Assalamunaliakum I am collage going student most of my friends are belongs to Sunni School thought. Someone of them asked me a question that " How you Shias free your hands during Namaz ? " but I am not able to Ans him becoz of lack of knowlage about that matter.. So plz logical Answer me, With reference from Sunni book as well as Shia books...

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Praying with closed hands is a method that didn't exist during the Holy Prophet's time, because the Holy Prophet (s.a.) himself would pray with open hands. (The hadith for this subject will come later in the article). Since Shia people solely believe in following the Holy Prophet and the 12 Infallible Imams (peace be upon them) in all fields, so they also pray with open hands. Shia Muslims consider praying with closed hands as bid'ah or a forbidden innovation in the religion because this method of praying was innovated during the second Caliph (Umar)'s rule; and turned out into a fixed prayer style afterwards. Bukhari, the famous Sunni scholar, has narrated a hadith from Sahl ibn Saad on this matter in his book (Fat'h-ul-Bari fi Sharhi Sahih-il-Bukhari, vol.2, pg.224), which is a good proof for this claim: “The people were told that people should put there right hand on their left arm in prayer”. If the Holy Prophet (s.a.) had ordered people to do so, the hadith would have said that the prophet had ordered them, not that “the people were told…”. Thus, this innovated style of prayer continued till today, to the extent that most Sunnis still pray the way that the second Caliph had ordered at his time [the Hanafiyyah, Shafi’iyyah and Hanabilah all consider closing the hands mustahabb (not obligatory), while the Malikiyyah consider it wajib or obligatory (Al-Fiqh alal Madhahibil-Khamsah, pg.110)]. But the Shia Imams (a.s.) have said that this method resembles that of the Kafirs (disbelievers) and the Majus (Zoroastrians); and have asked their followers to pray with open hands, the same way the Holy Prophet (s.a.) did pray. Abu Hamed al-Sae'di has described the Holy Prophet's prayer (Salat) in a hadith in full detail, from the beginning of the takbiratul-ihram till the end of the salam; yet, he hasn't mentioned anything about the Holy Prophet to have closed his hands; instead, he says that after saying the takbiratul-ihram, the Holy Prophet (s.a.) brought his hands down by his sides [Sunan Beyhaqi, vol.2, pp. 72, 73, 101, 102; Sunan Abi Dawud, vol.1, pg.194]. At the same time, one can't say that closing the hands isn't obligatory in the prayer and is only mustahahb, and that is why the holy prophet (s.a.) wouldn't close them; because it is impossible for him not to perform this "mustahabb" act all his life (even once). In yet another hadith, Hammad ibne Issa asks Imam Sadiq (a.s.) to portray the full and correct prayer for him. The Imam stood towards the Qiblah, observing all of the mustahabb acts; said the takbiratul-ihram (Allahu Akbar) and began reciting Surah Al-Hamd, etc. and went on to finish the prayer the way the Shia currently pray, ending it with the final salaam [Al-Wasa’el, vol.4, first chapter of the chapters on the actions of prayer, hadith 1]. In this hadith, the Imam was showing Hammad how the prophet prayed; yet, there is no sign of the closing of hands, and if this act was to truly be a tradition of the Holy Prophet, he would have surely included it in his description of the prophet's prayer. There are also multiple hadiths by the Holy Imams that say this act resembles that of the Majus and the kafirs and one shouldn't practice it; here we will list a few: a) روي محمد بن مسلم ،عن الصادق (ع) او الباقر (ع) قال: قلت له: الرجل يضع يده في الصلاة -و حکي- اليمني علي اليسري؟ فقال: ذلک التکفير لا يفعل.