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Responding to a Greeting with a Gesture During the Prayer

February 18, 2013

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Question: When one is praying and responds to a greeting with a gesture, what form should that gesture take?

Answer: There is no specified way of gesturing a response to a greeting during prayer. This is because various narrations describe different ways in which the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) signaled his response; sometimes it was with his finger (as in the above mentioned Hadeeth of Suhaib (رضي الله عنه); once it was with his hand, as is related in the Hadeeth of Jabir (رضي الله عنه); and once with a nod of his head, as in the narration of Ibn Mas’ood (رضي الله عنه). The author of ‘Aoun Al-Ma’bood said, ” From these different narrations, we gather that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) gestured one way on a certain occasion, and another way on a different occasion. Therefore, all those forms of gesturing are permissible. And Allah سبحانه وتعالى knows best. ”

Source: The Book of Manners P. 71

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