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Raising Hands and Rubbing Face in Duaa: OK?

24 July, 2018
Q As-salamu `alaykum. What is the Islamic opinion regarding raising hands while reciting supplication or making duaa and, also, what is the Islamic ruling regarding rubbing the face after finishing the duaa’?


Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

It has been authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) raised his hands in supplication during prayer. As for rubbing the face after making duaa, it is a controversial issue among scholars.

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Referring to the first point concerning raising hands while making duaaSheikh `Atiyyah Saqr, the late head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, states:

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) quoted the Prophet (peace be upon him) as saying, “Allah Almighty is good and accepts only that which is good. Allah has commanded the faithful to do that which he commanded the Messengers, and He Almighty says, ‘O you Messengers! Eat of the good things and do right…’ And Allah also says, ‘O you who believe! Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you…” (Muslim)

Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned (the case of) a man who, having journeyed far, is disheveled and dusty and who lifts up his hands to the sky [saying], “O Lord! O Lord!” – while his food is unlawful, his drink unlawful, his clothing unlawful, and he is nourished unlawfully, so how can he be answered!” (Muslim)

On the basis of the aforementioned Hadith, most scholars state that there is nothing wrong in raising the hands while making duaa.

However, some others state that raising hands is not recommended save while performing Salatul-Istisqaa’ (Prayer performed for beseeching Allah for Rain). They quoted the following Hadith in support of their view:

Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not use to raise his hands in his invocations except in Salatul-Istisqaa’ in which he used to raise his hands so high that one could see the whiteness of his armpits.

As for rubbing the face after reciting duaa, we can say that it is reported by Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to rub his face with his hands after reciting duaa.’” (At-Tirmidhi)

In their commentary on the previous Hadith, some scholars state that it is a strange (ghareeb) Hadith. Others dubbed it as weak (da`if).

In his book Al-Adhkar, Imam An-Nawawi, states that there are three different views maintained by the Shafi`is regarding raising the hands and wiping the face while reciting duaa. The view which is deemed to be the most correct from among those three opinions is the one which states that raising hands is recommended, whereas rubbing face is not.

To conclude, the issue of rubbing the face after reciting the duaa is controversial. Thus, a Muslim can choose the opinion that best suits him in this case.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.