The following is the translation of some of the evidences and discussion for placing the hands below the navel in Salah (prayer) as detailed in the 18 volume Arabic work known as I’la al-Sunan by Shaykh Zafar Ahmed Uthmani (d. 1974 CE). It also addresses some evidences used for contrary positions like placing on the chest. It was translated by Shaykh Zameelur Rahman of England and the following has been uploaded here with his permission. More of his articles are available here
The text has been provided below as uploaded from here. One may also see the pdf edition and online browser edition below.
Chapter on Placing the Hands
below the Navel And the Manner
[Taken from “I’la al-Sunan”]
1. Narrated from Abu Hazim from Sahl bin Sa‘d (Allah be pleased with him), he said: “The people were ordered to place one’s right hand on his left forearm in Salah.” Abu Hazim said “I do not know it [i.e. this order] but that it is traced to the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace).” Al-Bukhari narrated it.
I say: In this and similarly in what [comes] after it until the hadith of Wa’il is proof of the sunnah-status of fastening the hands in Salah, and an explanation of its description, in that the right hand is [placed] over the left hand, not vice versa. This is from that which the Imams have agreed upon in its being sunnah,¹ and they differed only over the site of placing the hands as will come.
2. Narrated from Jabir (Allah be pleased with him), he said “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) passed by a man while he was praying, having placed his left hand on the right, so he caught hold of it and placed the right hand over the left.” Ahmad and al-Tabrani in al-Awsat narrated it; its narrators are the narrators of the Sahih. (Majma‘ al-Zawa’id)
3. Narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with them), he said: I heard the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) say: “Verily, we, the assembly of Prophets, have been ordered to hasten our evening meal [to break the fast] and delay our predawn meal, and to place our right hands over our left hands in Salah.” Al-Tabrani narrated it in al-Kabir and its narrators are the narrators of the Sahih. (Majma‘ al-Zawa’id)
4. Narrated from Wa’il bin Hujr in a long hadith “Then he [i.e. the Prophet (peace be upon him)] placed his right hand over the back of his left palm, wrist, and wrist bone” [to the end of] the hadith. Abu Dawud narrated it and was silent about it. And Ibn Khuzaymah and Ibn Hibban narrated it in their Sahihs. And al-Tabrani narrated it with the words: “He placed his right hand over his left hand in Salah, near the wrist”. This is mentioned in al-Talkhis.
5. Narrated from Qabisah bin Hulb from his father, he said: “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would lead us [in Salah], and grasp his left hand with his right hand.” Al-Tirmidhi narrated it and said: “[This hadith is] hasan, and practice is upon this according to the people of knowledge, from the companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and the successors and those after them. They opined that a man places his right hand over his left hand in Salah. Some of them opined that he places them above the navel, and some of them opined that he places them below the navel; and all of this is allowed according to them.”
I say: In this [hadith] the word “grasp” is found instead of “place” and both are allowed. It says in al-Bahr al-Ra’iq (1:326): “He [i.e. the author of Kanz ad-Daqa’iq] did not discuss the manner of placing because it is not mentioned in the manifest transmission (zahir al-riwayah), and it has been differed over. The preferred [opinion] is that he grasps its wrist with the small finger and thumb, because placing is a necessary consequence of grasping, and not vice versa. This is because the narrations differ. In some of them ‘placing’ is mentioned and in some of them ‘grasping,’ so combining between the two by acting on both proofs is superior.”
It is mentioned in Radd al-Mukhtar (1:508): “And al-Shurunbulali preferred that one acts on the description of one of the two hadiths at one time and on the description of the other [hadith] at another [time], so he combines between the two narrations in reality.” I say: This is better, though the matter is flexible.
