Fatawa in Islam - Ibadah

Q: If a shafi muqtadi reads fajr salaah behind a hanafi imam, what would be best for the shafi to do with regards to Dua e qunoot? Can he shorten the qunoot? If he does shorten the qunoot does he make sajdah sahwu? If he reads the entire qunoot and joins the imam in sajdah, does he still make sajdah?

قال شيخ الإسلام في أسنى المطالب شرح روض الطالب: ( فإن ترك ) إمامه الحنفي ( القنوت ) في صلاة الصبح لاعتقاده عدم سنيته ( وأمكنه ) هو أن يقنت ويدركه في السجدة الأولى ( قنت ) ندبا ( وإلا تابعه وسجد للسهو ) اعتبارا باعتقاده. وله فراقه ليقنت. وقضية كلامه كأصله أنه إذا قنت لا يسجد، وهو مبني على أن العبرة باعتقاد الإمام ، والأصح أن العبرة باعتقاد المأموم ، فالأصح أنه يسجد كما لو كان إمامه شافعيا فتركه.

From the above quotation you would learn that in terms of the rajih view in the madhhab the Shafi'i muqtadi behind a Hanafi imam in Fajr would have to make sujud al-sahw regardless of whether he managed to read the full or shortened qunut behind the imam, or not.

The above, of course, is in terms of the rajih view. Within limits, our madhhab permits us to follow the marjuh view as well. In this case there are two marjuh views.
The one is mentioned in the quotation above: make your own individual qunut, preferably shortened (eg اللهم اهدني فيمن هديت only, or اللهم اغفر لي), behind the imam without sujud al-sahw.

The second is to make neither qunut nor sujud al-sahw behind the imam. In other words, follow him when he goes into sajdah in the second rak'ah, and follow him when he makes salam. This is the view of a number of eminent fuqaha of the madhhab including Imam al-Qaffal al-Marwazi, Imam al-Isnawi and Imam al-Suyuti.
It has also been the one that I personally practice and which I advise others to practice upon.


Q: In the chapter on facing the qiblah, the Ḥanafī fatwā collection, al-Fatāwā al-Sirājiyyah, states:   قبلة الشافعية عندنا خطأ   
By us, the qiblah of the Shāfiʿīs is wrong.
The Shāfiʿī position, of course, is that one should face the actual qiblah (ʿayn al-qiblah), while the Ḥanafīs take the more indulgent position of the general direction of the qiblah (jihat al-qiblah). With the Ḥanafīs having taken a position of greater latitude it becomes difficult to understand why the Shāfiʿī qiblah comes to be described as “wrong”, since one would naturally expect the narrower position to be subsumed within the broader one.

A: What is described as “wrong” in al-Fatāwa al-Sirājiyyah is not the ijtihād of Imam al-Shāfiʿī on ʿayn al-qiblah as compared to jihat al-qiblah, but rather a particular situation that obtained in Transoxania during the 6th century.

In a treatise on the qiblah, the Ḥanafī jurist, Fakhr al-Islām al-Bazdawī (died 482/1089) speaks of four different conventions followed in 6th century Samarqand in setting the qiblah(1). These four conventions were:

  • due west: followed by the Ḥanafīs; based upon the direction of the road departing Samarqand to Makkah.
  • 30° south of west: based upon the winter sunset and used in the Great Mosque.
  • 40° south of west: based upon a value underlying a table for the altitude of the sun in the azimuth of the qiblah. Al-Bazdawī advocated this position.
  • due south: ascribed by al-Bazdawī to the Shāfiʿīs.(2)

With a degree of divergence as stark as 90°, it becomes easy to see why a Transoxanian Ḥanafī jurist like Sirāj al-Dīn al-Ūshī, (author of al-Fatāwā al-Sirājiyyah who died 87 years after al-Bazdawī) would describe the qiblah of the Shāfiʿīs as incorrect.

However, contemporary cartography gives the qiblah for Samarqand as 239.47°, almost exactly 30° south of due west, which is 270°. It emerges, therefore, that the most correct position among the four outlined by al-Bazdawī is the second one.

And Allah knows best.

