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Difference in salah between men and women

Wahabis ( so called “salafis”’) are of the view that all the laws of salah are common to both men and women, and that there is no difference between them. They also claim that the hadeeth 'Pray as you have seen me praying' is general and, therefore, should be applied equally to both men and women. It should be realised, however, that our own interpretation and logical inference of this hadeeth cannot compare with the other ahadeelh of the Messenger of Allah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) and the verdicts and practice of the Sahabah and Tabi'un ( رضئ الله عنهم ) quoted below.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 . 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).'540Sayyiduna 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 (R) narrates as part of a longer hadeeth that the Prophet ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) said, 'There is no adhan iqamah or Jumuah upon women.'542Sayyidatuna Ibn Umar (R) 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 (R) 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.’545Jabir 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.’547The 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 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'.548Sayyiduna 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."549Sayyiduna 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.'550We 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 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.554Nafi' 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 ihtifaz556Sayyiduna 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.'566Imam Baihaqi 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 56S 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.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------The Salah of a Believer in the Quran and SunnahShaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul HaqPurchase link AL-Rashad Bookstore [USA] Alkawthar Academy [United Kingdom]
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.)

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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 (ÑÖÆ Çááå Úäå )
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.)

There are some differences between how women and men’s way of performing Salat.

1) Men raise there hands all the way to the ear for Takbeer while women raise their hands only up to their shoulders
In Qayam (the standing posture) Men place their hands below Navel while women place their hands on their chest.

3) Men grasp their wrist while women do not. They only place right hand on the top of left with fingers intact together.

4 ) In Ruku (the bowing posture) Men’s back is horizontal while women suppose to bend their back only far enough to touch their knees. Looking from far it will look like a bow arc. They won’t flatten their back.

5 ) In Sajdah men’s back portion is raised from ground and hands apart from body and fingers of feet twisted while women suppose to be gathered in a way so that all their body parts are close together and abdomen placed over her thighs.Both feet and ankles sticking out to the right. Lower portion of back touching the ground.

6 ) During Jalsa and Qaida (sitting between Sajdah and during Attahyat) men sit on their left ankle and their right foot’s fingers are twisted while women sit on floor and their both ankles and feet sticking out towards right hand side

Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Muslim lecturer and author, states:

“The general principle is that women are equal to men in all religious rulings, because of the Hadith: "Women are counterparts of men." (Reported by Ahmad), except when there is evidence of a specific ruling which applies only to women. One of the cases in which the scholars mention specific rules for women is Prayer, as follows:
1. Women do not have to give Adhan (call to Prayer) or Iqamah (second call to Prayer). Ibn Qudamah, may Allah have mercy on him, said: "We don’t know any difference between Muslim scholars (on this point)." (Al-Mughni ma`a Ash-Sharh Al-Kabir, 1/438).

2. All of the woman’s body must be covered during Prayer, except for her face and hands, because the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: "No prayer will be accepted from an adult woman unless she wears a Khimar.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari) There is some dispute as to whether her heels and feet should be covered.

3. The woman should keep her limbs close to her body during bowing and prostration, and not spread them out, because this is more modest and covering. (Al-Mughni, 2/258) Al-Nawawi said: "In his Al-Mukhtasar, Ash-Shafi`i said that there is no difference between men and women in Prayer, except that women should keep the parts of their bodies close to one another, and they should make their stomachs touch their thighs during prostration. This is more covering and preferable in bowing and the rest of the Prayer as well." (Al-Majmu`, 3/429) 4. It is preferable for women to pray in congregation, led by another woman, because the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, told Umm Waraqah to lead the women of her household in Prayer.

There is some difference among scholars on this matter. (See Al-Mughni, 2/202 and Al-Majmu`, 4/84-85) The woman leading the Prayer should read aloud as long as no non-mahram man can hear her. It is permissible for women to go out and pray in the mosque with men, although their Prayer at home is better, because the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: "Do not prevent the women from going out to the mosques, even though their homes are better for them."

