The issue of when to raise the hands when making the ‘Takbir ul Ihraam’ or the opening takbir for the prayer is one that many times causes unnecessary confusion and argumentation in the ranks of the Muslimeen. It really doesn’t have to be like this, if we would just take a second to understand what is said in the Quran and the Sunnah about this situation.
When looking into it, we find that there are a few different ways in which this can be performed. We find various narrations which discuss the different ways in which it is permissible for the Muslim to perform this very important act during this mighty pillar of Islam.
Ibn Mundhir (رضي الله عنه) said, “There is not differing among the people of knowledge about the fact that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) used to raise his hands when he began his prayers.”
There are many different issues that we could discuss about this whole topic such as, how were His (صلى الله عليه و سلم) hands, where did He (صلى الله عليه و سلم) raise them to and other issues. But that which we want to concentrate on today is when exactly the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) would raise his hands in reference to the opening takbir (Takbir ul Ihraam).
There are three different opinions that the scholars talk about in reference to when exactly this raising took place. In this article we will discuss all three of these and in sha Allah bring the authentic proofs for each of these ways. The three ways mentioned are;
- To raise them with the takbir.
- To raise them first then make the takbir.
- To make the takbir first, then raise the hands
The first way that we talked about, is actually what you see many people doing in these days and times. This is referring to those that raise their hands while they are in the process of making the takbir. This is one of the ways that was reported that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) performed this action. We find the proof of this in the narration in which Ibn Umar (رضي الله عنهما) said that – <The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) raised his hands when he made the takbir>.
The second way we mentioned is to raise the hands along with making the takbir at the same time. This means that they make the takbir while their hands are still raised, before they put their hands down. This is something that is confirmed by one of the narrations which were reported by Imam Muslim (رحمه الله). In it, the statement is made that -<The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم), when ever he would stand up for the prayer, he would raise his hands until they were the height of his shoulders, then He (صلى الله عليه و سلم) would make the takbir (say Allahu Akbar)>. As well there is another narration that was related by Abu Dawood (رحمه الله) where it was said – <then he made the takbir (said Allahu Akbar) while his hands were like that>.
The third way we discussed earlier was to make the takbir first and then raise the hands. This is also a common practice that we see when we go to the Masjid. We know the proof from this is a hadeeth that was narrated by Maalik bin al Huwairith (رضي الله عنه) where he stated that – <When he would pray, then he would make the takbir then raise his hands. Then he said ,”The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) use to do it like this”>.
So you see, there is room in there for more then one way for this to be done. We need not be so hard on one another. Especially in situations like this, where there are authentic narrations supporting the other opinions. We see that from these narrations that there were more then one way which was supported by the authentic narrations. This is why it is upon us to gain an understanding of our religion, so that we can begin to not only understand ourselves, but as well share the knowledge with our friends and families.
May Allah bless us all with a good understanding of the Book and the Sunnah, and guide us to be from those that seek to apply them… Ameen Ameen Allahuma Ameen.