source of the artcle http://www.wikihow.com/Perform-Salah
Prayer is a Muslim's Mairaj, or communication with Allah. Prayer purifies and cleans your mind five times a day, and serves to bring peace to your life. Prayer is a man's way of thanking Allah, and reminds him that Allah is watching over his life, giving him the courage to face even the toughest of times.
This article explains how the Islamic prayer, Salah, is performed according to the Hanafi School. Other schools differ in many small details - which from their point of view, are very important.
Children should be taught to perform salah from the age of seven. By the age of ten, they should be performing 5-times daily salah regularly and correctly or it is the parents' duty to discipline them.
The five prayers of the day:
- Fajr prayer is offered between dawn and sunrise. It consists of two raka'at sunnah, followed by two raka'at fard.
- Zuhr prayer is offered between true noon and the time when an object's shadow equals it in size. It consists of four raka'at pre-fard sunnah, four raka'at fard, two raka'at post farz sunnah, and two raka'at nafil.
- Asr prayer is offered between the time when an object's shadow equals it in size, to just before sunset. It contains four raka'at pre-farz sunnah, and four raka'at farz.
- Maghrib prayer is offered between sunset to the time when twilight disappears. It contains three raka'at farz followed by two raka'at post-farz sunnah and two raka'at nafil.
- Isha' prayer is offered between the time when the twilight disappears and midnight. It consists of four raka'at pre-farz sunnah, 4 raka'at farz, two raka'at post-farz sunnah, two raka'at nafil, and three witr.
Sorry sir, But there is a Difference. You are trying to say that the Imams had less knowledge even though they were Tabi'een and Tabe Tabi'een. Did the Hadith come after The Imams or were the Hadith present before they came into this world. So what if they werent in a book form. They were Hafiz of Hadith & Quran. All the Imams of Hadith followed a school of thought, why?
To be a Muhaddith, you need to know Hadith by Heart with the Chains of Narration. A Muhaddith is NOT a Faqih. But a Faqih IS a guaranteed Muhaddith.
The Imams of the Sahih Hadith were not Faqih's, They were Muhaddith
Response to this:
Evidence does exist
As for those who claim there is no difference in the salah of males and females, they have absolutely no evidence – neither from the Qur'aan nor the Ahaadith. However, if they use the practice of Umm ud-Dardaa, their proof is unsubstantiated for several reasons.
Ibn Abi Shaybah narrates:
"Makhul reports that Umm ud-Dardaa used to sit like males in salaah. "
(al-Musannafli-Ibn Abi Shaybah: vol. 1 p 270)
(Imam Bukhari has also quoted this statement. However, he has not mentioned any chain of narrators for it. It is for this reason I have quoted the work of Ibn Abi Shaybah)
It is incorrect to use this athar for the following reasons:
1. Hafizh Jamaal ud-Din Yusuf al-Mizzi has mentioned her among the Taabi'in. (Tahzheeb al-Kamaal fi-Asmaa ir-Rijaal: vol.22 p 464).The practice of a lone tabi'i is incorrect to adopt even if it may not be contrary to the principles. Hafiz Ibn Hajar Asqalaani states in Fath ul-Baari:
"The practice of a lone Tabi'i, even though it may not contradict any principle, will not be used as proof. " (Fath ul-Baari: vol. 2 p 243)
Hafizh Ibn Hajar has only counted her among the Taabi'in. He says:
"It can be realised from the narration of Makhul that that narration refers to the younder Umm ud-Dardaa, the Tabi'iyyah, not the elder sahabiyyah because Makhulmet the former not the latter. " (Ibid)
2. Even if it accepted that she was a Sahabiyyah, then the narration becomes munqati' and will not be acceptable according to the principles of the Muhaddithin. It will also be regarded as her opinion. She did not encourage anyone else to follow her practice . Neither did she present any action or statement of Rasulullah nor the fatwa of any Khalifah.
