Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Ruku'

 The Ruku' (Bowing)

The Solāh of the Prophet S.A.W
By Shaikh Muhammad Nasiruddin Al-Albāni

[The book was translated by Usama Ibn Suhaib Hasan Al-Britani; it would be worthwhile to revisit it and I invite you to provide inputs]

The Description of the Solāh
2.8. The Ruku' (Bowing)

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks are due to Allāh, the Lord of al-ā’lamīn. There is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu alayhi wa sallam, is His Messenger.

After completing his recitation, the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would pause for a moment [21], then raise his hands [22] in the way described earlier under the "Opening Takbir", say takbir [23], and make ruku'. [24]

Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) also ordered "the one who prayed badly" likewise, saying to him, Indeed, the prayer of one of you is not complete until he makes an excellent ablution as Allāh has commanded him to ... then he celebrates Allāh's greatness, praises and glorifies Him, then recites the Qur'an as much as is easy for him from what Allāh has taught him and allowed him, then says takbir and makes ruku' [and places his hands on his knees] until his joints are at ease and relaxed [25]

Description of Ruku'

“Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would place his palms on his knees [26] and "would order them to do likewise" [27], as he ordered "the one who prayed badly" in the afore-mentioned hadith.

“Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would put his hands firmly on his knees [as though he were grasping them]" [28], and "would space his fingers out" [29], ordering "the one who prayed badly" likewise, saying: When you make ruku', place your palms on your knees, then space your fingers out, then remain (like that) until every limb takes its (proper) place. [30]

"He (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to spread himself (i.e., not be in a compact position), and keep his elbows away from his sides." [31]

"When he (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) made ruku', he would spread his back and make it level" [32], "such that if water were poured on it, it would stay there (i.e., not run off)." [33] He (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) also said to "the one who prayed badly", when you make ruku', put your palms on your knees, spread your back (flat) and hold firm in your ruku'. [34]

"He (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would neither let his head droop nor raise it (i.e. higher than his back)" [35], but it would be in between. [36]

The Obligation of Being at Ease in Ruku'

Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to be at ease in his ruku', and ordered "the one who prayed badly" to be so, as has been mentioned in the first section on ruku'.

He (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to say, Complete the ruku' and sujud, for by Him in whose Hand is my soul, I surely see you behind my back [37] when you make ruku' and sujud. [38]

Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) saw a man praying not completing his ruku' properly, and pecking in his sujud, so he said, Were this man to die in this state, he would die on a faith other than that of Muhammad, [pecking in his prayer as a crow pecks at blood; he who does not make ruku' completely and pecks in his sujud is like the hungry person who eats one or two dates, which are of no use to him at all. [39]

Abu Hurairah (radiallāhu‘anhu) said, "My close friend (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) forbade me from pecking in my prayer like a cockerel, from looking around like a fox, and from squatting like a monkey." [40]

The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) also used to say, the worst thief among men is the one who steals from his prayer. They said, "O Messenger of Allāh, how does he steal from his prayer?" He said, He does not complete its ruku' and sujud. [41]

Once, "he was praying, when he glanced out of the corner of his eye at a man not settling his backbone in ruku' and sujud. When he finished, he said, O assembly of Muslims! Verily, the prayer is not valid of the one who does not settle his spine in ruku' and sujud." [42]

Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said in another hadith, the prayer of a man does not count unless he straightens his back in ruku' and sujud. [43]

The Adhkār during Ruku'
1. "Subhana Rabbiyal adzīm"
(How Perfect is my Lord, the Supreme!) Three times. [44]
But sometimes, Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would repeat it more than that. [45] Once, in night prayer, he repeated it so much that his ruku' became nearly as long as his standing before it, in which he had recited three of the Long Surahs: Baqarah, Nisā' and Al-'Imran. This prayer was full of supplication and seeking forgiveness, and the hadith has already been mentioned under "Recitation in Night Prayer."

