In the Name of Allaah, the Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy
Praise be to Allaah, who made Prayer compulsory on his slaves and ordered them to establish it and perform it well; who linked success and felicity to humility in Prayer; who made it the criterion to distinguish between Eeman and Kufr ; and who made it a restrainer from shameful and unjust deeds.
Prayers and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad, who was addressed in the Words of the Exalted:
"And We have sent down to you the Message, that you may explain clearly to the people what is sent for them" ,
and who fully carried out this task. The Prayer was one of the most important things which he explained to the people, verbally and practically, even praying on the pulpit once - standing, bowing and prostrating, and then saying to them,
"I have done this so that you may follow me and learn my prayer." 
He obligated us to copy him in his prayer, saying,
Pray as you have seen me praying. 
He also gave the good tidings to whoever prayed like him that such a person has a covenant with Allaah that He will enter him into the Garden, saying,
There are five prayers which Allaah, Mighty and Sublime, has made compulsory: he who performs ablution well for them, prays them at their proper times, and is complete in their bowings, prostrations and humility, he has a guarantee from Allaah that He will forgive him; but he who does not do so, has no guarantee from Allaah: if He wishes, He will forgive him or if He wishes, He will punish him. 
Prayers and peace be also on his family and his pious and just Companions, who passed on to us his worship, prayer, sayings and actions (صلى الله علیه وسلم), and who made these, and these alone, a Madhhab and a path for them to follow; and also on those who follow in their footsteps and tread their path until the Day of Judgment.
When I finished reading the book of prayer in At-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb by al-Haafidh al-Mundhiri - (رحمه الله) - and teaching it to our brothers, four years ago, it became clear to us all the important position of the Prayer in Islaam; and the reward, grace and respect awaiting those who establish and perform it well; and that all this varies, depending on its closeness to the Prophet's prayer (صلى الله علیه وسلم). This is what he indicated in his saying,
Verily the slave prays a prayer of which nothing is written down for him except a tenth, ninth, eighth, seventh, sixth, fifth, quarter, third or half of it. 
Therefore, I reminded the brothers that it is not possible for us to perform prayer as it should be performed, or even approach that, unless we know the detailed description of the Prophet's prayer (صلى الله علیه وسلم), including its essentials, manners, forms, supplications (du'aas) and remembrances (adhkaar), and then we make an effort to put that knowledge into practice carefully, for then we could hope that our prayers would restrain us from shameful and unjust deeds, and that the reward and blessings mentioned in the narrations would be written down for us.
However, detailed familiarity with all these aspects of prayer is unlikely to be achieved by most people nowadays, even many scholars, because of their limiting themselves to a particular Madhhab. But, as anyone concerned with assisting in compiling and studying the purified Sunnah knows, in every Madhhab there are sunnahs which are not found in other Madhhabs; moreover, in every Madhhab there are sayings and actions which cannot be authentically traced back to the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) - most of these are found in the sayings of the later scholars , many of whom we see firmly attributing these to the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم)!  This is why the scholars of Hadeeth - may Allaah reward them well - have produced books of Takhreej on the famous books of the later scholars, explaining the rank of each hadeeth given in them: whether e.g. authentic, weak or fabricated. Examples of these books of Takhreej are:
- Al-'Inaayah fi Ma'rifah Ahaadeeth al- Hidaayah and At-Turuq wal-Wasaa'il fi Takhreej Ahaadeeth Khulaasah ad-Dalaa'il by Shaykh 'Abdul Qaadir ibn Muhammad al-Qurashi al-Hanafi;
- Nasb ar-Raayah li Ahaadeeth al-Hidaayah by Haafidh Zayla'i,
- Its abridged version ad-Dirayah by Haafidh Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaani, who also wrote Talkhees al-Habeer fi Takhreej Ahaadeeth ar-Raafi'i al-Kabir;
- There are many others, naming which will only lengthen this discussion. 
Reasons Behind The Compilation Of This Book, And Some Of Its Features
Since I had not come across a comprehensive book covering this topic, I felt obliged to produce a book which collected together as many features of the Prophet's prayer (صلى الله علیه وسلم) from the takbeer to the tasleem as possible, for the benefit of my Muslim brothers who wished to follow the guidance of their Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) in their worship, such that it would be easy for any who truly loved the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) to use this book to fulfil his command, "Pray as you have seen me praying."
Thus I embarked on a difficult task, and researched the relevant ahaadeeth from the various sources of Hadeeth, the book in your hands being the end result of it all. I stipulated on myself that I would only give ahaadeeth which had an authentic sanad according to the principles and regulations of the science of Hadeeth. I disregarded any hadeeth which depended on unknown or weak narrators, whether it dealt with the outward form, adhkaar, excellence, etc. of the Prayer. This is because I hold that the authentic ahadeeth  are sufficient, leaving no need for anything weak, for the latter does not amount to anything except zann (conjecture, suspicion), and incorrect conjecture at that; as the Exalted says:
"... And conjecture is of no use against the truth" ;
and the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said,
Beware of suspicion, for truly, suspicion is the most false of speech. 
Therefore, we cannot worship Allaah by acting according to inauthentic ahaadeeth; in fact, the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم) forbade us from this saying,
"Keep away from saying things about me, except what you know." ;
Since he has forbidden us from relating weak narrations, it goes without saying that it is forbidden to act according to them.
I have compiled the book as two texts: the main text and the subsidiary text.
The main text includes the text of ahaadeeth or phrases taken from them, as well as appropriate words to string them together to give the book a fluency from start to finish. I have been careful to preserve the text of each hadeeth as it is found in the books of Sunnah; where a hadeeth has different wordings, I have chosen the version which best fits the fluency etc., but I have brought together other wordings thus: "(in one version: ... )" or "(in one narration: ...)". Only rarely have I given the Companion who narrated the hadeeth, or explained in the main text which of the Imaams of Hadeeth have collected each hadeeth, in order to provide easier reading and reference.
