In January of 2007 we compiled a brief article full of quotes from the Imams of the Hanbalis stating that the relied upon opinion of the Hanbali school is that the Hands are to be placed below the navel in Salah. That article, of course, irritated some pseudo-Hanbalis, who are in fact pseudo-salafis blindly following their wahhabified Imams from the Arabian pennisula as well as their illegitimate “Imam” Muhammad Al-Albani. So it worries any Sunni that this new pseudo-salafi sect would so boastfully and arrogantly claim that the verdicts of Muhammad Al-Albani supersede the verdicts of the Imam of the Hanbalis, Ibn Qudamah Al-Maqdisi, a man who is a mountain in the divine law.
Though it is not only the Hanbali’s official stance that the pseudo-salafis arrogantly reject, it is also the view of the Sunni guild of Imam Abu Hanifah that they boastfully condemn. Recently someone, a fan of Al-Albani to be certain, decided he would do a copy and paste job and “respond” to the article we had done on the Hanbali’s school relied upon position by attacking the ahadith the mention “below the navel”. Men far more knowledgeable than I have responded to such critique and it is here that I will bring forth their arguments with minor commentary or notes from myself.
From the Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah:
From Waki’ from Musaa from ‘Alqamah ibn Wa’il ibn Hujr from his Father (Wa’il) who said: “I saw the Nabi (‘alayhis salam) placing his right hand upon his left hand in Salah, below the navel.”
Shaykh Muhammad Hashim As-Sindi in his “Dirham As-Surrah…” states that this chain is strong for the following reasons:
1) Waki’ is thiqah (impeccably trustworthy).
2) Musaa ibn ‘Umair Al-’Anbari is also thiqah and from the major Imams of his time. (Declared thiqah by Abu Hatim)
3) ‘Alqama ibn Wa’il Ibn Hujr was declared Saduq by Adh-Dhahabi in Al-Mizan, Thiqah by Ibn Hibban, and Ibn Sa’ad stated in his Tabaqat, ‘Thiqah with few hadith.
He also mentions that Ash-Shaykh Qaasim ibn Qutlabughaa stated that this chain was “Jayyid”. ((See page 40 of Dirham As-Surrah… ))
An argument forwarded by Muhammad Hayat Sindi is that this hadith is not included in the manuscript of Abdullah ibn Salim. However, as Shaykh Muhammad Hashim responds, Abdullah ibn Salim’s manuscript does not meet the requirements forwarded by Qadi ‘Iyad for acceptability. Furthermore, the manuscript of Imam Qasim Qutlabughaa did have this narration. Imam Qasim was known as impeccably trustworthy, and he is the Shaykh of the Mujtahid Shafi’i Imam As-Suyuti, the Shaykh of the Imam Al-Qastalani, the Shaykh Ar-Ramli as well as other A’immah.
Another claim brought forth by those who question this ziyadah (or addition) of the words “Below the Navel” is that it is just that, an addition to the narration. This same narration is reported without the words “Below the Navel” in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad. To this, Shaykh Abul Hasan responds:
Those who affirmed the ziyada have argued that though the same marfu chain is found in the Musnad and similarly in other Hadith collections without the ziyada: “Under the navel”, its very presence with the additional wording in some copies of the Musannaf is a ziyada by a Thiqa (trustworthy) narrator. Additions made by trustworthy narrators to a text were acceptable to many Hadith scholars with some conditions. This latter point was mentioned by Shaykh Hashim al-Sindi in his radd to Shaykh Hayat al-Sindi.