Imam An-Nawawi, may Allah have mercy on him, said: "Women differ from men in congregational Prayer in some ways:


a) Congregational Prayer is not required of them in the same way as it is of men.

b) In case a woman leads a group of women in Prayer, she stands in the middle of the (first) row.
c) If one woman led by a man, she should stand behind him, not next to him.

d) If women are praying in rows behind men, the back rows are better for them than the front rows.” (Al-Majmu`, 3/455)” Excerpted, with slight modifications, from:
www.islam-qa.com

Moreover, the following are some other differences: “1. When the Imam makes a mistake in a congregational Prayer, men would correct him by saying, “Subhanallah”, while women would correct him by clapping (some describe it as clapping the palm of one hand against the back of the other). This is confirmed in a well-known Hadith.

2. The Friday Prayer is not obligatory upon women. If a woman performs the Friday Prayer, then she doesn't have to pray the Zuhr Prayer.”

Differences Between The Way Men And Women PrayYes, there are minor differences between the physical actions of a man's prayer in comparison to a woman's prayer. Al-Hajjawi and Al-Buhuti write that

A woman prays like a man except that she bunches herself together and sits with her legs slightly slid underneath her to her right. (b: If there is a non-mahram male who can hear her, it is obligatory for her to conceal her recitation so that only she hears it.) (Al-Raud al-murbi`, p74)
M ar`i bin Yusuf writes the same, though a bit clearer and with a few additional details
Women are like men in all that was previously mention--even concerning raising the hands. However, she bunches herself together when bowing and prostrating and does not unbunch herself [like a man]; she sits with her legs slightly slid underneath her on the right--and this is best--or cross-legged; and she must conceal her recitation when non-marhman men hear it, and otherwise there is no harm in making it audible. (Ghayat al-muntaha, 1.132-33)

P lease note that the only obligatory difference concerns recitation, and that even though it would be unlawful for a woman to raise her recitation where non-mahram men hear it, the prayer would still be valid.

The other differences fall under the category of recommended actions during prayer.The general topic of general related differences associated to prayer is found in hadith literature known as the musannafat. The musannafat include accounts from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), his Companions (Allah be pleased with them), and the first few generations of Successors. The discussion is in the Musannaf of Abu Bakr `Abd al-Razzaq bin Hammam al-San`ani right before the chapter on Friday Prayer, or more precisely 3.126-51.And Allah knows best.



WAHABI VIEW

Sheikh Albani says in his book 'The Prophet's Prayer':

All that has been mentioned of the description of the Prophet's prayer (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) applies equally to men and women, for there is nothing in the Sunnah to necessitate the exception of women from any of these descriptions; in fact, the generality of his statement (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam), "Pray as you have seen me praying", includes women.


This is the view of Ibraaheem an-Nakh'i, who said, "A woman's actions in the prayer are the same as a man's" - transmitted by Ibn AbiShaibah(1/75/2), with a saheeh sanad from him.

Also, Bukhaari reported in at-Taareekh as-Sagheer (p.95) with a saheeh sanad from Umm ad-Dardaa', "that she used to sit in her prayer just as a man sits, and she was a woman of understanding. "

The hadeeth about the indimaam (tucking up) of a woman in prostration, and that she is in that regard not like a man, is mursal and not authentic. Abu Daawood transmitted it in al-Maraaseel on the authority of Yazeed ibn Abi Habeeb.

As for what Imaam Ahmad has reported, as in his son 'Abdullaah's Masaa'il, from Ibn 'Umar, that he used to instruct his wives to sit cross-legged in prayer, its sanad is not authentic, for it contains 'Abdullaah ibn 'Umar al-'Amri, who is a da'eef (weak) narrator.

REPLY

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.

He says:

"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. "
(Ibid)
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.


