Did as-Samarqandi say rafa yadain nullifies salah? (Irshad ul Haq Athari’s tahreef)

In his work Irshad al Haqq Athari in asserting that scholars of the four established schools of Islamic fiqh have gone to extremes in issues of furoo’ makes tahrif (distortion) in his translation of Imam Abu Layth as-Samarqandi’s statement. What Imam as-Samarqandi has clearly stated as a report of Makhul an-Nasafi from Imam Abu Hanifa without making any comment on it, Irshaq ul Haq Athari presents it as if it is the statement of Imam as-Samarqandi himself. This he evidently did to show that a renowned Hanafi jurist made that statement.


And it is narrated from Makhul al-Nasafi from Abu Hanifa that one who raises his hands while going to ruku and rising up from it, his salah is nullified for it is ‘amal al-kathir’ (movement that makes other think the person is not in salah) therefore it is not right to pray behind such a person.


as-Samarqandi, Abu Layth, Fatawa al-Nawazil, ed. Sayyid Yusuf Ahmad, (Beirut: Dar al-Kotob al-Ilmiyah, 2004) p.81

Now compare this with the following by Irshad ul Haq Athari,

Irshadul Haq Athari distortion

Faqih Abu Layth as-Samarqandi has clearly written: A Hanafi’s salah behind a Shafii’ is valid only when he (the Shafi’i) is such that … he does not raise hands (rafa yadain) while going to and rising from ruku’.

See, Irshad ul Haq Athari, Asbab al-Ikhtilaf al-Fuqaha, (Faisalabad: Idara Uloom al-Athariyya, 2002) p.36

What he has done here is to put into the mouth of a seasoned Hanafi jurist what he merely stated as a report from Imam Abu Hanifa through Makhul an-Nasafi. Also one must note that as-Samarqani quoted it saying روى عن which is “sighah al-tamreedh” and a way to point towards weakness of the narration.

This is not just by mistake but a purposeful fabrication because in the same book on page 40 he says;

Irshadul Haq Athari 2

 .. we have to mention that it was not only Abu Layth as-Samarqandi but there were others also who held that raising hands (rafa yadain) nullifies salah …

Athari did take a good bit of trouble to make tahreef and puts the words into the mouth a well known Hanafi jurist.

There might have been some people in 1200 years who held that rafa yadain nullifies salah but point is neither Abu Layth as-Samarqandi himself said that nor has the mainstream hanafi scholarship accepted such an idea. In fact the report of Makhul al-Nasafi has always been criticized.

Shaykh Abdul Hayy al-Lakhnawi writes:

 ما ذكر في بعض الكتب أن الصلاة تفسد برفع اليدين عند الركوع وعند السجود، وهو قول شاذ مردود، كما في ((فتح القدير)) و((الحلية)) و((البزازية)) وغيرها، وقد بسطت الكلام فيه في ((الفوائد البهية في تراجم الحنفية)) عند ذكر ترجمة مكحول النسفي الحنفي.

What is mentioned in some books that salah is nullified with raising hands (rafa yadain) in doing ruku’ and sujud, it is a “shaadh” (anomalous) and rejected (mardood) opinion  as has been mentioned in Fath al-Qadeer, al-Hilyah, al-Bazzaziyya and other works. I have dealt with the subject in detail in my book “al-Fawa’id al-Bahiyyah fee Tarajim al-Hanafiyya” in the profile of Makhul an-Nasafi al-Hanafi.

See, Al-Lucknawi, Abdul Hayy, Umdah al-Ra’ayah fee Sharh al-Wiqayah, (Lucknow: al-Matba’ al-Yusufi, 1908) p.155

Shaykh al-Lucknawi has mentioned the names of multiple renowned jurists who have not accepted that word.  In fact it is so mentioned even in al-Bahr ar-Ra’iq Sharh Kanz ad-Daqa’iq (2/49) of Ibn Nujaym and al-Radd al-Muhtar (1/625) of Ibn ‘Abidin al-Shaami.


1- Irshad ul Haq Athari put the words into the mouth of as-Samarqandi which he merely quoted with reference to a less known scholar and quoted it in a way that shows he did not take it as a valid report.  This is clear tahreef (distortion) by Athari.

2- Well known hanafi scholars have criticized the report of Makhul an-Nasafi and termed it as “shaadh.”  To mention an anomalous narration without giving the weighty criticism against it and to make a point against the whole madhhab speaks of blind prejudice (ta’assub).

Ahmad Shamil

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