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Is Womens Salaah different from Mens?



I am Hanfi maslak and living in Saudi Arabia. My wife has been asked to support the following from Hadeeth


  1. why women sujda is different than men?
  2. Why we did not do rafa-e-dain?


Appreciate if you give me reference from Sahah Sitta only.


In the name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalāmu ῾alaykum wa Rahmatullāhi Wabarakātuh


Alhamdulillah, we are very pleased to see that when you have been confronted with such a situation, you have turned to our Ulama for advice.

Allah Ta’ala mentions in the Holy Quraan:
فَاسْأَلوا أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ لا تَعْلَمُونَ
“Ask the People of the Book (Quran)if you do not know”[1]
You should bear in mind that you may find many Ahaadith which appear to be contrary to the below mentioned Ahaadith, However it is important to realize that every Hadith cannot be taken at face value, even though it might be Saheeh. There are many factors which could affect the status of practicing on the Hadith. Our illustrious Fuqaha رحمهم الله تعالى have made painstaking efforts in sifting out and clarifying which Ahaadith should be used and which should be left out. Not every Hadith is ma’mool bih (practiced upon). Hence in this matter we would follow the opinions of the stalwarts of our Mazhab and not to engage in academics without having the qualifications to do so.


You should also take into consideration that as a follower of the Hanafi Mazhab, we should adhere to our Mazhab only, and not fall in arguments with such people as the Ahle Hadith (salafis).



Ahaadith proving Women’s Sajda to be different from a man;[2]


Imam Abu Dawud Rahmatullahi Allaihi[3]has narrated the following hadith in his marasil:


عن يزيد بن أبي حبيب  أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم مر على امرأتين تصليان فقال إذا سجدتما فضما بعض اللحم إلى الأرض فإن المرأة ليست في ذلك كالرجل.



Hadhrat Yazid Ibn Abi Habib states that Nabi Sallalahu Allaihi Wassallam passed by two women who were performing their Salaah. He said to them, “When you prostrate (go into Sajdah), then make parts of your body touch the ground because a women is unlike a man in these aspects.”[4]

The narrators in the above Hadith are reliable and not rejected.
(I’lāu Al-Sunan, Idara Al Qurān, Vol. 3, Pg. 26)


Imam Bayhaqi Rahmatullahi Allai[5] narrates the following hadith:


عن عبد الله بن عمر قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا جلست المرأة في الصلاة وضعت فخذها على فخذها الأخرى وإذا سجدت الصقت بطنها في فخذيها كأستر ما يكون لها وإن الله تعالى ينظر إليها ويقول يا ملائكتي أشهدكم أني قد غفرت لها.

Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar Radiyallahu Anhu reports that Nabi Sallalahu Allaihi Wassalam said, When a women sits during Salaah , She should place her one thigh over the other and when she prostrates (goes into Sajdah), she must attach her stomach to her thighs (i.e her stomach and thighs must touch) so that it is more concealing for her. Indeed Allah Ta’ala looks at her and tells the angels, “O my Angels, bear witness that I have forgiven her.”[6]

The above Hadith is reliable due to the fact that it is supported by many other Ahādith.
(I’lāu Al-Sunan, Idara Al Qurān, Vol. 3, Pg. 33)


عن أبى سعيد الخدرى صاحب رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- عن رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- أنه قال :« خير صفوف الرجال الأول ، وخير صفوف النساء الصف المؤخروكان يأمر الرجال أن يتجافوا فى سجودهم ، ويأمر النساء ينخفضن فى سجودهن ، وكان يأمر الرجال أن يفرشوا اليسرى وينصبوا اليمنى فى التشهد ، ويأمر النساء أن يتربعن ، وقال  يا معشر النساء لا ترفعن أبصاركن فى صلاتكن ، تنظرن إلى عورات الرجال.


Hadhrat Abu Said Khudri Radiyallahu Anhu narrates that Nabi Sallalahu Allaihi Wassalam said, “The best saff for the men is the front saff while the best saff for the women is the last saff. He used to command the men to completely stretch out when performing Sajdah while he ordered the women to completely contract during the Sajdah. He used to command the men to lay down the left foot and make the right foot upright during tashah-hud. And he used to order the women to practice tarrabu’ (to sit crossed legged) and he said, “O women, do not raise your glances in Salaah in order to look at the Satr of the males.[7]


Verdicts and practices of the Sahaaba Radiyallahu Anhum and the Tabi’un with regards to a women’s Salaah.



Imam Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Shaybah Rahmatullahi Allai[8] quotes the following statement of HadhratAli Radiyallahu Anhu;


عن علي رضي الله عنه إذا صلت المرأة فلتحتفر ولتضم فخذيها.

