SALAH AND SUNNAH INQUIRY

Q:

My family follow the Hanafi Madhab which automatically means I have to follow the same madhab, however I want to follow the  Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammed(saw) the Quran and solely, if not in conjunction. This therefore causes a lot of disputes between me and my parents. Along with the innovations that they follow, I find it extremely hard to implement the teachings of the Sunnah into my life since they hold extremely strong opinions within the topics of Islam and if I say otherwise they will be extremely offended. I have been trying to perfect my Salah and adjusting according it to the Sunnah and as you may know some of the additions to Salah is contradicted in the Hanafi school. I am aware of the differences in prayer between men and women but when it comes to how the prophet(pbuh) prayed I am confused on whether this applies to women.

Down below I have listed the extra sunnah’s that the prophet(saw) did and that I carry out in my Salah, If you can clarify if women are allowed to do the sunnah acts since both my parents and the Hanafi madhab tell me otherwise, I will be beyond appreciative:

1. Rising hands before saying Takbeer and going into ruku

2. Rising hands again when raising up ruku

3. Pausing/sitting for a short time before rising from sujood and saying Takbeer

4. Sitting for Tashahud – pointing the finger and vibrating it up and down until saying salam

I am a sister, 19 years. I do want to involve myself in Bid’ah and want to do everything the right way. I feel undeniably overwhelmed when it comes to not only prayer but other matters when there is a clash of opinions. Since my dad is a Sheykh himself, I am frightened to ask him of anything I know there will be a difference of opinion in hence my inquiry today. May Allah forgive me If I have been mistaken but my family always make me seem as if I am in the wrong and it worries me when trying to please Allah (swt) that my Ibadah is not good enough.

A:

The differences among schools of jurisprudence on these matters are inconsequential; they do not affect the validity of the Prayer or acts of worship. All of the schools of jurisprudence agree on the basic format, which is transmitted through the well-attested traditions and passed on via reliable channels of transmission. As for the details you mentioned, they are not made by the imams; they are also passed on by the companions.

In other words, Imam Abu Hanifah, to whom the Hanafi Madhab is traced back, did not make up the format of Prayer you are referring it. He passed on what he learned through the chains of transmission going back to the Prophet (peace be upon him) through his companions.

You can understand his source for not rising hands except during the opening takbir from the following dialogue between Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Awzai. Awza’i was of the view that hands should be raised while going to Ruku’; also while raising from Ruku’.

During a meeting of these Imams in residence in Makah, Awzai asked Abu Hanifah: How come you people do not raise your hands while going to Ruku’ and while rising from Ruku’? Abu Hanifah replied, “There is no authentic report from the Prophet (peace be upon him) to insist on doing so.” Awza’i said, “How come when we have the report from Zuhri from Salim from Ibn Umar that the Prophet used to raise his hands at the opening takbir and while going to Ruku’ and upon rising. Abu Hanifah told him that he has the report form, Hammad, from Ibrahim from Alqamah from Ibn Mas’ud that the Prophet raised his hands only at the time of opening takbir. And he said Hammad, Ibrahim and Alqaah were more discerning in fiqh than Zuhri or Salim, and  Ibn Mas’ud is of higher eminence than Ibn Umar. On hearing this, Awzai remained silent as he could not refute his strong argument.

As for vibrating the finger, it based on an isolated report; it is only an addition in one of the narrations from Wael b. Hujr; others have not mentioned the addition; they have only said, “He raised his finger.” It thus agrees with reports from other companions; many of them prayed for many years behind the Prophet, yet they never mentioned that he was moving his finger!

That is why the majority of scholars of the four schools and others are of the view that moving the finger is not recommended while raising it once is the recommended practice.

In light of these and other considerations, you can continue praying the way you were taught. Imam Abu Hanifah did not invent it, so by keeping the same format of Prayer as you had learned before, you are still praying, according to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Almighty Allah Knows best.

Thursday, Jan. 01, 1970 | 00:00 - 00:00 GMT

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