Three Common Mistakes made after Prayer - Parte I

Three Common Mistakes made after Prayer - Parte I

1. Greeting and Shaking Hands after Prayer: [1]

Abu Hurairah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "If one of you meets his brother, then he should greet him with Salaam. Then if a tree or a wallor a rock should come between the two of them and then he meets him again, he should greet him with Salaam again." [2]

In this hadeeth, the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) has commanded the Muslims, when any of them encounters his Muslim brother to greet him with Salaam. This is because of what the greeting consists of from the growth of unity, eradication of hatred and the bringing about of love. The command in this hadeeth is only a recommendation, meaning it is strongly advised and encouraged, and not obligatory.

And there is no distinction in this matter between one that is in a masjid or outside of it. Rather,the authentic Sunnah indicates the prescription of greeting those who are present in the masjid with Salaam, regardless if they are in prayer or not.

Ibn 'Umar (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) reported: "That the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) went to Qubaa (masjid) to pray and the Ansaar came to him while he was in prayer and greeted him with Salaam. So I said to Bilaal (radyAllaahu ‘anhu): 'How did you see the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) respond to their greeting, when he was greeted with Salaam whilst praying?' He (Bilaal) said: 'He said like this' -and he (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) stretched out his palm. And Ja'far Ibn 'Awn stretched out his palm and put the inner part of his palm facing the bottom and the backside of it facing the top." [3]

Imaam Ahmad and Ishaaq Ibn Raahawaih both formulated their opinions according to this hadeeth. Thus, Al-Marwazee (rahimahullaah) said: "I said (to Ahmad): 'Can one greet the people with Salaam while they are praying?' he said: 'Yes' and then mentioned the story of Ibn'Umar when he asked Bilaal. So then I asked him: 'How did he respond?' He said: 'He used to gesture with his hand.'' Ishaaq said: 'It is as he said it is.'" [4] This is the opinion that Ibn Al-'Arabee preferred, where he said: "The gesturing of the hand during prayer can be done for responding to the greeting of Salaam and for a matter that occurs during the prayer. It can be also be done due to a necessity which calls away the attention of the one who is praying. If it is done in order to respond to a greeting, then there are authentic reports concerning that, such as the Prophet's action in Qubaa." [5]

The proof for the legislation of giving Salaam after finishing the prayer, in the masjid, is the famous hadeeth of the man who prayed incorrectly. Abu Hurairah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) reported that: "The Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) entered the masjid and a man entered after him. He prayed and then approached Allaah's Messenger (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and greeted him with Salaam. So the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) returned his greeting and said: 'Go back and pray, for indeed you have not prayed. 'So the man went back and prayed just as he had prayed before, and then went to the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and greeted him with Salaam - and he did this three times altogether." [6]

Shaikh Al-Albaanee (ha) said: "Sideeq Hasan Khaan uses this hadeeth as evidence for: 'If one should greet his brother with Salaam and then encounter him a short while later, then it is recommended for him to greet him with Salaam second and a third time.' " [7]

And Al-Albaanee (ha) also said: "There is evidence in this hadeeth for the prescription of greeting those who are in the masjid with Salaam. What indicates this is the hadeeth in which the Ansaar greeted the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) with Salaam in Masjid Qubaa. In spite of all this, we can still find some fanatics that don't attach any importance to this Sunnah. Thus, when they enter a masjid, none of them give Salaam to those present in it, due to their perceiving it as being makrooh. Perhaps, what we have written here may serve as a reminder for them as well as for others. And the reminder benefits the believer." [8]

In conclusion, the Salaam and the shaking of hands is to be done upon encountering for the first time and while parting, even if it is for a short while, and regardless if one is in the masjid or outside of it.