Accordingly, with regard to the salah of women, the position of this opinion in the face of the practically adopted method of the ummah (tawaatur) is like the position of shaazqira'a has opposed to mutawaatir qira'ah. It is very clear that no muslim leaves the mutawaatir qira'ah for the shaazqira'ah.
3. Furthermore, if one examines the words of this narration carefully, it supports the view of the majority. The sitting posture of Umm ud-Dardaa has been compared to the posture of males in this narration which infers that the posture of the other Sahaabiyyaat was different as mentioned previously.
4. Imam Abu Ja'far at-Tahaawi rahimahullah has narrated the following hadith:
"Ibrahim Abi Abalah reports that he saw Umm ud-Dardaa performing salaah cross-legged"
(Tuhfat al-Akhyaarbi-Tarteebi SharhMushkil al-Aathaar li-Abi Ja'farat-Tahaawi: vol. 2 p 338, and Hafizh Mizzi has narrated this atharin Tahzheeb al-Kamaal: vol. 22 p 468)
This narration contradicts the one mentioned by Ibn Abi Shaybah rahimahullah. It will accordingly not remain worthy of substantiating any Shar'i law.
in another narration of Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah (vol. 1 p270), one finds the following words:
Ibrahim said: "A woman should sit in salah as a man does. " This quotation indicates permissibility. However, Naasir ud-Din al-Albaani has interpolated the words of this narration thus:
"A woman should so as a man does in salah. "
(Sifatu Salatin-Nabiy p 207)
This interpolation has clearly changed the meaning of the words and is a misleading act.
(Taken from THE SALAH OF WOMEN published by Madrasah Arabiyyah Islamiyah Aazadville)
Chapter 4 – Proofs from Prophetic Hadiths
Imam Bayhaqi has mentioned a principle which is the basis of the differences found in the salah of males and females.
"The separating factor between the laws of salah of males and females is that of concealment . A woman is commanded to do all those actions which are more concealing for her. " (as-Sunan al-Kubra alil-Bayhaqi: vol. 2 p 222)
RAISING THE HANDS
Hafidh Nur ud-Din Haythami states:
Wa'il ibn Hujr states that Rasulullah said to him, "O Ibn Hujr, when you perform salah, raise your hands till your ears while a woman should raise her hands till her chest . "
(Majma' uz-Zawaa'id: vol. 2 p 103, and I'laa us-Sunan: vol. 2 p 156)
Imam Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Shaybah narrates:
"Abd Rabbih Ibn Zaytun said that he saw Umm ud-Dardaa raising her hands parallel to her shoulders when beginning salah. "
(al-Musannaf li-Ibn Abi Shaybah: vol. 1 p 239)
Ibn Abi Shaybah has also narrated:
"`Ataa was asked how a woman should raise her hands in salah. He replied that she should raise them till her breast " (Ibid)
Based at Makkah, Ataa [the great Follower (tabi`i) and imam] used to issue this fatwa.
Ibn Abi Shaybah narrates:
"Hammad ibn Salamah al-Basri used to say that a woman should raise her hands parallel to her breast when beginning salah. "
Hammad was based at Kufa and he used to issue this fatwa.
The narration of Ibn Jurayj has been mentioned as follows:
Ibn Jurayj said, "I asked Ataa whether a woman should gesture with her hands like a male when making takbir. Ataa replied that she should not raise her hands like a male. Then he practically indicated with his hands how it should be done by lowering his hands and drawing them very close to his body. Then he said, "In the raising of the hands, a woman is unlike a man . And if she leaves that, there is no harm. ""
The Muslim Ummah continued this practice over the centuries. Imam Zuhri used to issue the same fatwa in Madinah.
PLACING THE HANDS
Allamah Abdul-Hayy Luckhnawi writes:
"As for women, the jurists are unanimous that it is sunnah for them to place their hands on their bosoms. "
(as-Si'aayah: vol. 2 p 152)
There is ijmaa' on this mas'alah.
