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Salah method for women

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by ShariahBoard.org

Assalamualaikum,

I wanted to know whether there is a difference in how men and women pray or is it exactly the same?

For takbeer should a woman’s hands be raised above the shoulders or below the shoulders?

For sujood should a woman perform a tight sajdah so that her stomach is touching her thighs or should it be performed just as a man performs it? Is it impermissible for a woman’s stomach to touch her thighs?

I’d very much appreciate a response in the light of Quran and Ahadith.

Jazakallah

الجواب وباللہ التوفیق

There are few differences in the Salaat of the man and a woman. One difference is this that the woman would raise hands up to her shoulder and chest. Similarly she would have her belly next to her thighs.

The arguments in this regard are as follows:

عن وَاِئلِ بْنِ حُجْرٍقَالَ قَالَ لِیْ رَسُوْلُ اللّٰہِ صَلَّی اللہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ یَا وَائِلَ بْنَ حُجْرٍ! اِذَا صَلَّیْتَ فَاجْعَلْ یَدَیْکَ حِذَائَ اُذُنَیْکَ وَالْمَرْاَۃُ تَجْعَلُ یَدَیْھَا حِذَائَ ثَدْیَیْھَا۔(المعجم الکبیر للطبرانی ج 9ص 144حدیث نمبر17497 )

Translation: Hazrat Wail Bin Hajr رضی اللہ عنہ says that Rasoolullaah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم said to me: O Wail Bin Hajr! When you read Salat then raise your hands next to your ears and told about the woman to raise her hands up to her chest.

عَنْ اَبِیْ حُمَیْدٍ فِیْ صِفَۃِ صَلَاۃِ رَسُوْلِ اللّٰہِ صَلَّی اللہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ:وَاِذَ ا سَجَدَ فَرَّجَ بَیْنَ فَخِذَیْہِ غَیْرَ حَامِلٍ بَطَنَہٗ عَلٰی شَیٍٔ مِّنْ فَخِذَیْہِ۔ (السنن الکبریٰ للبیہقی ج 2ص115)

Translation: Hazrat Abu Hameed رضی اللہ عنہ narrates that when Rasoolullaah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم would do Sajdah he صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم would not touch the belly with the thighs at all.  

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللّٰہِ بْنِ عُمَرَ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُوْلُ اللّٰہِ صَلَّی اللہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ وَاِذَا سَجَدَتْ اَلْصَقَتْ بَطْنَھَا فِیْ فَخْذِھَاکَاَسْتَرِ مَا یَکُوْنُ لَھَافَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ یَنْظُرُ اِلَیْھَا وَ یَقُوْلُ: یَا مَلَائِکَتِیْ! اُشْھِدُکُمْ اَنِّیْ قَدْ غَفَرْتُ لَھَا۔(سنن بیہقی :3199)

Translation: Hazrat Abdullah Bin Umar رضی اللہ عنہ says that Rasoolullaah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم said: When the woman performs Sajdah then she should attach her belly with her thighs because this way it is hiding the body more and Allaah Ta’alaa looking at the woman in this condition says that: O my angels! I make you witness that I have forgiven her.

عَنِ الْحَسَنِ وَ قَتَادَۃَ قَالاَ: اِذَا سَجَدَتِ الْمَرْاَۃُ فَاِنَّھَا تَنْضَمُّ مَا اسْتَطَاعَتْ وَ لَا تُجَافِیْ لِکَیْ لَا تَرْتَفِعُ عَجِیْزَتُھَا۔(مصنف عبد الرزاق ج 3ص137)

Translation: Hazrat Hasan Basri رحمہ اللہ and Hazrat Qatadah رحمہ اللہ say: When the woman performs Sajdah she should squeeze herself as much as she could and do not broaden her limbs so that her buttocks should not raise high.

عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ اَنَّہٗ سُئِلَ کَیْفَ کَانَ النِّسَائُ یُصَلِّیْنَ عَلٰی عَھْدِ رَسُوْلِ اللّٰہِ صَلَّی اللہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: کُنَّ یَتَرَبَّعْنَ ثُمَّ اُمِرْنَ اَنْ یَّحْتَفِزْنَ۔

(جامع المسانید ج 1ص400 )

Translation: Hazrat Abdullah Bin Umar رضی اللہ عنہما was asked that how did the women pray Salat in the time of Rasoolullaah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم ? He رضی اللہ عنہما responded that initially they used to sit in squat position (آلتی پالتی مار کر) in Qa’dah then they were ordered to sit on their buttocks.

Based on so many such narrations the Sahabah, Tabie’in, Taba Tabie’in, Mujtahidin and Fuqha (Jurists) have related the differences in the Salat of a man and a woman. Detailed books and booklets have been written about it. It would be useful to read them.

واللہ اعلم بالصواب

This answer was collected from Shariahboard.org. It was established under the supervision of the eminent faqih of our era, Hazrat Shah Mufti Mohammed Navalur Rahman damat barakatuhum.

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