Standing in salah
In the Quran
To "Stand before God" is sometimes used in the Quran in reference to the Islamic prayer.
Guard strictly your (habit of) prayers, especially the Middle Prayer; and stand before Allah in a devout (frame of mind).— Quran, (2:238)
A general unit or cycle of salah called raka'ah is commenced while standing and saying the takbir, which is الله أَكْبَر (transliteration "Allahu-akbar", meaning God is Greater). The hands are raised level with shoulders or level with top of the ears, with fingers apart and not spaced out or together.[note 1] Both arms are placed over the chest, with the right arm over the left. It is in this position that sections of the Quran are recited.
I'tidal is standing again after ruku'. The back is straightened with the hands raised as in takbir as mentioned before but saying سمع الله لمن حمده (transliteration “Sami' Allaahu liman hamidah”, meaning “Allah listens and responds to the one who praises him”). Additionally, some of many praises to God for this situation is said such as ربنا لك الحمد (transliteration “Rabbanaa wa lakal-hamd”, meaning “O our Lord! And all praise is for You”). The takbir is said again and the worshipper moves into prostration with hands on the ground before knees.
Types of prayers
In the five daily prayers, sunnah salat (the voluntary, additional prayers) and most other prayers, standing is one part of the prayer.
Sayings during standing
Most of the reciting of the Quran that occurs during Islamic prayer is done while in standing position. The first chapter of the Quran, Surah Al-Fatiha, is recited while standing. Sahih Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said, «مَنْ صَلَى صَلَاةً لَمْ يَقْرَأْ فِيهَا أُمَّ الْقُرْآنِ فَهِيَ خِدَاجٌ ثَلَاثًا غَيْرُ تَمَامٍ» (Whoever performs any prayer in which he did not read Umm Al-Qur'an, then his prayer is incomplete.)
Additionally, recitations from any other section from the Quran of choice is followed in the first or second raka’ah.
Position of hands while standing
Where the hands are placed while standing varies among the different Islamic schools and branches. These differences have manifested into the qabd-sadl dispute. Among Sunnis, several hadith indicate that qabd (praying with arms crossed) is desirable, if not obligatory; however, sadl (arms hanging by the sides) is still preferred among many Malikis. The debate predominantly exists in Maliki-practicing areas, such as Northern Nigeria, due to the influence of other Sunni schools.
Unique among Sunnis, Malikis put their hands on the thighs or by their sides. However, this practice is not universal among Malikis, and scholars such as Qadi Ayyad, in his Qawa'id al-Islam, believed the practice was unsupported by any authentic hadith.
Shafi'is put their hands above the navel and under the chest.
For Hanafis, men put their hands on the navel; women put their hands on their chest.
Like the Hanafis, men put their hands on the navel; women put their hands on their chest.
Twelvers put their hands on the thighs or on their side.
Zaydis place their hands on the thighs or at their sides.
- For the able-bodied, leaning or not standing upright invalidates prayer. If one is incapable of standing, one may sit, lie on the right side, lie on the left side, lie on one's back or as one is able to do.
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