Raising hands before and after Rukoo’
Fatwa No: 337393

Question

Can we claim with 100% certainty that doing Raf'ul Yadayn (raising hands before and after Rukoo’) was never abrogated? Or is it an issue about which difference of opinions is permissible?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

Raf'ul Yadayn (raising hands) before and after Rukoo’ is an issue that scholars discussed at length. Most of them held that it is prescribed to do Raf'ul Yadayn, while some said that it is not prescribed and that it was abrogated. Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote:

Muslim scholars unanimously agreed that Raf'ul Yadayn must be done with the Opening Takbeer. As for raising them before and after Rukoo‘, it was unknown to most scholars of Koofah, such as Ibraaheem An-Nakha‘i, Abu Haneefah, Ath-Thawri, and others. As for most of the scholars in other parts of the Muslim world and scholars of traditions (Hadeeth and reports), such as Al-Awzaa‘i, Ash-Shaafi‘i, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Is-haaq, Abu ‘Ubayd, and it was one of the two views reported from (Imaam) Maalik, they knew it given that the Sunnah abounded with it.” [Majmoo' Al-Fataawa]

Ibn Al-Qayyim said in Zaad Al-Ma'aad, “It was narrated that he (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) raised his hands in these three positions on the authority of about thirty Companions, and the ten (Companions who were given glad tidings of Paradise) unanimously agreed on it. It has not been authentically reported otherwise about the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; rather, this was his practice (raising hands in prayer in these three positions) until he passed away.

The Hanafi book Badaa'i’ As-Sanaa'i’ reads:

As for raising the hands while reciting Takbeer, according to our school of Fiqh, it is not an act of the Sunnah in the obligatory prayers, except in the Opening Takbeer. Ash-Shaafi‘i said, 'He (the praying person) raises his hands before and after Rukoo‘ ... Our evidence is what was narrated by Abu Haneefah with his chain of narration on the authority of ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas‘ood, who said that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, used to raise his hands in the Opening Takbeer and not raise them again.' ‘Alqamah said, 'I prayed behind ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas‘ood, and he did not raise his hands before or after Rukoo‘. I asked him, 'Why did you not raise your hands?' He replied, 'I prayed behind the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and behind Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, and they did not raise their hands except with the Takbeer that the prayer is opened with......"

What he (Ash-Shaafi‘i) narrated (i.e. that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) used to raise his hands to the level of his shoulders when saying Allaahu Akbar, when bowing down and when standing up from Rukoo‘) was abrogated as he narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) used to raise his hands and then refrained from it; as evidenced by the hadeeth of Ibn Mas'ood that reads, 'He, raised, so we raised, and he refrained from it, so we refrained from it" This indicates that the evidence of Raf'ul Yadayn was the narration on the authority of 'Ali, Ibn 'Umar and 'Aasim ibn Kulayb....” [End of quote]

Based on the above, the issue of abrogating Raf'ul Yadayn before and after Rukoo’ is a statement by some scholars, and the difference of opinion regarding it cannot be resolved. However, whoever refrains from Raf'ul Yadayn, his prayer is valid, and whoever does it has done well. Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, “The raising of hands about which scholars held different views is not among the nullifiers of the prayer; rather, it is allowable to pray without raising the hands (before and after Rukoo’); however, it is better to raise the hands.

Allaah knows best.

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