However, what is unfortunate, is that nowadays whenever you greet someone with "As-Salaam 'Alaikum wa Rahmatullaah" after prayer, upon your first encounter of him, he responds to you by saying: "Taqqabal Allaah". And he deems to have fulfilled what Allaah has obligated upon him from returning the greeting of Salaam. Thus, it is as if he has not heard Allaah's saying: "And when you are greeted with a greeting, then respond with something better than it (the initial greeting) or simply return its equal. Verily, Allaah takes account over all things." [9]

Some of these people even initiate the greeting by replacing the Salaam with the words "Taqabbal Allaah", and Allaah says: "Their greeting on the day they will meet Him will be Salaam." [10]

Also the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "Spread the greeting of Salaam amongst yourselves." [11] And he did not say: "Say:Taqqabal Allaah"!!

And we do not know of anyone among the Sahaabah or the pious predecessors that, upon completion of the prayer, would turn to their right and left, shaking hands with those who were around him, congratulating them with the acceptance of the prayer. And if anyone of them had done that, then indeed it would have been conveyed to us in some report, even with a weak chain of narration. And our scholars would have quoted them for us, for they are the ones that are deeply engrossed with knowledge on every subject and submerged with its profundity. And they are the ones who derive the rulings from the ahaadeeth. Furthermore, they (all the scholars together) are not neglectful of any aspect of the Sunnah, whether it occurred in speech, action, silent approval or in a description. [12]

How could this be so, when our scholars of today have reported that this form of shaking hands, under those circumstances, is an innovation?!

Al-'Izz Ibn'Abd-is-Salaam said: "Shaking hands after the Fajr and 'Asr prayers is an innovation, unless it is done by one who arrives before the prayer and shakes hands with those that are gathered there, for indeed shaking hands is prescribed during the state of encountering. The Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) would instead (of shaking hands), observe the remembrances that have been reported in the ahaadeeth, after completing his prayer. He would seek Allaah's forgiveness three times and then stop!! And it has been reported that he used to say: 'My Lord, protect me from Your punishment on the Day when Your servants will beresurrected." [13]

And all goodness lies in following the way of the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam)." [14]

If this innovation was confined to only the Fajr and 'Asr prayers during the lifetime of this author, then indeed it has grown, in our time, to the extent that it o ccurs after every one of the prayers! And there is no might or power except by the Will of Allaah!

Al-Lucknowee said: "In our time, this has spread throughout many lands, especially the land of Dakkan, which adheres to much innovations and afflictions. There are two matters that everyone must refrain from doing:

The First: When the people enter the masjids at the time of Fajr prayer, they do not greet one another with Salaam. Rather, they enter, pray the Sunnah prayer, then the obligatory prayer and then they greet one another with Salaam, after having completed the prayer and fulfilled its duties. This is reprehensible, for indeed the Salaamis only that which is given upon encountering and meeting one another, as has been confirmed in the reports, not while the people have already been sitting in a gathering, prior to that.

The Second: They shake hands with one another after completing the Fajr and 'Asr prayers and the two 'Eed and Jumu'ah prayers. This is in spite of the prescription that shaking hands is to be done upon first meeting one another." [15]

Then he stated after mentioning the difference of opinion concerning the shaking of hands after the prayer: "From those that forbade it was Ibn Hajr Al-Haithamee Ash-Shaafi'ee (rahimahullaah and Qutb-ud-Deen Ibn 'Alaa-ud-Deen Al-Makkee al-Hanafee (rahimahullaah). Also Al-Faadil Ar-Roomee in his book Majaalis-ul-Abraarhas placed it among the reprehensible acts of innovation, such that he said:

'Shaking hands is good when done in the state of encountering. As for when it is done in a state other than that of encountering, such as its being done (specifically) after the Jumu'ah and 'Eed prayers, as is the custom in our time, then there is no mention of it in the hadeeth. Thus it rem ains without any evidence. And we have already expounded before, that anything that does no have evidence to support it, is to be rejected. And blindly following in the practice of it is not permissible.'" [16]