6. Yazid ibn Harun narrated to us, he said: al-Hajjaj ibn Hassan reported to us, he said: I heard Abu Mijlaz say, or I asked him, saying: “How is one to place [his hands in Salah]?” He said: “He places the inside of the palm of his right hand on the outside of the palm of his left hand and he situates them below the navel.” Ibn Abi Shaybah narrated it. (al-Jawhar al-Naqi, 1:126) ‘Allamah Ibn al-Turkumani said: “The madhhab of Abu Mijlaz is placing [the hands] below the navel. Abu ‘Umar [ibn ‘Abd al-Barr] related it from him in al-Tamhid, and it has been transmitted from him with an excellent chain.” Then he quoted this chain. Abu Dawud narrated it without chain, and he said: “Abu Mijlaz said: Below the navel.”
The Opinion of a Senior Tabi‘i is Proof According to us
I say: In this is an indication that the place of the two hands in Salah is beneath the navel, and this is supported by the statement of Ibrahim al-Nakha‘i, he said: “He places his right hand over his left hand in Salah below the navel.” And the opinion of a Tabi‘i, though it is not a proof according to the majority, it is a proof according to us, the assembly of Hanafis, according to the most correct [view], when he is a senior Tabi‘i whose fatwa became widespread in the time of the Sahabah. And Abu Mijlaz Lahiq ibn Humayd al-Basri is so, because he died in the year 100 or 101, as ‘Allamah al-‘Ayni said in his biography, the text of which is: “His name is Lahiq ibn Humayd – with dam on the ha’ – ibn Sa‘id al-Basri al-A‘war from the famous Tabi‘in. He died in Kufah in the year 100 or 101.” (‘Umdat al-Qari’, 2:889) I say: Thus, he is a senior Tabi‘i who died in the time of the Sahabah, while his opinion is also supported by marfu‘ narrations as will come.
7. Waki‘ narrated to us from Rabi‘ from Abu Ma‘shar from Ibrahim [al-Nakha‘i], he said: “One places his right hand over his left hand in Salah beneath the navel.” Ibn Abi Shaybah narrated it and its chain is hasan. This is mentioned in Athar al-Sunan (1:71), and Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan narrated it in his Athar with the same route (p. 25).
8. Muhammad ibn Mahbub narrated to us: Hafs ibn Ghiyath narrated to us from ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Ihsaq from Ziyad ibn Zayd from Abu Juhayfah that ‘Ali (Allah be pleased with him) said: “The sunnah is to place the hand over the hand in Salah beneath the navel.” Abu Dawud narrated it, and he said: “I heard Ahmad ibn Hanbal weaken ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Ishaq al-Kufi.” I say: No one attributed falsehood to him, but he is only weakened from the perspective of his memory, so his condition is like the condition of Ibn Abi Layla, Ibn Lahi‘ah and others. In Tahdhib al-Tahdhib (6:137): Al-Bazzar said: “His hadith is not the hadith of a hafiz.” Al-‘Ijli said: “Weak, passable in hadith, his hadiths are written.” Thus the hadith is hasan.
I say: This is a mawquf narration in the ruling of a marfu‘ narration as mentioned in Tadrib al-Rawi (p. 62): “Second, the statement of a Sahabi, ‘We were ordered such-and-such’ or, ‘We were prohibited from such-and-such’ or, ‘From the sunnah is such-and-such’ – like the statement of ‘Ali: ‘From the sunnah is to place the hand over the hand in Salah beneath the navel,’ as narrated by Abu Dawud in the transmission of Ibn Dasah and Ibn al-A‘rabi, or, ‘Bilal was ordered to make the Adhan in twos,’ and those [narrations] which resemble them – all of them are marfu‘ according to the correct [view] stated by the majority.”
The hadith is mentioned in Musnad Ahmad also (1:110). Al-Suyuti said in the introduction to Kanz al-‘Ummal: “All that is in Musnad Ahmad is acceptable, because the weak [narrations] that are in it are close to hasan.” This is found in Muntakhab Kanz al-‘Ummal (1:9). Hafiz Ibn Hajar said in his book Tajrid Zawa’id Musnad al-Bazzar: “When a hadith is in Musnad Ahmad, no other Musnads will be sourced.” Al-Haythami said in Zawa’id al-Musnad: “The Musnad of Ahmad has the most authentic sahih narrations compared to than other than it.” This is mentioned in Tadrib al-Rawi. Thus, this hadith will not fall below the level of hasan. As for the defect in the weakness of ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Ishaq, you know its elimination by the statement of al-‘Ijli that “he is passable in hadith, his hadiths are written,” while it is supported by corroborative reports as Ibn Hazm said: “We narrated from Abu Hurayrah, he said: ‘The hand is placed on the hand in Salah beneath the navel’ and [we narrated] from Anas, he said: “Three are from the traits of prophethood: hastening the breaking [of the fast] and delaying the predawn meal, and placing the right hand over the left hand in Salah beneath the navel.” This is mentioned in al-Jawhar al-Naqi (1:126).
