In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
Imam Baihaqi has mentioned a principle, which is the basis of the differences found in the Salah of males and females.
He says, “The separating factor between the laws of Salah of males and females is that of concealment. A women is commanded to do all those actions which are more concealing for her.” (Baihaqi p.222 v.2)
In the beginning of the prayer, women are required to raise their hands to their shoulders. This can be derived from the following Hadith:
1. It is narrated that I saw Umme Dardah Radiallahu Anha she used to raise her hands to her shoulders when she began her Salah. Then when the Imam said, “Sami Allahu-Liman-Hamidah she used to raise her hands saying, “Allahuma Rabbana wa Lakal Hamd.”
2. It is narrated by Imam Zuhri that the women will raise their hands until to the shoulders.” (Hadith from Mussanaf-Ibn-Abi-Shaibah p.270/71)
3. In Siaayah it is mentioned that it is the ijmah (consensus) of the jurists that it is the sunnah for them (women) to place their hands on their bosoms (chest). (Siaayah P152 V2)
In Sajdah women are ordered to keep their thighs and limbs together.
- In Kanzul-Ummal it says that when a women prostrates she should press her stomch to her thighs in a manner, which is most concealing for her. (Kanzul-ummal P117 V4)
- Hazrat Ali (ra) has said: “when a woman performs Sajdah she must keep her thighs close together.” (Baihaqi p 222 V.2)
- Ibrahim Nakhahee says, “A women used to be commanded to place her arm and her stomach on her thigh when she goes into Sajdah and not to spread her limbs out as a male does so that her buttocks are not raised.” (Mussnaf Abdur-Razzaq P138 V3)
During the sitting of tashuud, women are ordered to take out both their legs and sit on their bottoms. (Jamme-Masaneed p.400 v.3)
It is the way of Allah (SWA) that he created human beings in such a way that they are in need of practical instruction from a teacher in order to learn any science or technique. It is virtually impossible for one to master any without the guidance of a qualified teacher. A person cannot become a doctor lawyer or barrister by just reading books but he needs to learn it through the qualified professors and teachers.
When we look at the history of Islam, Allah (SWA) did not send the Holy Quran by itself and declared; “Obey what is in the book,” but also sent the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam to teach the contents which are in the Quran.
Allah (SWA) in the Holy Quran says:
“And we have sent down unto you (O Messenger) the message, that you may explain clearly to men what is sent for them.” (Surah Nahl v.44)
In conclusion, it is necessary that one learns is knowledge from a scholar of knowledge, piety and wisdom and who himself has been taught and trained by a similar scholar. This does not mean that for every book he reads he needs a teacher; rather one needs to study the fundamentals of each science with those who are qualified. Thereafter one may study a book on his own with always referring to scholars whenever something is unclear.
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham