The Prophet's Prayer [صلى الله علیه وسلم] Described

Author: Imaam Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen al-Albaanee

Published: Friday 22nd January, 2016

Appendix 8

The Weakness Of The Ahaadeeth Mentioning Wiping The Face With The Hands After Du'aa (Supplication)

From Irwaa' al-Ghaleel (2/178-182) by Shaykh al-Albaanee

  1. "The Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم), when he raised his hands in du`aa', he would not put them down until he had wiped his face with them."

    Da`eef (Weak). Transmitted by Tirmidhi (2/244) & Ibn `Asaakir (7/12/2) via: Hammaad ibn `Isa al-Juhani from Hanzalah ibn Abi Sufyaan al-Jamhi from Saalim ibn `Abdullaah from his father from `Umar ibn al-Khattaab, who said: ...

    Tirmidhi said after it,

    "This is a saheeh ghareeb hadeeth. We only know it as a hadeeth of Hammaad ibn `Esa, for he is alone in reporting it; he has few ahaadeeth, but the people have reported from him."

    However, this reporter is weak, as in Taqreeb of Ibn Hajr, who says about him in Tahdheeb:

    • Ibn Ma`een said, "A good Shaykh" [1]
    • Abu Haatim said, "Weak in Hadeeth";
    • Abu Daawood said, "Weak, he reports munkar ahaadeeth";
    • Haakim and Naqqaash said, "He reports fabricated ahaadeeth from Ibn Juraij and Ja`far as-Saadiq."
    • He is declared to be weak by Daaraqutni.
    • Ibn Hibbaan said, "He reports things which are the wrong way round on the authority of Ibn Juraij and `Abdul `Azeez ibn `Umar ibn `Abdul `Azeez, such that it seems to those whose field this is that it is deliberate; it is not permissible to use him as proof."
    • Ibn Maakoolaa said, "They declare his ahaadeeth to be weak."

    Hence, the like of this reporter is very weak, so his ahaadeeth cannot be raised to the level of hasan, let alone saheeh!

    A similar hadeeth is:

    "When the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) did du`aa' and raised his hands, he would wipe his face with his hands."

    Da`eef (Weak). Abu Daawood (1492) from Ibn Lahee`ah from Hafs ibn Hishaam ibn `Utbah ibn Abi Waqqaas from Saa'ib ibn Yazeed from his father.

    This is a weak sanad due to Hafs ibn Hishaam being unknown and the weakness of Ibn Lahee`ah (cf. Taqreeb at-Tahdheeb).

    This hadeeth cannot be strengthened by the two routes of narration together due to the severity in weakness of the first one, which you have seen.

  2. "When you call upon Allaah, then supplicate with the palms of your hands, and do not supplicate with their backs, and when you finish, wipe your face with them."

    Da`eef (Weak). Related by Ibn Maajah (1181, 3866), Ibn Nasr in Qiyaam al-Lail (p. 137), Tabaraani in Al-Mu`jam al-Kabeer (3/98/1) & Haakim (1/536), from Saalih ibn Hassaan from Muhammad ibn Ka`b from Ibn `Abbaas (رضي الله عنه‎) as marfoo`.

    • This is a weak sanad due to Ibn Hassaan, who is munkar in Hadeeth, as Bukhaari said; Nasaa'i said, "He is abandoned in Hadeeth";
    • Ibn Hibbaan said, "He used to have female singers and listen to music, and he used to narrate fabricated reports on the authority of trustworthy narrators";
    • Ibn Abi Haatim said in Kitaab al-`Ilal (2/351), "I asked my father (i.e. Abu Haatim al-Raazi) about this hadeeth, to which he said: 'Munkar'."

    Ibn Hassaan has been backed up by `Eesaa ibn Maimoon, who also reported it from Muhammad ibn Ka`b, as related by Ibn Nasr. However, this does not alter anything, since Ibn Maimoon is similarly weak:

    • Ibn Hibbaan said, "He reports ahaadeeth, all of which are fabricated";
    • Nasaa'i said, "Not reliable."

    This hadeeth of Ibn `Abbaas is also related by Abu Daawood (1485), and from him Baihaqi (2/212), via: `Abdul Malik ibn Muhammad ibn Aiman from `Abdullaah ibn Ya`qoob ibn Ishaaq from someone who narrated to him from Muhammad ibn Ka`b, the wording being:

    "Do not cover the walls. He who looks into the letter of his brother without his permission, verily he looks into the Fire. Ask Allaah with the palms of your hands, and do not ask him with their backs, and when you finish, wipe your faces with them."

    This is a weak sanad: `Abdul Malik is declared weak by Abu Daawood; it also contain the Shaykh of `Abdullaah ibn Ya`qoob who is unnamed, and therefore unknown - it is possible that he may be Ibn Hassaan or Ibn Maimoon, both of whom are mentioned above.

    The hadeeth is also transmitted by Haakim (4/270) via: Muhammad ibn Mu`aawiyah, who said that Masaadif ibn Ziyaad al-Madeeni narrated to him that he heard it from Muhammad ibn Ka`b al-Qurazi. Dhahabi followed this up by pointing out that Ibn Mu`aawiyah was declared to be a liar by Daaraqutni, so the hadeeth is falsified.

    Abu Daawood said about this hadeeth, "This hadeeth has been narrated via more than one route on the authority of Muhammad ibn Ka`b; all of them are feeble."

Raising the hands on doing Qunoot for a calamity is established from the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم) in his supplication against the polytheists who killed seventy reciters - transmitted by Imaam Ahmad (3/137) & Tabaraani in Al-Mu`jam as-Sagheer (p. 111) as the hadeeth of Anas with a saheeh sanad. Similar is proved from `Umar and others in the Qunoot of Witr Prayer. However, since wiping the face after Du`aa' al-Qunoot is not quoted at all from the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم), nor from any of his Companions, it is an innovation without doubt.

As for wiping the face after du`aa' outside of prayer, there are only these two ahaadeeth; it is not correct to say that they mutually strengthen each other to the rank of hasan, as Manaawi did, due to the severity of the weakness found in their routes of narration. This is why Imaam Nawawi said in Majmoo`, "It is not recommended", endorsing Ibn `Abd as-Salaam, who said, "Only an ignorant person does it."

The view that wiping the face after du`aa' is not prescribed is strengthened by the fact that there are many authentic ahaadeeth about raising the hands in supplication, and in none of them is there a mention of wiping the face; this shows, Allaah Willing, that it is unacceptable and not prescribed.


[1] If Ibn Ma`een speaks favourably about a narrator, whereas the rest of the scholars declare him to be weak, then the statement of Ibn Ma`een is disregarded, the reason being that he was known for his strictness and severity in criticism: weak narrators would be very careful not to reveal their weakness before him; he would therefore pass judgment accordingly. This explains why he is alone in authenticating the narrator.


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