Raising your hands for dua

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DarulUloomTT.org

Q. I am currently doing an Islamic study course and we are told that our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) never used to rasie his hands all the time in dua and as such we should not raise our hands in dua always.

There are occasions on which the Prophet (SAS) raised his hands for dua, and there are occasions on which he did not raise his hands. For example, while going to the washroom and exiting, he made dua but did not raise his hands. Similarly, while entering and exiting the masjid, before and after eating, before and after sleeping. In all these cases, he did not raise his hands for dua. There are other situations in which he raised his hands for dua, especially when he made a request to Allah or he petitioned Allah for something. In fact, the Prophet (SAS) mentioned the etiquettes of dua and highlighted that one should raise his hands (while making dua).

Hence, on those occasions when the Prophet (SAS) did not raise his hands while making dua, one can do the same, (especially while reciting the masnoon duas, as mentioned before), and at other occasions when one is beseeching Allah, and making a request, he should raise his hands with humility to Allah and do it in the way instructed by the Prophet (SAS) by raising his hands.

In this regard, the Messenger of Allah (S.A.S.) said, ‘Indeed, Allah is shy and beneficent. He is shy when his servant raises his hands to him (in dua) to return them empty, disappointed’. (Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Tirmizi, who stated that it is saheeh. Ibn Hibban in his Saheeh, Hakim, who says that it is saheeh upon the conditions of Bukhari and Muslim).

In addition, it is authentically narrated in many traditions that the Prophet (S.A.S.) used to make dua with the inside of his palms facing his face and he also instructed his companions to do so.

It is narrated from Abu Bakr (R.A.) that the Prophet (S.A.S.) said, ‘Ask Allah with the inside of your hand palms and do not ask him (i.e. supplicate) with the outside of the hand palms. (Recorded by Tabrani in Al Kabeer, who said it is saheeh (sound)’.

Another tradition states that Malik bin Yasar (R.A.) narrates that the Prophet (S.A.S.) said, ‘When you ask from Allah, ask him with the inside of your hand palms and do not ask him with the outside of the hand palms’. (Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, Tabrani).

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan