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How should the hands be folded in salah?

Question:

How are men and women supposed to fold their hands in Salah?

Answer:

Men should put their right hand over their left hand and place them just beneath the navel. Women should fold their arms in the same manner but their hands gently on their chest in order to maintain modesty.

There are two methods of how the beloved Prophet ﷺ folded his hands and the method mentioned above has the most supporting evidence and most appealing in the Hanafi school of thought. It is narrated by Abu Bakar Ibn Abi Shaybah: “During salah the holy Messenger ﷺ folded his right hand onto his left and placed them beneath his navel.”

The second method found in the Hadith is also narrated by Abu Bakar Ibn Abi Shaybah: “I was once privileged to perform Salah with the exalted Prophet ﷺ and I saw that he folded his right hand onto his left and placed it on his chest.”

In conclusion both methods are correct and evident form the ahadith. In order to understand why the Hanafi School of thought prefers men to use the first method and women to use the second, we must first try to understand the essence of salah, which is piety and humbleness. The first method is best suited for men as the posture is straight, attentive yet humble helping the worshipper to feel as if he is present in the highest of courts and is present before Allah ﷻ. The second method is best suited for women where the hands are placed on over chest, not disturbing their figure and allowing them remain comfortable in the most modest of postures.

And Allah ﷻ knows the best

Imam Ahmad Rida Khan رحمة الله تعالى عليه

Translation by Dr Musharraf Hussain Al-Azhari Translator of Majestic Quran, www.majesticquran.co.uk