2."Subhāna Rabbiyal adzīmi wabihamdih"
(How Perfect is my Lord, the Supreme, and Praised be He), three times. [46] 
3. "Subbuhun quddūs Rabbulmalā ikatu warrūh"
(Perfect, Blessed, [47] Lord of the Angels and the Spirit). [48]

4. "Subhā nakallāhumma wabihamdika Allāhummaghirli"
(How Perfect You are O Allāh, and Praises are for You. O Allāh, forgive me. )

Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would say it often in his ruku' and sujud, implementing (the order of) the Qur'an. [49]

5. "Allāhummalaka raka’tu, wibika āmantu, walaka aslamtu [anta Rabbi], khasha ‘alakasam ‘ie, wabasori. Wamokhkhi wa ‘adomi (wa ‘iedomi) wa a’saby, l wamastaqallat bihi qadmiyal AllāhiRabbal`alamīn]"

(O Allāh! To You I have bowed; in You I have believed; to You I have submitted; [You are my Lord]; humbled for You are my hearing, my seeing, my marrow, my bone (in one narration: my bones), my sinews, [and whatever my feet carry [50] (are humbled) for Allāh, Lord of the Worlds]). [51] He would say different types of remembrance of Allāh and supplication, any one of the following at a time:

6. "Allāhummalaka raka’tu, wibika āmantu, walaka aslamtu, wa ‘alaitawakkaltu,anta Rabbi, khasha ‘asam ‘ie, wabasari wadamiy walahmiy wa ‘adhamiy wa a’sobiy lilla hililla hirabbal ‘alamīn".

(O Allāh! to You I have bowed; in You I have believed; to You I have submitted; in You I have placed my trust; You are my Lord; my hearing, my seeing, my blood, my flesh, my bones, and my sinews are humbled for Allāh, Lord of the Worlds). [52]

7. "Subhānazil jabaruti walmalakuti walkibriyā iwal ‘adza matihi"
(How Perfect is He Who has all Power, Kingdom, Magnificence and Supremacy),
which he used to say in night prayer (Tahajjud).

Lengthening the Ruku'

"He (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to make his ruku', his standing after ruku', his sujud, and his sitting in between the two sajdahs, nearly equal in length." [53]

Forbiddance of Reciting the Qur'an in Ruku'

"He (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam used to forbid recitation of the Qur'an in ruku' and sujud." [54] Further, he used to say, Verily, I have indeed been forbidden from reciting the Qur'an in ruku' or sujud. In the ruku', therefore, glorify the Supremacy of the Lord, Mighty and Sublime, in it; as for the sujud, exert yourselves in supplication in it, for it is most likely that you will be answered. [55]

Straightening up from the Ruku' and what to be said then

Next, "he (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam)) would straighten up his back out of ruku', saying,

"Sami ‘âllāhu liman hamidah".
(Allāh listens to the one who praises Him). [56 ]

Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) also ordered "the one who prayed badly" to do that, when he said to him: No person's prayer is complete until ... he has said takbir ... then made ruku' ... then has said "Allāh listens to the one who praises Him" until he is standing straight." [57] When he raised his head, he (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would stand straight until every vertebra returned to its place. [58]

Next, "he (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would say while standing:

"Rabbanā wa lakal hamd"
(Our Lord, [and] to You be all Praise). [59]

Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) has commanded all worshippers, whether behind an imām or not, to do the above on rising from ruku', by saying Pray as you have seen me praying. [60]

Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) also used to say, The imām is there to be followed ... when he has said '
Sami ‘âllāhu liman hamidah (Allāh listens to the one who praises Him)' then say, ' Rabbanā wa lakal hamd ([O Allāh!] Our Lord, and to You be all Praise'); Allāh will listen to you, for indeed, Allāh, Blessed and Exalted, has said via the tongue of His Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam): Allāh listens to the one who praises Him.' [61]

He (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) also gave a reason for this command in another hadith, saying: for he whose saying coincides with that of the angels will have his past sins forgiven. [62]

Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to raise his hands when straightening up [63], in the ways described under the Opening Takbir.