Imam Abu Dawud has narrated the following hadith in his Maraaseel:
"Yazid ibn Abi Habib states that Rasulullah passed by two women who were performing their salah. He said to them, "When you prostrate, then make the parts of your body touch the ground because a woman is unlike a man in these aspects. " (Maraaseel Abi Dawud p 118; and its like in as-Sunan al-Kubra alil- Bayhaqi: vol. 2 p 223)
Imam Bayhaqi narrates the following hadith:
Abdullah Ibn Umar reports that Rasulullah said, "When a woman sits during salah, she should place her one thigh over the other and when she prostrates, she must attach the stomach to her thighs so that is more concealing for her. Indeed, Allah looks at her and tells the angels, "O My angels! Bear witness hat I have forgiven her. ""
(as-Sunan al-Kubra alil-Bayhaqi: vol. 2 p 223)
Imam Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Shaybah narrates the following statement of Ali:
"It is reported that Ali said: "When a woman performs salah, she must practise ihtifaaz and keep her thighs close together. ""
(al-Musannaf li-Ibn Abi Shaybah: vol. 1 p 270, and it has been taken many ways, Abdur-Razzaq has taken it from Isra'il from Abu Is'haq from Harith from Ali and Ibn Abi Shaybah took it from Abul-Ahwas from Abu Is'haq and Bayhaqi took it from Abul-Ahwas, with the mentioned sanad)
Imam Abdur-Razzaq has quoted the following hadith in his Musannaf:
Ali says, "When a woman prostrates, she must practise ihtifaz and keep her thighs close to her stomach. "
(al-Musannaf li-Abdir-Razzaq: vol. 3 p 138)
"Ihtifaaz": to lean on one side and rest on the posterior.
(See Lugaat al-Hadith: vol. 1 p 98)
The following narration has been quoted by Bayhaqi:
"Ali said: " When a woman performs sajdah she must keep her thighs close together. ""
(as-Sunan al-Kubra alil-Bayhaqi: vol. 2 p 222)
The following narration appears in Kanz ul-Ummal:
"Ibn Umar states that when a woman prostrates, she must let her stomach touch her thighs in order to make herself completely concealed. "
(Kanz ul-Ummal: vol. 4 p 117)
Imam Ibn Abi Shaybah narrates:
"Ibrahim says that when a woman prostrates she should join her thighs to her stomach without raising her posterior and without stretching her limbs out like a male. "
(al-Musannaf li-Ibn Abi Shaybah: vol. 1 p 270)
The following words have been narrated by Ibrahim Nakha'i:
"Ibrahim said that when a woman prostrates she must draw her thighs inwards and place her stomach on them. " (Ibid)
"Muhaahid used to dislike that a man attach his stomach to his thighs as a woman does. "
"Hishaam reports from Hasan who says that woman should draw herself closely together in sajdah. "
Imam Abdur-Razzaq narrates:
Ibrahim says, "A woman used to be commanded to place her arm and her stomach on her thigh when she goes into sajdah and not to spread her limbs out as a male does so that her buttocks are not raised. "
(al-Musannaf li-Abdir-Razzaq: vol. 3 p 138)
Allamah Muhammad Taahir al-Gujaraati narrates:
"When a lady performs salah, she must contract herself when she sits down and when she goes into sajdah and she must not spread her limbs out. "
(Majma' Bihar l-Anwaar: vol. 1 p 521)
Based on these narrations, the Fuqahaa have issued the following ruling:
"A woman should contract herself in sajdah and join her stomach to her thighs because this is more concealing for her. "
(al-Hidaayah: vol. 1 p 53)
THE SITTING POSITION
It is mentioned in the Musnad of Imam Abu Hanifah rahimahullah:
"Abdullah ibn Umar was asked how women performed their salah during the era of Rasulullah. He replied that initially they performed tarabbu'. Then they were ordered to themselves close together and lean onto one side by resting on their left buttocks and completely contracting themselves. "
(Jaami' ul-Masaaneed: vol. 1 p 400)
Taraabu' is to sit cross legged. This narration indicates that initially the women sat in the position of tarabbu' but this command was later abrogated and they were ordered to draw themselves close together and lean onto one side by resting on their left buttocks and completely contracting themselves.