As for the subsidiary text, it is a commentary on the main text. In it I have traced the ahaadeeth to their sources, exploring their various versions and routes of narration. Along with this, I have commented on their isnaads and supporting narrations, with authenticating and disparaging remarks on narrators, whether authentic or weak, judged according to the rules of the science of Hadeeth. Often, one route of narration has additional words which are not found in other routes, so I have inserted these into the original hadeeth in the main text whenever it is possible to do so without destroying the fluency, enclosing the addition in square brackets: [...], usually without stating which of the sources were alone in containing that addition. This has been done only if the hadeeth is originally on the authority of the same Companion, otherwise I have given it separately, e.g. in the opening supplications etc. This insertion of additional wordings is a tremendous advantage which you will not find in many books - Praise be to Allaah, by Whose Favour good actions are completed.
Next, I have mentioned in the subsidiary text the madhhabs of the scholars regarding the hadeeth traced, as well as the evidence and counter-evidence for each view, along with the strengths and weaknesses of each argument. We have then selected out of that the correct view which we have given in the main text. Also in the subsidiary text, we have given some issues for which there is no text in the Sunnah, but which require ijtihaad, and do not come under the title of this book.
Since the publication of this book with both main and subsidiary texts is not feasible right now due to various reasons, we have decided to publish only the main text of the book (along with brief footnotes) by Allaah's Will, and named it "Sifah Salaah an-Nabi (صلى الله علیه وسلم), min at-takbeer ilaa at-tasleem ka'annaka taraahaa (The Prophet's Prayer Described, from beginning to end, as though you were watching it)".
I ask Allaah to make this work sincerely for His Face, and to help my brothers in faith to benefit from it, for He is the Hearer, the Answerer.
Methodology Of This Book
Since the purpose of this book is to convey the guidance of the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) regarding Prayer, it was elementary that I would not limit myself to a particular Madhhab, for the reasons mentioned previously. Therefore, I would give whatever is authentically proved from him (صلى الله علیه وسلم), as has always been the way of the scholars of Hadeeth , whether of old or of the recent past , as the excellent saying goes:
The People of Hadeeth are the People of the Messenger, although they accompany him not, they are with his every movement. 
Thus this book would, Allaah Willing, gather whatever is relevant to each topic from the various contents of the books of Hadeeth and the books on the differences between the Madhhabs, such that the correct verdicts found in this book would not be found totally in any one Madhhab. Hence the one acting on it, Allaah Willing, would be among those whom Allaah had guided,
"by His Grace to the Truth concerning that in which they differed, for Allaah guides whom He will to a path that is straight." 
When I adopted these principles for myself, i.e. to adhere to the authentic Sunnah, and to implement them in this book as well as others, I knew for sure that this would not satisfy every group of people or sect; in fact, it would result in some, if not most of them, insulting or criticising me. This does not matter to me, for I also know that to please everyone is an unattainable notion, and that,
"He who pleases the people by angering Allaah, Allaah will entrust him to the people" ,
as the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said. The reward is with Allaah for the author of the following lines:
Nor could I ever escape from abuse, Even were I in a cave in a rugged mountain; For who can escape from the people unharmed, Even if he hides behind the eagle's wings?
It is enough for me that I believe that this is the most upright way, which Allaah has commanded the believers to take; which our Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله علیه وسلم), Chief of the Messengers, has explained. This is the path which was trodden by the Pious Predecessors: the Companions, their Successors and those after them, including the four Imaams to whose Madhhabs the majority of Muslims today attribute themselves. All of them were agreed on the obligation to stick to the Sunnah and to refer to it; to ignore every view contradictory to it, no matter how great the holder or propounder of that view, for the status of the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم) is far greater, and his example is far truer. Because of this, I have acted on their guidance, followed in their footsteps and carried out their commands to stick to the authentic hadeeth, even if this opposes their view. These commands of theirs have influenced me greatly in my perusal of this path, and my rejection of blind taqleed (following of opinion). I ask Allaah Exalted to reward them greatly.
Sayings Of The Imaams Regarding Following The Sunnah And Ignoring Their Views Contradictory To It
It would be beneficial if we gave some of these here, for perhaps this will admonish or remind those who follow the opinion of the Imaams - nay, of those far below the Imaams in rank - blindly , sticking to their madhhabs or views as if these had descended from the heavens! But Allaah, Mighty and Sublime, says:
"Follow (O men!) the revelation given to you from your Lord, and follow not, as friends and protectors, other than Him. Little is it you remember of admonition." 
1) Abu Haneefah - (رحمه الله)
The first of them is Abu Haneefah Nu'maan ibn Thaabit, whose companions have narrated from him various sayings and diverse warnings, all of them leading to one thing: the obligation to accept the Hadeeth, and to give up following the opinions of the imaams which contradict it:
- "When a hadeeth is found to be saheeh, then that is my madhhab." 
- "It is not permitted  for anyone to accept our views if they do not know from where we got them." 
In one narration, "It is prohibited  for someone who does not know my evidence to give verdicts  on the basis of my words."
Another narration adds, "... for we are mortals: we say one thing one day, and take it back the next day."
In another narration, "Woe to you, O Ya'qub ! Do not write down everything you hear from me, for it happens that I hold one opinion today and reject it tomorrow, or hold one opinion tomorrow and reject it the day after tomorrow." 
- "When I say something contradicting the Book of Allaah the Exalted or what is narrated from the Messenger (صلى الله علیه وسلم), then ignore my saying." 
2) Maalik Ibn Anas - (رحمه الله)
As for Imaam Maalik ibn Anas, he said:
- "Truly I am only a mortal: I make mistakes (sometimes) and I am correct (sometimes). Therefore, look into my opinions: all that agrees with the Book and the Sunnah, accept it; and all that does not agree with the Book and the Sunnah, ignore it." 
- "Everyone after the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) will have his sayings accepted and rejected - not so the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم)." 