Shaykh Abul Hasan also mentioned in an article he titled, “Those who truly Lied against Shaykh Al-Azami” the following:
As for the Hanafi’s after al-Ayni and Ibn Qutlubugha, it was mentioned by Shaykh Muhammad Abul Tayyib ibn Abdal Qadir al-Sindi al-Madani (d. 1140 AH) in his Sharh on al-Tirmidhi, seen and accepted by Shaykh Hashim al-Sindi and Shaykh Qa’im al-Sindi in the manuscript of the Musannaf possessed by the Hanafi Mufti of Makka, Shaykh Abdal Qadir ibn Abu Bakr al-Siddiqi (d. 1138 AH according to Shaykh Abdal Fattah Abu Ghudda), and in Sind it was seen by Shaykh Hashim al-Sindi in Shaykh Muhammad Akram al-Nasrpuri’s personal copy. It was probably seen by al-Hafiz Murtada al-Zabidi (d. 1205 AH) since he possessed the 8th century copy of the Musannaf. After them it was found in the nuskha of the Musannaf possessed by Shaykh Muhammad Abid al-Sindi (d. 1257 AH) and accepted by him in his Tawali al-Anwar. It was mentioned by Shaykh Abdal Hayy al-Lucknawi (d. 1304 AH) in his Umdatur Ri’aya (p. 165) followed by his pupil, Shaykh al-Nimawi (d. 1322 AH) in his Athar al-Sunan.
It is also interesting to note that the Tunisian manuscripts of the Musannaf of ibn Abi Shaybah have this addition as well and the manuscripts have Imam Al-’Ayni’s comments written on them. They were transcribed sometime between 741-744 A.H. Shaykh Abul Hasan said:
The nuskha found in Tunis was that possessed by the later Hanafi Hafiz, Muhammad Murtada al-Zabidi (d. 1205 AH). This copy was scribed between the years 741 AH to 744 AH by a Hanbali known as Yusuf ibn Abdal Latif ibn Abdal Baqi ibn Mahmud al-Harrani. This nuskha has the handwriting of the Hanafi Imam Badrud-Din al-Ayni on its margins in some places. It may also be the copy that was also utilized by al-Ayni’s younger contemporary Hanafi, al-Hafiz Qasim ibn Qutlubugha in Egypt.
There is yet another narration, not utilized by the Hanafi scholars of old or of late, but noted by Sidi Abul Hasan in his response to Shaykh Gibril Haddad on this issue. He said:
Looking at most of the printed editions of the Tamheed of Ibn Abdal Barr al-Maliki, one may see a narration from al-Athram — Abul Walid al-Tayalisi — Hammad ibn Salama — Asim al-Jahdari — Uqba ibn Suhban – who heard Imam Ali (ra) mention under the tafsir of Fasalli li-rabbika wanhar – that the hands should be placed beneath the navel. The narration in Arabic:
ذكر الأثرم قال حدثنا أبو الوليد الطيالسي قال حدثنا حماد بن سلمة عن عاصم الجحدري عن عقبة بن صهبان سمع عليا يقول في قول الله عز وجل < فصل لربك وانحر > قال وضع اليمنى على اليسرى تحت السرة
This sanad is at least Jayyid ((As indicated by the late Shaykh Hamid Ibrahim Ahmed of Egypt and Muhammad Hussain al-Uqbi in their editing to al-Muhadhdhab fi Ikhtisar al-Sunan al-Kabir by al-Dhahabi, 2/13, fn, 2) )) and it is a very good support to the weaker Athar of Imam Ali (ra) as in Sunan Abu Dawud and elsewhere via the route of Abdar Rahman ibn Ishaq al-Kufi. This narration does not seem to have been mentioned by a single Hanafi or those from other Madhhabs in their tahqiq to where the hands should be placed.”
It is however interesting to note that the Hanafis have rejected this interpretation of this verse as is mentioned in Dirham As-Surrah. The point here, however, is that this hadith is authentic and can be utilized for proof.
You can download Shaykh Abul-Hasan’s responses to the Psuedo-salafi attacks by clicking here.
Another claim raised against the proofs utilized by the Hanafis and Hanbalis is that in the hadith of Imam ‘Ali ‘alayhis salam that states:
“It is from the Sunnah during the prayer to place one palm on the other, below the navel.”
The Hanbalis and Hanafis have sufficient evidence to support their stance, including many statements from the Tabi’in such as Abu Majliz and Ibrahim An-Nakha’i. For someone to come along many generations later and altogether claim that their opinions are completely null is a grave injustice and only shows their own ignorance of the law.