Sheikh Abu’l-Wafaa Afghaani writes:
"This is the most authentic narration of this chapter i.e. the sitting position of women . It is for this reason that Imam Abu Hanifah has made it the basis of his madh'hab. "
(Ta'leeqash-Sheikh Abul-Wafaa Afghaani ala Kitab il-Aathaar lil-Imam Muhammad ash-Shaybaani: vol. 1 p 208)
Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Shaybah narrates:
When Ibn Abbas was asked about the salaah of a woman, he replied, "She must draw herself close together and lean onto one side by resting on her left buttock. "
(al-Musannaf li-Ibn Abi Shaybah: vol. 1 p270)
in another narration of Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah (vol . 1 p270), one finds the following words: (Arabic text)
Translation: Ibrahim said: "A woman should sit in salah as a man does. "
This quotation indicates permissibility. However, Naasir ud-Din al-Albaani has interpolated the words of this narration thus:
"A woman should so as a man does in salah. "
(Sifatu Salatin-Nabiy p 207)
This interpolation has clearly changed the meaning of the words and is a misleading act.
The following narration is also quoted by Ibn Abi Shaybah:
Khalid ibn Lajlaaj said that women were commanded with tarabbu' when they sat in salah and they should not sit like men on their buttocks. That is in order that nothing happens. "
(al-Musannaf li-Ibn Abi Shaybah: vol. 1 p 270)
The Fuqahaa took these narrations into consideration and delivered
the following ruling:
"A woman should sit on her left buttock and position her legs out on her right hand side because that is more concealing for her. "
(al-Hidaayah: vol. 1 p 55)
The above narrations indicate that Ibrahim Nakha'i used to issue the fatwa in Kufain accordance with this practise, while in Madinah Mujhaahid did likewise as did Hasan Basri in Basrah.
These ahaadith and aathaar clearly indicate that the salah of females differs from that of males
Chapter 5 – What the Fuqaha Say
The Hanafi Madh-hab
Allaamah Muhammad Amin Ibn Abidin as-Shami rahimahullah:
"A woman should not raise her hands till her shoulders. She should not take her hands out of her sleeves. She should place one palm over the other on her breast . She should bend only slightly in ruku'. She will not spread her fingers out in ruku' but rather keep them close together and place her palms on her knees without clasping them. She should bend her knees slightly. She should contract herself in ruku' and sajdah. She should place her arms flat on the ground. She should sit with her legs out and resting on her posterior in tashahhud. In tashahud she should keep her fingers close together. If any mistake occurs in salah, she should clap her hands without uttering anything. She cannot make imamah of a male. It is makruh to have a female only congregation. The female imam will stand in their midst. It is makruh for her to attend the congregation. In a mixed congregation the females will stand at the rear. Jumu'ah is not obligatory for her, but if she attends it, she will be absolved of responsibility. Neither is Eid compulsory on her nor the takbir of tashriq. It is not mustahab for her to perform Fajr when it brightens up. In the loud salahs she will not raise her voice. "
(Radd al-Mukhtaar: vol. 1 p 504; see al-Bahr ar-Raa'iq: vol. 1 320)
He says in another place:
"A woman should bend slightly in ruku; without spreading her fingers out completely. However, she must contract herself and place her palms on her knees and bend them slightly . She must not spread out her arms as this is more concealing for her. "
(Ibid p 494)
Mulla Ali Qaari rahimahullah:
"A woman will raise her hands till her shoulder (when performing takbir tahrimah). "
(Fath bab al-`Inayah bi-sharh an-niqayah: vol. 1 p 239, see p 242, 262 and 265; and al-Fataawaa al-Aalamkiriyyah: vol. 1 p 73
Allaamah Badr ud-Din al-Ayni:
"According to Umm ud-Dardaam Ataa, Zuhri and Hammaad and others, a woman should raise her hands till her breasts. "
(al-Binayah fi sharh al-Hidaayah: vol. 2 p 187)
Muhammad ibn Muqaatil narrates the same verdict from the Hanafi jurists. (Ibid)
Burhanud-Din al-Marghinaani rahimahullah, the author of al-Hidaayah states that this is the correct and accepted version.
