Authentic Adhkar: Lesson 24

Sat  15th Sep 2018

Lesson 24: Raising the hands when making dua

  • It is from one of the great mannerisms of making dua to raise the hands
  • It is something which is established from the sunnah in multiple narrations
  • Imam Al-Suyūdi mentioned that there are approximately 100 hadith which mention that The Prophet () used to raise his hands when making dua
  • Imam Al-Bukhari has a specific chapter in his Sahih book entitled “The raising of the hands on invoking”
  • The hadith of Abu Musa Al-Ashari (may Allah be pleased with him)
  • The hadith of Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him)
  • Narrated Anas: “The Prophet (ﷺ) raised his hands (in invocation) till I saw the whiteness of his armpits.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
  • Al-Hafidh Ibn Hajar mentioned in his explanation of Sahih Al-Bukhari the widespread narrations regarding the raising of the hands when making dua
  • The Hadith of Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her)
  • Salman Al-Farsi narrated that the Prophet () said: “Indeed, Allah, is Hayy, Generous, when a man raises his hands to Him, He feels too shy to return them to him empty and rejected.” [At-Tirmidhi]

Raising the hands in different circumstances:

  • General method of raising the hands:
    • One should raise his/her hands to the level of the shoulders, with the palms facing upwards
    • g. when making a general dua or in qunuut etc.
  • When asking for forgiveness or mentioning Allah’s tawhid:
    • It is mentioned that in these cases one can raise his finger
    • g. in the tashahud
  • When in a state of great need or in distress:
    • In these cases one can raise his hands up high such that his underarms can be seen
    • g. in the rain (istisqa) prayer during a drought
  • Issue:

  • Narrated Anas: Allah’s Apostle did not use to raise his hands in his invocations except in the Istisqa (i.e. invoking Allah for the rain) in which he used to raise his hands so high that one could see the whiteness of his armpits. [Sahih al-Bukhari]
  • This hadith seems to indicate that the Prophet (ﷺ) only used to raise his hands during the rain (istisqa) prayer
  • However Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said that what is correct is that the hands can be raised in any dua generally as mentioned by the multiple other narrations stating this, however the best way to combine between this hadith and the others is that the meaning of the Hadith of Anas is that Anas was referring to the specific type of raising one’s hands high up such that his under arms could be seen, i.e. that the Prophet (ﷺ) would only raise his hands in such a way for the rain prayer (i.e. in times of drought and distress)
  • Al-Hafidh Ibn Hajar also says the same as the above, i.e. that when Anas says he did not raise his hands in such a manner (high up) except for the rain prayer.
  • Therefore the conclusion is that one can raise his hands in any prayer but one should only raise his hands up (such that his under arms can be seen) in a state of distress such as during a drought when performing the rain prayer

What is the purpose of raising the hands?

  • One of the lofty mannerisms of dua is for a servant to raise hands when making dua
  • This indicates your humility and shows your poverty and need before Allah
  • The greater the need, the greater one raising his hands
  • Raising the hands shows one’s humbleness towards Allah and magnifies his majesty
  • Raising the hands indicates that Allah is above, this opposes the people of innovation who claim otherwise (that he is everywhere, subhaanallaah) even though they themselves raise their hands towards the heavens
  • Allah says:“O mankind! it is you who stand in need of Allah, but Allah is Rich (Free of all wants and needs), Worthy of all praise.” [Surah Al-Fatir (The Originator) verse 15]
  • It shows that Allah is the only one worthy of worship

The Aqeedah of Ahlusunnah:

  • Raising the hands indicates that Allah is above, this opposes the people of innovation who claim otherwise (that he is everywhere, subhaanallaah) even though they themselves raise their hands towards the heavens
  • Raising the hands is part of the natural disposition of the heart which recognises that our Lord is indeed above us

 

Next week insha Allah: Facing the Qiblah & Mistakes when people raise the hands

 

 

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