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Supplications in Bowing & Prostrations, With an Important Reminder About Their Tasbihs

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

If it is wajib not to delay the fard and wajib actions of the prayer, it is wrong to make extra dhikr or supplication in bowing or prostration?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam,

1. It is necessary (wajib) not to interrupt or the prayer with that which is not from the actions of the prayer unnecessarily for the extent of more than an integral or the prayer (=the extent of 3 tasbihs).

2. Therefore, for example, if one stood day-dreaming after one’s recitation, without reciting, for more than the extent of three tasbihs (=saying Subhan Allah at normal pace), one will have left this wajib. Of course, things like coughing, or pausing a moment in reflection of the meaning of the verses are not of this. [Ibn Abidin, and Mufti Mahmoud Usmani’s personal explanation]

3. There is a specific wajib, related to this, which is to stand up from the tashahhud[1][1] after the first sitting of a 3 or 4 rakat prayer immediately. Here, an unnecessary delay of more than the time it takes to say “Allahumma salli `ala Muhammadin wa `ala Aali Muhammad” would entail leaving a wajib. [Ibn Abidin]

Supplications in Bowing & Prostration:

4. As regards to the supplications in ruku and sujud, there is some detail regarding them:

a. What is a confirmed sunna in the bowing and prostration is their respective tasbihs,[2][2] three times. It is important not to do this less than three times because Ibn Abidin mentions that the principles of the Hanafi school and the evidence would imply that it is necessary (wajib) to do both tasbihs three times. However, he notes, the transmitted position of the school is that doing so is a confirmed sunna, and leaving a confirmed sunna even once without excuse is blameworthy, though not quite sinful. Making it a habit is sinful, because it is considered leaving the inveterate way of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), who said, “Whoever leaves my way (sunna) is not of me.” That is, is not of those who follow my example fully.

b. Supplications in bowing and prostration are not a confirmed sunna. They are recommended, however, without disagreement, in supererogatory prayers. [Maraqi al-Falah, Ibn Abidin]

c. As for the obligatory prayer, it is disliked for the imam to supplicate while bowing or prostrating, after the confirmed sunna tasbihs, because the imam has been ordered not to elongate his prayer, and this is considered part of elongating one’s prayer. However, what Ibn Abidin quotes from Sharh al-Munya indicates that it is not disliked for the follower or one praying the obligatory prayer alone to make these supplications. This position was also adopted in Imdad al-Fatawa by Imam Ashraf Ali Thanvi, a truly remarkable collection of legal rulings in six volumes, and Ahsan al-Fatawa. This is what I learned from Shaykh Muhammad Jumu`ah, and have seen from the practice of Hanafi scholars whose knowledge I respect, such as Mufti Mahmoud Usmani, and others.

d. Note, also, that it is a confirmed sunna to supplicate in the final sitting after sending blessings on the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), before the final salams. Any supplication is minimally sufficient, though it is best to choose a transmitted supplication. If one supplicates from oneself it should not be for worldly matters, for such supplications invalidate the prayer, because the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Verily, no human speech befits this prayer of ours.” Worldly matters are things on can ask humans for, such as, “Allah marry me to so-and-so,” or, “Allah I need a new Lexus.” [Maraqi, Ibn Abidin]

And Allah knows best.


Faraz Rabbani
———————————————————————————-[1][1] The tashahhud is to say al-Tahiyyat lillah… in the first and final sitting.

[2][2] This is to say: Subhana Rabbiya’l `Adheem while bowing, and Subhana Rabbiya’l A`la while prostrating.

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