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Raising hands in prayer

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)



One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Assalamualikum While performing Salah, is it neccessary to practice RAFADAN? I would like it to be with refrences... May Allah give the reward of your efforts made toward`s Islam..... Jazakallah  


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Raising hands in prayer

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Rafayadain literally means to lift or raise both hands (unto the shoulder or ear).


All the scholars of Islam are absolutely unanimous in their opinion, that one must practice Rafayadain or lift both his hands unto his shoulders or ears when one starts his prayers by saying Allah-o-Akbar. This practice of Rafayadain signaling the start of prayer is an obligatory part of prayer.

But practicing Rafayadain in the prayer when one goes into ruku, or when one stands up from ruku, or going from standing to sajdah, etc. does not constitute an obligatory part of the prayer. There is a difference of opinion amongst the scholars in the practicing of Rafayadain between the prayers because there are authentic narrations to both arguments. Most companions of the Prophet (saws) narrated that he (saws) used to practice Rafayadain in the beginning as well as in between his prayers, while some other state that he did it only once at the beginning of prayers. Thus, both are part of the Sunnah or Way of the Prophet (saws).


Reported Ibn 'Umar, "When the Prophet (saws) stood to pray, he would raise his hands until they were the same height as his shoulders and then he would make the takbir. When he wanted to bow, he would again raise his hands in a similar fashion. When he raised his head from the bowing, he did the same and said, 'Allah hears him who praises Him.' (Related by al-Bukhari, Muslim and al-Baihaqi.)


Reported bn Mas'ud : "I prayed with the Prophet (saws) and he raised his hands only once (at the beginning of prayer)."


Thus if a believer today prays and practices Rafayadain in the beginning of prayer as well in his movements, and his intention is to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (saws), it is fine. And if a believer prays by practicing Rafayadain only at the beginning of prayer, , and his intention is also to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (saws), that too is fine. What is important is that every believer does an act or a deed with the intention to follow the Sunnah or Way of the Prophet (saws).


Holding ones hands, or keeping the hands straight in prayer, or practicing Rafayadain in the movements other than the beginning of the prayer are not a big deal in Islam; the big deal is to obey and follow the commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws), and to do good righteous deeds. Some people arguments and discussions are centered on these small matters of jurisprudence, whereas the Messenger of Allah (saws) has been reported to have done either. We must be mindful of not taking a small thing in Islam and giving it more importance than it deserves, or go to extremes in the deen.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your Brother in Islam,





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