The following work by Dr. Hussain Ahmed is an investigation and verification of where the hands should be placed in Salah according to the dominant and dependable view of the Hanbali Madhhab, as well as the acceptable positions emanating from Imam Ahmed Ibn Hanbal (d. 241 AH). It is in essence a comprehensive academic rejoinder in excess of 150 pages to a 10-page piece entitled: ‘Looking at the Hanbalee Text al-Khiraqee and Placing the Hands On The Chest’, by two opponents of the Taqlid of any of the four Sunni Madhhabs, namely, Abu Hibbaan Kamran Malik and Abu Khuzaimah Imran Masoom, both from Birmingham, England.
The named duo attempted to endorse their personal view that the hands are to be placed upon the chest only in Salah, and they claimed that the chest refers to the part of the body that is literally above the navel and below the neck. They also attempted to pass off their assertion that Imam Ahmed Ibn Hanbal would also place his hands upon the chest in Salah. This latter view was also propounded by their late authority in Hadith known as Shaykh Badiud-Din Shah al-Rashidi al-Sindi (d. 1416 AH/1996 CE) of Pakistan.
The duo being retorted to also endeavoured to demean the dynamics of the Sunni-Hanafi Madhhab, as well as attempting to intersperse their own selective hermeneutics of some of the Hanbali texts that they brought forth as part of their discourse. The response also contains a host of additional information on the authenticity of some of the narrations that they either weakened or attempted to promote. One of the main findings in the riposte was the establishment of the fact that Imam Ahmed Ibn Hanbal actually disliked (makruh) that the hands should be placed on the actual chest region.
This work has also presented probably for the first time in the English language some narrations and quotations translated from original Arabic sources that is also probably unknown to many Arabic speaking scholars who have either written or read up on this matter at hand in this era.
Table of Contents
AL-ALBANI: “THE SALAFI DA’WAH IS NOW IN DISARRAY”. 179