Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: What is the maliki position on where the eyes should be when sitting and standing while praying?

Answer: According to Imam Malik, one has the face towards the Qibla as Allah says, “So turn your faces towards the Sacred Mosque” (Quran 2:144).  So, during sitting and standing, one would face the Qibla. During the Ruku, one looks straight down.

Although there is a sound Hadith saying that one should look at the place of prostration, the reasoning of Imam Malik is that to abrogate or set a condition to an ayah would require a proof as strong as an ayah. You can have a strong Hadith (sahih) but if its chain is single (ahaad), then it cannot abrogate an verse of the Quran which is at the level of mutwattir and thus stronger than ahaad.

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