​Wiping the Face with the Hands After Du’a has no basis

Q: Some callers to Allah (Exalted be He) told us that a Muslim should not wipe over his face after making Dua' (supplication), because this is a form of Bidah (innovation in religion), as they say. Kindly give us the legal opinion in this regard.

A: First, the slave’s calling upon his Lord and asking Him for his needs is valid and encouraged, and raising the hands while performing Du`a’ (supplication) to beseech Allah (Exalted be He) and turn to Him, is an established act of worship.

Concerning wiping over the face after making Dua', there is Hadith which is classed as Daif (weak) and is related by Ibn Majah from the narration of Salih ibn Hassan Al-Nadry on the authority of Muhammad ibn Kab Al-Qurazhy from IbnAbbas (may Allah be pleased with them) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, When you supplicate Allah, do so with the palms of your hands, not with their backs. After you have finished, wipe your face therewith.

This Hadith is Daif due to the weakness of Salih ibn Hassan. He was classified as a weak narrator by Ahmad, Ibn Main, Abu Hatim, and Al-Daraqutny. Al-Bukhari said that his narrated Hadith are rejected, and the same was said by Abu Nu`aym Al-Asbahany who said that his (Salih’s) Hadith are rejected and he is Matruk (a narrator whose Hadith transmission was discarded due to unreliability). Ibn Hibban said: He used to listen to songs and singers and also used to narrate fabricated Hadith while falsely ascribing them to trustworthy narrators. It is also said by Ibn Al-Jawzy concerning this Hadith, it is unauthentic because of the presence of Salih ibn Hassan.

There is another Hadith in this regard related by Al-Tirmidhy in his Sunan: Abu Musa Muhammad ibn Al-Muthanna and Ibrahim ibn Yaqub and others said: We were told by Hammad ibnIsa Al-Juhany on the authority of Hanzhalah ibn Abu Sufyan Al-Jumahy from Salim ibn Abdullah from his father, fromUmar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: 

Whenever Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) raised his hands for supplication, he would not lower them until he had passed them over his face. Muhammad ibn Al-Muthanna said in the Hadith he narrated: “He did not put them back down until he had wiped them over his face.”

Abu Isa said: This is a Sahih Gharib (a Hadith with a single narrator usually at the beginning of the chain of narration) Hadith which has only one narration by Hammad ibnIsa and he is the only narrator of it although his narrations are few. Hanzhalah ibn Abu Sufyan is a Thiqah (trustworthy) narrator, as judged by Yahya ibn Said Al-Qattan. However, the Hadith has in its Sanad (chain of narrators) Hammad ibnIsa who is a weak narrator as well as being the only narrator of the Hadith as mentioned by Al-Tirmidhy in his Sunan.

As Dua' is a prescribedIbadah (worship), and there is no authentic evidence from the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him), whether in his actions to support that; rather, only Daif narrations, it is preferable to abandon that act in favor of the authentic Hadith in which there is no mention of wiping over the face after finishing Dua’.
Second, the basic rule concerning acts of worship is that they are Tawqifiy (bound by a religious text and not amenable to personal opinion), and Allah (Exalted be He) is only to be worshipped in the manner that He ordained.
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.
The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’

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