While standing, Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would say, as previously-mentioned,

1. "Rabbana wa lakal hamd"
(Our Lord, and to You be all Praise) [64];
2. "Rabbana lakal hamd"

(Our Lord, to You be all Praise) [65]

Sometimes, Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would add at the beginning of either of these:

3. "Allāhumma"
(O Allāh! ... ) [66]

Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to order others to do this, saying, "When the imam says: Allāh listens to the one who praises Him, then say: O Allāh! Our Lord, to You be all Praise, for he whose saying coincides with that of the angels will have his past sins forgiven." [67]

Sometimes, he (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would add either:

4. "Mil assamāwat, wamilal ardh,wa mil amāshi’taminshai een ba’du."
(... Filling the heavens, filling the earth, and filling whatever else You wish) [68], or

5. Mil assamāwat, [wamila] l ardh, wa ba inahuma wa mila mahi’ taminshai in ba’du”
(... Filling the heavens, [filling] the earth, whatever is between them, and filling whatever else You wish.) [69]

Sometimes, Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would add even further:

6. "Ahla thas nā ‘ie walmajd, lāma ni ‘alima ‘ataita, walaamu’tiyalimana’ta, walayanfa ‘uzaljadda minkaljadd".

(Lord of Glory and Majesty! None can withhold what You grant, and none can grant what You withhold; nor can the possessions of an owner benefit him in front of You.) [70]

Or, sometimes, the addition would be:

7. "Malassamāwat, wamilal ardh, wamabainahumawamilamaashiktaminshaiy eenba’du, ahlathannaaewalmajdi, ahaqquma qalal ‘abdu, wakullunalka ‘abdu, [Allāhumma] lāmani ‘alima ‘atoita, [walamu’tiyalimamana’ta], walayangfa ‘uzaljaddaminkaljadd".
(Filling the heavens, filling the earth, and filling whatever else You wish. Lord of Glory and Majesty! - The truest thing a slave has said, and we are all slaves to You. [O Allāh!] None can withhold what You grant, [and none can grant what You withhold,] nor can the possessions of an owner benefit him in front of You.) [71]

Sometimes, Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would say the following during night prayer:

8. "La Rabbiyal hamd, la Rabbiyal hamd".
(To my Lord be all Praise, to my Lord be all Praise),

Repeating it until his standing was about as long as his ruku', which had been nearly as long as his first standing, in which he had recited surah al-Baqarah. [72]

9. "Rabbana walakal hamd, hamdankasthiran taiyibanmurakafiih", [mubarakaa`alaih, kamayuhibbun rabbanawayardha].

(Our Lord, and to You be all Praise, so much pure praise, inherently blessed, [externally blessed, as our Lord loves and is pleased with]). [73]

A man praying behind him (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said this after he (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) had raised his head from ruku' and said: Allāh listens to the one who praises Him. When the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) had completed his prayer, he said, Who was the one speaking just now? The man said, "It was I, O Messenger of Allāh." So the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, I saw over thirty angels hurrying to be the first one to write it down. [74]

The scholars differed concerning the ruling on saying Tasmi’: Sami‘âllāhu liman hamidah and Tahmid: Rabbanā wa lakal-hamd in the solat. There are two views:

1 .The view of the majority – the Hanafis, Malikis and al-Shāfi’ies – is that it is one of the Sunnahs of Solat and is not one of the obligatory parts of the solāt.

2. The view of the Hanbalis is that it is one of the obligatory parts of the solat.

The one who is praying alone should recite both Tasmi’ and Tahmid and the imām should also recite both. This is also the view of the Shafi’ies.

But as for the ma’mum, one who is praying behind an imam should recite only the Tahmid: Rabbanā wa laka’l-hamd, and it is not prescribed for him to say the Tasmi’: Sami ‘âllāhu liman hamidah, as is the view of the majority.

Lengthening this Standing and Obligation to be at Ease in it

Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to make this standing about as long as his ruku', as has been mentioned; in fact, "he would stand (for so long) sometimes that one would say, 'He has forgotten', [because of his standing for so long.]" [75]

Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to instruct them to be at ease in it; hence, he said to "the one who prayed badly".

