The Shafi’i Ruling for Qunut in Swalah Fajr with Proofs

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam an-Nawawi (r.a.) wrote in his primer, al-Minhaj, “And the qunut is a sunnah when rising from the ruku’ in the second raka’at of swubh.  And what is said is [the supplication], ‘Allahumma ahdiinii fiiman hadayt…’ until the end of the supplication.  The imam recites in plural form, and what is swahih is that it is sunnah to send blessings upon Rasulullah (s.a.w.) at the end of the supplication, and that the hands be raised, and that one does not wipe their face, and that the imam says it aloud while the one following says ‘Amin’…”

Imam Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Miswri (r.a.) stated in his ‘Umdat as-Salik, as translated by Shaykh Nuh Keller as ‘The Reliance of the Traveller,’ “While performing the swubh, it is sunnah to lift one’s hands and supplicate after straightening up from bowing in the second rak’ah.  One says, ‘[the above du'a is mentioned].’

It is commendable to add, ‘and none is exalted who you are at enmity with.’  If one is imam, one pluralises the singular pronominal suffix so that, for example, ihdini becomes ihdina and so forth.  The words of this supplication are not set and may be accomplished by pronouncing any supplication or Qur’anic verse containing a supplication, such as the last verses of al-Baqarah, though the above words are better.  After this, one invokes the Blessing on the Prophet (s.a.w.).  It is recommended to raise one’s hands throughout the supplication.  One does not stroke the face or chest with one’s hands after the supplication.  The imam says the supplications aloud.  The follower says, “Amin” after each supplication that is audible to him and participates in the praises and so forth by responding with similar expressions.  If the imam is inaudible, the follow himself says the supplication.  When praying alone, one says it to one’s self.”

This is the officially established view of the Shafi’i madzhab.  What follows is the proof of the school for this view.  May it be of benefit to the researcher and student of the noble Shafi’i school.

Proof 1

Imam ad-Daraquthni (r.a.) reported in his Sunan the following narrations: Abu Ja’far ar-Razi (r.a.) from ar-Rabi’ ibn Anas (r.a.) from Anas ibn Malik (r.a.), “Rasulullah (s.a.w.) never ceased performing qunut in fajr until he left the world.”  In another wording via a different chain up to Abu Ja’far ar-Razi (r.a.): From Anas ibn Malik (r.a.) who said that the Prophet (s.a.w.) performed qunut one month, supplicating against them (the enemies), then he left that, but as for in the morning prayer, he never ceased performing [the qunut] until he left the earth.  Imam ad-Daraquthni (r.a.) commented, “This is the wording of (Abu Bakr) an-Naysaburi.”

In another narration from ar-Rabi’ ibn Anas (r.a.), he says, “We were sitting with Anas [ibn Mālik] and it was said to him that Rasulullah (s.a.w.) only performed qunut for one month [then ceased].  So he said, ‘Rasulullah (s.a.w.) never ceased performing qunut in swubh until he left this world.’”

This narration is recorded by Imam Ahmad (r.a.) in his Musnad and Imam al-Haytsami (r.a.) commented, “Its men are trustworthy.”

It is also recorded by Imam ‘Abd ar-Razzaq (r.a.) in his Muswannaf, Hilyat al-Awliya’, Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.) in his al-Kubra (r.a.), Imam al-Hakim (r.a.) in his Mustadarak who said, “It is swahih upon the conditions of al-Bukhari and he did not report it with this wording.”  Imam adz-Dzahabi (r.a.) agreed.

Imam ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani (r.a.) stated in Nata‘ij al-Afkar fi Takhrij Ahadits al-Adzkar, “This hadits is hasan, it was reported by Ahmad from ‘Abd ar-Razzaq from Abu Ja’far ar-Razi.”

Imam an-Nawawi (r.a.) said about this hadits in his Majmu’, “This hadits is swahih and it was reported by a group of the masters of hadits whom declared it swahih.  From those who declared this hadits authentic were al-Hafizh Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al-Balkhi and al-Hakim Abu ‘Abdullah in several places throughout his works, as well as Imam al-Bayhaqi, and it is reported by ad-Daraquthni through [many] ways that are swahih.”

The disagreement regarding this chain from Abu Ja’far ar-Razi (r.a.) from ar-Rabi’ ibn Anas (r.a.) stems from some scholars weakening Abu Ja’far ar-Razi (r.a.).  Imam ibn Hajr (r.a.) in Talkhisw al-Habir, wrote the following concerning him, “‘Abdullah ibn Ahmad reports from his father that he said, ‘He is not strong.’  ibn Abi Maryam reports from ibn Ma’in that he was ‘Impeccably trustworthy (tsiqah), though made mistakes.’  ad-Dawri stated, ‘Impeccably trustworthy, though he mingled his narrations when reporting from al-Mughirah.’  as-Saji said, ‘Honest, but not muttaqin in narrating.’  ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Madini reported from his father that he said that he was like Musa ibn ‘Abidah (or ‘Ubaydah), he mingled what he reported from al-Mughirah.  Muhammad ibn Utsman ibn Abi Shaybah reported from ‘Ali ibn al-Madini that he said, ‘Tsiqah.’ But he said Muhammad ibn ‘Utsman is weak and the report from ‘Abdullah is stronger from his father.  Abu Zura’ah said, ‘Many mistakes.’  ‘Amru ibn ‘Ali said, ‘Swaduq (honest), had mistakes in memorising, and more than one declared him tsiqah.’”