(al-Hidaayah: vol. 1 p 50)
It is stated in the Fataawaa Aalamgiriyyah:
"As for a female she must bend slightly in ruku' without spreading her fingers out. She must keep them together on her knees by merely placing the palms. She must bend her knees slightly and not spread her arms out.
A female should not spread out in ruku' and sajdah while she will sit on her legs. In sajdah she will make her stomach rest on her thighs .
A woman will sit on her left buttock and position her legs out to the right side. "
(al-Fataawaa al-Alamkiriyyah: vol. 1 p 75)
Imam Abu Ja'far at-Tahaawi rahimahullah:
"As for a woman, our scholars (Hanafi) state that she should sit in a manner that is most concealing. "
(Mukhtasar ikhtilaaf al-ulamaa': vol. 1 p212)
Sheikh Muhammad Zakariyya al-Kaandhlawi rahimahullah:
"It is unconditionally preferable according to us (Hanafi jurists) for a woman to sit on her buttocks with her legs positioned out to the right hand side. "
(Awjaz al-Masaalik: vol. 1 p 258)
Allaamah Abd ul-Hayy al-Lukhnawi rahimahullah:
"A woman differs from a man in many of the actions of salah…"(as-Si'aayah: vol.2 p 205)
He then goes on to list the differences as mentioned by the other jurists.
And Allah knows best.
The Shariah has ordained distinct rules for men and women in many important questions of salah. For example,
• Jumuah is fardh upon men but not on women, and the Eid prayer is wajib for men but again not for women.
Sayyiduna Tariq bin Shthab ( رضئ الله عنه ) reports that the Prophet ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ), said, 'Jumuah in congregation is an obligatory duty upon every Muslim except four people: a slave, a woman, a child, and one who is sick.’'538
Sayyidatuna Umm Atiyyah (ra) says as part of a longer hadeeth, 'We have been forbidden from following funerals and there is no Jumuah upon us." 539
• The reward of congregational prayer for men is twenty seven times more than an individual prayer. Contrary to this, the more rewarding prayer of a woman is that which is most concealed and performed within the confines of her innermost living quarters.
Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Mas'ud ( رضئ الله عنه ) reports that the Prophet ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) said, 'The prayer of a woman in her makhda' (partition) is better than her prayer in her hujrah (chamber), and her prayer in her hujrah is better than her prayer in her bait (house).'540
Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah ( رضئ الله عنه ) narrates that the Prophet ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) said, "The most beloved salah to Allah of a woman is one that she performs in the darkest spot of her home.'541
• Unlike men women should not give adhan or say the iqamah.
Sayyidatuna Asmaa (ra) narrates as part of a longer hadeeth that the Prophet ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) said, 'There is no adhan iqamah or Jumuah upon women.'542
Sayyduna Ibn Umar (ra) says 'There is no adhan or iqamah upon women.'543
• There is a great difference in the awrah of a man and that of a woman in salah. Women must cover their entire body including the hair, leaving only the face, hands and feet exposed.
Ummul Mu'mineen Aisha (ra) reports that the Prophet ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) said, 'Allah does not accept the salah of a mature female without a scarf.'544
• Women cannot lead men in salah.