9. Musaddad narrated to us: ‘Abd al-Wahid ibn Ziyad narrated to us from ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Ishaq al-Kufi from Sayyar Abu al-Hakam from Abu Wa’il, he said: Abu Hurayrah (Allah be pleased with him) said: “Grasping the hands over the hands in Salah is beneath the navel.” Abu Dawud narrated it (1:275) and in it is the aforementioned ‘Abd al-Rahman.
This is also mawquf in the ruling of marfu‘, and indeed al-Tahawi narrated from Muhammad ibn Sirin that he would, when he narrated from Abu Hurayrah, and it was said to him, “Is it from the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace)?” he said: “Every hadith of Abu Hurayrah is from the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace).” And its narrators are trustworthy. Thus, this proves that every hadith of Abu Hurayrah is marfu‘. Hence, it is established that the sunnah of placing the hands in Salah is to situate them below the navel, and this is the opinion of Abu Hanifah and his companions.
In Rahmat al-Ummah (p. 16): “And they have reached consensus that it is sunnah to place the right hand over the left hand in Salah, except for a narration from Malik – and that is the famous [narration from him] – that he leaves his hands dangling. Al-Awza‘i favoured giving an option [to the worshipper between the two]. And they differed over the site of placing the hands. Thus, Abu Hanifah said: ‘beneath the navel,’ and Malik and al-Shafi‘i said: ‘beneath his chest and above his navel,’ and there are two narrations from Ahmad, the most famous of them – which is the one favoured by al-Khirqi – is the same as the madhhab of Abu Hanifah.”
I say: [Al-Shawkani said:] Al-Shafi‘i (Allah have mercy on him) and his companions drew proof from the hadith transmitted by Ibn Khuzaymah in his Sahih – and he declared it sahih² – from Wa’il ibn Hujr, he said: “I prayed with the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and he placed his right hand on his left hand on his chest.” This is mentioned in al-Nayl (2:78). Al-Shawkani said: “And this hadith does not prove [the position] they took, because they said, [the hands are] placed below the chest, as has preceded, and the hadith is clear that that [they are] placed on the chest, and likewise the hadith of Tawus that came earlier, and there is nothing in the chapter more authentic than the aforementioned hadith of Wa’il.”
I say: And this hadith of Wa’il was narrated by Ahmad in his Musnad through the route of ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Walid from Sufyan from ‘Asim ibn Kulayb from his father from Wa’il ibn Hujr, and Ahmad and al-Nasa’i through the route of Za’idah from ‘Asim from his father from Wa’il; and Abu Dawud through the route of Bishr ibn al-Mufaddal from ‘Asim from his father from Wa’il; and Ibn Majah through the route of ‘Abd Allah ibn Idris and Bishr ibn al-Mufaddal from ‘Asim from his father from Wa’il; and Ahmad through the route of ‘Abd al-Wahid and Zuhayr ibn Mu‘awiyah and Shu‘bah from ‘Asim from his father from Wa’il, all of them without the addition “on his chest”³ and Ibn al-Qayyim in I‘lam al-Muwaqqi‘in stated: “None besides Mu’ammal ibn Isma‘il said: ‘on his chest.’” This proves that he is isolated in [narrating] this [addition]. This is found in al-Ta‘liq al-Hasan (1:65).