(1)The manuscript of this treatise is preserved in Cairo’s Dār al-Kutub al-Miṣriyyah. A critical edition was published by David King in vol. 7 of the Journal for the History of Arabic Science in 1983 under the title, “Al-Bazdawī on the Qibla in Early Islamic Transoxania.”
(2)King, David A, World Maps for Finding the Direction and Distance of Mecca: Examples of Innovation and Tradition in Islamic Science, p. 125, EJ Brill, 1999

Q: I came accross the following in an email attachment. I would like to know if Shafi‘i fuqaha hold this view. Also what is the reasoning behind it? Jazak Allahu chairman! Here is the excerpt from the email attachment (attributed to Dr. Zakir Naik). Imam Shafi‘i said that when a women touches a man who is in a state of wudhu, the wudhu of the man breaks. However, this ruling of Imam Shafi‘i contradicts the authentic saying of the Prophet. Narrated Aishah: The Prophet (may peace be upon him) kissed one of his wives and went out for saying prayer. He did not perform ablution. (Sunan Abu Dawood Vol. 1 Chapter No. 70 Hadith No. 179) ...

Please download the full fatwa here: Breaking of wudu by touching females

Q: I can’t see why our madhhab says that it is mustahab and not wajib for the nose to touch the ground in sujud,where the hadith is clear that an indication was made to the nose. Can you please guide me.

A: The carried view of the madhhab is that the inclusion of the nose is not wajib but sunnah. In the hadith of Ibn Abbas in Bukhari the seven parts of the body on which sujud was commanded to be made includes the word jabhah (meaning forehead); together with it there was an indication of the nose.

The jurists of our madhhab interpreted this indication to mean not the mandatory (wajib) inclusion of the nose in sujud, but its inclusion as preferential. The reason for this is firstly, that the word jabhah (forehead) by itself does not denote the nose; and secondly, that the indication is a deed (fi’l) and not a spoken word (qawl). As such its inclusion does not of necessity have to be on the same level as what was indicated by word. In other words, what is ordered by a supplementary fi’l is not necessarily on the same level as what is ordered by a qawl.

Also, the running of the hand over his nose happened after placing on his forehead. This is clearly contained in the version of the hadith recorded by Nasa’i (Sunan al-Nasa’i no. 1097). The touching of the nose might therefore have been merely coincidental during the lowering of the hand after touching the forehead. It is very natural for the word “forehead” to be accompanied by an indication to the actual forehead. Saying “forehead” and then indicating the nose is quite unusual.

However, all said and done, Imam Nawawi in Sharh al-Muhadhdhab (vol. 3 p. 424) admits the strength of the proof supporting the view that makes it wajib to include the nose, and acknowledges the questionability of the explanations given by the fuqaha of the madhhab. He notes that one of the Shafi’i jurists, namely Abu Zayd al-Marwazi, narrates an alternative qawlfrom Imam Shafi’i in terms of which inclusion of the nose is wajib and not just mustahabb. Although this qawl is not very well received in terms of narration, Imam Nawawi describes it as being “strong in terms of proof”.


Q: I would like to find out the ruling regarding qunoot in Fajr salaah. Can one choose when and when not read it in Fajr salaah? Also, does the same ruling apply to both muqtadi(follower) and Imam(leader).

A: In terms of our madhhab, the sunnah is for the qunut to be made in the Fajr salah on a daily basis throughout the year. This is based on the hadith of Anas, documented and authenticated by the likes of Bayhaqi and Daraqutni which states: “As for Subh, he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wasallam continued making qunut in it till he left the world.” (Bayhaqi, al-Sunan al-Kubra, vol. 2 p. 201; Daraqutni, Sunan, vol. 2 p. 39) Now, while in principle the omission of a sunnah from the salah does not invalidate the salah, the category of sunnah termed the ab’ad–of which qunut is an example–does bring about a deficiency in the salah serious enough that it has to be compensated for by performing thesujud al-sahw, or the prostration of forgetful error. Thus, for one practising upon the madhhab the omission of the qunut is not simply a matter of choice. As for the follower in salah, when his imam makes the qunut he would obviously follow. If the imam for whatever reason does not make the qunut, the carried rule of the madhhab states that the follower should in such an instance make sujud al-sahw on his own after the imam’s salam. There are however alternative views in the madhhab, notably those of al-Qaffal al-Marwazi, Isnawi and Suyuti, in terms of which the muqtadi does not have to make the sujud al-sahw. ( al-Ashbah wa-al Naza’ir, p. 682). This view may be practiced upon. And Allah knows best.