- Ibn Wahb said: "I heard Maalik being asked about cleaning between the toes during ablution. He said, 'The people do not have to do that.' I did not approach him until the crowd had lessened, when I said to him, 'We know of a sunnah about that.' He said, 'What is that ?' I said, 'Laith ibn Sa'd, Ibn Lahee'ah and 'Amr ibn al-Haarith narrated to us from Yazeed ibn 'Amr al-Ma'aafiri from Abu 'Abdur-Rahman al-Hubuli from Mustawrid ibn Shaddaad al-Qurashi who said, 'I saw the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم) rubbing between his toes with his little finger.' He said, 'This hadeeth is sound; I had not heard of it at all until now.' Afterwards, I heard him being asked about the same thing, on which he ordered cleaning between the toes." 
3) Shaafi'i - (رحمه الله)
As for Imaam Shaafi'i, the quotations from him are most numerous and beautiful , and his followers were the best in sticking to them:
- "The sunnahs of the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم) reach, as well as escape from, every one of us. So whenever I voice my opinion, or formulate a principle, where something contrary to my view exists on the authority of the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم), then the correct view is what the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم) has said, and it is my view." 
- "The Muslims are unanimously agreed that if a sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم) is made clear to someone, it is not permitted  for him to leave it for the saying of anyone else." 
- "If you find in my writings something different to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم), then speak on the basis of the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم), and leave what I have said."
In one narration: "... then follow it (the Sunnah), and do not look sideways at anyone else's saying." 
- "When a hadeeth is found to be saheeh, then that is my madhhab." 
- "You  are more knowledgeable about Hadeeth than I, so when a hadeeth is saheeh, inform me of it, whether it is from Kufah, Basrah or Syria, so that I may take the view of the hadeeth, as long as it is saheeh." 
- "In every issue where the people of narration find a report from the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم) to be saheeh which is contrary to what I have said, then I take my saying back, whether during my life or after my death." 
- "If you see me saying something, and contrary to it is authentically-reported from the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم), then know that my intelligence has departed." 
- "For everything I say, if there is something authentic from the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) contrary to my saying, then the hadeeth of the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) comes first, so do not follow my opinion." 
- "Every statement on the authority of the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) is also my view, even if you do not hear it from me." 
4) Ahamd Ibn Hanbal - (رحمه الله)
Imaam Ahmad was the foremost among the Imaams in collecting the Sunnah and sticking to it, so much so that he even "disliked that a book consisting of deductions and opinions be written."  Because of this he said:
- "Do not follow my opinion; neither follow the opinion of Maalik, nor Shaafi'i, nor Awzaa'i, nor Thawri, but take from where they took." 
In one narration: "Do not copy your Deen from anyone of these, but whatever comes from the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) and his Companions, take it; next are their Successors, where a man has a choice."
Once he said: "Following  means that a man follows what comes from the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) and his Companions; after the Successors, he has a choice." 
- "The opinion of Awzaa'i, the opinion of Maalik, the opinion of Abu Haneefah: all of it is opinion, and it is all equal in my eyes. However, the proof is in the narrations (from the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) and his Companions)." 
- "Whoever rejects a statement of the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم) is on the brink of destruction." 
These are the clear, lucid sayings of the Imaams (Allaah Exalted be pleased with them) about sticking to the Hadeeth and forbidding the following of their opinion without clearly - visible evidence, such that mere opinion and interpretation is not acceptable.
Hence, whoever adhered to whatever of the Sunnah that was proved authentic, even if it opposed some of the Imaams' sayings, he would not be conflicting with their madhhab, nor straying from their path; rather, such a person would be following all of them and would be grasping the most trustworthy hand-hold, which never breaks. However, this would not be the case with the one who abandoned any of the authentic Sunnah simply because it contradicted their views; nay, such a person would be being disobedient to them and opposing their above mentioned sayings, while Allaah says:
"But no, by Your Lord, they can have no (real) faith, until they make you judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against your decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction." 
He also says:
"Then let those beware who withstand the Messenger's order, lest some trial befall them or a grievous penalty be inflicted on them." 
Haafidh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali - (رحمه الله) - says:
"Therefore it is obligatory on anyone who hears of a command of the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم) or knows it, to explain it to the Ummah, advise them sincerely, and order them to follow his command, even if it contradicts the opinion of someone great. This is because the authority of the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم) has the most right to be respected and followed, over and above the opinion of anyone great who has unknowingly contradicted the Messenger's command in any matter. This is why the Companions and those after would refute anyone who contradicted the authentic Sunnah, sometimes being very stern in their refutation , not out of hatred for that person, for they loved and respected him, but because the Messenger of Allaah was more beloved to them, and his command was superior to the command of any other created being. Hence, when the order of the Messenger and that of someone else conflicted, the order of the Messenger would be more fitting to be enforced and followed. None of this would stop them respecting the person they had opposed because they knew that he would be forgiven ; in fact, the latter would not mind his instruction being opposed when the command of the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم) was clearly shown to be opposite." 
Indeed, how could they mind that, when they had ordered their followers to do so, as we have seen, and had enjoined on them to abandon any of their views which contradicted the Sunnah. In fact, Imaam Shaafi'i - (رحمه الله) - told his companions to attribute the authentic Sunnah to him also, even if he had not adopted it or had adopted something contradictory to it. Hence, when the analyst Ibn Daqeeq al-'Eid - (رحمه الله) - collected together, in a bulky volume, the issues in which one or more of the four Imaams' madhhabs had contradicted the authentic hadeeth, he wrote at the beginning of it,
"It is prohibited to attribute these answers to the Mujtahid Imaams, and obligatory on the jurists who follow their opinions to know of these so that they do not quote them regarding these and thus lie against them." 