Abu Bakrah (رضئ الله عنه ) reports that the Prophet ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) said ‘Never will those people succeed who have appointed a woman over them.’545
Jabir bin Abdullah (رضئ الله عنه ) reports as part of a longer hadeeth that the Prophet ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) said, "Know that a woman should not lead a man in salah.'546
• For the purpose of correcting or deterring someone in salah men should say 'subhanallah' loudly, whilst women are only allowed to clap their hands.
Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah (رضئ الله عنه ) reports that the Prophet ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) said, 'Tasbeeh is for men, and clapping is for women.’547
The different postures, positions and rulings concerning the prayers of the female are not the invention of a group or an individual but teaching of the Prophet ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) himself. He was the very first person tp differentiate between the prayer of a man and a woman.
Yazid bin Abi Habib reports that the Prophet ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) passed by two women who were praying salah. He said,'When you prostrate, let part of your body cling to the earth, for women are unlike men in this regard'. 548
Sayyiduna Ibn Umar (رضئ الله عنه ) narrates that the Prophet ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) said, 'When a woman sits in salah she should place one thigh over the other, and when she prostrates she should press her stomach to her thighs in a manner that is the most concealing for her. Indeed Allah looks at her saying, "Oh my angels! I make you witness that I have forgiven her."549
Sayyiduna Wail bin Hujr ( رضئ الله عنه ) reports that the Prophet ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) said, 'Oh Ibn Hujr! When you pray make your hands level with your ears. And the woman shall raise her hands close to her bosom.'550
We derive some very important and fundamental principles about the prayer of a woman from all the above ahadeeth.
• The laws of salah are not always the same for men and women.
• The sunnah posture of a female in any position of salah is that which is the most concealing for her.
Imam Baihaqi (ra) says,
'All of the laws of salah in which a woman differs from a man are based on the principle of satr (concealment). This means that the woman is instructed to do all that which is more concealing for her. The following chapters of hadeeth explain this meaning in detail.'551
As mentioned earlier, this variation in the salah of a woman has been prescribed by none other than the Prophet ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) himself. It has remained the practice of the whole ummah till this day and is also reflected in the rulings of the Sahabah and Tabi'un. The ulama and fuqaha of all four schools have always recognised this difference and, as is evident in their books of fiqh, have always observed the above principles whenever making a ruling about the salah of a woman. Following are a few narrations detailing the verdicts and practice of the Sahabah & together with the verdicts of some of the Tabi 'un and the ulama of the different schools of fiqh:
Verdicts and practice of the Sahabah ( رضئ الله عنهم ):
Khalid bin al Lajlaaj reports as part of a longer hadeeth that women were ordered to do tarabb'u 552 when sitting in salah.553
Nafi' narrates that Safiyyah ( رضئ الله عنها ) would pray and do tarabb'u.554
Nafi' also narrates that the womenfolk of Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Umar's (رضئ الله عنه ) family would do tarabb'u.555
Sayyiduna Ibn Umar (رضئ الله عنه ) was once asked, 'How did women pray their salah during the time of the Prophet ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) ' He replied, 'They used to sit cross legged until they were told to practice ihtifaz.'556
Sayyiduna Ali (رضئ الله عنه ) says, 'When a woman prostrates she should do ihtifaz and press her thighs together.',and in Abdul Razzaq's narration 'press her thighs against her stomach.'557
Sayyiduna Ibn Abbas ( رضئ الله عنه ) was asked about the prayer of a woman. He replied, 'She should pull herself close together and do ihtifaz.’558
Verdicts of the Tabi'un and other ulama:
Ibn Jurayj reports, 'I asked Ataa: "Should a woman motion with her hands at the time of takbeer as a man does?"he replied, "She should not raise her hands with takbeer in the manner of men." Ataa then demonstrated (the way in which she should.) He placed his hands very low and then pulled them towards him. He then said, "The posture of a woman in salah is not that of a man."559
Ataa also says, 'A woman should pull herself together when she bows down into ruk'u: she should bring up her arms to her stomach and pull herself together as much as possible. When she prostrates she should bring up her arms close to her and press her bosom and stomach against her thighs: she should pull herself together as much as possible.'560
Hasan al Basri says, 'A woman should pull herself close together in sujud.' 561
Hasan and Qatadah both say, 'When a woman prostrates she should pull herself together as much as possible. She should not allow for any space between her limbs so that her posterior is not raised.'562
One certain author has argued that all the descriptions of the Prophet's ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) prayer are equally applicable to both men and women and there is nothing in the sunnah that excludes women from any of them. Insha Allah the contents of this chapter will answer that claim. The author then goes on to say that this is the view of Ibrahim al Nakhai who said, 'A woman's actions in the prayer are the same as a man's.' - transmitted by Ibn Abi Shaibah (1/75/2), with a saheeh sanad from him.
