What is the form of invoking peace

Q 2: If a worshipper performs a two-rak`ah Salah (prayer) as Fajr (Dawn) Prayer, should he, during the sitting of the Tashahhud (testification recited in the sitting position in the second/last unit of Prayer), perform Iftirash (placing the left foot to the side and sitting on it between the two prostrations, keeping the right foot vertical) or Tawaruk (placing the left foot under the right leg and sitting on the posterior during the last Tashahhud)?


A: Tawaruk or Iftirash during two-Rak`ah Salah (prayer), whether it is an obligatory or supererogatory Salah, is an issue that falls under Ijtihad (juristic effort to infer expert legal rulings). Jurists have differed concerning this point. Some of them said that one should perform Iftirash and they use as evidence the Hadith reported by Wa'il ibn Hujr (may Allah be pleased with him) that he: saw the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) while he was performing Salah. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) prostrated then he sat and stretched out his left foot (to sit on it). This Hadith was reported by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Al-Nasa'iy and Al-Tirmidhy. Al-Tirmidhy said that this is a sound and good Hadith. They also cited as evidence the Hadith reported by Rifa`ah ibn Rafi` (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to a Bedouin: "When you prostrate, be firm in your prostration and when you sit, stretch out your left foot vertically and sit on it." This Hadith was reported by Ahmad. To this effect, another Hadith was reported by Abu Humayd (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: (Part No. 7; Page No. 16)  The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) sat to perform Tashahhud. He stretched his left foot out and put his right one in a horizontal position towards the direction of Salah. This Hadith was reported by Al-Tirmidhy who said that this is a sound and good Hadith from the narration reported by Abu Humayd. There is another Hadith reported by Abu Al-Jawza' on the authority of `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that she said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to begin the Salah with Takbir (saying "Allahu-Akbar" (Allah is the Greatest)) and the recitation with: Al-Hamdu lillahi Rabbi Al-`Alamin (Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Universe - i.e. Surat Al-Fatihah). She narrated the manner of the Salah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) until she said: He used to stretch his left foot horizontally (on the ground) and place his right one in a vertical position... This Hadith was reported by Ahmad, Muslim and Abu Dawud. Ibn `Abdul-Bar said that this Hadith was Mursal (a Hadith with no Companion of the Prophet in the chain of narration). He said that Abu Al-Jawza' did not hear this from `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her).Though these Hadiths are general, the Hadith reported by Abu Humayd Al-Sa`diy (may Allah be pleased with him) concerning the manner of the Salah performed by the Prophet (peace be upon him) is specific. This Hadith pointed out the general sayings in other Hadiths. It has differentiated between sitting when reciting the Tashahhud at the end of the four-rak`ah Salah and sitting when reciting the first Tashahhud. He mentioned Tawaruk in the second Tashahhud and Iftirash in the first one. Abu Humayd Al-Sa`diy said while he was among a group of the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “I remember the Salah of Allah`s Messenger (peace be upon him) better than any of you. I saw him raising both his hands up to the level of the shoulders on saying the Takbir; and on bowing, he placed his hands on both knees and made his back straight, then he stood up straight from bowing until all the vertebrate went back to their normal positions. When prostrating, he placed both his hands on the ground with his forearms away from the ground and away from his body, and his toes were facing the Qiblah. When sitting in the second Rak`ah he sat on his left foot and propped up the right one; and in the last Rak`ah he pushed his left foot forward and kept the other foot propped up and sat over the buttocks.” (Part No. 7; Page No. 17)  This Hadith was reported by Al-Bukhari. There is also another narration reported by Imams Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Al-Tirmidhy and Ibn Majah that have the same meaning. This narration was deemed as authentic by Al-Tirmidhy. It was reported that Abu Humayd said: In the last Rak`ah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) moved his left foot backward, kept the other foot propped up and sat over the buttocks, and then pronounced Taslim (salutation of peace ending the Prayer). They said: "You have said the truth. This is the way the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to offer Salah." Therefore, this Hadith confirms Tawaruk in the second Tashahhud and likewise, the second Tashahhud in Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer. Otherwise, all the sittings for Tashahhud have to be done according to what is mentioned in the texts with regard to stretching the left foot out horizontally and placing the right one in a vertical position. This should be done in the Tashahhud performed in the two-rak`ah Salah as well as in the first Tashahhud of the four-rak`ah or three-rak`ah Salah, and likewise, in the sitting between the two prostrations. Al-Shafi`y and others said: "One should perform Tawaruk for the two-rak`ah Salah whether it is a supererogatory or obligatory Salah because it is considered the last one. Therefore, it can be included in the Hadith reported by Abu Humayd Al-Sa`idy (may Allah be pleased with him): 'In the last Rak`ah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) moved his left foot backward, kept his other foot propped up and sat over the buttocks, and then pronounced Taslim (salutation of peace ending the Prayer).'" They interpreted the Hadiths that denote Iftirash to only be applied in the first Tashahhud of the four-rak`ah and three-rak`ah Salah and sitting between the two prostrations in order to remove the contradiction of proofs. The most authentic is the first opinion as it coincides with the apparent meanings of (Part No. 7; Page No. 18) the Hadiths.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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