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Section VII: Bowing

Firstly: The Ruling of Bowing
Bowing is an obligation upon one able to perform it. Consensus on this matter was related by Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Hazm, Ibn `Abd al-Barr, Ibn al-`Arabi, al-Nawawi, Ibn Qudamah, and Ibn Taymiyyah.
Secondly: The Definition of Bowing
The wajib portion of bowing is to bend over to such an extent that a person of typical stature would be able to reach their knees with their hands, having arms that are neither particularly long or short. This is the position of the majority: the Malikis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis. It is also the position of Dawud al-Zahiri.
Thirdly: How to Bow
It is mustahabb to support oneself with the hands on the knees when bowing, fingers spread apart, arms away from one’s sides, back straight, not raising one’s head nor lowering it. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence [364] The Hanafis do not mention the sunnah of keeping the elbows away from the body when bowing. and a position of a group of the Salaf.
Fourthly: The Ruling of Glorifying Allah When Bowing and Prostrating
Regarding glorifying Allah when bowing and prostrating, scholars are of two views:
The first view: Glorifying Allah while bowing and prostrating is sunnah. This is the position of the majority: the Hanafis, Malikis, and Shafi`is. It is also true in one narration from Ahmad, and is the position of most jurists.
The second view: Glorifying Allah while bowing and prostrating is wajib. This is the view of the Hanbali [365] Once is wajib according to them. and Zahiri schools, as well as a group of Hadith specialists. It is the position chosen by Ibn Taymiyyah. Al-San`ani determined it to be the position that carried the greatest weight. It is the choice of Ibn Baz and Ibn `Uthaymin.
Fifthly: Received Supplications When Bowing Glorified be my Lord, the Greatest. Most Glorified! Most Holy! Lord of the angels and the spirit! Glorified be You, O Allah, and praised. O Allah! Forgive me. O Allah, for You have I bowed, in You I believe, and before You have I submitted myself. My hearing, sight, marrow, bones, and sinew are humbled before You. Glorified be the One Who has all power, sovereignty, magnificence, and might. (This is recited during the night prayer.)


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