It is reported that Hadhrat Ali Radiyallahu Anhu said, “When a woman performs Salaah, she must practice Ihtifaz and keep her thighs close together.”[9]


Imam Abdur Razzaq Rahmatullahi Allai[10] has quoted the following hadith in his Musannaf;


عن علي رضي الله عنه قال إذا سجدت المرأة فلتحتفر ولتلتصق فخذيها ببطنها.

Hadhrat Ali Radiyallahu Anhu says, “When a woman prostrates, she must practice Ihtifaz[11] and keep her thighs close to her stomach.”[12]


عن ابن عباس أنه سئل عن صلاة المرأة ؟ فقال : تجتمع وتحفر .

Hadhrat Ibn Abbas Radiyallahu Anhu was asked about the Salaah of a woman, he replied: “She must draw herself close together and do Ihtifaz.”[13]


عن خالد بن اللجلاج ، قال : كن النساء يؤمرن أن يتربعن إذا جلسن في الصلاة ، ولا يجلسن جلوس الرجال على أوراكهن.

Khalid bin lajlaaj reports: “Women were commanded to do tarabbu’[14] when they sat in Salaah, and that they should not sit like men on their buttocks.”[15]



عن نافع ؛ أن صفية كانت تصلي وهي متربعة.

Hadhrat Nafi’ reports that Safiyya (radiyallaahu anha) used to perform Salaat while in the tarabbu’ position.[16]



عن نافع ، قال : كن نساء ابن عمر يتربعن في الصلاة.

Hadhrat Nafi’ reports: “The womenfolk of Ibn Umar would do tarabbu’ while in salaat.”[17]



عن ابن عمر أنه سئل كيف كن النساء يصلين على عهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : كن يتربعن ثم أمرن أن يحتفزن.

Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Umar was asked: how women performed their salah during the era of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam)? He replied: “Initially they performed tarabbu’. Then they were ordered to do Ihtifaz.”[18]

The chains of narrators in the above Hadith are authentic.
(I’lāu Al-Sunan, vol 3, pg 27, Idara Al-Qurān)

Note: This Hadith clearly indicates that the practice of “Tarabbu” was abrogated and women were not allowed to sit in the “Tarabbu’” posture anymore.



قال الشيخ رحمه الله وجماع ما يفارق المرأة فيه الرجل من احكام الصلوة راجع إلى الستر وهو انها مامورة بكل ماكان استر لها.

Imam Baihaqi states: “All the laws of Salaat in which a woman differs from a man are based on the principle of Satr (concealment). This means that the women are instructed to do all that which is most concealing for them.”[19]


The statement of this great Muhadith, Imam Baihaqi Rahmatullahi Allahi, clearly indicates that there exists a difference in the Salaat of men and women.



المراة تخالف الرجل في افعال الصلاة.
Shaykh Abdul Hayy Lucknawi states: “A woman differs from a man in the actions of Salaat.”[20]




Ahaadith to substantiate Imam Abu Hanifa Rahmatullahi Allai’s Mazhab with regards to Rafe’ yada’in;



عن علقمة قال قال عبد الله بن مسعود ألا أصلى بكم صلاة رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- فصلى فلم يرفع يديه إلا فى أول مرة

“Hadhrat Alqamah (rahimahullah) reports: Abdullah bin Mas’ood once asked them: Shall I perform for you the salat of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam)? So he performed the salat and lifted his hands only at the beginning of the salat” [21]

(The above Hadith is authentic- Athaar Al-Sunan, Imdadiyya Pg. 133)


This Hadith explicitly explains that Rasulullah Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa sallam raised his hands only once in Salaat and that was at the beginning.



عن البراء بن عازب رضي الله عنه قال : كان النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم إذا كبر لافتتاح الصلاة رفع يديه حتى يكون إبهاماه قريبا من شحمتي أذنيه ثم لا يعود

Hadhrat Baraa Bin ‘Azib (radiyallaahu anhu) reports: When Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) used to make takbeer to begin salat, he would raised his hands until his thumbs were close to his earlobe and then never repeated this” (ie he never raised his hands again in the salat).[22]


(The above Hadith is sound enough to be used as a proof- Ma’arif Al-Sunan, vol. 2,
Pg. 493, H.M Sa’eed)



عن الأسود قال : رأيت عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه يرفع يديه في أول تكبيرة ثم لا يعود

“Hadhrat Aswad (rahimahullah) reports: I saw Umar Bin Khattab (radiyallaahu anhu) raising his hand at the first takbeer and thereafter he did not raise his hands”[23]

(The above Hadith is authentic- Aathaar Al-Sunan, Imdadiyya, Pg. 136)




ثنا عاصم بن كليب عن أبيه : أن عليا رضي الله عنه كان يرفع يديه في أول تكبيرة من الصلاة ثم لا يرفع بعد.