The Imaams' Followers Leaving Their Views If These Contradicted The Sunnah
Due to all that we have mentioned, the disciples of the Imaams, a number of people from those of old, and a few from those of later time , would not accept all of their Imaam's views; they actually ignored many when they found them to be clearly against the Sunnah. Even the two Imaams, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan and Abu Yoosuf - (رحمه الله) - differed from their Shaykh Abu Haneefah "in about a third of the Madhhab" , as the books of masaa'il prove. Similarly is said about Imaam al- Muzani  and other followers of Shaafi'i and other Imaams; were we to start giving examples, the discussion would become exceedingly, long, and we would digress from what we set out to do in this Introduction, so we shall limit ourselves to two instances:
- Imaam Muhammad says in his Muwatta'  (p. 158),"As for Abu Haneefah, he did not regard there being a prayer to ask for rain, but we hold that the imaam prays two rak'ahs and then supplicates and holds out his wrapping garment ..."
- We have 'Isaam ibn Yoosuf al-Balkhi, one of the companions of Imaam Muhammad  and a servant of Imaam Abu Yoosuf , who"would give verdicts contrary to Imaam Abu Haneefah because he did not know the latter's evidence, and other evidence would present itself to him, so he would give verdicts using that." 
Hence,"he would raise his hands on bowing (in prayer) and on rising from it" ,
as is the mutawaatir sunnah of the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم); the fact that his three Imaams (i.e. Abu Haneefah, Abu Yoosuf and Muhammad) said otherwise did not prevent him from practising this sunnah. This is the approach which every Muslim is obliged to have, as we have already seen from the testimony of the Four Imaams, and others.
To sum up: I sincerely hope that no follower of an Imaam will race to condemn the principles of this book and abandon benefiting from the sunnahs of the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) which it contains, with the argument that they are contrary to his Madhhab. I hope that such a person will instead consider what we have given of the exhortations of the Imaams towards the obligation to act on the Sunnah and ignore their sayings contradictory to it. I hope also that he will realise that to condemn the attitude of this book is to condemn whichever Imaam he is following, for we have taken these principles from those Imaams, as we have explained. Therefore, whoever refuses to be guided by them on this path is in great danger, for such refusal necessitates turning away from the Sunnah, the Sunnah to which we have been ordered to refer in cases of difference of opinion and on which we have been commanded to depend.
I ask Allaah to make us among those about whom He says,
"The answer of the believers, when summoned to Allaah and His Messenger, in order that he may judge betweeen them, is no other than this: they say, "We hear and we obey" - it is such as these that will attain Success. It is those who obey Allaah and His Messenger, and fear Allaah, and keep their duty to Him, who will triumph." 
 Soorah an-Nahl, 16:44
 Bukhaari & Muslim - it will later follow in full.
 Bukhaari & Ahmad.
 Maalik, Abu Daawood, Nasaa'i, & Ibn Hibbaan. A saheeh hadeeth, declared saheeh by several Imaams. I have given its takhreej in Saheeh Abi Daawood (451, 1276).
 Saheeh - collected by Ibn al-Mubaarak in az-Zuhd (10/21/1- 2), Abu Daawood & Nasaa'i with a good sanad; I have given its takhreej in Saheeh Abi Daawood (761).
 Abul-Hasanaat Al-Lucknowi says in An-Naafi' al-Kabeer liman yutaali' al-Jaami' as-Sagheer (p. 122-3), after ranking the books of Hanafi fiqh and saying which of them are dependable and which are not:
"All that we have said about the relative grades of these compilations is related to their content of fiqh issues; however, as for their content with regards to ahaadeeth of the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم), then it does not apply, for many books on which the cream of the fuqahaa' rely are full of fabricated ahaadeeth, let alone rulings of the scholars. It is clear to us from a broad analysis that although their authors were otherwise competent, they were careless in their quotation of narrations."
One of these false, fabricated ahaadeeth which are found in some of the best books is:
"He who offers the compulsory prayers on the last Friday of Ramadaan, that will make up for every prayer he missed during his life up to the age of seventy years"
Lucknowi - (رحمه الله) - says in Al-Aathaar al-Marfoo'ah fil-Akhbaar al-Mawdoo'ah (p. 315), after giving this hadeeth,
"'Ali al-Qaari says in his al-Mawdoo'aat as-Sughraa and al-Kubraa: this is totally false, for it contradicts the ijmaa' (consensus of opinion) that one act of worship cannot make up for those missed over years. Hence, there is no point in quoting the author of an-Nihaayah nor the rest of the commentators on al-Hidaayah, for they are not scholars of Hadeeth, nor did they reference this hadeeth to any of the collectors of Hadeeth."
Shawkaani also mentioned this hadeeth in Al-Fawaa'id al- Majmoo'ah fil-Ahaadeeth al-Mawdoo'ah with a similar wording and then said (p. 54),
"This is fabricated beyond doubt - I do not even find it in any of the compilations of fabricated ahaadeeth! However, it has become popular among some students of fiqh in the city of San'aa' in this age of ours, and many of them have started acting according to it. I do not know who has fabricated it for them - May Allaah disgrace the liars."
Lucknowi further says,
"To establish that this hadeeth, which is found in books of rituals and formulas, is fabricated, I have composed a brief essay, with intellectual and narrated evidence, called Repelling the Brethren from the Inventions of the Last Friday of Ramadaan, in which I have filed points which will enlighten minds and to which ears will hearken, so consult it, for it is valuable in this topic and of high quality."
The occurrence of similar false ahaadeeth in the books of fiqh destroys the reliability of other ahaadeeth which they do not quote from dependable books of Hadeeth. The words of 'Ali al- Qaari contain an indication towards this: a Muslim must take Hadeeth from the people who are experts in that field, as the old Arabic sayings go,
"The people of Makkah know its mountain-paths best" and "The owner of the house knows best what is in it."
 Imaam Nawawi's - (رحمه الله) - words in Al-Majmoo' Sharh al- Muhadhdhab (1/60) can be summed up as follows:
"The researching scholars of the People of Hadeeth and others say that if the hadeeth is weak, it will not be said regarding it, 'The Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said/did/commanded/forbade ...' or any other phrase designating certainty, but instead it will be said, 'It is reported/quoted/narrated from him ...' or other phrases suggesting uncertainty. They say that phrases of certainty are for saheeh and hasan ahaadeeth, and phrases of uncertainty are for anything else. This is because phrases designating certainty mean that what follows is authentic, so they can only be used in the case of what is authentic, otherwise one would effectively be lying about him (صلى الله علیه وسلم).
This convention is one ignored by most of the fuqahaa' of our age, in fact, by most scholars of any discipline, except for the skilled muhadditheen. This is disgusting carelessness, for they often say about a saheeh hadeeth, 'It is reported from him that ...', and about a da'eef one, 'he said' and 'so- and-so reported ...', and this is far from correct."
 Publisher's note: Also in this category are the works of our teacher, author of e.g. Irwaa' al-Ghaleel fi takhreej Manaar as-Sabeel in 8 volumes, & Ghaayah al-Maraam fi takhreej ahaadeeth al-Halaal wal-Haraam, a takhreej of the ahaadeeth found in Dr. Yoosuf al-Qaradaawi's The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam, (which contains many da'eef ahaadeeth).
 The term, "authentic hadeeth" includes saheeh and hasan in the eyes of the muhadditheen, whether the hadeeth is saheeh li dhaatihi or saheeh li ghairihi, or hasan li dhaatihi or hasan li ghairihi.
 Soorah an-Najm, 53:28
 Bukhaari & Muslim.
 Saheeh - collected by Tirmidhi, Ahmad & Ibn Abi Shaibah.
Later, I discovered that this hadeeth is actually da'eef: I had relied on Manaawi in declaring saheeh the isnaad of Ibn Abi Shaibah, but then I happened to come across it myself, and found that it was clearly weak, being the same isnaad as Tirmidhi and others - see my book Silsilah al-Ahaadeeth ad- Da'eefah (1783). However, its place is taken by the Prophet's saying (صلى الله علیه وسلم), "He who relates from me a saying which he knows is a lie is indeed one of the liars", collected by Muslim and others.
 Abdul Hayy Al-Lucknowi says in Imaam al-Kalaam fimaa yata'allaq bil-Qiraa'ah Khalf al-Imaam (p. 156), as follows:
"Whoever dives into the oceans of fiqh and the fundamentals of jurisprudence with an open mind, and does not allow himself to be prejudiced, will know with certainty that in most of the principal and subsidiary issues in which the scholars have differed, the madhhab of the scholars of Hadeeth is firmer than other madhhabs. Every time I go into the branches of difference of opinion, I find the view of the muhadditheen nearest to justice - their reward is with Allaah, and He will thank them. How could it be otherwise, when they are the true inheritors of the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم), and the sincere agents of his Law; may Allaah include us in their company and make us die loving them."
 Subki says in al-Fataawaa (1/148):
"The most important affair of the Muslims is the Prayer, which every Muslim must care about and ensure its performance and the establishment of its essentials. Related to Prayer are issues on which there is consensus and there is no escaping the truth, and other issues in which the scholars have differed. The correct approach is either to keep clear of dispute if possible, or to look for what is authentically- proven from the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) and adhere to that. When one does this, his Prayer will be correct and righteous, and included in the words of the Exalted,"So whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work correct, righteous deeds." (Al-Kahf, 18:110)
I say: The latter approach is superior, nay, obligatory; this is because the former approach, as well as being impossible many issues, does not fulfil his command (صلى الله علیه وسلم), Pray as you have seen me praying, but instead leads to one's prayer being decidedly different to that of the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم).
 From the poetry of Hasan ibn Muhammad an-Nasawi, as narrated by Haafidh Diyaa' ad-Deen al-Maqdisi in his article on the excellence of the Hadeeth and its People.
 Soorah Baqarah, 2:213
 Tirmidhi, Qudaa'i, Ibn Bushraan & others.
 This is the sort of taqleed (blind following) which Imaam Tahaawi was referring to when he said,
"Only someone with party-spirit or a fool blindly follows opinion" - quoted by Ibn 'Aabideen in Rasm al-Mufti (vol. 1, p. 32 from the Compilation of his Essays).
 Soorah al-A'raaf, 7:3
 Ibn 'Aabideen in al-Haashiyah (1/63), and in his essay Rasm al-Mufti (1/4 from the Compilation of the Essays of Ibn 'Aabideen), Shaykh Saalih al-Fulaani in Eeqaaz al-Himam (p. 62) & others. Ibn 'Aabideen quoted from Sharh al-Hidaayah by Ibn al-Shahnah al-Kabeer, the teacher of Ibn al-Humaam, as follows:
"When a hadeeth contrary to the Madhhab is found to be saheeh, one should act on the hadeeth, and make that his madhhab. Acting on the hadeeth will not invalidate the follower's being a Hanafi, for it is authentically reported that Abu Haneefah said, 'When a hadeeth is found to be saheeh, then that is my madhhab', and this has been related by Imaam Ibn 'Abdul Barr from Abu Haneefah and from other imaams."
This is part of the completeness of the knowledge and piety of the Imaams, for they indicated by saying this that they were not versed in the whole of the Sunnah, and Imaam Shaafi'i has elucidated this thoroughly (see later). It would happen that they would contradict a sunnah because they were unaware of it, so they commanded us to stick to the Sunnah and regard it as part of their Madhhab. May Allaah shower His mercy on them all.
