There is a hadeeth in Sunan Abu Dawud that says that Ali narrated that it was of the sunnah to place the one palm over the next under the navel in the salaah. Ash-Shaykh Al-Muhadith Al-Faqeeh Muhammad Nassiruddeen Al-Albani stated that this hadeeth is da’eef, can you clarify with me if this is true?
Yes, Sheikh Albani has stated that this Hadith is Dha’eef (weak) and has mentioned that the reason it is weak is because of the narrator Abdur Rahman Ibn Ishaaq Al-Wasiti who is mentioned in the sanad and is considered to be a weak narrator. As such, the tradition is considered to be weak. In this regard he has quoted the views and opinions of a few scholars of Hadith to prove his point.
It is however important to note that not all scholars of Hadith share this view and they do not agree that Abdur Rahman Ibn Ishaaq is weak. In this respect, Hafiz Ibn Hajar has stated in ‘Al Qaulul Musadad’ that Imam Tirmizi has declared Abdur Rahman Ibn Ishaaq’s Hadith to be Hasan (good) (although he had mentioned that the scholars had spoken about him). Haakim has also classified a hadith transmitted through him to be saheeh (sound). Ibn Khuzaimah has also narrated a hadith through him in his saheeh. While commenting on Abdur Rahman Ibn Ishaaq, the great Muhaddith Zafar Ahmad Uthmaani said in his ‘I’laa us Sunan’, ‘No one has ever accused Abdur Rahman Ibn Ishaaq of lying therefore he falls in the same category as Ibn Abi Laila, Ibn Lahiah and others who are accepted by the scholars of Hadith.
It should be understood that those who practice this action of placing the hands below the navel, they do not rely only on the tradition taken from Ali (R.A). Besides that, there are other traditions that support the said action and lend strength to it. Among them is the tradition of Wail Ibn Hujr who says that ‘he saw the Prophet (S.A) placing his right hand over his left in prayer, below the navel’.
Hafiz Qasim bin Qutlubughuh has quoted this Hadith from the Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaibah and has stated that it has a very good chain of narrators (sanad). Allama Hashim says in his Dirhamus Surrah that the chain of narrators is strong. The great scholar of Hadith, Muhadith, Allama Muhammad bin Ali An-Nimawi in his book ‘Athaarus Sunan’ has stated that its sanad is saheeh (sound). Sheikh Abu At-Tayyib in his commentary of Tirmizi has stated that this is a hadith which is saheeh in both sanad and text and is thus a basis for evidence.
Another tradition quoted by Abu Dawood and Ibn Battah states that Abu Hurairah (R.A) said that ‘The place of the hands upon the hands in prayer is below the navel’.
Another tradition states that Hajjaj bin Hasan said, ‘I heard Abu Mijlaz say or I asked him, “How should I place my hands?” He replied ‘A person (performing prayer) should place the inside of his right palm on his left hand and position both of them below the navel.’
This has been quoted by Ibn Abi Shaibah. Ibn At-Turkamani says that it has been narrated with a good sanad. The great Muhaddith and Allama, Muhammad bin Ali An-Nimawi says the sanad is saheeh (sound). The great scholar of hadith, Muhaddith, Allama Yusuf Binori says that the sanad is saheeh.
Along with these, there are other Athaar (narrations) recorded from the Tabieen which show the soundness and authenticity of this practice, connecting it to the action of the Prophet (S.A).
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan
This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.