This is not what Ibrahim al Nakhai said at all nor is it his view. His narration transmitted by Ibn Abi Shaibah actually reads, 'A woman will sit in salah just as a man does.'563 This somehow has been misquoted as 'A woman's actions in the prayer are the same as a man's.'!
In fact, Ibrahim al Nakhai's other narrations quite clearly contradict the above report. His view about the prayer of a woman as reported by Ibn Abi Shaibah and others is as follows:
Ibrahim al Nakhai says, 'When a woman prostrates she should press her stomach against her thighs. She should not raise her posterior nor should she allow for any space or distance between the limbs of her body as a man does.'564
He also says, 'When a woman prostrates she should bring her thighs together and press her abdomen to them.'565
He also says, 'A woman should sit to one side in salah.'566
Imam Baihaqi (ra) says,
'All of the laws of salah in which a woman differs from a man are based on the principle of satr (concealment). This means that the woman is instructed to do all that which is more concealing for her. The following chapters of hadeeth explain this meaning in detail.'567
Ibn Qudamah al Maqdisi al Hanbali quotes Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal in his al Mughni as saying, 'I consider sadl to be better for a woman.' He also qoutes the narration of Sayyiduna Ali ( رضئ الله عنه ) who says, 'When a woman prays salah she should do ihtifaz and press her thighs together.'569
Imam Ahmad was asked about how a woman should prostrate and sit for tashahhud. He replied, 'She should do whatever is more concealing for her.' He added, 'She should do tarabb'u in tashahhud and draw her legs to one side (sadl).'570
According to the narration of Abu Dawood, Imam Ahmad was asked about how a woman should sit in salah. He replied, 'She should press her thighs together.'571
Qadhi Iyadh has also quoted from some Salaf that the sunnah for women is tarabb'u.512
All the above quite clearly demonstrates that the prayer of a woman is different in some aspects from that of a man, and that this distinction was first made by none other than the Prophet ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ), and then maintained by the prominent Sahabah and Tabi'un. Furthermore, as can be seen in their works, there is almost universal agreement amongst the scholars of all schools of fiqh on this issue.
List of differences between the prayer of a man and a woman.
Some of the differences as mentioned in the Hanafi books of fiqh are listed below.
In all the postures and movements of salah, including qiyam, ruk'u, sajdah, and tashahhud a woman should adopt that which is the most modest and concealing for her.
At the beginning of salah a woman should not raise her hands to her ears but only to her shoulders or close to her bosom.573
In qiyam, women are to place their hands on their bosoms. They can fasten them in any one of the different ways 'akdh' (grasping) or 'wadh' (placing) described in part two, or they can simply rest the right palm on the left one.
Unlike men, in ruk'u, women should tuck their arms into the body and not spread them outward. They should also merely place their hands over their knees with closed fingers, and not grasp them with the fingers spread wide open.574 In fact, women should try to keep their fingers close together in all the postures of salah.
During prostration men should allow for some space and distance between their stomachs and thighs, and arms and the side of the body, whilst women should press these limbs together.
Again in prostration, men should raise their arms off the ground and allow for some distance but women should let them cling to the ground.