 Ar.: halaal
 Ibn 'Abdul Barr in Al-Intiqaa' fi Fadaa'il ath-Thalaathah al- A'immah al-Fuqahaa' (p. 145), Ibn al-Qayyim in I'laam al- Mooqi'een (2/309), Ibn 'Aabideen in his Footnotes on Al-Bahr ar-Raa'iq (6/293) and in Rasm al-Mufti (pp. 29,32) & Sha'raani in Al-Meezaan (1/55) with the second narration. The last narration was collected by 'Abbaas ad-Dawri in At- Taareekh by Ibn Ma'een (6/77/1) with a saheeh sanad on the authority of Zafar, the student of Imaam Abu Haneefah. Similar narrations exist on the authority of Abu Haneefah's companions Zafar, Abu Yoosuf and 'Aafiyah ibn Yazeed; cf. Eeqaaz (p. 52). Ibn al-Qayyim firmly certified its authenticity on the authority of Abu Yoosuf in I'laam al-Mooqi'een (2/344). The addition to the second narration is referenced by the editor of Eeqaaz (p. 65) to Ibn 'Abdul Barr, Ibn al-Qayyim and others.
If this is what they say of someone who does not know their evidence, what would be their response to one who knows that the evidence contradicts their saying, but still gives verdicts opposed to the evidence?! Therefore, reflect on this saying, for it alone is enough to smash blind following of opinion; that is why one of the muqallid Shaykhs, when I criticised his giving a verdict using Abu Haneefah's words without knowing the evidence, refused to believe that it was a saying of Abu Haneefah!
 Ar.: haraam
 Ar.: fatwaa
 i.e. Imaam Abu Haneefah's illustrious student, Abu Yoosuf - (رحمه الله).
 This was because the Imaam would often base his view on Qiyaas (Analogy), after which a more potent analogy would occur to him, or a hadeeth of the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) would reach him, so he would accept that and ignore his previous view. Sha'raani's words in Al-Meezaan (1/62) are summarised as:
"Our belief, as well as that of every researcher into Imaam Abu Haneefah (radi Allaahu 'anhu), is that, had he lived until the recording of the Sharee'ah, and the journeys of the Preservers of Hadeeth to the various cities and frontiers in order to collect and acquire it, he would have accepted it and ignored all the analogies he had employed. The amount of qiyaas in his Madhhab would have been just as little as that in other Madhhabs, but since the evidences of the Sharee'ah had been scattered with the Successors and their successors, and had not been collected in his lifetime, it was necessary that there be a lot of qiyaas in his Madhhab compared to that of other imaams. The later scholars then made their journeys to find and collect ahaadeeth from the various cities and towns and wrote them down; hence, some ahaadeeth of the Sharee'ah explained others. This is the reason behind the large amount of qiyaas in his Madhhab, whereas there was little of it in other Madhhabs."
Abul-Hasanaat Al-Lucknowi quoted his words in full in An- Naafi' al-Kabeer (p. 135), endorsing and expanding on it in his footnotes, so whoever wishes to consult it should do so there.
Since this is the justification for why Abu Haneefah has sometimes unintentionally contradicted the authentic ahaadeeth - and it is a perfectly acceptable reason, for Allaah does not burden a soul with more than it can bear - it is not permissible to insult him for it, as some ignorant people have done. In fact, it is obligatory to respect him, for he is one of the imaams of the Muslims through whom this Deen has been preserved and handed down to us, in all its branches; also, for he is rewarded under any circumstance: whether he is correct or wrong. Nor is it permissible for his devotees to continue sticking to those of his statements which contradict the authentic ahaadeeth, for those statements are effectively not part of his Madhhab, as the above sayings show. Hence, these are two extremes, and the truth lies in between.
"Our Lord! Forgive us, and our brethren who came before us into the Faith; and leave not, in our hearts, any rancour against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed Full of Kindness, Most Merciful." (Al-Hashr 59:10)
 Al-Fulaani in Eeqaaz al-Himam (p. 50), tracing it to Imaam Muhammad and then saying,
"This does not apply to the mujtahid, for he is not bound to their views anyway, but it applies to the muqallid."
Sha'raani expanded on that in Al-Meezaan (1/26):
"If it is said: 'What should I do with the ahaadeeth which my Imaam did not use, and which were found to be authentic after his death?' The answer which is fitting for you is: 'That you act on them, for had your Imaam come across them and found them to be authentic, he would have instructed you to act on them, because all the Imaams were captives in the hand of the Sharee'ah.' He who does so will have gathered all the good with both his hands, but he who says, 'I will not act according to a hadeeth unless my Imaam did so', he will miss a great amount of benefit, as is the case with many followers of the Imaams of the Madhhabs. It would be better for them to act on every hadeeth found to be authentic after the Imaam's time, hence implementing the will of the Imaams; for it is our firm belief about the Imaams that had they lived longer and come to know of those ahaadeeth which were found authentic after their time, they would have definitely accepted and acted according to them, ignoring any analogies they may have previously made, and any views they may have previously held."
 Ibn 'Abdul Barr in Jaami' Bayaan al-'Ilm (2/32), Ibn Hazm, quoting from the former in Usool al-Ahkaam (6/149), & similarly Al-Fulaani (p. 72)
 This is well known among the later scholars to be a saying of Maalik. Ibn 'Abdul Haadi declared it saheeh in Irshaad as-Saalik (227/1); Ibn 'Abdul Barr in Jaami' Bayaan al-'Ilm (2/91) & Ibn Hazm in Usool al-Ahkaam (6/145, 179) had narrated it as a saying of Al-Hakam ibn 'Utaibah and Mujaahid; Taqi ad- Deen as-Subki gave it, delighted with its beauty, in al- Fataawaa (1/148) as a saying of Ibn 'Abbaas, and then said:
"These words were originally those of Ibn 'Abbaas and Mujaahid, from whom Maalik (radi Allaahu 'anhu) took them, and he became famous for them."
It seems that Imaam Ahmad then took this saying from them, as Abu Daawood has said in Masaa'il of Imaam Ahmad (p. 276):
"I heard Ahmad say, 'Everyone is accepted and rejected in his opinions, with the exception of the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم)'."
 From the Introduction to Al-Jarh wat-Ta'deel of Ibn Abi Haatim, pp. 31-2.
