Where Should the Hands Be Placed in Salah?

Question:

As salamu alaykum,

I read in Bidayat al-Hidayah of Imam Ghazali that one should place the hands on the chest in salaah. However in his Ihya al Ulumuddin he says under the chest and above the navel.

I have two translation of his Kimya as Saadat and in one it says ”on the chest” and in the other ”below the chest”

I want to ask what was Ghazali’s view, and what’s the madhab’s?

Was salaam

Answer:

Wa alaykum salam wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuHu,

In his Wasit v. 2, p. 100, Imam Ghazzali stated,

وضع إحداهما على الأخرى تحت صدره

“He places one of them on the other below his chest.”

 

In al-Majmu’ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab v. 3, p. 310, Imam Nawawi stated,

قال أصحابنا السنة أن يحط يديه بعد التكبير ويضع اليمني علي اليسرى ويقبض بكف اليمنى كوع اليسرى وبعض رسغها وساعدها قال القفال يتخير بين بسط أصابع اليمنى في عرض المفصل وبين نشرها في صوب الساعد ويجعلهما تحت صدره وفوق سرته هذا هو الصحيح المنصوص

“The As-hab stated that the sunnah is to bring down one’s hands after takbir and place the right on the left; and grab with the right hand the left wrist bone, and some of the wrist and forearm. Qaffal stated that one may chose between stretching the right’s fingers in the width of the joint and between spreading them in the direction of the forearm. They should be placed below one’s chest and above his navel. This is the relied-upon opinion.”

 

Definitions:

Ku’, الكوع: طرف الزند الذي يلي الإبهام, the edge of the forearm/wrist, which is near to the thumb. (al-Mu’jam al-Wasit p. 805)

Rusgh, الرسغ: مفصل ما بين الساعد والكف, the place between the forearm and hand. ( Ibid p. 344)

Sa’id, الساعد: ما بين المرفق والكف, that which is between the elbow and hand. (Ibid p. 430)

 

And Allah knows best.

Shafiifiqh.com Fatwa Dept.