Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sitting in Tawarruk for Salaah (For Men)

السلام عليكم
            One of the biggest lost sunnahs that we, shee`ahs, have totally neglected is done in the Salaah. It is the sitting called “Tawarruk”. This specific sitting has been stated in numerous aHaadeeth through various isnaad that our Ahl Al-Bayt (AS) sat like this when they were in salaah.
Here are some hadeeth that talk about the description of this “tawarruk” position.
و قعد على فخذه الأيسر قد وضع قدمه الأيمن على بطن قدمه الأيسر
"And sits on his left thigh, and put (the top of) his right foot on the belly of his left (foot)"
1.     Al-Toosi, Tahdheeb Al-aHkaam, vol. 2, ch. 8, pg. 82
1.     Al-Majlisi said this hadeeth is Hasan
--> Milaadh Al-Akhyaar, vol. 3, pg. 539

Here is the SaHeeH hadeeth according to Al-Majlisi from Hamaad ibn 'Eesa talking about Salaah.

قَعَدَ عَلَى جَانِبِهِ الْأَيْسَرِ وَ وَضَعَ ظَاهِرَ قَدَمِهِ الْيُمْنَى عَلَى بَاطِنِ قَدَمِهِ الْيُسْرَى
"He sat on his left side (thigh) and he placed the outside (visible) of his right foot over the belly of his left foot"
1.     Al-Sadooq, Man Laa YaHDuruh Al-Faqeeh, vol. 1, pg. 302
1.     Al-Majlisi has said this hadeeth's sanad is SaHeeH
--> Milaadh Al-Akhyaar, vol. 3, pg. 539

Here is a hadeeth that is a little bit more descriptive.
قَالَ وَ إِذَا قَعَدْتَ فِي تَشَهُّدِكَ فَأَلْصِقْ رُكْبَتَيْكَ بِالْأَرْضِ وَ فَرِّجْ بَيْنَهُمَا شَيْئاً وَ لْيَكُنْ ظَاهِرُ قَدَمِكَ الْيُسْرَى عَلَى الْأَرْضِ وَ ظَاهِرُ قَدَمِكَ الْيُمْنَى عَلَى بَاطِنِ قَدَمِكَ الْيُسْرَى وَ أَلْيَتَاكَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ وَ طَرَفُ إِبْهَامِكَ الْيُمْنَى عَلَى الْأَرْضِ
“He (AS) said: And when you sit in tashahhud make your knees stick to the ground and ease some space in between, and let the outside (visible) of your left foot on the ground and the outside (visible) of your right foot on the stomach of your left foot and your buttocks be on the ground, and your right (foot’s) big toe on the ground”
1.     Al-Kulayni, Al-Kaafi, vol. 3, pg. 334 – 335, hadeeth # 1
1.     Al-Majlisi said this hadeeth is “Hasan, and Second (chain) is Majhool, and Third (chain) is SaHeeH”
--> Mir’aat Al-`Uqool, vol. 15, pg. 154

Now, here are some classical scholarly opinions on doing tawarruk, and when to do it.
1.       Between your Sajdahs
2.      During your Tashahhud
فإذا فرغت منه رفعت رأسك من السّجود. فإذا استويت جالسا، قلت: «اللّه أكبر» و ليكن جلوسك على فخذك الأيسر. تضع ظاهر قدمك الأيمن على بطن قدمك الأيسر
“When you finish (saying tasbeeH in sajdah) raise your head from sajdah, and sit up still, and say “Allaahu Akbar”, and let you sit upon your left thigh. And place the outside (visible part) of your right foot on the stomach of your left foot”
1.     Al-Toosi, Al-Nihaayah fee Mujarrad Al-Fiqh wa Al-Fataawa, pg. 72

أن يقعد متورك
“To sit in tawarruk”
1.     Al-Muhaqqiq Al-Hillee, Sharaa-i' Al-Islaam, vol. 1, pg. 77
2.     Al-'Aamilee, Madaarik Al-aHkaam fee SharH 'ibaadaat sharaa-i' Al-islaam, vol. 3, pg. 312 - 313
أن يجلس متوركا و صفته أن يجلس على وركه الأيسر و يخرج رجليه جميعا فيجعل ظاهر قدمه الأيسر إلى الأرض و ظاهر قدمه الأيمن إلى باطن الأيسر
(In the Sunnah acts of Tashahhud) “To sit in tawarruk, the characteristics are: to sit on the left hip, and taking out his two legs together, and making the outside (visible part) of your left foot to the ground and the outside (visible part) of your right foot to the stomach of the left (foot).”
1.     Al-Muhaqqiq Al-Hillee, Sharaa-i' Al-Islaam, vol. 1, pg. 78

Here is what Al-Seestaanee says about Tawarruk, taken from his Risaalah:

“1112. It is Mustahab to sit on the left thigh during tashahhud, and to place the upper part of the right foot on the sole of the left foot “
1.     Al-Seestaani, Risaalah, Kitaab Al-Salaah, Ch. On Tashahhud, Ruling # 1112

Here is a question that was posed to him on his website in regards to Tawarruk in Salaah:

هل يمكن التورك علی فخذ الساق بين السجدتين ؟
Question: “Can I do tawarruk on the thigh of my leg between the two sajdahs?”

التورك المستحب هوان يجلس علی فخذه الايسر جاعلاً ظهر القدم اليمنی في بطن اليسری وغير هذه الحالة غير مستحب وان كان جائزاً
Answer: “Tawarruk is mustaHab, it is to sit in humility on his left thigh making the outside (visible part) of your right foot on the stomach of your left and other than this situation it is undesirable and it is permitted (jaa’iz)”
Here is a picture of how you do tawarruk, this will help you put the words into an action form.

(From Behind)

(From Side)

السلام عليكم


  1. Concept of sitting in Tawarruk can be found in the many Sunni school of thoughts. AFAIK in Sunni there are two types of sitting. One type is the normal type where it is easier to stand up from. Tawarruk is usually the last sitting in the last rakat.

    I would like to know in Shia practice whether the right toe are kept flat as per your image shown, or pointed towards qibla? The hadiths you mentioned are silent on this.

    p.s. BTW I could not get to sitting as per the image. The most I could get end is placing my lower right shin over the "mouth" of my left foot.