Imam ibn Hajr (r.a.) continued, “And we have found a witnessing report for this narration: It was reported by al-Hasan ibn Sufyan from Ja’far ibn Mihran from ‘Abd al-Warits from ‘Amru from al-Hasan from Anas who said, ‘I prayed with Rasulullah and he never ceased performing qunut in the morning prayer until he departed.  And [I also prayed] behind Abu Bakr and he did that as well, and behind ‘Umar and he did that as well.’  Imam ibn Hajr (r.a.) continued by saying that some deem this narration authentic, although he does not believe it to be so, as ‘Amru is from the leaders of the Qadariyyah and he is ‘Amru ibn ‘Ubayd, and his hadits are not standing as proof.

Before turning to the witnessing report, we must review the original narration from Shaykh Abu Ja’far ar-Razi (r.a.) from Shaykh ar-Rabi’ ibn Anas (r.a.).  Many quotes were left out by Imam ibn Hajr (r.a.) in his review of Shaykh Abu Ja’far ar-Razi (r.a.) in his Talkhisw.  Yet in his Tahdzib at-Tahdzib, we find many statements of praise that have been dropped by him here.  For example, another report from Imam Ahmad (r.a.) from his relative, Shaykh Hanbal (r.a.) stated, “Swalih al-hadits (good in ahadits).”

Shaykh Ishaq ibn Manswur (r.a.) reported from Shaykh ibn Ma’in (r.a.) that he said, “He was tsiqah and from Khurasan coming from ar-Ra’y and he died there.”

Imam ibn ‘Ammar al-Mawswuli (r.a.) graded him ‘tsiqah’  without criticism.  Imam Abu Hatim (r.a.) said, “Tsiqah, swaduq, swalih al-hadits.”

Shaykh ibn ‘Adi (r.a.) concluded regarding him, “For him there are good narrations.  The people (the scholars) reported from him.  The general mass of his narrations are established (mustaqimah), and I hope there is nothing wrong with him.”

Shaykh ibn Sa’ad (r.a.) declared him tsiqah.  Imam al-Hakim (r.a.) declared him tsiqah.  Imam ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (r.a.) stated, “According to them (the scholars), he is tsiqah, a scholar of tafsir of the Qur’an.”

Imam ibn Hajr (r.a.) in his Taqrib stated that he was honest (swaduq), made mistakes in memorisation specifically from al-Mughirah (r.a.).

Imam al-Hakim (r.a.), Imam adz-Dzahabi (r.a.), Imam al-Haytsami, Imam an-Nawawi (r.a.), Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.), and Imam ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani (r.a.) as mentioned earlier, and others concluded that this hadits was authentic.  It is clear that the later scholars saw that he did not have many mistakes, and the ones that he did were from al-Mughirah (r.a.), not from Anas (r.a.).  The Shafi’i’s then follow the grading of this hadits swahih.

As for the supporting narration that included ‘Amru ibn ‘Abid, then it seems the scholars abandoned him because he called to bid’a as he was a Mu’tazili Qadari.  There is consensus that he is to be abandoned as mentioned by Hafizh al-Arna’ut (r.a.) in his gloss of the Taqrib.

There is another supportive chain for this narration reported by Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.) in his Sunan though in its chain is Shaykh Isma’il ibn Muslim al-Makki (r.a.).  Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.) said, “It is also reported by Isma’il ibn Muslim al-Makki and ‘Amru ibn ‘Abid from al-Hasan from Anas except that we do not seek support with Isma’il or ‘Amru ibn ‘Abid.”  One should note though that Shaykh Isma’il (r.a.) is not as weak as ‘Amru ibn ‘Abid according to Imam Abu Hatim (r.a.).

Imam ibn Hajr (r.a.) records in his Tahdzib the following, “Abu Hatim said, ‘He is weak in hadits and mingled narrations.’  ibn Abi Hatim said, ‘I asked my father, ‘Is he more liked to you than ‘Amru ibn ‘Abid?’  He replied, ‘They are both weak, though Isma’il is weak in hadits, not abandoned in hadits, record his narrations.’’”

Proof 2

Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.) in his Swahih, Imam Ahmad (r.a.) in his Musnad, Imam an-Nasa’i (r.a.), Imam ibn Majah (r.a.), Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.) and others report from ibn ‘Umar (r.a.) that he heard Rasulullah (s.a.w.) making du’a after raising from ruku’ against the munafiqin.  Then Allah (s.w.t.) Revealed:

Not for thee, (but for Allah) is the decision: whether He Turn in Mercy to them or Punish them; for they are indeed wrong-doers. (Surah Ali ‘Imran:128)

The opponents of qunut in fajr say that this verse told the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) to cease performing it.  However, in the Shafi’i view, what was abrogated was the making du’a against the hypocrites and mushrikin, not the actual performance of qunut in fajr.  So in this narration is proof that the Prophet (s.a.w.) performed qunut in swalah fajr.  This is found in the Majmu’ of Imam an-Nawawi (r.a.).