He (rahimahullaah) also said: "The scholars of Fiqh from the Hanafee, Shaafi'ee and Maalikee madhhabs have all indicated that it is abhorred and that it is an innovation. It is stated in Al-Multaqit: 'Shaking hands (specifically) after prayer is detestable under every condition, because the Sahaabah never shook hands after the prayer and because it is from the practices of the Raafidah. Ibn Hajr (Al-Haithamee), from the Shaafi'ee scholars, said: 'What the people do after completing the five daily prayers, such as shaking hands, is detested. There is no source for it in the Religion.' " [17]

Then he (rahimahullaah) declared his conclusion and his preference in this matter, bysaying: "As for what I hold, then: Indeed they (the scholars) all agreed that this form of shaking hands has no basis in the Religion. Then they differed as to whether it was detested or allowed. So when a matter lingers between the ruling of makrooh (detested) and mubaah(allowed), it necessitates that it's ruling should be that it must be restricted. This is because stopping a harm takes precedence over bringing about good. [18] So how can it not take precedence over doing an allowed (mubaah) matter, when those that call to the shaking of hands, in our time, think that it is a good thing and repudiate severely anyone that forbids it and persist intensely on practicing it? And it is well known that persisting and going to excessiveness in matters that are recommended, takes those matters to the level of detestability. So how is it inregards to this matter, when there is a persisting being done upon an innovation that has no basis to it in the Religion?!

Thus, according to this, there is no doubt that it is detested. And this was the aim behind those that ruled in favor of its detestability along with its ruling being reported from the explanations of the scholars of the past. Thus, it can not be opposed by the reports found in the books such as Jam'-ul-Barakaat, As-Siraaj-ul-Muneer and Mataalib-ul-Mu'mineen, since their authors' little concern for the authenticity of the narrations held within them, is a well known matter amongst the majority of the scholars. And it is amazing to see how the author of the book Khazaanat-ur-Riwaayahhas included in his work that the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: 'Shake hands after the Fajr prayer, Allaah will record ten good deeds for you due to it.' And that he (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: 'Shake hands after the 'Asr prayer, you will be rewarded with mercy and forgiveness.' And it is not hard to understand that these two hadeeths and their likes are fabricated lies, which those that aspire to institute shaking hands (specifically after the prayer) have forged. Indeed to Allaah do we belong and indeed to Him We will return." [19]

Lastly, it must be noted that it is not permissible for a Muslim to interrupt the tasbeeh of his Muslim brother, unless there is a legitimate reason for it. Nor (is it permissible) what we have witnessed from the pestering of many Muslims, when they are observing the legislated remembrances after the congregational prayers, that they are confronted suddenly by hands that are extended in their direction from the left and the right for shaking, due to what it brings about from vexation and annoyance. This act is not permissible, not due to the aspect of shaking hands, but rather because it disrupts the people from making tasbeeh and preoccupying themselves with the remembrance of Allaah (dhikr).

So even if it is this way, then it is not wise for you to withdraw your hand from the hand of your neighbor and to reject accepting the hand that is extended out to you, for indeed this is from rudeness. And Islam does not tolerate such behavior. Rather, you should take hold of his hand with gentleness and kindness, and inform him of the innovative status of this type of handshake, which the people have introduced. And how many people have taken heed from a lesson and were receptive of the advice? Surely, it is only ignorance that has caused him to fall into the opposition of the Sunnah.

Thus, it is for the scholars and their students to explain this to the people in a good manner. And perhaps it is the case that a man or a student of knowledge may desire to forbid an evil, but he is not able to conduct the correct and proper manner of doing it. And so he falls into an evil, which is greater than the evil he desired to forsake in the first place. So observe gentleness O Callers of Islam!! And cause the people to love you, by showing them that you possess good manners. In this way, you will be able to reach into their hearts. And you will find that they will lend you attentive ears and that they will have conscious hearts. For indeed, it is from the inner nature of mankind to run away from harshness and severity. [20]

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