Next, raise your head until you are standing straight [and every bone has taken its proper place] - in another narration, When you rise, make your spine upright and raise your head, until the bones return to their joints. [76]

Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam)  also reminded him: that no-one's prayer is complete unless he does that, and used to say: Allāh, Mighty and Sublime, does not look at the prayer of the slave who does not make his backbone upright in between his bowings and prostrations. [77]


21. Abu Dawud and Hākim, who declared it sahih and Dhahabi agreed.
22. Bukhari and Muslim. This raising of the hands is reported as mutawātir from him (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), as is the raising of the hands on straightening up after ruku’. It is the mazhab of the three Imams Malik, Shāfi’e and Ahmad, and of the majority of scholars of hadith and fiqh. Imam Malik (rahimahullāh) practised it right up to his death, as reported by Ibn  ‘Asakir (15/78/2). Some of the Hanafis chose to do it, among them ‘Isam bin Yusuf Abu ‘Asamah al-Balkhi (d. 210), a student of Imam Abu Yusuf (rahimahullāh) as has been explained in the Introduction. ‘Abdullah bin Ahmad reported from his father in his Masā'il (p. 60), "It is related from ‘Uqbah bin `Amir that he said about a man raising his hands during prayer, 'He earns ten good deeds for each such movement'." This is supported by the Hadith Qudsi, "... he who intends a good deed and then does it, Allāh writes it down with Himself as from ten to seven hundred good deeds", transmitted by Bukhari and Muslim; See Sahih at-Targhib, no. 16.
23. ibid.
24. ibid.
25. Abu Dawud and Nasā'ie. Hākim declared it sahih and Dhahabi agreed.
26. Bukhari and Abu Dawud.
27. Bukhari and Muslim.
28. Bukhari and Abu Dawud.
29. Hakim, who declared it sahih; Dhahabi and Tayalisi agreed. It is given in Sahih Abi Dawud (809).
30. Ibn Khuzaimah and Ibn Hibban in their Sahihs.
31. Tirmidzi, who declared it sahih, and Ibn Khuzaimah.
32. Bukhari, and Baihaqi with a sahih isnād.
33. Tabarāni in Mu’jam al-Kabir and Mu’jam al-Saghīr, ‘Abdullah bin Ahmad in Zawa’id al-Musnad; Ibn Majāh.
34. Ahmad and Abu Dawud with a sahih isnad.
35. Abu Dawud and Bukhari in Juz' al-Qirā’ah with a sahih isnad.
36. Muslim and Abu ‘Awānah.
37. This vision was physically real, and was one of his miracles; it was confined to during prayer: there is no evidence for it being of a general nature.
38. Bukhari and Muslim.
39. Abu Ya’la in his Musnad (340/3491/1), Aajuri in al-Arba ‘īn, Bayhaqi, Tabarāni (1/192/1), Diya' in al-Muntaqa (276/1), Ibn ‘Asakir (2/226/2, 414/1, 8/14/1, 76/2) with a hasan isnad, Ibn Khuzaimah declared it sahih (1/82/1). Ibn Battah has a supporting mursal narration for the first part of the hadith, minus the addition, in al-Ibanah (5/43/1).
40. Tayalisi, Ahmad and Ibn Abi Shaibah; it is a hasan hadith, as I have explained in my footnotes on al-Ahkam (1348) by ‘Abdul Haqq Ishbili.
41. Ibn Abi Shaibah (1/89/2), Tabaraani and Hakim, who declared it sahih and Dhahabi agreed.
42. Ibn Abi Shaibah (1/89/1), Ibn Mājah and Ahmad, with a sahih isnad.
43. Abu `Awanah, Abu Dawud and Sahmi (61); Daraqutni declared it sahih.
44. Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, Daraqutni, Tahawi, Bazaar, and Tabarani in Mu`jam al-Kabir, on the authority of seven Companions. Hence this refutes those who did not accept the specification of the glorifications to three times, such as Ibn al-Qayyim and others.
45. This can be deduced from the ahadith which make it clear that he (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to make his standing, ruku` and sujud equal in length, as mentioned after this section.
46. A sahih hadith, transmitted by Abu Dawud, Daraqutni, Ahmad, Tabaraani and Bayhaqi.
47. Abu Ishaq said: subbuh means "the one who is free of any defect", while quddus means "the Blessed" or "the Pure". Ibn Saidah said: Glorified and Blessed are attributes of Allāh, Mighty and Sublime, because He is glorified and sanctified by others. (Lisaan Al-`Arab)
48. Muslim and Abu ‘Awānah.
49. Bukhari and Muslim. "Implementing the Qur'ān" refers to the saying of Allāh: "Then glorify with the Praises of your Lord, and seek His Forgiveness, for He is Oft-Returning." (Nasr, 110:3)
50. This is an example of use of a general phrase coming after mention of individual items.
51. Muslim, Abu ‘Awānah, Tahawi and Daraqutni.
52. Nasā’ie with a sahih isnad.
Note: Is there proof for combining two or more of these adhkaar in one ruku’, or not? The scholars have differed about this. Ibn al-Qayyim was uncertain about this in Zaad al-Ma‘ad. Nawawi chose the first possibility in al-Adhkār, saying, "It is best to combine all of these adhkaar if possible, and similarly with the adhkar of other postures." Abu al-Tayyib Siddiq Hasan Khan disagreed with him, saying in Nuzul al-Abrar (84), "It is narrated with one of them here, another one there, but I see no evidence for combining. The Messenger of Allāh s.a.w would not combine them in one go, but he would say one of them sometimes, another one sometimes; to follow is better than to start something new." This latter view is the correct one, Allāh willing, but it is proved in the Sunnah to lengthen this posture, as well as others, until it is about the length of the standing: hence, if the worshipper wishes to follow the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) in this sunnah, the only way is to combine adhkār, as Nawawi said, and as Ibn Nasr has related it in Qiyam al-Layl (76) from Ibn Juraij as done by `Ataa', or to repeat one of the adhkar for which there is text for repetition, and this is closer to the Sunnah. Allāh knows best.
53. Bukhari and Muslim. It is given in Irwa' al-Ghalil (331).
54. Muslim and Abu Awānah. The forbiddance is general, hence covering both obligatory and voluntary prayers. The addition in Ibn ‘Asakir (17/299/1), "as for voluntary prayers, then there is no harm" is either shāddz or munkar - Ibn ‘Asakir pointed out a defect in it - so it is not permissible to act according to it.
55. ibid.
56. Bukhari and Muslim.
57. Abu Dawud and Hakim, who declared it sahih and Dhahabi agreed.
58. Bukhari and Abu Dawud; Ar. faqar: vertebrae, "the bones making up the spine, from the base of the neck to the coccyx" according to Qamus; see also Fathul-Bari (2/308).
59. Bukhari and Ahmad.
60. ibid.
61. Muslim, Abu ‘Awānah, Ahmad and Abu Dawud.

