Zikr-e-Habib: Salat of the Promised Messiah


This series, Zikr-e-Habib, explores the life of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, and his sayings, shedding light on his noble character and the impact of his teachings on his followers and the world at large.

M Adam Ahmad, Al Hakam

Raf‘ul Yadayn

Describing how the Promised Messiahas used to perform salat, Hazrat Maulana Syed Muhammad Sarwar Shah Sahibra states:

“[In salat], there is a disagreement on the issue of raf‘ul yadayn (to raise both hands up to the ears every time the takbir [Allahu Akbar] is recited, i.e., before going into ruku‘, prostrating after standing up, and then, just as the hands are raised with the first takbir, repeating the same after the completion of second raka‘ah). The difference is that some people raise their hands after every [takbir] and others do not. The Promised Messiahas […] did not perform raf‘ul yadayn after every [takbir during salat]. However, if someone did it in front of him, he never objected to it.

Saying “amin” aloud

“During congregational salat, there is also a big disagreement on the issue of saying ‘amin’ out loud [after the recitation of Surah al-Fatihah]. However, the practice of the Promised Messiahas, (which is a practice of great weight for preference and proof, and every wise believer can swear on oath that the All-Knowing God approve of it), was that he never said ‘amin’ aloud, and did not object to anyone who said it aloud.


Sajdah-e-sahw [performing two prostrations at the end to rectify the omission or mistake done during salat] is done in such a way that upon finishing the last qa‘dah, and before or after taslim, one says Allahu Akbar and performs two sujud like the two prostrations of the salat, and then say salaam at the end. Generally, if the Hanafites’ imam makes a mistake in their prayer and they have a discussion over it, they perform the whole salat again. They do not consider sajdah-e-sahw enough after having a discussion, even if that discourse is related to the mistake done in that prayer.

“But here [in Qadian], even if there is a discussion [after the salat] regarding the mistake [committed during the prayer], we do not offer the whole prayer again, rather we just perform sajdah-e-sahw in accordance with the Hadith.” (Risala Talim-ul-Islam, Vol. 1, No. 5, pp. 171-188)

Regarding raf‘ul yadayn, the Promised Messiahas said:

“Whether one chooses to do this or not, there is no harm either way for we find mention of both practices in the ahadith. The same conclusion is reached based on the practices of the Ahl al-Hadith and Sunnis, as one sect adheres to raf‘ul yadayn whereas the other does not. It seems as if at one point the Holy Prophetsa adopted raf‘ul yadayn, but later abandoned it.” (Al Badr, 3 April 1903, p. 85; The Review of Religions, Friday Sermon Archives, 27 January 2017)

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra who writes:

“Hafiz Noor Muhammad Sahib, a resident of Faizullah Chak once wrote to me stating, ‘On one occasion I enquired from the Promised Messiahas about repeating Surah al-Fatihah after the imam, raf‘ul yadayn and saying amin. The Promised Messiahas stated that these practices are proven from the ahadith and should be adopted.’”

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra says in this regard, “This humble one would like to mention that repeating Surah al-Fatihah after the imam was a continuous practice of the Promised Messiahas, i.e., repeating Surah al-Fatihah after the imam during the congregational prayer. However, with respect to raf‘ul yadayn and amin bil jahr [reciting amin aloud], I do not believe that the Promised Messiahas ever explicitly instructed to do this. If the Promised Messiahas had deemed these practices obligatory, then he would have established this through his own continuous practice. However, there is no evidence of the Promised Messiahas ever adopting this as a continuous practice. In fact, the general practice of the Promised Messiahas was in contrast to this.”

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra further writes:

“It is my understanding that since there were many parts to the question that Hafiz Sahib asked, the Promised Messiahas only addressed the first part in his answer, i.e., the Promised Messiahas only addressed the issue of reciting Surah al-Fatihah behind the imam – but Allah knows best.’ (Sirat-ul-Mahdi, Vol. 1, narration 592; Ibid.)

Describing raf‘ul yadayn and amin bil jahr to Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra MA, Hazrat Mian Abdullah Sanori Sahibra said:

“Initially, I was strictly a Ghair Muqallid [non-denominational Muslim] and would strictly adhere to raf‘ul yadayn and amin bil jahr, which is to recite the amin loudly. Even after meeting the Promised Messiahas, I continued this practice for some time. After some time, I had the opportunity to offer salat behind the Promised Messiahas. When the salat had finished, whilst turning to me, the Promised Messiahas smiled and said, ‘Mian Abdullah, you have adopted this particular sunnah [practice] long enough.’ The Promised Messiahas was referring to raf‘ul yadayn, i.e., raising up both hands after every takbir.”

Mian Abdullah Sahib further states, “From that day I abandoned the practice of raf‘ul yadayn, in fact, I even stopped amin bil jahr.”

Maulvi Abdullah SanauriSahibra said, “I never once saw the Promised Messiahas adopt raf‘ul yadayn, nor heard him say amin bil jahr, nor did I hear him recite the basmalah [In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful] out loud.”

Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra further states:

“This humble one would like to affirm that the practice of the Promised Messiahas was just as Mian Abdullah Sahibra has described it. However, from the time of the Promised Messiahas and also after him (and even until today), it has always been the practice of Ahmadis that we do not criticise those who adopt these practices. Some recite amin out loud, others do not, some adopt raf‘ul yadayn, but the majority do not, (and in fact, now it is not practiced at all), except by those who have recently joined and are accustom to it, but even they slowly abandon this practice.” He further continues by saying: “Some people recite the basmalah out loud, but the majority do not. The Promised Messiahas would state that in fact all of these practices can be found through the example of the Holy Prophetsa, however, the Promised Messiahas adopted those practices which the Holy Prophetsa carried out most often.” (Sirat-ul-Mahdi, Vol. 1, narration 154; Ibid.)

Folding hands in salat

Hazrat Mian Ali Muhammad Sahibra narrates:

“Once I saw the Promised Messiahas offering the sunnah prayer, he folded his hands above the navel, in such a way that the middle finger of the right hand was not touching the left elbow. While prostrating, the Promised Messiahas used to place his forehead and nose on the ground in between his both hands. The Promised Messiahas would place his fingers in the direction of the Ka‘aba. When he would rise from the prostration, the blessed turban of the Promised Messiahas would slightly move backwards as it was a bit loose. Consequently, as soon as he would get up from prostration, the Promised Messiahas would place it back with his finger.” (Register Riwayat-e-Sahaba [unpublished], Vol. 3, p. 212)

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes:

“On one occasion Maulvi Syyed Muhammad Sarwar Shah Sahibra told me that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira once received a letter asking whether there was any authentic narration which mentioned folding one’s hands above the navel. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira presented the letter before the Promised Messiahas and stated that the ahadith found in this regard are not free from scrutiny. The Promised Messiahas stated, ‘Maulvi Sahib! If you pursue this matter, you will certainly find something because, despite the fact that in my early years, everyone around me followed the Hanafi school of thought, I was never keen on placing my hands below the navel; on the contrary, my personal disposition was always inclined to place my hands above the navel region. I have experienced on numerous occasions that whenever I had a natural inclination regarding a particular practice, upon researching it, I was always able to find it consistent with the ahadith, even if I had no prior knowledge of it [i.e., the ahadith].’ Maulvi Sarwar Shah Sahibra relates that upon this instruction, Hazrat Maulvi Sahibra [Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I] left and in no more than thirty minutes, he came back cheerfully with a book in his hand. He informed the Promised Messiahas that he had found the hadith and in fact, the hadith he had found was one that was on the authority of Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra and also authenticated by Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, therefore it cannot be contested or challenged. He further stated that this was due to the blessings of the Promised Messiahas’s instruction.” (Sirat-ul-Mahdi, Vol. 1, narration 115; The Review of Religions, Friday Sermon Archives, 27 January 2017)

Hazrat Haji Ghulam Ahmad Sahib relates:

“Someone once asked where one should place their arms when folding them during salat. The Promised Messiahas said, ‘The physical postures of salat are important, however, one’s main focus in salat should be towards Allah Almighty.’” (Fiqh-ul-Masih, p. 77; Ibid.)

Tashahhud during salat

A person asked why the index finger is raised when reciting the Atahiyyat [prayer recited when in a seated position in salat]? The Promised Messiahas replied:

“In the Era of Ignorance, prior to the advent of Islam, people would raise this finger as a gesture for expressing abuse and profanity. Hence, this is known as Sabbabah, i.e., the finger used to express profanity. God Almighty reformed the people of Arabia and removed this habit and instead instructed them to raise this finger when proclaiming the Unity and Oneness of God. Likewise, the Arabs used to drink five times in the day, but instead Allah Almighty prescribed the five daily prayers.” (Al Badr, 20 March 1903, p. 66; Ibid.)

Malik Salahuddin Sahib MA writes:

“While reciting tashahhud, the Promised Messiahas used to gently raise his index finger, but I never saw that he stiffened or rotated it. The Promised Messiahas would usually raise his index finger once, and sometimes twice when I think, the imam would prolong tashahhud and the Promised Messiahas had read it twice.” (Ashab-e-Ahmad, Vol. 9, p. 155)

Scratching during salat

Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad Ibrahim Sahib Bakapurira narrates:

“Once the Promised Messiahas was standing in prayer and he rubbed his nose with his right hand. I also saw him rub his left foot with his right foot while standing. (This shows that if one experiences a strong itch during salat, they can scratch it.)” (Register Riwayat-e-Sahaba [unpublished], Vol. 8, p. 67)

Post salat activities

Hazrat Maulvi Fazl Elahi Sahibra narrates:

“Several times, I was blessed with the opportunity to offer congregational salat standing on the left side of the Promised Messiahas in Mubarak Mosque. The Promised Messiahas used to offer salat quietly. He would exalt and glorify Allah very gently. After completing the prayer, the Promised Messiahas would often sit in the corner of the mosque facing the east and have a discourse with the guests and friends.” (Register Riwayat-e-Sahaba [unpublished], Vol. 12, p. 323)

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