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The prayer, and avoiding the ground (when prostrating) by placing ones knees before ones hands, or (placing) ones hands before ones knees

Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (رحمه الله) was asked about the prayer, and avoiding the ground (when prostrating) by placing ones knees before ones hands, or (placing) ones hands before ones knees.

So he responded,” As for (performing) the prayer by (doing) both (ways), then it is permissible by consensus of the scholars. If the one performing prayer desires he can place his knees before his hands, and if he wants he may place his hands then his knees; and his prayer is correct in both cases by consensus of the scholars. However, the scholars disputed about which is more preferable . So it was said,” The first (is more preferable)”, and this is the madhhab of Aboo Haneefah, ash-Shaafi’ee, and Ahmed in one of two narrations (attributed to him). Also it was stated,” The second (is more preferable) as it is in the madhhab of Malik and Ahmed as comes in another narration (attributed to him).

There has been narrated for both (of the two positions) a Hadith in the sunan on the authority of the Prophet (Sallahu alayhi wa Sallam); and in the sunan it (states),” That if he (Sallahu alayhi wa sallam) prayed he would place his knees then his hands, and when he would rise up he would raise his hands and then his knees. And in the sunan of Abee Daawood and other than him, he (Sallahu alayhi wa Sallam) said,” If one of you prostrates, then he should not kneel down  (like) that of the camel, but rather he should place his hands and then his knees.” Likewise the opposite of that has been narrated; and it was stated that it is abrogated, and Allah knows best.

Source: Majmoo’ al-Fataawa pg.449

Translator: Muhammad Abouharb