Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam.
Question: As-salamu-‘Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu
I am in a bit of confusion regarding the opening takbeer of salah. After checking various books of fiqh and online fatawa, I am still not sure what is the fatwa position on whether the opening takbeer is a shart or rukn.
I know the Imam Muhammad regarded it as an integral, while according to the other two Imams it is a condition. But which position is the fatwa position in the Hanafi madhab?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and spirits, insha’Allah.
According to the Hanafi school (madhab), the relied upon position is that the opening takbir (tahrima) is a condition (shart) for the validity of the prayer, and not an integral (rukn). [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
This is the position of Abu Hanifa and Abu Yusuf, and deemed to be most correct by the verifiers of the school. Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani held the other opinion which is that it is an integral.
In general, an integral of the prayer is something that makes up the form of the prayer such that were an onlooker to observe the person perform only the integrals of the prayer, they would consider them to have prayed. The opening takbir is not from this minimum form of the prayer, hence not an integral.
The reason the jurists (fuqaha) often include it in the section on the integrals is because it has some of the meanings of an integral by being connected to the standing (qiyam), which is an integral. Some explain further that the takbir is akin to the door of the house [of prayer]. In any case, the upshot is that it is operationally obligatory and the difference is a technicality.
And Allah alone gives success.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.