Kaydani: Mustahab Acts of Prayer- Pt.8

*Chapter Four: The Desirable Acts
They are twenty three in total
The general are fourteen:
1- Not turning left or right[1] as it is has been said[2]
2- Covering the mouth when yawning[3]
3- Repelling coughing as much as possible
4- Reciting more than three verses[4]
5- Reciting with tartil[5]
6- The head being level with the back when bowing[6]
7- Placing the knees before the hands, placing the hands before the nose, and nose before the forehead when prostrating[7]
8- The opposite order to the above when rising to stand[8]
9- Prostrating between the two hands[9]
10- Pointing the fingers and toes towards the qiblah[10]
11- Not wiping dust and sweat from the forehead before the salam[11]
12- A distance of four fingers between the feet[12] when standing[13]
13- Placing the hands on the thighs[14] when sitting[15]
14- Turning the face to the right and left when making salam[16]
[1] Meaning the one praying not turning his face left or right in prayer, as for turning the chest away from the qiblah this invalidates the prayer. Looking from the corner of the eyes is permissible as will be mentioned further on. Al-Jawhar
[2] The author is perhaps indicating that it may not be from the recommended acts to leave looking right or left, but rather it maybe more serious than this, therefore this is why he mentioned this issue further on the chapter of unlawful acts, and Allah knows best. It is recommended for the person praying to look at the place of their prostration when standing, to the outer part of the feet when bowing, to the side of the nose when prostrating, to the lap when sitting, to the right shoulder when making the first salam, and the left shoulder when making second salam. Tabyin al-Haqaiq (1/107), al-Maraqi (p.276-278)
[3] Meaning with the hand or sleeve if unable to suppress it. Imam al-Sarakhsi said in al-Mabsut (1/39): The one who yawns whilst in the prayer should cover his mouth, because not covering the mouth when yawning during the course of conversations with people is regarded as bad manners, this is more so the case when in intimate discourse with your Lord.
[4] Meaning reciting more than the compulsory (wajib) amount which is three short verses, or one long verse.
[5] It is to observe the rules of tajwid. Imam al-Jassas said in Ahkam al-Quran (1/307-308) commenting on a verse: ‘In that is a proof that tartil is recommended’.
[6] Such that if a glass of water was placed on the back it would not spill over.
[7] Meaning when going down to prostrate, it was mentioned by al-Shurunbulali in al-Maraqi (p.267) amongst the recommended (sunnah) acts.
[8] Meaning when rising up from prostration one first raises the face, then the hands, then the knees if there is no excuse such as weakness or ill health. Al-Wiqayah (p.149), al-Maraqi (p.267)
[9] Such that the prostration is between the two hands with them being parallel to the ears, separating the elbows from the sides and arms from the ground, the thighs from the stomach. A woman however gathers herself up and attaches her stomach to her thighs. This issue was mentioned by al-Shurunbulali in Nur al-Idah (p.267) as one of the recommended (sunan) acts.
[10] Meaning it is recommended to point the toes towards the qiblah whilst prostrating. Rad al-Muhtar (1/329)
[11] Al-Sarakhsi mentioned in al-Mabsut (1/28) that if the person praying was to wipe the forehead before the salam there was no harm in it. However some of the other hanafi scholars such as in Multaqa al-Abhur (1/125), Ghurar al-Ahkam (1/108) mentioned that it as disliked to do so. Sheikhzadah mentioned in Majma al-Anhur (1/125): ‘because it is busying oneself with an action not befitting the prayer’.
[12] Ibn Abidin said in Rad al-Muhtar (1/444): ‘there should be between them the distance of four fingers, because it is closer to humility…as for that which is reported regarding them joining the ankles with the ankles what is meant by it is the congregation: meaning each one of them stood next to the other, this is what is in Fatawa Samarqand’.
[13] This also applies when one is bowing (ruku). Al-Jawhar
[14] There three different opinions in the hanafi madhab regarding pointing with the finger in the tashahhud:
First Opinion: that the person praying does not point with the finger. This opinion was held by the author of al-Wiqayah (p.149), al-Tahawi in his Mukhtasar (p.27), al-Quduri in his Mukhtasar (p.10), the authors of al-Hidayah (p.51), al-Kanz (p.11-12), al-Multaqa (p.14), al-Mukhtar (1/70), al-Fatawa al-Bazzaziyah (1/26), Ghurar al-Ahkam (1/74). In al-Tanwir (1/341) it is mentioned that this is the fatwa position.
Second Opinion: at the time of the witnessing (shahadah) the fingers clenched with the index finger pointed at the time negation and placed at the time of affirmation. This is the position of the later scholars such as the author of al-Fath (1/272), al-Qari in Fath Bab al-Inayah (1/264), Bahr al-Ulum in Rasail al-Arkan (
p.81-82), Ibn Abidin in Rad al-Muhtar (1/342) and al-Luknawi in Naf’ al-Mufti (p.256-263).
Third Position: Pointing without clenching the fingers. This was the position of the authors of al-Mawahib, al-Maraqi (p.270-271), Tuhfah al-Muluk (p.75), Dur al-Mukhtar (1/341-342), al-Dur al-Muntaqa (1/100).
[15] Meaning in the first and second sitting, likewise the sitting between the two prostrations. The right hand is placed on the right thigh, the left hand is placed on the left thigh such that the fingertips reached the knees, with a slight gap between the fingers. Al-Jawhar
[16] This has already been mentioned previously, perhaps what is meant here is that the one praying when making salam should be looking at his shoulders and that the person prayings cheeks should be visible at the time of his making salam to those behind him.

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