Sayyiduna Jabir ibn Samurah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) relates that once Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) came out towards us and said:
“Why is it that I see you all raising your hands as though they are the tails of stubborn horses. Be tranquil in Salah”. [Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 430]
Please explain the context of this Hadith and is it referring to raf’ul yadayn?
This narration is recorded in Sahih Muslim. (Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 430)
Imam Muslim (rahimahullah) has followed up the Hadith in question with the following Hadith:
Sayyiduna Jabir ibn Samurah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports: “When we would offer Salah with Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) we would say ‘As salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah’ twice, [i.e. the salam to terminate the Salah] and made a gesture with the hand on both sides. [Upon this], Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘Why do you make a gesture with your hands as if they are the tails of stubborn horses? It is sufficient that you place your hand on your thigh and then make the salam to your brother on the right side and then on the left.'”
(Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 431)
Since this second Hadith explicitly mentions that this raising of the hand was at the end of the Salah, Imam Nawawi (rahimahullah) and other commentators have mentioned that both the Hadiths are one and the same and they are referring to raising the hands when making salam to terminate the Salah [and not referring to raising the hands before going into ruku’ and when rising after ruku’ etc.].
(Sahih Muslim with Al Minhaj, Hadith: 967)
‘Allamah Mughlatai (rahimahullah) has also agreed that the Hadith in question refers to raising the hands when making salam to terminate the Salah and further states that it is incorrect to use this Hadith as a proof to show that a person should not raise his hands in Salah [when going into ruku’ etc.]
(Sharhu Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith: 554, vol. 3 pg. 454, ‘ilmiyyah edition)
The Hanafi perspective
However, other Scholars were of the opinion that both these Hadith were separate incidents. Among the reasons that they have cited is that the first Hadith states that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was not offering Salah with them. Rather, he came out and saw them raising their hands when moving from posture to posture in Salah and instructed them not to do so whereas the second Hadith states that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was offering Salah with them and saw them raising their hands at the end of the Salah when making salam.
The Hanafi Scholars further explain that supposing both these incidents were one and the same, in the first Hadith, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) mentioned ‘Be calm and tranquil in Salah.’ Raising the hands when moving from posture to posture is contrary to this command. Thus, supposing both narrations were one and the same incident, the order of being tranquil in Salah will be applicable throughout Salah and not raising the hands when moving from posture to posture during Salah is more in conformity with this instruction of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
(Refer: Fathul Mulhim, Hadith: 964 and 858)
Both these explanations are legitimate and should be viewed as a difference of opinion which is allowed and common in our Din.
(Also see: I’ilaus Sunan, vol.3 pg. 56 onward)
Note: The above is merely an answer to your question regarding the Hadith with a brief explanation on the differing views. The various Jurists have cited other evidences to support their view. The Hadith in question should therefore not be viewed in isolation.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar