our madhab and the Jamhurs. Abu Hanifa, Sufyan at-Thawri, Ishaq bin Rahawayh and Abu Ishaq al-Marwazi from our madhab said to place it below the navel and Sayyidina 'Ali has two narrations like the two opinions (mentioned above). Imam Ahmed has two narrations like the two opinions(positions mentioned above) and a third to choose between the two positions without giving preference to one over another, Al-Awza'i and ibn Mundhir agreed with the third opinion. Imam Malik has two opinions, one of them below the chest and the second to let em' go to the sides..."

Others differed and claimed...

Allamah Sindhi Hanafi said: Just as it is Sunnah to clasp the hands and not let them hang by one's sides, It is proven that they are to be placed on the chest, not elsewhere. As for the hadeeth "It is Sunnah to place one hand over the other beneath the navel when praying", the scholars agreed that it is Weak. [Hashiyat Sindh Ala Ibn Majah Vol 2 page no.210]

"Taqreer-e-Tirmidhi" written by Ashraf Ali thanvi argued: "Some sahaba placed their hands above the navel which means on the Chest as other ahadeeth have the mention of the word 'Sadr'(chest) and some sahaba placed their hands below the navel"

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