Q: We see certain Shawafi’ brothers after folding their hands after takbeer tahreemah, they place it more towards the left side of the abdomen. Is there any mention of this in the fiqh kitaabs? Kindly supply references.

A: The practice of placing the hands towards the left is, to the best of my knowledge, not mentioned by the earlier Shafi’i scholars. It generally appears in the hawashi of the latter scholars, some of which I quote here:

قال البجيرمي في حاشية الإقناع 2/212: وقيل: الحكمة في جعلهما كذلك أن تكونا فوق أشرف الأعضاء وهو القلب ويسن أن تكونا إلى جهة اليسار أميل لما ذكر، إذ هي محله، لأن من احتفظ على شيء جعل يديه عليه

al-Bujayrami says in his super-commentary of al-Iqna’a, vol. 2, p. 212, “And it is said that the wisdom in placing them (the hands) in that fashion is that they be above the most honored of limbs namely the heart. And it is sunnah that they incline to the left for the reasons mentioned because it is the place of the heart. Whoever wants to protect something he uses his hands.”

وقال الجرداني في فتح العلام 2/284: ومن الهيئات وضع بطن كف اليد اليمنى على ظهر كف اليسرى تحت صدره وفوق سرته مما يلي جانبه الأيسر لأن القلب فيه

al-Jurdani says in Fath al-’Alam, vol. 2 p. 284 ”And of the many postures, placing the palm of the right hand onto the back of the left palm below the chest and above the navel toward the left side because the heart is situated there.”

Normative practice may as a rule be established either from (a) the purport of the text itself, according to the accepted rules of interpretation, or (b) from the ‘illah of a text, which would be qiyas. The establishment of normative practice on the basis of hikmah is, to say the least, questionable. While hikmah may be cited to explain an underlying rationale, its employment in a prescriptive manner, where it plays a role not simply in understanding an act, but actually goes to the point of prescribing the act, is not free from problems. With the placement of the hands we have a case in point. Ibn Hajar in Tuhfat al-Muhtaj vol. 2 p. 103 mentions the same heart-related hikmah without actually going on to prescribe placement to the left. he writes:

والحكمة في ذلك إرشاد المصلي إلى حفظ قلبه عن الخواطر لأن وضع اليد كذلك يحاذيه، والعادة أن من احتفظ بشيء أمسكه بيده، فأمر المصلي بوضع يديه كذلك على ما يحاذي قلبه ليتذكر ما قلناه

”And the wisdom in that is that the musalli is guided to protect his heart from any passing thoughts because placing the hands in that fashion is in line with the heart. And normally someone preserving something would hold it with his hands. So the musalli is ordered to place his hands in that fashion in line with his heart so that he may remember what we have said. In his hashiyah on Tuhfah Abd al-Hamid al-Shirwani writes the following:

قوله (يحاذيه) أي القلب فإنه تحت الصدر مما يلي جانب الأيسر – نهاية – أي فالمراد بالمحاذاة التقريبية لا الحقيقية، خلافا لما يفعله بعض الطلبة من جعل الكفين في الجنب الأيسر محاذيتين للقلب حقيقة، فإنه مع ما فيه من الحرج يخالف قولهم: “وجعل يديه تحت صدره” فإن اليسرى حينئذ يجعل جميعها تحت الثدي الأيسر بل في الجنب الأيسر لا تحت الصدر

What is made clear here is that the hikmah of placement over the heart is well achieved by placing the hands in the centre of the body, since it is only approximate placement over the heart that is required, and not actual placement directly over heart towards the left of the body. Those who opt for actual as opposed to approximate placement over the heart are then criticized on two counts. Firstly, actual placement to the left causes difficulty. Secondly, it conflicts with what it clearly mentioned by the predecessors in the madhhab, which is that the hands should be placed below the chest. Placement to the left leads to the hands being beneath the left breast if not in fact completely to the left side (as can be seen at times).

والله تعالى أعلم