[1] b) روي زراره عن ابي جعفر (ع) انه قال: و عليک بالاقبال علي صلاتک، و لا تکفر ،فانما يصنع ذلک المجوس. [2] c) روي الصدوق باسناده عن علي (ع) انه قال: لا يجمع المسلم يديه في صلاته و هو قائم بين يدي الله عز و جل يتشبه باهل الکفر، يعني المجوس. [3] Takattuf (Closing the Hands) in the Narratives of AhlulBayt: There are many narratives from the Ahlul-Bayt (the Infallible Imams from the Household of the Holy Prophet of Islam) in which it is said that hanging hands by sides is obligatory, and placing hands on one another (Takfir) is innovation. Here we refer to some narrative: 1. Mohammad Ibne Muslem has narrated: "I questioned Imam Sadiq (a.s.): There is someone who places his right hand over the left one". Imam said “That is Takfir, do not perform like that”. (4) 2. Zaraarah has narrated that Imam Baqer (a.s.) said “Try to attain the presence of heart while performing prayer and do not put your hands on one another, because the Zoroastrian people do that”. (5) 3. Sadduq has narrated (whose document is from himself) from Imam Ali (a.s.) that “the Muslims mustn’t put their hands on one another, while performing prayer for the Exalted God, since that makes them similar to the disbelievers (Majus)”. (6) 5. The narrative of Qaazi Abu Hunaifa Na’maan Tamimi Mesri Maqrebi: Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: “While performing prayer, do not place your right hand over the left one or vice versa; (because) the People of The Book (non-Muslims) do that. Place your hands on your thighs. Because this is better and will not distract your mind from the prayer”. (7) & (8) Takattuf as a Haraam Innovation (Bid'ah): In prayer, placing the hand over another is an innovation which was made after the demise of the Holy Prophet (s.a.). In this regard, we state two valid hadith from Sunnis and Shia. These two hadith are absolute proofs for this matter that the prophet and his household kept their hands hanging in the prayer; and that placing the hand on another has been innovated after the demise of the prophet (s.a.): A: Abu Hamid Saaedi’s hadith This hadith has been quoted by some of scholars of hadith. Here we refer to Sunan Baihaqi: Haafez ‘Abdullaah has narrated that Abu Hamid Saa’edi said “do you want I inform you about the quality of the prayer of the prophet?”, “what for? You have not accompanied and followed him more than us”, they said. He said “yes”. They told him “then tell us”. He said “the prophet used to stand upright, while raised his hands up to the shoulders, then he recited Takbir (recitation of the phrase “Allahu Akbar”) so that all of the parts of his body were at ease, and then recited Al-Hamd Sura. He raised his hands up to the shoulders and bowed down while putting palms on the knees and keeping the head level with his body. when he was going to standing position, said “Sami' allaahu liman hamidah” and raised his hands up to the ears and completely stood up and said “Allahu Akbar” and went down to Sajda (prostration) position (kneeling and having hands on the floor), then he separated his hands from the sides and sat up incline toward his left foot. He kept his toes apart while going to Sajda (prostration) position. Then sat up incline toward his left foot and said “Allahu Akbar”. He also did the same for the next Rak’at (unit of prayer). After two Rak’ats, he recited Takbir and raised his hands up to the shoulders as he did at the beginning of prayer; he continued his prayer in the same way. In the last Sajda -in which there is Salaam or Tashahud- he brought back his left foot and while bending, sat up on his foot”. Everyone said “he is right. The messenger of God (s.a.) used to perform prayer in this way”. (1) B. Hammad ibne Issa's hadith: This hadith was briefly explained in the abovementioned parts. For further information, see: Ayatullah Jafar Sobhani, Al-Insaf fi Masaela Dama fihal- Khilaf, vol. 1, pg. 169-193.


[1]. Al-Wasa’el, vol.4, chapter 15, of the chapters on the things that break the prayer, hadith 1. [2]. Al-Wasa’el, vol.4, chapter 15, of the chapters on the things that break the prayer, hadiths: 2, 3, and 7. [3]. Jafar Subhani, Fiqhul-Shia al-Imamiyyah wa Mawadhi’il-Khilaf Beynahu wa Beynal-Madhahibil-Arba’, pg.183. [4]. Al-Wasa’el, vol.4, chapter 15, from Qavaate’ Al-salaat chapters, Hadith 1. [5]. Al-Wasa’el, vol.4, chapter 15, from Qavaate’ Al-salaat chapters, Hadith 2. [6]. Al-Wasa’el, vol.4, chapter 15, from Qavaate’ Al-salaat chapters, Hadith 7. [7]. Da’aem-ul-Islam, vol.1, page 161, number 472 (which is pressed in Cairo). [8]. The Aspects of Shia’s Creed, page 39. ---------------------- Feedback Team for website in AhlulBayt (a.s) Portal

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