SAJDAH

Imam Abu Dawud has narrated the following hadith in his Maraaseel:
(Arabic text)
Translation:

"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)
Mujaahid:

"Muhaahid used to dislike that a man attach his stomach to his thighs as a woman does. "
(Ibid)

Hasan al-Basri:

"Hishaam reports from Hasan who says that woman should draw herself closely together in sajdah. "
(Ibid)

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 ad 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 Mujhaahiddid 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.

The Salah as offered by women differs from that of men in the following aspects. Women should be careful about what is required of them:

1. Before they begin their Salah, women should make sure that their whole body, except the face, the hands and the feet, is covered with clothes.Some women offer their Salah with the hair on their head remaining uncovered. Some have their wrists left uncovered. Some women use scarfs so thin or small that their hair tresses are visible dangling down underneath. If, during the Salah, any part of the body, even if it be equal to one-fourth, remains uncovered for a time during which one could say (Subhana Rabbi-al-Azim) three times, the Salah itself would not be valid. However, should the uncovered portion be less than that, Salah would take place but the sin shall stay.

2. For women, making Salah in the room is better than doing it in the verandah and doing it in the verandah is better than doing it in the courtyard.

3. While starting the Salah, women should not raise their hands upto their ears, instead, they should raise them upto their shoulders, and that too, from within the scarf or other outer wrap being used. Hands should not be taken out of this cover.

4. When women fold their hands on the chest, they should simply place the palm of their right hand on the back of the left forehand. They should not fold their hands on the navel like men.

5. In Ruku’, women are not required to straighten their backs fully like men. Women should bend less as compared to men.

6. In the position of Ruku’, men should open up their fingers while placing them on the knees, but women are required that they place their hands on the knees with fingers close together, that is, there be on space between fingers.

7. Women should not stand on legs absolutely straight, instead, they should stand with knees slightly bent forward.

8. In Ruku’, men are required to keep their arms stretched, away from the sides. But, women should stand with their arms close to their sides.

9. Women should stand with both feet close together. Specially, both their knees should just about be joined together. Let their be no separating distance between legs.

10. While doing Sajdah, the method prescribed for men is that they should not lower their chest until such time that their knees come to rest on the floor. But this method is not for women. They can, right from the start, lower their chest and go for Sajdah.

11. Women should do their Salah in a manner that the stomach-wall come to rest against the thighs and the arms stay close to the sides. In addition to that, omen do have to position their feet, upright, they should spread them on the floor sliding them out towards the right.

12. Men are prohibited to place their elbows on the floor while making Salah. But, women should place the whole arm, including the elbows, on the floor.

13. When sitting between Sajdah and when reciting (at-Tahiyyaat), sit on the left hip, side both feet out to the side and let the left foot reset on the right calf of the leg.

14. Men are required that they be careful about keeping their finger upon when bending for Ruku’, and keeping then close together in Sajdah, and then, leave them as they are during the rest of the Salah, when they make no effort either to close or open them. But, it required of women, under all conditions, that they keep fingers close together, that is leave no space between them. This is required all along in Ruku’, in Sajdah, between two Sajdah and in the Qa’dahs.

15. It is makruh (reprehensible) for women to make a jama’ah (congregation) The very act of offering their Salah alone is better for them. However, should mahram-members of the family be making their Salah with jama’ah within the house, there is no harm if they join in with them in the jama’ah. But, in a situation like this, it is necessary that they stand exactly behind men. They should never stand next to them in the same row.

NOTE

The Salafis claim that it is Sunnah to stretch the legs wide apart and for a musalli’s toes to touch the toes of the musalli standing alongside him in the saff. This ludicrous position is imposed by the Salafis on even women who are obliged to stand with their legs wide open. What an ugly, miserable and immodest stance for a woman to adopt? A woman is an object of concealment according to the statement of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). When she has to stretch her legs wide open, she adopts the stance of lewd and shameless women. Throughout Salaat, a woman’s postures are to be constricted -- made small and drawn in, not asserted like a man asserts and expresses his actions during Salaat.

 

Courtesy - Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
  

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