Method of Bowing (Rukoo’)

Hanafi scholars agree on the method of bowing.

Gently grasping the knees but not actually gripping it tightly while the head and the back should remain at horizontal level (to one’s ability).

Arms are kept straight without bending the elbows away from one’s side.

Legs are kept straight without bending the knees.

Gaze should be fixed between the feet during Rukoo’ keeping the head at the level.

 

Excessive Movements During Prayers

Jurists have declared that If one moves about three steps or more in succession, then his prayer becomes invalid.

If one moves less than three steps or four to five steps but at different intevals then it does not invalidate the prayer. This ruling is for both compulsory and extra prayers [1].

In instances when in congregation the row in front is to be completed, one should fill the spot with two strides. It doesn’t invalidate the prayers.

[1] Tuhfa 2:491

 

Negligence in resting the toes on the floor during prostration

The prostration (Sajdah) according to Sunnah is done by placing one’s forehead, nose tip, both palms, knees and toes on the ground. There has been slackness in this in the last century or so.

The ruling will be different in varied situations, as summarised below:

  • People who do not rest toes of both the feet on the floor and instead keep them hovering during whole of prostration – their prayer becomes invalid. They must repeat it.
  • Those people who rest the toes on the floor only momentarily their prayer is disliked (makrooh).
  • Likewise those who rest the toes of only one foot, their prayer is disliked (makrooh).
  • To rest only the tip of the toes on the floor is against the Prophetic practice (sunnah).

Toes during prostration should be extended such that they point in the direction of the Ka’bah (Qibla) whenever possible.

 

Time for incantations (اذكار) after Prayers

Scholars have gathered the incantations to be read after the prayers from the Hadith of the Prophet peace be upon him. For example, saying ‘استغفر الله’ three times, reciting the following once:  أية الكرسي,  سورة الفلق, سورة الناس

Tasbeeh-e-Faatimee etc

The best course of action will be to recite اللهم انت السلام ومنك السلام تباركت يا ذا لجلال والاكرام then perform Sunnah and finally complete the incantations. To delay Sunnah prayer after fard is disliked[1].

[1] Shami vol 1, pg 356

Folding a corner of the prayer mat after offering prayer

After prayers, folding a corner of the prayer with a concern that the Satan might start praying on the mat has no basis[1].

[1] Fatawa Rahimiyyah vol 2, pg 302