“Hadhrat Aasim Bin Kulaib reports from his father that Ali (radiyallaahu anhu) used to raise his hands at the first takbeer of Salaat and did not raise them thereafter[24]


(The above Hadith is authentic- Nasb Al-Rayah, Makkiyya, Vol. 1, Pg. 407)



عن مجاهد قال : صليت خلف بن عمر رضي الله عنهما فلم يكن يرفع يديه إلا في التكبيرة الأولى من الصلاة.

Mujahid reports: I performed salat behind Ibn Umar (radiyallaahu anhu) and he raised his hand only at the first takbeer” (ibid)


(The chain of narrators in the above hadith is authentic- Aathaar Al-Sunan, Imdadiyya, Pg. 138)



وعن ابن عباس وابن عمر رضي الله عنهما عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال ترفع الأيدي في سبعة مواطن افتتاح الصلاة واستقبال البيت والصفا والمروة والموقفين وعند الحجر.

“Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Abbas and Ibn Umar (radiyallaahuma) report that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: The hands should be raised on seven occasions only; beginning of Salaat……” (There is no mention of raising the hands during Salaat except at the beginning)[25]



عن عباد بن الزبير أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كان إذا افتتح الصلاة رفع يديه في أول الصلاة ، ثم لم يرفعها في شيء حتى يفرغ.

“Hadhrat Abaad bin Zubair reports: When Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) would begin his Salaat, he would raise his hands and did not raise them thereafter until he completed his Salaat”[26]


And Allāh Ta῾āla Knows Best
Wassalāmu ῾alaykum 

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

[1]  Holy Qurān, Surah Al Ambiyaa, Verse 7

[2]  The Salaah of a Women, Allah Buksh Barkhudia trust, Pg 55.

[3]  Passed Away, 275 A.H

[4]  مراسيل أبي داؤد, مؤسسة الرسالة, ص 118. إعلا السنن إدارة القران, كراتشى باكستان, ج3 , ص 26 . السنن الكبرى, نشر السنة , ملتان باكستان ,

ج2 , ص 223 .

[5]  Passed Away, 458 A.H

[6] سنن الكبرى للبيهقى, نشر السنة , ملتان باكستان ,ج 2 , ص 223. سنن البيهقى , ادارة التأليفات , ج 2 , ص 223 .

[7] السنن الكبرى للبيهقى, نشر السنة , ملتان باكستان , ج 2 , ص 223 .

[8] Passed Away, 235 A.H

[9] المصنف لابن أبى شيبه, ادارة القران , كراتشى باكستان , ج 1 , ص 270.

[10] Passed Away, 211 A.H


[11] (“Ihtifaaz“: where a woman draws herself close together and leans onto one side by resting on their left buttocks and completely contracting themselves)


[12] المصنف عبد الرزاق , الشركة المتحدة للتوزيع , بيروت, ج 3 , ص 138. المصنف لابن أبى شيبه  , مجلس العلمي , ج2 , ص 504, # 2793.

[13] المصنف لابن أبى شيبه  , مجلس العلمي , ج2 , ص 505, # 2794.

[14] (“Tarabbu”: to sit cross legged).

[15] المصنف لابن أبى شيبه  , مجلس العلمي , ج2 , ص 506, # 2799.

[16] المصنف لابن أبى شيبه  , مجلس العلمي , ج2 , ص 506, # 2800.

[17] المصنف لابن أبى شيبه  , مجلس العلمي , ج2 , ص 507, # 2805.

[18] شرح مسند ابي حنيفة , علمية , ص191.

[19] السنن الكبرى للبيهقى  , ادارة التأليفات , ج 2 , ص 222 .

[20] سعاية , سهيل اكيديمى , ج2 , ص 205.

[21] جامع الترمذى , سعيد , ج 1 , ص 59.

[22] شرح المعاني الآثار , حقانية , ج 1 , ص 162.

[23] شرح المعاني الآثار , حقانية , ج 1 , ص 164.

[24] شرح المعاني الآثار , حقانية , ج 1 , ص 163. إعلا السنن , دار الكتب, بيروت, لبنان , ج 1 , ص26.

[25] مجمع الزوائد, قدسي , ح 2 , ص 103.

[26] نسب الراية , مكية , ج 1 , ص 404 .

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