Ruling on Sitting Briefly Before Getting up after the First or Third Rak’ah in the Salah – Shaykh Al-‘Uthyameen

Translator’s Note: This is known in Arabic as Jalsat ul Al-Istiraahah (The Sitting of Rest)

There are three opinions on this issue among the scholars:

First: It is definitely recommended.

Second: It is not recommended at all.

Third: It is dependent on the condition of the person.  If he finds it difficult to stand immediately after [the second prostration], then he should sit.   However, if he does not find it difficult, then he should not sit.  The author of Al-Mughni said, “This opinion combines the two [opposite] opinions and is the middle position between them.”  And the author mentioned in the page following it [a statement] from ‘Ali bin Abu Talib that he said, “Verily, it is from the sunnah of the obligatory prayer that when a person gets up to stand in the first two rak’ahs [after the second prostration] that he not place his hands on the ground unless he is a very old man and cannot do so.” (Reported by Al-Athram)

Then the author [of Al-Mughni] said:

“The hadith of Malik ibn Al-Huwayrith which states that when the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) raised his head from the second prostration, he would sit [briefly] and then would support himself on the ground [with his hands before getting up] possibly did so because he found it difficult to stand due to his old age.  He (pbuh) is reported to have said [in his later life], “I have become heavy, so do not compete with me in bowing and prostration.” (Abu Dawud)

And this is the opinion that I incline towards in the end [as well].  This is because Malik bin Al-Huwayrith came [and met] the Prophet (pbuh) when he (pbuh) was preparing for the Battle of Tabuk.  During that time, the Prophet (pbuh) had grown old and began to become weak [due to old age].  It is reported from Aisha that she said, “When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) grew bulky and heavy he would observe (most of his Nafl) prayers sitting.” (Muslim)  Hafsah [another wife of the Prophet (pbuh)] is reported to have said, “Never did I see the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) observing supererogatory prayer sitting till one year before his death when he would observe Nafl prayer in a sitting position.” (Muslim)

All of the above reports show that the Hadith of Malik ibn Al-Huwayrith about relying on the ground or something else [with one’s hands after a brief sitting of rest to get up after the second prostration] is only done when there is a need for it.


Principles of Tafseer: Notes on the Summary of Shaykh Musa’id al-Tayyar’s Work on Usool al-Tafseer

These are my complete notes on the book Lubaab al-Tahreer fee Usool al-Tafseer, which is a summary of a much larger book by Shaykh Musa’id ibn Sulayman al-Tayyar’s remarkable work on the topic of principles of tafseer. Shaykh Musa’id is considered one of the most influential people in the field of principles of tafseer in the modern era. 

I first came to learn of Shaykh Musa’id in a course related to various tafseer books written throughout the ages and their impact. It was then that I decided to go through the summary of the book and produce English notes based on it for eager students of knowledge who are not yet able to benefit from Arabic books. However, I became busy with some other projects and was not able to dedicate the appropriate time for this very small but useful endeavor. 

This is an important and serious topic of study for anyone wanting to delve deeper into tafseer literature. It looks to answer questions such as: what exactly is tafseer? What are the sources of tafseer? Why do scholars differ about the meaning of a verse? What is the difference between an acceptable and rejected tafseer? If there are differences of opinion over the tafseer of a verse, how do we judge between them? The book and the notes expect some level of basic understanding of the topic, therefore, the writing will not be as detailed as someone completely unfamiliar with the topic would want it to be.

I pray the reader is able to benefit from them as much as I did while noting them down and that it serves as a means to draw the reader closer to His perfect book and to connect with the marvelous contributions in tafseer made by the luminaries of this ummah.