Raising Hands in Du`a and Wiping Face after Du`a


Many Salafis object to raising hands in du`a after Salat. Is this correct?


This is another matter where la-madhhabis and “Salafis” deviate from the practice of Ahl al-Sunna and try to change established practice with all sorts of arguments.

It is related through many different chains that the Prophet ﷺ raised his hands in du`a and that he did not rest them before wiping his face with them. It is narrated by Tirmidhi in the book of Da`awat, from `Umar ibn al-Khattab, and he said: gharib (very rare).

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar in Bulugh al-maram (#1343) after citing the different da`if (weak) narrations regarding this, says: wa majmu`uha yaqtadi annahu hasan. “From their collated weight it is concluded that the hadith is hasan (fair).” This explains why it is considered Sunna, as found in many of the books of fiqh.

The scholars agree that it is Sunna to raise one’s hands in du`a. It is stated explicitly by Nawawi in al-Majmu` and by Ibn Hajar in Fath al-bari, the latter’s words being: “Nawawi said: The scholars said: The Sunna in every du`a… wherein one asks for something is to raise one’s hands towards the heaven.” (Fath al-bari, 1989 ed. 2:658.) This ruling has been established at length by Shaykh Muhammad al-Ahdal in his book entitled Sunniyyat raf` al-yadayn fi al-du`a’ ba`d al-salawat al-maktuba, which the late Shaykh `Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda edited. Also noteworthy is Bakr Abu Zayd’s monograph on the topic, entitled Juz’ fi mash al-yadayn ba`d al-du`a’.

Ibn Hajar elsewhere in the Fath (11:170-172) lists many sound hadiths to that effect, in commenting upon Bukhari’s chapter: “Raising hands in du`a” in the book of Da`awat of his Sahih:

Bukhari narrates in his Sahih, Book of invocations (da`awat), chapter 23: “Raising hands in du`a”: Abu Musa al-Ash`ari said: “The Prophet ﷺ made a supplication then he raised his hands and I saw the whiteness of his armpits.” Ibn `Umar said: “The Prophet ﷺ raised his hands and said: O Allah, I am innocent before you of Khalid [ibn al-Walid]’s doing.” Bukhari said: al-Uwaysi said: Muhammad ibn Ja`far narrated to me from Yahya ibn Sa`id and Sharik that they both heard Anas say: “The Prophet ﷺ raised his two hands until I saw the whiteness of his armpits.”

[Excerpted from The Encyclopedia of Islamic Doctrine, Vol 7]

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

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