Praying qunut in dawn prayers and s...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Praying qunut in dawn prayers and shaking hands after prayers


: 12pt">We reviewed request no. 521 for the year 2008 which includes the following:

·         What is the ruling on making qunut in dawn prayer?
·         What is the ruling on congregants shaking hands after prayers?
These two issues have created disputes among the Muslims.  



Qunut during dawn prayer is an established prophetic tradition. The majority of the pious predecessors from among the Prophet's companions, their successors and later scholars maintained its validity. Anas Ibn Malak (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "The Prophetmade qunut for a whole month asking Allah to punish [the tribes of Ra'l and Dhakhwan] and then ceased to do so. He continued to observe qunut in the dawn prayer until his death" [An-Nawawi and others declared that this hadith was authencitated by a group of hadith scholars. Shafi'i and Maliki scholars maintained the same in the established opinion of their school]. According to them, it is recommended to make qunut under any circumstancesin the dawn prayer. They held that the abrogation of qunut or its prohibition applies to that whose supplications are made against a specific group of people or persons, and not to qunut in general.
Another group of scholars maintained that qunut in the dawn prayer is conditioned with the presence of afflictions and trials befalling Muslims. Consequently, qunut is not allowed in their absence. This is the opinion of the Hanafis and Hanbalis. There is no contention on making qunut during the dawn prayer at times of afflictions and trials; the contention concerns making qunut during the other prescribed prayers. Some Maliki scholars restrict qunut to the dawn prayer. Others, such as the Hanafis, maintain that qunut is permissible during all of the audible prayers. In the most correct opinion of their school, Shafi'i scholars maintained that qunut is permissible in all of the prescribed prayers. According to them, examples of afflictions include epidemics, drought, rain that damages buildings or plants, an enemy or the capture of a scholar.
In brief, scholars have differed on the permissibility of making qunut during the dawn prayer at times other than afflictions and trials.However, at such times they agreed on not only its permissibility but also on its recommendation in dawn prayer though they differed on its observance during the other prescribed prayers.Based on this, the objection on making qunut in dawn prayers with the pretext that it is invalid, is erroneous in view of the catastrophes, epidemics and attacks launched by other nations against Muslims from every corner. All of these require supplicating Allah in abundance to free us from the grip of others, return our lands and please His Prophetwith the victory of his community and return of its sanctuaries, for Allah is All-Near All-answering.
The above applies if we take into account the continuity of afflictions without restricting them.The opinion of some scholars who restricted afflictions and limited them to a period of not more than one month or forty days, is based on the fact that those who observe qunut in the dawn prayer have adhered to the opinion of one the followed scholars who employed ijtihad and whom we have been commanded to follow in the Qur`anic verse,
Ask the people of knowledge if you do not know. [An-Nahl, 43]
Those who follow the opinion of other scholars whose opinion on this issue they deem right are not entitled to deny the another's right to observe qunut [at a particular time]. This is because of the legal axioms which state, 'Objection is not for issues where there is a difference in opinion' and ''One legal opinion does not nullify another'.
Shaking hands after prayers
Shaking hands after prayer is permissible and revolves between being lawful and recommended. This is because it falls under the general recommendation of shaking hands among Muslims—an act that summons Allah's pleasure, eliminates distress and ill-will from hearts, and forgives sins. The hadith, "If two Muslims meet, shake hands, praise Allah, and ask Him for forgiveness, Allah will forgive them."[1]
Imam An-Nawawi stated in Majmou', "It is permissible for a person to shake hands with another who was with him before praying while it is a sunna to shake hands with one who was not with him before the prayer." He said in Al-Adhkar, "Know that shaking hands is recommended at every encounter. The habitual practice of shaking hands after the morning and midafternoon prayers in this manner has no basis in Islamic law but there is no harm in it. The basic principle is that shaking hands is a sunna. The fact that the practice persisted at certain times and was neglected at many or the majority of others, does not remove it from the practice that has a legal basis in Islamic law." He then quoted Imam al-`Izz ibn Abdul-Salam's opinion that shaking hands right after the morning and midafternoon prayer is considered among the lawful innovations.