During the sitting of tashahhud, men are to rest on their legs and raise their right foot with the toes facing qiblah, whereas women are to take out both their legs towards the right hand side of the body and rest on the posterior without raising their right foot.
538 Abu Dawood 1067 and Hakim 1062. Hakim declared it saheeh and Dhahabi agreed.
539 Ibn Khuzaimah 1722
540 Abu Dawood 570 and Ibn Khuzaimah 1690.
541 Ibn Khuzaimah 1691, and Tabarani in al M'ujam al Kabeer as mentioned by Hafidh Haithami 2/35. Hafidh Haithami also says that its narrators are authentic.
542 Baihaqi 1921. 543 Baihaqi 1920.
544 Ahmad 24012, Ibn Majah 655, Abu Dawood 641, Tirmidhi 377, Ibn Khuzaiir 775, Hakim 917 and Baihaqi 3254. Hakim declared it saheeh and Dhahabi agreed.
545 Ahmad 19507, Bukhari 4163, Tirmidhi 2262 and Nasai 5388.
546 Ibn Majah 1081 and Baihaqi 5131.
547 Bukhari 1145.
548 Abu Dawood in his al Maraseel pl8 (Muassasah al Risalah edition), and Baiha 3201.
549 Baihaqi 3199. He also declared it dhaeef.
550 Tabarani in al M'ujam al Kabeer 22/19 no.28. Hafidh Haithami says 2/103, 'Tabarani has narrated it as part of a long hadeeth on the virtue of Wail bin Hujr 4fc with a chain of Maimoonah bint Hujr narrating from her auntie Umm Yahya bint Abdul Jabbar. I have not identified her but the rest of the narrators are reliable.'
551 Baihaqi 2/314.
552 i.e., to draw out one's right leg towards the right side of the body and to place the left leg beneath the right leg.
553 Ibn Abi Shaibah 2783.
554 Abdul Razzaq 5074 and Ibn Abi Shaibah 2784.
555 Ibn Abi Shaibah 2789.
556 Narrated by all three, Abu Muhammad al Bukhari, Qadhi Umar bin al Hasan Ashnani, and Ibn Khusruw in their Musnads of Imam Abu Hanifah's ahadeeth Ihtifaz is to lean to one side and rest on the posterior. It is more or less the same a sadl.
557 Abdul Razzaq 5072 and Ibn Abi Shaibah 2777. Muhaddith Dhafar Ahmad Uthmani 3/32 has declared it hasan.
558 Ibn Abi Shaibah 2778.
559 Abdul Razzaq 5066 and Ibn Abi Shaibah 2474.
560 Abdul Razzaq 5069.
561 Ibn Abi Shaibah 2781.
562 Abdul Razzaq 5068.
563 Ibn Abi Shaibah 1/242, no 2788.
564 Abdul Razzaq 5071 and Ibn Abi Shaibah 2782.
565 Ibn Abi Shaibah 2779.
566 Abdul Razzaq 5077 and Ibn Abi Shaibah 2792.
567 Baihaqi 2/314.
568 To draw out the right leg to one side of the body and place the left leg beneath one's right thigh. In this way the posterior will come to rest on the ground rather than on the left leg. She would, therefore, not be resting on her legs, but on her posterior as mentioned in the narration of Sayyiduna Ali (رضئ الله عنه )
569 Ibn Qudamah in al Mughni 2/135.
570 Masaail of Imam Ahmad narrated by his son Abdullah 373.
571 Masaail of Imam Ahmad narrated by Abu Dawood p51.
572 Awjaz al Masalik 2/119.
573 Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal also says that she should raise them slightly and, according to one narration, she should not raise them at all.
574 In some books of Hanafi fiqh it has been suggested that in ruk'u they should also bend their backs and knees slightly. The Hanbali scholar Imam Khirqi also says as part of a longer statement, 'The woman should gather herself in ruk'u and sujud.' (al Mughni 1/134.)
The Salah Of A Believer In The Qur'an And Sunnah, Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq