Basis for Hanafi Position on Wudu and Salat

By Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Posted: 11 Rabi-ul-Awwal 1422, 3 June 2001

Q.) What are the Hanafi proofs for wiping the back of the neck in wudu and the way the Hanafis hold their hands in salat (three fingers on the back and thumb and little finger grabbing the wrist. [Omar Haniff]

A.) According to the Hanafi Madhab, making Masah (wiping) on the back of the neck in Wudu is Mustahabb (preferable). This is based on a number of Ahadith, the following should suffice:

Sayyidna Abdullah ibn Umar, Radi-Allahu anhu, narrates that Nabi Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, "Whosoever makes Wudu (ablution) and wipes his neck with his hands, he saves himself from being tortured (with an iron collar) on the day of Qiyaamah." Abul Hasan ibn Faaris has narrated this Hadith with his chain of narration and states that, this is an authentic Hadith. (I'elaa-us-sunan vol.1 pg.120 from Talkheesul Habeer; Idaaratul Qur'an)

A similar narration appears in Musnad of Daylami. (Ibid). From other narrations, it is understood that 'neck' here refers to the back of the neck.

Holding of the hands in the manner described is based on a conciliation between two kinds of narrations. Waail ibn Hujr, Radi-Allahu anhu, narrates that Nabi Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam placed his right hand over the back of his left palm, wrist and forearms. This Hadith has been recorded by Abu Dawud, Ibn Khuzayma, Ibn Hibbaan among others. (Ibid vol.2 pg.190)

Qubaysa ibn Halab, Radi-Allahu anhu, narrates from his father, Radi-Allahu anhu, that, "Nabi Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam would lead us in Salat. He would grasp his left hand with his right. This Hadith has been narrated by Tirmidhi." (Ibid)

Allaamah Aini (RA) has explained that many of the senior scholars of the Hanafi Madhab have preferred that such a course of action be adopted that includes practice upon both kinds of narrations. (Ibid). This is only possible by folding the hands in the manner described by you.

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best