Mu’ammal ibn Isma‘il
And Mu’ammal ibn Isma‘il is differed over. Some of them declared him trustworthy. Abu Hatim said: “Reliable, strong in [supporting] the sunnah, many errors.” Al-Bukhari said: “Rejected [munkar] in hadith.” Some of them said: “His books were buried, so he would narrate from his memory, and thus his errors became many.” Ya‘qub ibn Sufyan said: “Mu’ammal ‘Abd al-Rahman is a magnificent Sunni shaykh, I heard Sulayman ibn Harb excel in praise of him. Our teachers would recommend him, although his hadiths are not equivalent to the hadith of his peers. It is necessary for the people of knowledge to withhold [judgement] on his hadiths, because he narrates rejected [reports] from his trustworthy teachers, and this is worse, as if these rejected [reports] were from weak narrators we would have excused him.” Al-Saji said: “Reliable, many mistakes, and he has errors, the list of which is long.” Muhammad ibn Nasr al-Marwazi said: “When Mu’ammal is isolated in [narrating] a hadith, it is necessary to withhold and investigate it, because he had a bad memory and many mistakes.” This is mentioned in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib (10:381) Thus, Mu’ammal’s isolation amongst trustworthy narrators in the addition of “on his chest” will not be accepted, and the reality is so.
They also draw as proof the hadith of Qabisah ibn Hulb from his father, he said: “I saw the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) turning from his right and from his left [after Salah], and I saw him placing this on his chest (hadhihi ‘ala sadrih),” and Yahya [ibn Sa‘id al-Qattan] described the right hand over the left hand above the wrist. Imam Ahmad narrated it in his Musnad as mentioned in ‘Awn al-Ma‘bud (1:276). [A defect] in it is that the explanation of Yahya does not accord with the wording of the hadith as will come. It says in al-Ta‘liq al-Hasan: “It occurs in my heart that this is a text-corruption from the scribe and the right [wording] is ‘placing this on this’ (hadhihi ‘ala hadhihi), so his statement: ‘Yahya [ibn Sa‘id al-Qattan] described the right hand over the left hand above the wrist’ accords with it and other narrations agree with it. Perhaps this is the reason that al-Haythami did not transmit it in Majma ‘al-Zawa’id, nor al-Suyuti in Jam‘ al-Jawami ‘, nor ‘Ali al-Muttaqi in Kanz al-‘Ummal, and Allah knows best the truth.”
I say: This is supported by what Ahmad narrated (5:226) through the route of Sufyan in one instance in which is [mentioned]: “I saw the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) placing his right hand over his left hand in Salah.” And he narrated it through the route of Sharik in another instance and its wording is: “I saw him placing one of his hands over the other.” And he narrated it from him like that a second time. And al-Daraqutni narrated through the route of ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Mahdi and Waki‘ from Sufyan from Simak ibn Harb from Qabisah ibn Hulb from his father, he said: “I saw the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) placing his right hand over his left hand in Salah,” without “on his chest.” And al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Ahmad transmitted through the route of Abu al-Ahwas from Simak ibn Harb from Qabisah from his father, he said: “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would lead us [in Salah] and grasp his left hand with his right hand” (Al-Ta‘liq al-Hasan, 1:68) and “on his chest” is also not in this [narration]. Thus, this evidence strengthens what ‘Allamah al-Nimawi said of the likelihood of text-corruption in it. And by my life, the explanation of Yahya demands that the wording of the hadith originally was: “he placed this on this” as is not hidden to any who has taste of the language. [see footnote 4]
They also draw as evidence what Abu Dawud narrated in some copies of the Sunan (1:275) on the margins: Abu Tawbah al-Haytham, meaning Ibn Humayd, narrated to us from Thawr from Sulayman ibn Musa from Tawus, he said: “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would place his right hand on his left hand and then bind them on his chest while he was in Salah.” Abu Dawud was silent over it, and its men are the men of the two Sahihs besides Sulayman who is from the men of Muslim and besides al-Haytham who is reliable but was accused of denying predestination as in al-Taqrib (p. 228). However, it is mursal which is a proof according to us but not according to the majority of the hadith-scholars and al-Shafi‘i, so their proof by it is incomplete, while it also does not agree with their position, as has passed earlier, but when this mursal combines with the aforementioned hadith of Wa’il it acquires strength by the totality.