Proof 3

Similar was reported by the companion, Khufaf ibn ‘Ayma’ (r.a.) from Imam Ahmad (r.a.), Imam ath-Thahawi (r.a.), Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.) and others.

Proof 4

Imam Muhammad ibn Naswr (r.a.) in his Mukhtaswar Qiyam al-Layl wa Qiyam ar-Ramadhan reported the following narration: Shaykh Muhammad ibn Rafi’ (r.a.) from Imam ‘Abd ar-Razzaq (r.a.) from Shaykh ibn Jurayj (r.a.) from Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Ali (r.a.) who heard from ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.) that the Prophet (s.a.w.) would performed qunut in the morning prayer and in witr within the night.”

Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.) in his Sunan reported from ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.) and Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al-Hanafiyyah (r.a.), the son of Ali ibn Abi Thalib (r.a.), the above through Shaykh ibn Jurayj (r.a.) from Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Hurmuz (r.a.) from Shaykh Barid ibn Abi Maryam (r.a.) that he heard ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.) and Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Hanafiyyah (r.a.) in Khayf saying, “The Prophet would perform qunut in the morning prayer and in the witr of the night with the following words: ‘Allahumma ahdiinii fiiman hadayt…’”

Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.) stated that this hadits is swahih.  This hadits is also reported in the Muswannaf of Imam ‘Abd ar-Razzaq (r.a.) in the Book of Witr, chapter on qunut, hadits 4907.  These narrations were also reported by Imam ibn Hajr al-’Asqalani (r.a.) in his Talkhisw.

Proof 5

Bara’ ibn ‘Azib (r.a.) reported the following: “The Prophet (s.a.w.) would perform qunut in swubh and in maghrib.”

Also, Imam al-Hazimi al-Hamdani ash-Shafi’i (r.a.) narrated in his tome, al-‘Itibar fi an-Nasikh wa al-Mansukh, a work explaining the abrogated and abrogating reports, the following chain: “[...] Sulayman ibn Ahmad from Ya’qub ibn Ishaq al-Makhrami from ‘Ali ibn Bahr ibn Bari from Muhammad ibn Anas from Muthrif ibn Tharif from Abi al-Jahm from al-Bara’ ibn ‘Azib who said that the Prophet (s.a.w.) would not make one of the obligatory prayers except that he would perform qunut in it.”  Imam al-Hazimi stated that Imam Sulayman ath-Thabarani (r.a.) stated, “Only Muhammad ibn Anas reported this from Mutarrif.”

Shaykh Ahmad Tantawi (r.a.) graded this particularly chain hasan in his gloss of Imam al-Hazimi’s (r.a.) work.  The shaykh also quoted this narration via a different chain from Imam ad-Daraquthni (r.a.) in his chapter, ‘The Description of the Qunut,’ in his Sunan, quoting Imam al-Haytsami as saying, “It is reported by ath-Thabarani in al-Awsath and its men are all trustworthy.”

Imam an-Nawawi (r.a.), explaining in Majmu’, these reports that mention swalah maghrib states that there is no harm in the people leaving qunut in swalah maghrib as it is not wajib or there is ijma’, consensus, that it is abrogated.

From the Rightly Guided Khulafah

Imam ibn Hajr (r.a.) in his Talkhisw al-Habir reports the following narrations.

From al-‘Awwam ibn Hamzah (r.a.) who said, “I asked Abu Utsman regarding the qunut in swubh.  He said, “[Do it] After ruku’.”  I asked, “From whose authority?”  He said, “From Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and Utsman.”  This was also reported by Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.) in his Sunan al-Kubra.

Imam an-Nawawi (r.a.) wrote in his Majmu’ regarding this atsar, “It is reported by al-Bayhaqi who said its chain was hasan.”  In the Sunan al-Kubra of Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.), it is written from the path of Qatadah (r.a.) from al-Hasan (r.a.) from Abi Raf’i (r.a.) that ‘Umar (r.a.) would perform qunut in swubh.

It is written in the same book, from Imam Hammad (r.a.) from Shaykh Ibrahim (r.a.) from Shaykh al-Aswad (r.a.) who said, “I prayed behind ‘Umar as a resident and while traveling and he would only perform qunut in fajr.”

And also reported with a swahih chain from ‘Abdullah ibn Ma’qil ibn Muqrin (r.a.) who said, “’Ali would perform qunut in fajr.”  This was also reported by Imam ash-Shafi’i (r.a.) himself.  This is recorded in Ma’rifat as-Sunan wa al-Atsar.

Imam an-Nawawi (r.a.) quoted Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.) in his Majmu’ regarding this atsar as saying, “This [comes] from ‘Ali through a mashhur swahih [chain].”

These are the majority of the proofs presented by the Shafi’i a’immah in defense of their verdict that qunut in fajr is sunnah.


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