Pillars of Prayer : Takbir Al-Ihram

Prayers consists of

  • pillars
  • obligatory acts
  • non obligatory acts

For now we will concentrate on the pillars of prayers. If one of them is omitted, the prayer will not be accepted.

The second pillar is takbeerat al ihram

Prayer (Kitab Al-Salat)
Dawud :: Book 2 : Hadith 618

Narrated Ali ibn AbuTalib:

The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: The key of prayer is purification. The act that puts on into the inviolable state (of prayer) is the takbeer. And the act that ends the violable state is the tasleem (salutation).

This hadith is hasan saheeh. According to Sheikh al-Albani, Saheeh Ibn Majah. recorded by Tirmidhi, Abu dawood and Ibn Majah.

This is the first takbir in salah. It is called takbir Al Ihram because after its recitation many things become unlawful (haram) for the worshipping such as eating, talking, drinking etc.)

Takbir Al Ihram is a pillar of prayer meaning if we leave it, our prayers is not accepted.

Looooongg Takbir

I was taught when I was young to say the niyah of prayer in my language in the heart while reciting the takbir. Thus my takbeer became very loooonnngg and sometimes jerky. This is unnecessary fr it is not in the sunnah to say the niyah in the heart during the takbir. Rather the niyah must be thought in the heart before the prayer itself.

Where to raise your hand during takbeer

Raising your hands during takbeer is sunnah or recommended acts. Meaning if one leaves it, the prayer is still valid. However we would have missed on doing the sunnah.
1. Opposite the shoulder

Characteristics of Prayer
Bukhari :: Book 1 :: Volume 12 :: Hadith 703

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar:

I saw that whenever Allah’s Apostle stood for the prayer, he used to raise both his hands up to the shoulders, and used to do the same on saying the Takbir for bowing and on raising his head from it and used to say, “Sami a-l-lahu Liman hamida”. But he did not do that (i.e. raising his hands) in prostrations.

The Book of Prayers (Kitab Al-Salat)
Muslim :: Book 4 : Hadith 758
Salim narrated it on the authority of his father who reported:

I saw the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) raising his hands opposite the shoulders at the time of beginning the prayer and before bowing down and after coming back to the position after bowing. but he did not raise them between two prostrations.

The Book of Prayers (Kitab Al-Salat)
Muslim :: Book 4 : Hadith 759
Ibn Umar reported that

the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him), when he stood up for prayer, used to raise his hands apposite the shoulders and then recited takbir (Allah-o-Akbar), and when he was about to bow he again did like it and when he raised himself from the ruku’ (bowing posture) he again did like it, but he did not do it at the time of raising his head from prostration.

The Book of Prayers (Kitab Al-Salat)
Muslim :: Book 4 : Hadith 760
This hadith has been transmitted with the same chain of transmitters by al. Zuhri as narrated by Ibn Juraij (who) said.

When the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) stood up for prayer, he raised hands (to the height) apposite the shoulders and then recited takbir.

2. Raising the Hands to Opposite the Ears

The Book of Prayers (Kitab Al-Salat)
Muslim :: Book 4 : Hadith 762
Malik b. Huwairith reported:

The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) raised his hands opposite his ears at the time of reciting the takbir (i. e. at the time of beginning the prayer) and then again raised his hands apposite the ears at the time of bowing and when he lifted his head after bowing he said: Allah listened to him who praised Him, and did like it (raised his hands up to the ears).

The Book of Prayers (Kitab Al-Salat)
Muslim :: Book 4 : Hadith 763
This hadith has been transmitted by Qatada with the same chain of transmitters

that he saw the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) doing like this (i. e. raising his hands) till they were opposite the lobes of ears.

All of these hadith above are sahih.
1. We can raise our hand during takbir al-ihram either at the lobe of our ears or at our shoulders, Insya Allah.
2. This also apply to the takbirs before ruku’ and after ruku’. These after ruku’.

Boy at ears. Girls at shoulders?

I was also taught when I was young that for boys to raise their hands at the ears while the girls at the shoulders uring takbeer. From these ahadeeth, it is clear that one can raise their hands either at the shoulder or the ears regardless of gender. There is no difference between a man’s prayer and a woman’s. We pray as how Rasulullah saw prayed.

Lessons

1. Takbirratul Ihram is a pillar of prayer.

2. It signifies the starting of a prayer.

3. If we miss it, our prayer is not accepted.

4. Raising the handsduring takbiratul ihram is sunnah.

5. Thus if we do not raise the hands during takbiratul ihram, or prayer is still accepted. But we would have missed the reward for sunnah acts.

6. We can either raise our hands to the level of our shoulders or to our ears. Rasulullah saw did it both ways.

Exercise

1. Ahmad raised his hands at his shoulders during takbirratul ihram? Is his prayer valid?

2. Ali did not raise his hands at all during takbir. Is this ok?

3. Aminah did not say her takbir when she starts prayer. Is her prayer valid?

Main reference

1. Prayer According to the Sunnah – Compiler Prof Muhammad Zulfiqar. Darussalam

6 Comments

Filed under Fiqh, Pillars of Islam, Solat

6 responses to “Pillars of Prayer : Takbir Al-Ihram

  1. Izache Corzo

    Subhan’Allah. Shukran! Jazak’Allah khair. =0)

  2. Farhan R

    jazakallah khair for this insightful post – please keep it up🙂

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