And since mursal is a proof according to us, we must reply to it or act upon it, so we say: The hadith of ‘Ali (Allah be pleased with him) is given preference over it according to us because it states explictly that placing the two hands below the navel is from the sunnah, and the hadiths of [placing them on] the chest are all with respect to his practice, from which it cannot be established that placing [the hands] on the chest was a continuous practice of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), but it is only a transmission of transitory states that have no generality to them. As for the word “would” it does not necessitate continuity. Moreover, its indication towards it [i.e. continuity] is less than the word “sunnah,” so adopting the hadith of “below the navel” is more worthy, and [narrations which mention] other locations are interpreted as a demonstration of their permissibility according to us. Analogy also gives preference to placing [the hands] below the navel because this is conventional in the situation where glorification is intended.
10. Waki‘ narrated to us from Musa ibn ‘Umayr from ‘Alqamah ibn Wa’il ibn Hujr from his father (Allah be pleased with him), he said: “I saw the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) place his right hand over his left hand in Salah below the navel.” Ibn Abi Shaybah transmitted it and its narrators are trustworthy. Shaykh Qasim ibn Qutlubugha al-Hanafi said: “This is an excellent chain.” (Sharh al-Tirimidhi by Abu al-Tayyib, Allah have mercy on him)
Shaykh Abu al-Tayyib [ibn ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Sindi al-Madani] commentator of al-Tirmidhi said: “Thus, this is a hadith with a sahih chain and text, by which evidence can be substantiated.” And in al-Ta‘liq al-Hasan: “Shaykh ‘Abid al-Sindi said in Tawali‘ al-Anwar: Its narrators are trustworthy.” I say: Its narrators are the narrators of Muslim besides Musa ibn ‘Umayr who is trustworthy from the narrators of al-Nasa’i and ‘Alqamah ibn Wa’il ibn Hujr a-Kufi is from the narrators of Muslim, trustworthy and reliable.
‘Alqamah ibn Wa’il’s Audition from his Father
As for what is in al-Taqrib (p. 147): “Except that he did not hear from his father,” Hafiz [Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani] retracted from this in al-Tahdhib (7:280), where he said: “He narrated from his father.” [see footnote 5] And in the narration of Muslim in Bab Sihhat al-Iqrar bi l-Qatl (2:61) [there is proof] that shows clearly his audition from his father. Muslim said: “‘Ubayd Allah ibn Mu‘adh al-‘Anbari narrated to us, he said: My father narrated to us, he said: Abu Yunus narrated to us from Simak ibn Harb from ‘Alqamah ibn Wa’il that he narrated to him that his father narrated to him, he said: ‘Verily, I sat next to the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace),’” [to the end of] the hadith. Al-Tirmidhi (1:251) said in Bab al-Imam ya’muru bi l-‘Afw fi l-Dam: “And ‘Alqamah ibn Wa’il ibn Hujr heard from his father and he was older than ‘Abd al-Jabbar ibn Wa’il, and ‘Abd al-Jabbar ibn Wa’il did not hear from his father.”
Next, it is not hidden to you that some of the later scholars spoke on the establishment of the addition “below the navel” in this narration of Ibn Abi Shaybah as mentioned in ‘Awn al-Ma ‘bud (1:276) ‘Allamah Shaykh Hayat al-Sindi said: “There is doubt in establishing the addition ‘below the navel.’ Rather it is an error which stems from oversight, for I checked authentic manuscripts of al-Musannaf and I saw this hadith therein with this chain and with these [exact] words but without ‘below the navel.’ He narrated therein after this hadith the narration of al-Nakha‘i and its wording is similar to the wording of this hadith, and in its end is: ‘in Salah below the navel,’ Thus, probably the sight of the scribe deviated from one place to another, so he inserted the wording of the mawquf in the place of the marfu‘.”