 Ibn Hazm says in Usool al-Ahkaam (6/118):
"Indeed, all the fuqahaa' whose opinions are followed were opposed to taqleed, and they forbade their companions from following their opinion blindly. The sternest among them in this regard was Shaafi'i - (رحمه الله) -, for he repeatedly emphasised, more than anyone else, following the authentic narrations and accepting whatever the proof dictated; he also made himself innocent of being followed totally, and announced this to those around him. May this benefit him in front of Allaah, and may his reward be of the highest, for he was the cause of great good."
 Related by Haakim with a continuous sanad up to Shaafi'i, as in Taareekh Dimashq of Ibn 'Asaakir (15/1/3), I'laam al- Mooqi'een (2/363, 364) & Eeqaaz (p. 100).
 Ar.: halaal
 Ibn al-Qayyim (2/361) & Fulaani (p. 68)
 Harawi in Dhamm al-Kalaam (3/47/1), Khateeb in Al-Ihtijaaj bi ash-Shaafi'i (8/2), Ibn 'Asaakir (15/9/10), Nawawi in Al- Majmoo' (1/63), Ibn al-Qayyim (2/361) & Fulaani (p. 100); the second narration is from Hilyah al-Awliyaa' of Abu Nu'aim.
 Nawawi in Al-Majmoo' (1/63), Sha'raani (1/57), giving its sources as Haakim and Baihaqi, & Fulaani (p. 107). Sha'raani said,
"Ibn Hazm said, 'That is, ... found to be saheeh by him or by any other Imaam'."
His saying given next confirms this understanding.
"Our companions acted according to this in the matter of tathweeb (calling to prayer in addition to the adhaan), the conditions on coming out of ihraam due to illness, and other issues well-known in the books of the Madhhab. Among those of our companions who are reported to have passed judgment on the basis of the hadeeth (i.e. rather than the saying of Shaafi'i) are Abu Ya'qoob al-Buweeti and Abu l-Qaasim ad-Daariki. Of our companions from the muhadditheen, Imaam Abu Bakr Al-Baihaqi and others employed this approach. Many of our earliest companions, if they faced an issue for which there was a hadeeth, and the madhhab of Shaafi'i was contrary to it, would act according to the hadeeth and give verdicts based on it, saying, 'The madhhab of Shaafi'i is whatever agrees with the hadeeth.' Shaykh Abu 'Amr (Ibn as-Salaah) says, 'Whoever among the Shaafi'is found a hadeeth contradicting his Madhhab, he would consider whether he fulfilled the conditions of ijtihaad generally, or in that particular topic or issue, in which case he would be free to act on the hadeeth; if not, but nevertheless he found it hard to contradict the hadeeth after further analysis, he would not be able to find a convincing justification for opposing the hadeeth. Hence, it would be left for him to act according to the hadeeth if an independent imaam other than Shaafi'i had acted on it, and this would be justification for his leaving the Madhhab of his Imaam in that issue.' What he (Abu 'Amr) has said is correct and established. Allaah knows best."
There is another possibility which Ibn as-Salaah forgot to mention: what would one do if he did not find anyone else who acted according to the hadeeth? This has been answered by Taqi ad-Deen as-Subki in his article, The Meaning of Shaafi'i's saying, "When a hadeeth is found to be saheeh, then that is my madhhab" (p. 102, vol. 3):
"For me, the best thing is to follow the hadeeth. A person should imagine himself in front of the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم), just having heard it from him: would there be leeway for him to delay acting on it? No, by Allaah ... and everyone bears a responsibility according to his understanding."
The rest of this discussion is given and analysed in I'laam al- Muwaqqi'een (2/302, 370) and in the book of al-Fulaane, (full title:) Eeqaaz Himam ulu l-Absaar, lil-Iqtidaa' bi Sayyid al- Muhaajireen wal-Ansaar, wa Tahdheeruhum 'an al-Ibtidaa' ash- Shaa'i' fi l-Quraa wal-Amsaar, min Taqleed al-Madhaahib ma'a l- Hamiyyah wal-'Asabiyyah bain al-Fuqahaa' al-A'saar (Awakening the Minds of those who have Perception, towards following the Leader of the Emigrants and Helpers, and Warning them against the Innovation Widespread among Contemporary Jurists in the Towns and Cities, of following Madhhabs with Zeal and Party- Spirit). The latter is a unique book in its field, which every desirer of truth should study with understanding and reflection.
 addressing Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal - (رحمه الله).
 Related by Ibn Abi Haatim in Aadaab ash-Shaafi'i (pp. 94-5), Abu Nu'aim in Hulyah al-Awliyaa' (9/106), al-Khateeb in Al- Ihtijaaj bish-Shaafi'i (8/1), and from him Ibn 'Asaakir (15/9/1), Ibn 'Abdul Barr in al-Intiqaa' (p. 75), Ibn al-Jawzi in Manaaqib al-Imaam Ahmad (p. 499) & Harawi (2/47/2) with three routes from 'Abdullaah ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal from his father that Shaafi'i said to him: ...etc; thus, it is authentic on the authority of Shaafi'i. This is why Ibn al- Qayyim attributed it definitely to him in I'laam (2/325), as did Fulaani in Eeqaaz (p. 152) and then said:
"Baihaqi said, 'This is why he - i.e. Shaafi'i - used hadeeth so much, because he gathered knowledge from the people of Hijaaz, Syria, Yemen and 'Iraq, and so accepted all that he found to be authentic, without leaning towards or looking at what he had considered out of the Madhhab of the people of his land when the truth was clear to him elsewhere. Some of those before him would limit themselves to what they found in the Madhhab of the people of their land, without attempting to ascertain the authenticity of what opposed it. May Allaah forgive all of us'."
 Abu Nu'aim (9/107), Harawi (47/1), Ibn al-Qayyim in I'laam al-Muwaqqi'een (2/363) & Fulaani (p. 104).
 Ibn Abi Haatim in al-Aadaab (p. 93), Abul Qaasim Samarqandi in al-Amaali, as in the selection from it by Abu Hafs al- Mu'addab (234/1), Abu Nu'aim (9/106) & Ibn 'Asaakir (15/10/1) with a saheeh sanad.
