“Da’eef ” (Weak) Hadeeth
The weakness of the hadeeth about placing the hands below the Navel.
from Irwaa’ al-Ghaleel (353) & Ahkaam al-Janaa’iz ( p. 118), by Shaykh al-Albaani
Abu Daawood (756), Daaraqutni (107), Bayhaqee (2/310), Ahmad in his son ‘Abdullaah’s Masaa’il (62/2) and also in Zawaa’id al-Musnad (1/110), and Ibn Abi Shaybah (1/156/1) transmitted:
‘an ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Ishaaq ‘an Ziyaad ibn Zaid as- Siwaa’i ‘an Abu Juhaifah ‘an ‘Ali (radi Allaahu ‘anhu), who said, “It is from the Sunnah during the prayer to place one palm on the other, below the navel.”
This is a Da’eef (weak) sanad due to ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan Ibn Ishaaq (al-Waasiti al-Koofi), who is weak (see below). On top of that, it has Idrtiraab (shakiness) in it, for he has narrated it:
(1) once ‘an Ziyad ‘an Abu Juhaifa ‘an ‘Ali (as above);
(2) once ‘an Nu’man ibn Sa’d ‘an ‘Ali (transmitted by Daaraqutni and Baihaqi); and
(3) once ‘an Siyaas Abul Hakam ‘an Abu Waa’il, who said, “Abu Hurairah said: It is from the Sunnah …” (transmitted by Abu Dawood  and Daaraqutni).
The Weakness of ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan Ibn Ishaaq al-Koofi in the eyes of the Imaams of Hadeeth
1) Abu Daawood said, “I heard Ahmad ibn Hanbal declaring ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Ishaaq al-Koofi da’eef (weak).” [This is why Imaam Ahmad did not accept this hadeeth of his, for his son ‘Abdullaah said, “I saw that when praying, my father placed his hands, one on the other, above the navel.”]
2) Nawawi said in Majmoo’ (3/313), and also in Sharh Saheeh Muslim and elsewhere, “They (the scholars of hadeeth) agree in declaring this hadeeth weak, because it is a narration of ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Ishaaq al-Waasiti, who is a da’eef (weak) narrator, as agreed upon by the Imaams of Jarh and Ta’deel (Authentication and Disparagement of reporters).”
3) Zayla’i said in Nasb ar-Raayah (1/314), “Bayhaqee said in al-Ma’rifah: ‘Its isnaad is not firm, for it is a unique narration of ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Ishaaq al-Waasiti, who is matrook (abandoned)’.”
4) Ibn Hajar said in Fath al-Baari (2/186), “It is a weak hadeeth.”
What further points to its weakness is that contrary to it has been narrated on the authority of ‘Ali with a better isnaad: the hadeeth of Ibn Jareer al-Dabbi ‘an his father, who said, “I saw ‘Ali (radi Allaahu ‘anhu) holding his left arm with his right on the wrist, above the navel” – this isnaad is a candidate for the rank of Hasan; Bayhaqee (1/301) firmly designated it to be Hasan, and Bukhaari (1/301) designated it with certainty while giving it in an abridged, ta’leeq form.
What is authentic from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) with respect to the position of the hands is that they should be on the chest; there are many ahaadeeth about this, among them is one on the authority of Taawoos, who said, “The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used to place his right arm on his left arm, and clasp them firmly on his chest during prayer” – Transmitted by Abu Daawood (759) with a saheeh isnaad. Although this is mursal, it is enough as proof for all scholars, with all their various opinions regarding the Mursal Hadeeth, since it is saheeh as a mursal isnaad and has also been related as mawsool in many narrations; hence, it is valid as proof for all. Some of the supporting narrations are as follows:
1) From Waa’il Ibn Hujr: “That he saw the Prophet – sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam put his right hand upon his left and place them upon his chest.” Reported by Ibn Khuzaimah in his Saheeh (Nasb ar-Raayah, 1/314) and reported by Baihaqi in his Sunan (2/30) with two chains of narration which support each other.
2) From Qabeesah Ibn Hulb, from his father who said: “I saw the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), leave [after completing the Prayer] from his right and his left, and I saw him place this upon his chest Yahyaa (Ibn Sa’eed) described the right (hand) upon the left above the joint.” Reported by Ahmad (5/226) with a chain of narrators who are of the standard set by Muslim except for Qabeesah, but he is declared reliable by ‘Ijli & Ibn Hibbaan; however, no one narrates from him except Simaak ibn Harb about whom Ibn al- Madeeni and Nasaa’i say: “Unknown” and Ibn Hajar says in Taqreeb: “He is ‘Maqbool’ [i.e. acceptable only if supported].” The hadeeth of one such as him are Hasan as supporting narrations, and therefore Tirmidhi said after quoting the part of this hadeeth concerning taking the left hand with the right, “It is a Hasan hadeeth.”