I say: Were this addition to have been found only in one manuscript we would have accepted his statement “so probably the sight of the scribe deviated from one place to another,” but since it is found in multiple manuscripts, the likelihood of the sights of all the scribes deviating is not acceptable. ‘Allamah Qa’im al-Sindi said in his treatise al-Fawz al-Kiram as mentioned in al-Ta‘liq al-Hasan (1:70) that “the opinion of this addition being an error despite the positive assertion of Shaykh Qasim of its ascription to al-Musannaf and my having seen it in a manuscript and its existence in a manuscript in Shaykh Mufti ‘Abd al-Qadir’s private hadith collection, is unfair.” And he said: “And I saw it with my own eyes in an authentic manuscript on which are the signs of authentication” and he said: “This addition is in most authentic manuscripts.” Al-Nimawi said: “Fairness dictates that this addition, although authentic for its existence in most manuscripts of the Musannaf, it is contrary to the narration of the trustworthy narrators, so is not preserved.” I say: Granted, but when an anomalous narration is supported by corroborants it becomes accepted, and here it is so, as the hadiths of the text, the mawquf of them and the marfu‘ of them, support this addition, so understand!
And in al-Bahr al-Ra’iq (1:303): “According to al-Shafi‘i, its place is above the navel and below the chest, and al-Nawawi argued on his behalf with what is [narrated] in Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah from Wa’il ibn Hujr, he said: ‘I prayed with the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace), and he placed his right hand on his left hand on his chest,’ and it is not hidden that it does not correspond to the claim,” till he said: “And it is possible to say in validating the [Hanafi] madhhab that the established [practice] from the Sunnah is placing the right hand on the left, and a hadith which describes a specific place on the body where they should be placed is not established except the aforementioned hadith of Wa’il, which along with being the transmission of a transitory state having no generality, contains the possibility of having been for the purpose of demonstrating its permissibility. Thus in this action [of fastening the hands], it will revert, as it states in Fath al-Qadir, to the conventional location in the event of intending glorification when standing, the convention in what is observed thereof is that it is below the navel, so we hold this opinion in this posture with respect to a man, as opposed to a woman, because she places [the hands] on her chest because it is more concealing for her, so is more appropriate for her.”
And in al-Durr al-Mukhtar (1:508): “And the woman and hermaphrodite place the hands beneath the chest.”
And in Radd al-Muhtar: “This is found in some copies of al-Munyah and in some of them: ‘on her breasts.’ It says in al-Hilyah: ‘It is better to say: On her chest, as the vast majority said, not: On her breasts, even if placing them on the chest entails that, in that part of the wrist of each hand falls on the breast, but this is not the intent of the instruction.” I say: Thus, this issue is from that which women differ from men.
Furthermore, know that it appears in Sunan Abi Dawud, and he was silent over it: Muhammad ibn Qudamah ibn A‘yun narrated to us from Abu Badr from Abu Talut ‘Abd al-Salam from Ibn Jarir al-Dabbi from his father, he said: “I saw ‘Ali (Allah be pleased with him) holding his left hand with his right hand on the wrist above the navel.” This does not contradict the hadith in the text narrated from him, because harmonisation is possible in that both of them are permissible, and you know the statement of al-Tirmidhi that “all of this is allowed according to the scholars.” However the hadith of the text, because it is verbal, is given preference over it, because speech always has priority over action. And Allah (Exalted is He) knows best.
The Exegesis of His (Exalted is He) Statement: “So pray to your Lord and sacrifice (wa-nhar).”
As for what al-Bayhaqi narrated in his Sunan from Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with them) about Allah’s (Great and Glorious is He) statement: “So pray to your Lord and sacrifice (wa-nhar),” (Qur’an 108:2), he said: “[wa-nhar means] placing the right hand on the left hand in Salah near the throat (nahr),” in its chain is Rawh ibn al-Musayyib, who is abandoned. Ibn Hibban said: “He narrates fabrications from trustworthy narrators. Narration from him is impermissible.” Ibn ‘Adi said: “His hadiths are not preserved.” And likewise what he narrated from ‘Ali (Allah be pleased with him) with a similar [wording] to this [narration from Ibn ‘Abbas], as ‘Allamah Ibn al-Turkumani said: “In its chain is inconsistency,” and al-Hafiz Ibn Kathir said in his Tafsir: “It was said the intent of wa-nhar is placing the right hand over the left hand below the throat (nahr). This was narrated from ‘Ali (Allah be pleased with him) and is inauthentic.” This is found in al-Ta‘liq al-Hasan (1:49).
