The Weakness of the Ahādeeth Mentioning Wiping the Face with the Hands After Duʿā (Supplication)

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The Weakness of the Ahādeeth Mentioning Wiping the Face with the Hands After Duʿā (Supplication)

From Irwā al-Ghaleel (2/178-182) of Al-Imām al-Albānī (rahimahullāh).

ONE: “The Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam), when he raised his hands in du’ā, he would not put them down until he had wiped his face with them.”

It is da’īf (weak). it was transmitted by Tirmidhi (2/244) & Ibn ‘Asākir (7 /12/2) via: Hammād ibn ‘Isa al-Juhani from Hanzalah ibn Abi Sufyān al-Jamhi from Sālim ibn ‘Abdullāh from his father from ‘Uman ibn al-Khattāb, who said: (the hadīth). Tirmidhi said after it, ”This is a sahīh gharīb hadīth. We only know it as a hadīth of Hammād ibn ‘Esa; for he is alone in reporting it; he has few ahadīth, but the people have reported from him.”

However, this reporter is weak, as in Taqrīb of Ibn Hajr, who says about him in Tahdhīb: “lbn Ma’īn said, ‘A good shaikh’. Abu Hātim said, ‘Weak in Hadīth’. Abu Dāwood said, ‘Weak, he reports munkar ahadīth’. Hākim and Naqqāsh said, ‘He reports fabricated ahadīth from lbn Juraij and Ja’far as-Sādiq.’ He is declared to be weak by Dāraqutni. Ibn Hibbān said, ‘He reports things which are the wrong way round on the authority of Ibn Juraij and ‘Abdul-‘Azīz· ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul-‘Azīz, such that it sīms to those whose field this is that it is deliberate. It is not permissible to use him as proof.’ Ibn Mākoolā said, ‘They declare his ahādīth to be weak.’”

Note: If Ibn Ma’īn speaks favourably about a narrator while the rest of the scholars declare him to be weak, then the saying of Ibn Ma’īn is disregarded. The reason being that he was known for strictness and severity in criticism: so 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.

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

A similar hadīth is: “When the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) made du’ā and raised his hands, he would wipe his face with his hands.”

This narration is da’īf (weak). Abu Dawood (1492) from Ibn Lahī’ah from Hafs ibn Hishām ibn ‘Utbah ibn Abi Waqqās from Sā’ib ibn Yazīd from his father.

This is a weak sanad due to Hafs ibn Hishām being unknown and the weakness of Ibn Lahī’ah (sī Taqrīb at-Tahdhīb).

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

TWO: “When you call upon Allāh, then supplicate with the palms of your hands, and do not supplicate with their backs, and when you finish, wipe your face with them.”

The narration is da’īf (weak). Related by Ibn Mājah (1181, 3866), Ibn Nasr in Qiyām al-Lail (p. 137), Tabarāni in Al-Mu’jam al-Kabīr (3/98/1) and Hākim (1/536), from Sālih ibn Hassān from Muhammad ibn Ka’b from Ibn ‘Abbās (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) as marfoo’.

This is a weak sanad due to Ibn Hassān, who is munkar in hadīth, as Bukhāri stated. Nasā’ī said, “He is abandoned in Hadīth”. Ibn Hibbān 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 Hātim said in Kitāb al-‘Ilal (2/351), “I asked my father (i.e. Abu Hātim al-Rāzi) about this hadīth, to which he said: it is Munkar”.

Ibn Hassān has bīn backed up by ‘Īsā 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 Hibbān said, “He reports ahadīth, all of which are fabricated”. Nasā’ī said, “He is not reliable.”

This hadīth of Ibn ‘Abbās is also related by Abu Dāwood (1485), and from him Baihaqi (2/212), via ‘Abdul Malik ibn Muhammad ibn Aiman from ‘Abdullāh ibn Ya’qoob ibn Ishāq 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 Allāh 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 Dawood. It also contains the shaikh of ‘Abdullāh ibn Ya’qoob who is unnamed, and therefore unknown – it is possible that he may be Ibn Hassān or Ibn Maimoon, both of whom are mentioned above.

The hadīth is also transmitted by Hākim (4/270) via Muhammad ibn Mu’āwiyah, who said that Masādif ibn Ziyād al-Madīni narrated to him that he heard it from Muhammad ibn Ka’b al-Qurazi. Dhahabi followed this up by pointing out that Ibn Mu’āwiyah was declared to be a liar by Dāraqutni, so the hadīth is falsified.

Abu Dāwood said about this hadīth, “This hadīth has been narrated via more than one route on the authority of Muhammad ibn Ka’b. All of them are fīble.”

Raising the hands on doing Qunoot for a calamity is established from the Messenger of Allāh (sallallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) in his supplication against the polytheists who killed seventy reciters. This was transmitted by Imām Ahmad (3/137) and Tabarāni in Al-Mu’jam as-Saghīr (p. 111) as the hadīth of Anas with a sahīh sanad. Similar is proved from ‘Umar and others in the Qunoot of Witr Prayer. However, since wiping the face after Du’a al-Qunoot is not quoted at all from the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam), nor from any of his Companions, it is an innovation without a doubt.

As for wiping the face after du’ā’ outside of prayer, there are only these two ahadīth. It is not correct to say that they mutually strengthen each other to the rank of hasan, as Manāwi did, due to the severity of the weakness found in their routes of narration. This is why Imām An-Nawawi said in Majmoo’, “It is not recommended”, endorsing Ibn ‘Abdus-Salām, who said, “Only an ignorant person does it.”

The view that wiping the face after du’a is not prescribed is strengthened by the fact that there are many authentic ahadīth about raising the hands in supplication, and in none of them is there a mention of wiping the face. This shows, Allāh willing, that it is unacceptable and not prescribed.

(Ref: Taken (upon verification) from the original translation of Sifatus-Salāh of Imām al-Albāni (rahimahullāh), 1993, slightly edited)

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