Squatting during Salah

Q: What is the ruling on Iq`a' in Salah (Prayer)?

A: Iq`a' during Salah has two forms: The first form: Sitting with one's buttocks on the thighs and raised heels, or placing one's forearms on the ground as dogs and beasts do. (Part No. 5; Page No. 386) This form of Iq`a' is known to Arabs and it is disliked. Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "When you raise your head after Sujud (prostration), do not sit (on your buttocks spreading your feet) as dogs do." (Related by Ibn Majah in his Sunan, vol. 1, p. 289) It is also related on the authority of `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that "The Prophet (peace be upon him) disliked that a person spread their arms as beasts do. He used to sit on his left leg, raise up his right leg, and forbid `Uqbat-ul-Shaytan (the devil's way of sitting on the heels)." (Related by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad, vol. 6, p. 194, with this wording) It is also related by Imam Muslim in his Sahih (Book of authentic Hadith) and Abu Dawud in his Book of Sunan. The second form: It is explained by Imam Ahmad (may Allah be merciful to him) in his commentary: Sitting on one's heels with the soles of the feet facing outward. This manner of sitting is controversial among the Companions and scholars. `Aly, Abu Hurayrah, Qatadah, Imam Malik, Al-Shafi`y, Abu Hanifah, and Imam Ahmad, according to the soundest opinion reported from him, held the view that it is disliked during Salah, and most scholars are of this opinion. They cited the general Hadith which prohibit Iq`a' as a proof for this. They also argued that Iq`a' contradicts Iftirash (placing the left foot to the side and sitting on it between the two prostrations, keeping the right foot vertical) reported from the statements and actions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) referring to the manner of sitting between the two prostrations (Part No. 5; Page No. 387) as mentioned above. Some other scholars including Al-Bayhaqy, Al-Qady `Iyad, Abu Dawud, the compiler of Sunan, and others held the view that Iq`a' is permissible during Salah. As for the Iq`a' disliked in some Hadith, it is of the first form. Tawus said: I saw Ibn `Umar, Ibn `Abbas, and Ibn Al-Zubayr do this. As for Ibn `Umar, he did this when he grew old and used to say: Do not follow me because I have grown old. As for Ibn `Abbas, he believed that this form is the Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet) because of what Muslim related on the authority of Tawus who said: "We asked Ibn `Abbas about Iq`a' on one's feet during Sujud, he said, 'It is the Sunnah.' We said, 'It is not proper for a person to do so,' he (Ibn `Abbas) said, 'It is the Sunnah of your Prophet.'" (Related by Muslim in his Sahih, vol. 1, p. 308, and Abu Dawud in his Sunan, vol. 1, p. 194) Thus, it is authentically proven that this form of sitting is the one reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) as mentioned by Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father). The common form of sitting of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is that he used to sit on his left foot and raise his right one up. The one who sits in this form will not be rebuked because it is reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him). Imam Ahmad said: I do not do it and do not rebuke those who do it.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.