Questioner: … we want a clarification about something which we have become used to or which we see in our country, i.e., lengthening the takbeer [i.e., saying, ‘Allaahu Akbar,’ in the prayer] and making it different in length according to the different pillars [of the prayer one happens to be performing at the time], like the standing or the opening takbeer [to start off the prayer], or the middle or final tashahhud, and so on.
Al-Albaani: This is an issue which in reality we are not familiar with as being from the Sunnah, even though it has been mentioned in some of the books of fiqh, specifically Shaafi’i fiqh.
And if I, as is said, were to forget I [still] won’t forget an Imaam with us in Damascus who used to pray in the mosque and who was my shop’s neighbour, he was bigoted towards his Shaafi’i madhhab and would say, and I don’t mean Imaam ash-Shaafi’i would say but rather some of his followers, [that] the Imaam should extend the takbeer from pillar to pillar [in the prayer].
So if he wants to prostrate after having raised his head from rukoo’ he should carry on saying, “Allaaaaaaaahu Akbar,” until he puts his head on the ground in prostration, and this [extension] is somewhat acceptable in terms of how long it is, but what grabs one’s attention totally are two things: the Shaafi’i madhhab … this issue [of prolonging the takbeer] we do not know it to be from the Sunnah … but they have another point which is from the Sunnah and which they are envied for, and that is, ‘the sitting at ease,’ and you know that, ‘the sitting at ease,’ is when the person who is praying does not stand up from the second prostration to go into the second rak’ah in one whole movement as the Hanafis and others do, but that he should [instead] sit as though he has forgotten [to get up], [just] as one would do if you had forgotten and you [instead] stayed sitting for the tashahud, but this sitting is short and then he gets up resting on his hands, the Shaafi’i madhhab holds this view.
So the thing which grabs one’s attention and which was what I saw that Imaam doing, and subhaanallaah, he was a giant, obese guy, so he had hardly raised his head from the second sajdah when he started saying, “Allaaaaaaaaaaaaaa …” and he sat down for the sitting of ease all the while continuing to extend [saying] it until he stood up straight—imagine how long he would’ve had to extend his voice, maa shaa Allaah and he had two really big lungs [Shaikh starts laughing] … saying, “Allaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahu Akbar,”—this has no basis in the Sunnah, rather the takbeer is short and concise …
… what can we do, talking about such things will lead us to talk about other [connected] issues so don’t blame us [since now following on from what I said about the takbeer, I will mention that concerning] … the salaam too, many of the Imaams make a mistake [when saying it, since they say], “As-Salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullaaaaaaaaaaaaaah,” this is a mistake, [and what happens is that] he will not have finished saying the salaam but the people praying behind him will have, the opposite to what happened in the first example.
Why? Because he carried on prolonging it, and this is in opposition to the Sunnah, the Sunnah is that he makes it succinct, “As-Salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,” there is no need to prolong it, because it puts the people who are following him in a fix such that they end up saying the tasleem, which is the final pillar of the prayer, before him.
So, all of the takbeers of the prayer are like one another, there is no extending or prolonging them, whether that be when getting up from the second prostration to go in to the second rak’ah or when standing up from rukoo’ and so on, the takbeer [is simple], “Allaahu Akbar,” and it’s over.
And up to here is enough.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 532.