Shaykh Awwama: Affirming “below the navel” addition in Ibn Abi Shaybah’s narration

3959- Waki’ – Musa bin ‘Umayr – ‘Alqamah bin Wa’il bin Hujr – his father (Wa’il bin Hujr) said: I saw the Prophet ﷺ, in salah he had his right hand over his left hand placed below the navel.


 Muhammad Awwamah: This chain of authorities is sahih and ‘Alqamah’s hearing from his father is true as you can see in annotations to his profile in “al-Taqrib” (4684) and “al-Kashif” (3876) …

“Below the Navel”: This addition is proven in Muhammad Murtaza az-Zabidi and Muhammad ‘Abid as-Sindi’ manuscripts as the respected reader can see their images[1] in the foreword to this volume. As for the az-Zabidi’s manuscript-  this volume from it (one having this hadith in question) was completed in the year 741 AH and at some places on it there is the writing of Imam al-‘Ayni as we have mentioned in the foreword (p.30) and there is no reason to doubt that Imam al-Qasim bin Qutlubugha had access to it and quoted this hadith from it in his book, “al-Ta’rif wal Ikhbar bi Takhrij Ahadith al-Ikhtiyar”, and he died in 879 AH and his words are there on p. 27B in the manuscript in his writing which is preserved in the Faidullah Library, Istanbul (MSS No. 292). After quoting this hadith with its (complete) chain and actual text he said, “This is a good chain  (isnaad jayyid).” In fact from the context of his words it is evident that he preferred this narration over that of Ibn Khuzaymah (No. 479) in which is the addition of words “on the chest” and that he (Ibn Qutlubugha) has weakened it (for its opposition) to the report of Ibn Abi Shaybah.

And this addition is there in the manuscript of Muhammad Abid as-Sindi’s “al-Ta’rif wa al-Akhbar” (23b) which is in the Topkapi Palace, and also in the Musannaf’s manuscript of as-Sindi. For this reason he said in his wonderful annotations, “Tawali’ al-Anwar ‘ala ad-Durr al-Mukhtar” (1:620a in the al-Azhariyya manuscript of it): “And of which there is no doubt in seeking evidence with is what Ibn Abi Shaybah has narrated in his “Musannaf”, Waki‘ narrated to us from Musa bin ‘Umayr from ‘Alqamah bin Wa‘il bin Hujr from his father that he said, ‘I saw the Prophet he had placed his right hand over his left below the navel in salah.’

This much details and clamor is not needed (and satisfactory) to someone who neither respects the scholars nor is he satisfied with anyone who is not from his school of thought and attributes. This even includes some of the papers to our day as you find in “Zawabi’ fi Wajh as-Sunnah …” (p.251) and a magazine from Madina al-Munawwara 10/5/410 AH No. 2845 etc.

And the one who quotes this hadith from one of those four manuscripts that do not have this (additional) sentence is exempted from affirming this addition[2], but he is not excused for rejecting its presence (in other manuscripts). And the one who quotes it from the either of the two manuscripts that have this addition, he is excused for affirming this, in fact it is obligatory upon him (to affirm it), and it is not permissible for him to omit it, so for what reason is the name-calling and argumentation?

If it be said: it appears that the phrase “below the navel” is not from the hadith of Wa‘il, rather it is from the ending of the subsequent narration of Ibrahim an-Nakhai‘; Waki‘ – Rabi‘ – Abi Ma‘shar – Ibrahim: He said, ‘Right hand over the left is to be placed below the navel’ and that this saying is supporting by the fact that an-Nakhai‘’s narration is missing from az-Zabidi’s manuscript and at some instance this phrase from the narration of an-Nakhai‘ was attached to the hadith of Wa’il.

Answer: This conjecture and skepticism of yours pleases the enemies of Allah and Islam, if doors of such skepticism are opened then what trustworthy (and reliable) will remain in our sources? Moreover, then what do we do with the proof of all this in the manuscript of al-Shaykh Muhammad ‘Abid as-Sindi in which both the hadith (of Wa’il) and narration (of an-Nakhai‘) are there and ending of both is, “below the navel”? For the one who has this addition is knowledge, affirmation and evidence, what is there for the one who denies it?!

These are the two manuscripts in which the words “below the navel” are proven. Add to this three more;

  1. Manuscript of Allama Qasim and it may be the one of az-Zabidi itself,
  2. Manuscript of Allama ‘Abdul Qadir bin Abi Bakr as-Siddiqi – Mufti of Makkah, and
  3. Manuscript of Allama Muhammad Akram as-Sindi. Allama Muhammad Hashim at-Tatawi as-Sindi quoted it from him in his treatise (risalah), “Tarsi‘ ad-Durrah ‘ala Dirham as-Surrah” (p.84)

See, Muhammad Awwamah (editor), Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, (Beirut: Dar Qurtuba, 2006) vol.3 pp.320-321

[1] Here are the two pages. Please click on each to enlarge

Page from al-Sindi’s manuscript of Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah with the words ‘below the navel’

Page from al-Zabidi’s manuscript of Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah with the words ‘below the navel’

[2] Apparently, here Sh. Awwama aims to answer those who quote scholars of Hanafiyyah like Shaykh Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri etc. that he they said they did not find it in the manuscripts they saw. Sh. Awwama says they are excused for they never saw the manuscripts that affirm the addition. However, there is no excuse for those who know the addition in other manuscripts.

Yahya Ja’far

See another related article below:

Contentions on the Ziyada to Wa’il ibn Hujr’s Narration

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