 Ibn Abi Haatim, Abu Nu'aim & Ibn 'Asaakir (15/9/2).
 Ibn Abi Haatim (pp. 93-4).
 Ibn al-Jawzi in al-Manaaqib (p. 192)
 Fulaani (p. 113) & Ibn al-Qayyim in I'laam (2/302).
 Ar.: ittibaa'
 Abu Daawood in Masaa'il of Imaam Ahmad (pp. 276-7)
 Ibn 'Abdul Barr in Jaami' Bayaan al-'Ilm (2/149).
 Ibn al-Jawzi (p. 182).
 Soorah an-Nisaa', 4:65
 Soorah an-Noor, 24:63
 Even against their fathers and learned men, as Tahaawi in Sharh Ma'aani al-Aathaar (1/372) & Abu Ya'laa in his Musnad (3/1317) have related, with an isnaad of trustworthy men, from Saalim ibn 'Abdullaah ibn 'Umar, who said:
"I was sitting with Ibn 'Umar (radi Allaahu 'anhu) in the mosque once, when a man from the people of Syria came to him and asked him about continuing the 'Umrah onto the Hajj (known as Hajj Tamattu'). Ibn 'Umar replied, 'It is a good and beautiful thing.' The man said, 'But your father (i.e. 'Umar ibn al-Khattaab) used to forbid it!' So he said, 'Woe to you! If my father used to forbid something which the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم) practised and commanded, would you accept my father's view, or the order of the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم) ?' He replied, 'The order of the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم).' He said, 'So go away from me.' Ahmad (no. 5700) related similarly, as did Tirmidhi (2/82) and declared it saheeh.
Also, Ibn 'Asaakir (7/51/1) related from Ibn Abi Dhi'b, who said:
"Sa'd ibn Ibraaheem (i.e. the son of 'Abdur Rahmaan ibn 'Awf) passed judgment on a man on the basis of the opinion of Rabee'ah ibn Abu 'Abdur Rahmaan, so I informed him of the saying of the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم) which was contradictory to the judgment. Sa'd said to Rabee'ah, 'We have Ibn Abi Dhi'b, whom I regard to be reliable, narrating from the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) contrary to what I ruled.' Rabee'ah said to him, 'You have made your effort, and your judgment has been passed.' Sa'd said, 'Most amazing! I enforce the decree of Sa'd, and not the decree of the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم)! No, I shall withdraw the decree of Sa'd, son of the mother of Sa'd, and enforce the decree of the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم).' So Sa'd called for the written decree, tore it up and gave a new verdict."
 In fact, he would be rewarded, because of the Prophet's saying (صلى الله علیه وسلم):
"When a judge passes judgment, if he makes his effort (ijtihaad) and rules correctly, he will have two rewards; if he makes his effort (ijtihaad) and rules wrongly, he will have one reward." (Related by Bukhaari, Muslim & others.)
 Quoted in the notes on Eeqaaz al-Himam (p. 93)
 Fulaani (p. 99)
 cf. al-Waaqi'ah 56:13-14
 Ibn 'Aabideen in Haashiyah (1/62), & Lucknowi gave its source in an-Naafi' al-Kabeer (p. 93) as Ghazaali.
 He himself says at the beginning of his Concise Shaafi'i Fiqh (printed in the margin of Imaam Shaafi'i's Al-Umm):
"This book is a selection from the knowledge of Muhammad ibn Idrees al-Shaafi'i - (رحمه الله) - and from the meanings of his sayings, to aid the understanding of whoever wants it, knowing of his forbidding the following of his, or anyone else's, opinion, so that such a person may carefully look for his Deen in it."
 In which he has explained his opposing his Imaam in about twenty masaa'il (nos. 42, 44, 103, 120, 158, 169, 172, 173, 228, 230, 240, 244, 274, 275, 284, 314, 331, 338, 355, 356 - from Ta'leeq al-Mumajjid 'alaa Muwatta' Muhammad (Important Notes on Muhammad's Muwatta'))
 Ibn 'Aabideen mentioned him among them in Haashiyah (1/74) & in Rasm al-Mufti (1/17). Qurashi mentioned him in Al- Jawaahir al-Madiyyah fi Tabaqaat al-Hanafiyyah (p. 347) and said,
"He was a reliable transmitter of Hadeeth. He and his brother Ibraaheem were the two Shaykhs of Balakh of their time."
 Al-Fawaa'id al-Bahiyyah fi Taraajum al-Hanafiyyah (p. 116)
 Al-Bahr ar-Raa'iq (6/93) & Rasm al-Mufti (1/28).
 Al-Fawaa'id ... (p. 116); the author then added a useful note:
"From this can be deduced the falsity of Makhool's narration from Abu Haneefah: 'that he who raises his hands during Prayer, his Prayer is ruined', by which Ameer, the scribe of Itqaani, was deceived, as has been mentioned under his biography. 'Isaam ibn Yoosuf, a companion of Abu Yoosuf, used to raise his hands, so if the above-mentioned narration had any foundation, Abu Yoosuf and 'Isaam would have known about it ... It can also be deduced that if a Hanafi ignored the madhhab of his Imaam in an issue due to the strength of the evidence against it, this would not take him outside the ranks of the Imaam's followers, but this would in fact be proper taqleed in the guise of leaving taqleed; do you not see that 'Isaam ibn Yoosuf left Abu Haneefah's madhhab of not raising the hands, but he is stil counted as a Hanafi?... To Allaah I complain of the ignorance of our time, when they insult anyone who does not follow his Imaam in an issue because of the strength of evidence against it, and expel him from the fold of that Imaam's followers! This is not surprising when those who do this are from the ordinary masses, but it is amazing when it comes from those who imitate men of learning but plod along that path like cattle!"
 Soorah an-Noor 24:51-52