So these are three ahaadeeth which show that the Sunnah is to place the hands on the chest, and one who comes across them will not doubt that together they are sufficient to prove this.
so why do hanafis still follow the opinion of placing the hands ”below” the navel?
Brother from a point of naseeha we will remind you that always begin any issue with salaam to increase love between the muslimeen
Although a rebuttal on the work of Albani was done already concerning this issue, i will further comment on the issue that has been posted and show the injustice of the so called “salafi” who will make tadh’eef when it suites the purpose and will make towtheeq when needed to prove ones math hab.
Firstly i would like to clarify that none of the mathaahib have ever given verdict of placing the hands on the chest. The hadeeth that mentions the words “on the chest” are all regarded to be incorrect. Ibn Qayyim in his book i’laamul muwaqi’een (2-312) mentions clearly that the words “علي صدره” has been added on by muammal bin isma’eel who imam bukhaari rahimahullaah declared “munkarul hadeeth” . All other narrations does not have this addition. In tahzeebut tahzeeb (10-381) it is mentioned ” if muammal individually narrates a hadeeth it is compulsory to make tawaquf on it and research on it because he had a bad memory and made many mistakes(in narration).
The second hadeeth that was mentioned in the post is the hadeeth of qabeesa bin halb. As for this hadeeth we see that imam ahmad himself has narrated this hadeeth at times from sufyaan and sometimes from shareek with the following words “رأيت النبي واضعا يمينه علي شماله في الصلوة” without the addition of “علي صدره”. In the same manner imam tirmidhi, imam ibn majah and ahmed have narrated this hadeeth froom abil ahwas who narrated it from simaak bin harb from qabeesa who narrated it from his father who said” كان رسول الله يؤمنا ف ياخذ سماله يمينه ” rasulullaah salallahu alayhi wasallam would lead us in salaah and would hold his left hand with his right ” without the addition of “علي صدره ”
As for the narration of tawoos in abu dawood is a mursal hadeeth which only the ahnaaf accepts. The claim of aide of mowsool falls away with whatever has be writtn in the reply. Therefore claiming it to be the sunnah is an open lie.
Now to come to the issue of placing the hands under the navel. It is a known fact thatimam abu haneefah, imam sufyan as thouri, ibn rahway, abu ishaaq marwazi and imam ahmed in his famous riwaayat from ibn hubairah rahimahumullaah were all of the opinion that placing the hands beneath the navel was the sunnah. In the post tadh’eef of abdur ranmaan bin ishaaq is made. yes it is a known fact that imam ahmad mentioned that he was weak in hadeeth due to his memory. He has been catergorized as being similar to the condition of ibn abi layla andibn lahiya. In tahzeebut tahzeeb it is mentioned, “Albazzar said:’ His ahaadeeth are not of the status of a haafidh.Alajali menioned thathe is weak but his narrations are permissible and his ahaadeeth caan be written,” From this it is understood that his ahaadeeth are of the daraja of hasan. AAlso it is known that imam ahmad classified ahaaaadeeth as dhu’f and mentioned they are of three types. The one being permissible to narrate and the weakness being from memory. This hadeeth is from that category. Also ibn hazm in his muhalla (4-113 maas’ala 448 ) in the chapter concerning deeds that are mustahab and not fardh in salaah has brought many narrations as proof to the permissibility of placing the hands below the navel.
In mussanaf ibn abi shaybah there is a hadeeth that is narrated from alqamah bin waail bin hujr who narrates from his father that” I seen Rasulullaah salallaahu alayhi wa sallam placed his right hand over his left below the navel.” The narrators of this hadeeth are all thiqqat of the narrators of muslim except musa bin umair who is also thiqqah and his narrations are found in nasaa’ie.
In the same manner the statement of sayyidina ali karamallaahu wajhahu that” it is from the sunnah to place the palms on the palms beneath the navel” which although being mowqoof is accepted because the statement from the sunnah refers to being directly from Rasulullaah salallaahu alayhi wasallam. therefore the claim in the post is false and misguiding. Now please can you tell me who is on sunnah and who is not???