Islam legislated sending salams (salutations) at the end of prayers to one's right and left. [By salams], a person intends to send greetings of peace to those he turns to—the angels and believing Muslims from among humans and jinns all the way to the furthest point of the world. He also intends his salam as a response to the greetings of the imam and congregants."[2]
Al-Safariny stated in Ghidha` Al-Albab Sharh Manzumet Al-Adab, "The apparent opinion of the Shafi'i scholar, 'Ezz Ibn Abdul-Salam, is that shaking hands after prayers is a permissible innovation and the apparent opinion of Imam An-Nawawi is that it is a sunna. The hadith scholar Ibn Hajar wrote in Sharh al-Bukhari, "An-Nawawi said that shaking hands is basically a sunna. The fact that it was observed on some occasions does not remove it from the default ruling of recommendation."
The following was mentioned in the Fatawa of Al-Ramly, the Shaf`i scholar: "He was asked about the practice of shaking hands after prayers and whether or not it is a sunna. He replied, "It has no textual basis in Islamic law but there is no harm in it."
Some scholars regard shaking hands after praying disliked since its continuous practice may lead those who are ignorant of its legal status to assume that it is part of the completion of prayer or among its recommended actions that have been transmitted from the Prophet. They therefore declared it disliked to block the means to such a belief. Some of them based their opinion on its impermissibility by drawing upon the fact that the Prophetdid not shake hands with others after prayers. In spite of their position, they maintained—as Al-Qari mentioned in Murqat Al-Mafatih—that if a Muslim extends his hand, it is inappropriate to turn him down. This is because such an action may result in offending and hurting the feelings of other Muslims. It is therefore necessary to return the handshake out of kindness. Avoiding injury takes precedence over the etiquette of shunning what they deem disliked since it is established in Islamic law that deterring harm takes precedence over achieving an interest.
The majority of scholars and verifiers from among them favor restricting the principle of blocking the means [to evil] since it results in difficulties and burdening Muslims.
Islamic legal theorists do not preponderate the Prophet's abstention from shaking hands after prayers as proof for its impermissibility. Rather, the principle is that the original rule of things is permissibility.
Evidence for permissibility
It has been established that on some occasions, the Companions would shake theProphet's noble hands after prayers. Abu Juhaifa [may Allah be pleased with him] said, "The Prophetwent out at Noon to al-Bat-haa`. He performed ablution and then offered two cycles of prayer for the Noon prayer and two cycles for the midafternoon prayer and prayed with a stick before him. [After the prayers], the people stood up, took his hands and passed them over their faces." Abu Juhaifa continued, "I took his hand and put it on my face; it was cooler than ice and more pleasantly scented than musk" [Reported by al-Bukhari in his Sahih].
Al-Muhib Tabary (d. 694) said, "We draw upon this tradition for the practice of shaking hands after group prayers, especially the midafternoon and sunset prayers when it is done with a good intention such as seeking blessings, showing love, and so forth."
The following hadith and others like it evidence the general permissibility of shaking hands after prayers. The Prophetsaid, "When two Muslims meet, shake hands, praise Allah the Almighty, and ask Him for forgiveness, they will be forgiven." It is impermissible to limit this permissibility to a specific time except with evidence. The word "Edha" (when) used in the hadith is an adverb of time; there is no evidence for the claim that it specifies the practice of shaking hands to times other than after the prescribed prayers; rather, there is evidence in the honorable sunna that refutes it.
The ruling
Shaking hands has a textual basis in Islamic law and the fact that it occurs after prayers does not take it outside the sphere of this permissibility. It is either permissible or recommended according to either of the scholarly opinions or according to the detailed opinion of imam An-Nawawi on this issue. It must be noted that shaking hands after prayers is not part of the completion of prayer or from its recommended actions that the Prophet  is reported to have observed on a regular basis after prayers. A person who follows the opinion of the scholars who deem it disliked must adhere to the etiquette of disagreement. He must likewise avoid creating trouble, division, and enmity among Muslims by refusing to shake hands with a fellow worshipper who has extended his hands to him after prayers.  He must also know that treating others with kindness, spreading love, and uniting Muslims are dearer to Allah Almighty than avoiding an act considered disliked when the majority of scholars and the verifiers from among them have maintained its permissibility and recommendation.
Allah the Almighty knows best

[1]Reported byAbu Dawud and others through al Bara` ibn `Adhib (may Allah be pleased with him).  
[2]Baijury's commentary on the exegesis of Ibn Qasim on the text of Abu Shuja'.
Share this:

Related Fatwas