I‘la’ al-Sunan, Idarat al-Qur’an wa l-‘Ulum al-Islamiyyah: Karachi, 1427 H, 2:189-200
1. The author will mention the disagreement narrated from Imam Malik a little further down.
2. Outwardly, it would appear Ibn Khuzaymah stated explicitly this hadith is authentic, but the reality is not so, as he only related it through the route of Mu’ammal ibn Isma‘il and he did not comment on it with anything. See Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah (1:243, no. 489). Al-Shawkani did not have Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah in his possession as its copies had depleted long before him, and he transmitted this hadith from the Talkhis of Hafiz or another book, and Hafiz often says in his Talkhis: “Ibn Khuzaymah declared it sahih,” and no declaration of authenticity is found in his Sahih. Probably his intent was that Ibn Khuzaymah’s inclusion of it in his Sahih is a proof that the hadith is sahih according to him. However, the verifiers agree that mere citation is not sufficient for the authenticity of the hadith, as al-Suyuti said explicitly in Tadrib al-Rawi; especially since we know that Ibn Khuzaymah transmitted it through the route of Mu’ammal ibn Isma‘il who has been criticised, as will come, so the grading of authenticity is not an option for us.
Nasir al-Din al-Albani said under this hadith in his footnotes to Ibn Khuzaymah: “Its chain is weak, because Mu’ammal, that is Ibn Isma‘il, had a bad memory. However the hadith is sahih and has been transmitted through other routes with its meaning.” If only I knew, from where [did he come to] this conclusion of authenticity?! And where are those other routes that support it? Ibn al-Qayyim stated explicitly in I‘lam al-Muwaqqi‘in that no one besides Mu’ammal ibn Isma‘il said “on his chest,” as will come in the text of the book. (Mufti Taqi Usmani)
3. I [Mufti Taqi Usmani] say: Abu Dawud al-Tayalisi also transmitted it in his Musnad (p. 137 no. 1020) and Ibn Hibban through the route of Shu‘bah from Salamah ibn Kuhayl from Hujr ibn ‘Alqamah from Wa’il (Mawarid al-Zam’an, p. 124, no. 447), both of them without this addition. And Ibn Khuzaymah transmitted it through the route of Ibn Fudayl from ‘Asim ibn Kulayb and through the route of Ibn Idris also, without this addition.
4. While, Simak ibn Harb is isolated in [narrating] this hadith of Hulb, and more than one [critic] weakened him, and al-Nasa’i said: “When he is isolated in a source, he will not be a proof because he used to be dictated to [with the claim that certain narrations were his] and he would accept,” as mentioned in Mizan al-I‘tidal (2:233). Moreover, [the hadith] comes through the route of Sufyan whose position it was to place the hands below the navel as has passed. (Mufti Taqi Usmani)
5. I [Mufti Taqi Usmani] say: I have reservation about this for two reasons: first, al-Hafiz compiled Taqrib al-Tahdhib after Tahdhib al-Tahdhib as he stated explicitly in the introduction of al-Taqrib, so how can the statement of the author ‘he retracted from it’ be accurate? Secondly, that which al-Hafiz stated in al-Tahdhib is that ‘Alqamah did narrate from his father, not that he heard from him, and there is a clear difference between the two, so it is possible to reconcile between the two statements of al-Hafiz that the thing affirmed in al-Tahdhib is narration alone without audition and the thing negated in al-Taqrib is audition. Hence, drawing evidence from the statement of al-Hafiz for the audition of ‘Alqamah from his father is problematic. Yes, it is established by other evidences which the author produced after this.