Where should women place their hands in Salaat
The difference between the Salaat of women is established with the words of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) and the Traditions of the Companions (May Allah be well pleased with them). Saying that there is no such difference in the Salaat of the men and women is a proof of being unaware of Hadith. Some of the differences in the Salaat of men and women are:
1. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: O Waail bin Hajar! When you offer Salaat, raise your hands up to your ears and women should raise her up to the level of her chest. (Mo’jam Kabeer Tabarani)
2. Hadhrat Umm Darda (May Allah be well pleased with her) would raise hands up to her shoulders in Salaat. (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith No. 22)
3. Two women were offering Salaat. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) told them: ….women are not like men in this regard. (Maraseel Adu Dawood, Hadith No. 84; Sunan Kubra Lil Baihaqui, Hadith No. 3016)
4. Hadhrat ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (May Allah be well pleased with him) said: When women sits in Salaat, she should place on thing on another and when she prostrates, her thighs should be touching her stomach, so that there is further observance of modesty in this. (Kanz Ul ‘Ummaal, Hadith No. 20203)
The aforementioned show us that in some regards the way women offer Salaat is different than that of men. The intent of these differences is further observance of modesty. The Hadith mention not only the difference in the method of Salaat of men and women but also the reason for it that this is more modest.
When the Shariah has made allowances for modesty of women in Ruku’, in prostration and other articles of Salaat, then modesty has been observed while standing as well. For this reason, women are asked to places their hands on their chests. Three Hadith are presented in support of this:
Among the teachers of Imam Bukhari and the narrators of Sahih Bukhari, Hadhrat ‘Ata (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) has a very high status. He says:
Translation: While standing, women will not raise their hands as men do. He then lowered his considerably and indicated the Takbeer and brought his hands close to himself. Women do this which is not for men.
We learn some things from this Tradition:
1. The method of Salaat for men and women is different.
2. Their placement of hands is also different for both of them. Men place their hands below their navel and for women it is different as Hadhrat ‘Ata (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) showed. Obviously, it is not if they also place their hands below the navel. Thus, women should place their hands on the chest.
The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said:
Translation: The Salaat of women is not like the Salaat of men. (Sunan Kubra Lil Baihaqui, Hadith No. 3016; Maraseel Abu Dawood, Hadith No. 84)
It is mentioned about men that they should place their hands below the navel and the aforementioned Hadith says that the method of Salaat of women is not like that of men. This shows that women should place hands on the chest. This manner is most modest for her and the issue of modesty in Salaat has been discussed previously.
Translation: Hadhrat ‘Ata (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) said: In Salaat, women should place hands as close to their body as possible. (Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaq, Hadith No. 5067)
This is possible only when hands are placed on the chest.
[To be continued....]