NB: This hadith does not prove that those following an imam should not share with the imam in saying: Allāh listens to the one who praises Him, just as it does not prove that the imam does not share with those following him in saying: Our Lord, to You be all Praise. This is because the purpose of this hadith is not to set out exactly what the imam and his followers should say in this position; rather, it explains that the followers' tahmid should be said after the imam’s tasmi’. This is supported by the fact that the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to say the tahmid when he was the imam, and also because the generality of his saying, "Pray as you have seen me praying", dictates that the follower should say what the imam says, e.g. tasmi’, etc. Those respected brothers who referred to us in this issue should consider this, and perhaps what we have mentioned is satisfactory. Whoever would like further discussion on this issue should refer to the article by the Hafiz Suyuti on this matter in his book Al-Hawi lil Fatāwi (1/529).
62. Bukhari and Muslim; Tirmidzi declared it sahih.
63. Bukhari and Muslim. The raising of the hands here is narrated in a mutawātir way from the Messenger (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), and the majority of scholars have supported it, including some Hanafis. See the previous footnote under Ruku`.
64. ibid.
65. ibid.
66. Bukhari and Ahmad. Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullāh) erred on this point in Zaad al-Ma ‘ad, rejecting the combination of "O Allāh!" with "and", despite the fact that it is found in Sahih Al-Bukhari, Musnad Ahmad, in Nasa'ie and Ahmad again via two routes of narration from Abu Hurairah, in Darimi as a hadith of Ibn ‘Umar, in Bayhaqi from Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri, and in Nasā'ie again as a hadith of Abu Musa al-Ash`ari .
67. Bukhari and Muslim; Tirmidzi declared it sahih.
68. Muslim and Abu ‘Awanah.
69. ibid.
70. Jadd: wealth, might, power; i.e., the one who has wealth, sons, might and power in this world will not benefit from them in front of You; his possessions will not save him from You: only righteous deeds will benefit or save anyone.
71. Muslim and Abu ‘Awānah.
72. Muslim, Abu `Awanah and Abu Dawud.
73. Abu Dawud and Nasā'ie with a sahih isnad. It is given in Irwa' (335).
74. Malik, Bukhari and Abu Dawud.
75. Bukhari, Muslim and Ahmad. It is given in Irwa' (no. 307).
76. Bukhari and Muslim (first sentence only), Darimi, Hakim, Shafi’ie and Ahmad. By 'bones' here is meant those of the spinal structure, the vertebrae, as has proceeded in the main text.

NB: The meaning of this hadith is clear and obvious: to be at ease in this standing. As for the usage of this hadith by our brothers from the Hijaz and elsewhere as evidence to justify placing the right hand on the left in this standing, it is far-removed from the meaning of the multitude of narrations of this hadith. In fact it is a false argument, since the placing mentioned is not referred to with regard to the first standing in any of the narrations or wordings of the hadīth; therefore, how can "the bones taking their proper places" mentioned in the hadeeth be interpreted as referring to the right hand taking hold of the left before ruku`?! This would apply if all the versions of the hadith could be construed to mean this, so what about when they imply an obviously different meaning? In fact, this placing of theirs cannot be inferred from the hadith at all, since what are meant by "bones" are the bones of the spine, as confirmed by the Sunnah, "... he would stand straight until every vertebra returned to its place."

I, for one, am in no doubt that to place the hands on the chest in this standing is an innovation and a leading astray, for it is not mentioned in any of the ahadith about prayer, despite their large number. Had this practice any foundation, it would have reached us by at least one narration. Further, not one of the Salaf practised it, nor has a single leading scholar of hadith mentioned it, as far as I know.

This is not inconsistent with what Shaikh Tuwaijri has quoted in his article (pp. 18-19) from Imam Ahmad (rahimahullāh)"if one wishes, he may leave his hands by his sides, or, if he wishes, he can place them on his chest", for Imam Ahmad (rahimahullāh) did not attribute this to the Prophet s.a.w, but said it from his own ijtihad and opinion, and opinion can be erroneous. When authentic evidence establishes the innovatory nature of any practice, such as this one, then the saying of an imam in its favour does not negate its being an innovation, as Shaikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullāh) has written. In fact, I see in these words of his, an indication that Imam Ahmad did not regard the above-mentioned placing as being proved in the Sunnah, for he allowed a choice between practising it and leaving it! - Does the respected Shaikh think that the Imam also allowed a similar choice regarding placing the hands before ruku’? Thus, it is proved that the placing of the hands on the chest in the standing after ruku` is not part of the Sunnah. This is a brief discussion of this issue, which could be dealt with in more detail and depth, but due to lack of space here, that is done instead in my Refutation against Shaikh Tuwaijri.
77. Ahmad and Tabarāni in Mu`jam al-Kabir with a sahih isnad.

[Via The Qur'an and Sunnah Society]

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