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With regards to clapping would you kindly consider a context of people gathered for Eid-ul-fitr salat busy raising the takbeer…

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

With regards to clapping would you kindly consider a context of people gathered for Eid-ul-fitr salat busy raising the takbeer and praise of Allah whereby a politician (female with head cover) makes an appearance to share a good news with the gathering concerning extension of a masjid (a matter in which she helped expedite to procure an extension of land for the masjid) thus resulting in people clapping to applaud. If allowed can this be done in a masjid too? Per my understanding the sunnah way of the Prohet p.b.u.h was to pray the Eid salat before anything else. Also please advise about how important it is to maintain a proper ettiquete in a gathering ready to observe Eid salat or any other salat to prevent innovation in the light of surah anfal making mention of clapping as a way of jahiliah and a few ahadees where clapping is reserved for women.


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh

Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’an:

لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآَخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا

There is indeed a good model for you in the Messenger of Allah for the one who has hope in Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah profusely. (33/22)

Verily Allah Ta’ala has perfected this religion and guided mankind not only the way of worship, but in all expects of life.  Islam is not only the name for the five daily prayers, giving alms, and fasting.  Islam is a complete way of life.  It teaches its followers how they must act and react in every occasion.  When a person is afflicted with a calamity or hears dreadful news, Shariah teaches him to recite Ina lillahi wa Ina ilahi Rajioon.  Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’an:

الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُمْ مُصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ

(The patient ones are) those who, when a suffering visits them, say “We certainly belong to Allah and to Him we are bound to return. (2/156)

By saying this, a person is affirming his Imaan and expressing his submission to the will of Allah.  Verily this is sign of a true believer.  In each aspect of life his life he reminds himself of the greatness of Allah. In the same manner, Shariah also teaches us how we must react when we are blessed with good news.  Allah Ta’ala gives us the incident of the advice of a brother to his sibling who was blessed with wealth:

وَلَوْلَا إِذْ دَخَلْتَ جَنَّتَكَ قُلْتَ مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِاللَّهِ

Why, when you entered your garden, did you not say, “(Everything is) as Allah wills.  There is no power except with Allah?” (18/39)

The Ulama have written that when a person sees any bounty of Allah, then he should recite these words (Mashallah La Quwata Ila Billah).  In saying this, he is praising Allah Ta’ala and attributing all power to Him.  Rasulullah (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) would always praise Allah by saying ‘Allahu Akbar’, ‘Subhanallah’, ‘Mashallah’, etc. upon hearing good news or witnessing any blessing of Allah.

In today’s time, people have forgotten this practice of Rasulullah (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) and instead of praising Allah they clap their hands out of joy and happiness. 

Firstly, one should adopt the sunnah of the Rasulullah in all occasions, whether it be a joyous occasion or a moment of sorrow.  Clapping has never been the way of Rasulullah, his Companions, or the pious predecessors.

Secondly, clapping in the house of Allah was the practice of the enemies of Islam.  Allah Ta’ala says:

وَمَا كَانَ صَلَاتُهُمْ عِنْدَ الْبَيْتِ إِلَّا مُكَاءً وَتَصْدِيَةً فَذُوقُوا الْعَذَابَ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَكْفُرُونَ

And their prayer near the House was not more than whistling and clapping.  So taste the punishment, because you used to disbelieve. (8/35)

In the commentary of this verse, Mujahid (RA) says, “They (the enemies) did this to disturb the prayer of Rasulullah (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam).” (Ibn Kathir)

Once, Abu Bakr (Radiyallahu Anhu) was leading the prayers in the absence of Rasulullah (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam).  Rasulullah came after the salah had already commenced.  The followers started clapping their hands in order to inform Abu Bakr (Radiyallahu Anhu) that Rasulullah (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) came.  Upon finishing the salah, Rasulullah (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) addressed the people saying:

ما لى رأيتكم أكثرتم التصفيق من نابه شىء فى صلاته فليسبح فإنه إذا سبح التفت إليه وإنما التصفيح للنساء

 “Why is this that I see people clapping in their salah? If something occurs while a person is in salah, then he should say ‘Subhanallah’.  By saying ‘Subhanallah’, you will draw his attention to it.  Verily clapping is for women.” (Sahih al-Bukhari vol. 1 pg. 188 Dar al-Fikr)

The Jurists have explained that the clapping for women should be with the inside of her hand hitting on the outside of the other hand.  This is to merely draw the attention to a matter as a woman’s voice may be a cause of fitna.  The procedure of her clapping is also designed in a way to eliminate any fitna.

أما النساء فإنهن يصفقن للحديث وكيفيته أن تضرب بظهور أصابع اليمنى على صفحة الكف من اليسرى ولأن في صوتهن فتنة فكره لهن التسبيح كذا في غاية البيان

 As for women, they will clap their hands as mentioned in hadith.  The manner of doing it is by hitting the fingers of the right hand on the outside of the left hand.  Since there is fitna in their voice, Tasbeeh is disliked for them.  (Al-Bahr al-Ra’iq 2/18 Maktaba Rashidiya)

This is different from the known and popular method of clapping by hitting the inner palms against each other.  This is the way of the kuffar.  In today’s time, clapping and applauding has become part of the culture of the kuffar.  In gatherings, meetings, shows, etc. they express their happiness and agreement by clapping their hands.  Rasulullah (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) has advised us to refrain from resembling the kuffar in actions which has become their culture.  It is narrated in the well known hadith:

من تشبه بقوم فهو منهم

Whosoever imitates a nation is from them. (Abu Dawood vol. 2 pg. 203 H.M. Saeed Company)

The Administrators of the masjid and Eid salah should take into cognizance the sanctity of the masjid and Eid occasions and avoid any situations (clapping, attendance of female politician, etc.) that may be against the sanctity of the masjid and auspicious occasions.

And Allah knows best


Ml. Ehzaz Ajmeri,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah

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This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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