Per Upal (see The Handbook of Islamic Sects and Movements, see page 641), rafa-yadain is a practice that only Wahabi’s aka Ahl-e-Hadith Muslims re-started in British-India, as opposed to the Hanafi’s of India (majority of Muslims). It does have credibility via hadith. It seems that MGA allowed the practice and then later stopped it and stopped his followers as such.

Upal argued that since most scholars regard Hussain to be the founder of Ahl-e-Ḥadīth in India, this is a remarkable statement. Khan is not only claiming to be an Ahl-e-Ḥadīth but he is also claiming that he was an Ahl-e-Ḥadīth even before Hussain (Syed Nazir Hussain) was one. In essence he is claiming to be the real founder of the movement because he argues that he persuaded Hussain to become an Ahl-e-Ḥadīth and adopt the practice of rafa-yadain.


See pages 35-36.


Click to access FSJ20170127-EN.pdf

“””With regard to the custom of Rafa Yadain, or raising of hands during prayer, the Promised Messiah (a.s) said, “There seems to be no harm in it, and it doesn‟t matter if someone practices it or not… It seems that the Holy Prophet used to practice Rafa Yadain at one time and then gave up the practice.” Once the Promised Messiah (a.s) was asked about reciting Fatihah along with
the recitation of Imām, Rafa Yadain, and saying Amīn aloud, and the Promised Messiah (a.s) said, “These practices are proven from Hadīth and can be followed.” Hazrat Abdullah Sanauri Sahib (r.a) was a companion of the Promised Messiah (a.s) who used to practice Rafa Yadain and Amin bil Jahr constantly. After a time the Promised Messiah (a.s) said, “This custom seems to have been practised quite enough,” and the Promised Messiah (a.s) was alluding to Rafa Yadain.”””

Upal’s academic opinion–2021
Khan, S.S.A. 1959. Maktoobat-e-Sir Syed Volume 1, ed. S.M.I. Panipati. Delhi: Majlist

“””Thus Khan argued the Ahl-e-Ḥadīth view point that Indian Muslims needed to be grateful to the British for allowing them to follow their faith in freedom. Ahl-e-Ḥadīth also came to adopt distinct practices such as rafa-yadain—repeatedly lifting hands up to one’s shoulders and dropping them to one’s navel during the five daily ritual prayers—that allowed them to stand out from their fellow traditional Ḥanafī Muslims who made up the vast majority of Indian Muslims. Rafa-yadain, in particular, became a key marker of the Ahl-e-Ḥadīth. In a letter Khan claimed that he had been practicing rafa-yadain long before his friend Nazir Hussain:

I am the one who turned Syed Nazir Hussain into a puritan Wahhābī. He didn’t use to perform rafa-yadain during namaz [ritual Islamic prayer] even though he considered it to be the practice of those who were rightly guided. I said, this is sad that you do not practice what you consider to be a virtuous deed because of what others will think of it. He got up to offer the asar [afternoon] prayer and started practicing rafa-yadain.”””

Links and Related Essay’s

Maulvi Noorudin was an Ahl-e-Hadith aka Wahhabi type of Muslim

Who is Afzal Upal, the Ex-Ahmadi?


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