Wiping the Face with the Hands After Du’a – alifta

Fatwa no. 2396

Q: Some callers to Allah (Exalted be He) told us that a Muslim should not wipe over his face after making Du`a’ (supplication), because this is a form of Bid`ah (innovation in religion), as they say. They further say that if the Mu’adhin (caller to Prayer) says while performing Iqamah (call to start the Prayer): “The time of Salah (Prayer) has come”, it is not permissible for prayers to say: “May Allah establish it and cause it to continue.” 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 Du`a’, there is Hadith which is classed as Da`if (weak) and is related by Ibn Majah from the narration of Salih ibn Hassan Al-Nadry on the authority of Muhammad ibn Ka`b Al-Qurazhy from Ibn `Abbas (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. [1]

This Hadith is Da`if due to the weakness of Salih ibn Hassan. He was classified as a weak narrator by Ahmad, Ibn Ma`in, 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 Ya`qub and others said: We were told by Hammad ibn `Isa Al-Juhany on the authority of Hanzhalah ibn Abu Sufyan Al-Jumahy from Salim ibn `Abdullah from his father, from `Umar 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.[2] 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.” [3]

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 ibn `Isa 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 Sa`id Al-Qattan. However, the Hadith has in its Sanad (chain of narrators) Hammad ibn `Isa who is a weak narrator as well as being the only narrator of the Hadith as mentioned by Al-Tirmidhy in his Sunan.

As Du`a’ is a prescribed `Ibadah (worship), and there is no authentic evidence from the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him), whether in his words or actions to support that; rather, only Da`if 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 Du`a’.

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.

Furthermore, it has not been authentically narrated from the Prophet (peace be upon him) upon hearing the Iqamah, that he said: “May Allah establish it and cause it to continue”. But this was narrated by Abu Dawud in his Sunan from a weak narrator. He said: We were told by Sulayman ibn Dawud Al-`Ataky who said: We were told by Muhammad ibn Thabit who said: I was told by a man from the Levant (the region covering Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine) on the authority of Shahr ibn Hawshab from Abu Umamah or from some of the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) that Bilal started to declare Iqamah, and when he said, “The time of Salah has come,” the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “May Allah establish it and cause it to continue.” The reason behind the weakness of that Hadith is that its Sanad had an unknown narrator whose narration is not considered reliable. Therefore, the saying “may Allah establish it and cause it to continue” is not prescribed, because it was not authentically reported; rather, it is preferable on the part of anyone hearing the Iqamah to say as the person who declares it says, because it takes the same ruling as Adhan (call to Prayer). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, When you hear the Mu’adhin (caller to prayer), repeat what he says.


[1] Abu Dawud, Sunan, Book on Salah, no. 1485; and Ibn Majah, Sunan, Book on supplication, no. 3866.

[2] Al-Tirmidhy, Sunan, Book on supplications, no. 3386.’

[3] Al-Tirmidhy, Sunan, Book on supplications, no. 3386.’

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’

Member Member Deputy Chairman Chairman
`Abdullah ibn Qa`ud `Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan `Abdul-Razzaq `Afify `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz

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