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Wiping the Face After Making Du’aa

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Shafiifiqh.com

Question: What is the ruling on wiping the face after making du’aa (supplication) in Qunut within the Salah? What about outside of Salah?


The Shāfi’ī jurists disagree as to whether or not one should wipe the face with their hands after du’aa within the Qunut of Salah. Imam An-Nawawi (qaddasa Allahu Ruhuh) explicitly states that it is not recommended for one to wipe his face after qunut with his hands. In his Al-Minhaj he states,

“And the qunut is a Sunnah when rising from the bowing position (ruku’) in the second raka’ah of the morning prayer (As-Subh). And what is said is [the supplication],اللهم اهديني فيمن هديت”Allahumma Ahdini fiman hadayt…” until the end of the supplication. The Imam recites [the du’aa – supplication] in plural form, and what is correct (sahīh) is that it is Sunnah to send blessings upon Rasūlullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) at the end of the supplication, and that the hands be raised, and that one does not wipe their face (ولا يمسح وجهه), and that the Imām says it aloud while the one following says Amīn.”

In his Tahqiq, what is considered one of his last works, and generally his most authoritative work, he states that it is not recommended for one to wipe his face after the qunut within Salah:

“And it is recommended to raise one’s hands [in the qunut] without wiping the face according to the correct opinion. And it is makruh to wipe [with the hands] any other part of the body.” [Page 221, Kitab At-Tahqiq, Dar-Al-Jil Beirut]

However, this is not his view regarding outside of the Salah when making du’aa. He says,

“And it is recommended to do dhikr and du’aa at the end of every Salah silently. Though if the Imam wants to teach the people [the du’aa and dhikr that is to be done] he can do so aloud, but when they have learned [the du’aa etc], then it is to be done silently…and it is mandub (recommended) to raise the hands in every du’aa outside of Salah and afterwards one wipes their face with their hands. And du’aa that is recorded (ma’thurah) in the works of Hadith from the Nabi (sa) are more virtuous…”

This view of Imam An-Nawawi was noted by Imam Khatib Ash-Shirbini in his Mughni Al-Muhtaj, his work that comments upon Imam An-Nawawi’s Al-Minhaj.

(click image to make larger)

From the Minhaj: [Imam An-Nawawi said] (and one does not wipe their face)

Mughni Al-Muhtaj, Al-Khatib says:

“(and) The correct view is (one does not wipe) with the two hands (their face) meaning that it is not Sunnah to do that due to the lack of it being reported as Imam Al-Bayhaqi stated. The second view is that it is Sunnah due to the narration “Wipe with the hands your faces” and it is reported with a weak chain. […] and as for wiping the face at the end of du’aa outside of Salah then Ibn Abdus-Salam said after establishing its detestability ‘no one does this save for the ignorant!’ [end of his words], and it is narrated regarding the issue of wiping one’s face with both hands, some narrations of which are gharib (i.e. singularly narrated) and others that are da’if (weak), and with all this said, [Imam An-Nawawi] claimed in his At-Tahqiq that it is recommended.

Imam Zakariya ibn Muhammad ibn Zakariya Al-Ansari who stated in Fathul-Wahhab bi Sharh Al-Manhaj, ,

لا مسح ) لوجهه وغيره لعدم ثبوته في الوجه وعدم وروده في غيره)

(One does not wipe …) “his face or other than it due to the lack of established narrations regarding the face.”

There are yet some scholars within the Shafi’i school that deem wiping the face recommended after the qunut of Fajr and Witr. Imam An-Nawawi states in his Majmu’ that those who held the view that to wipe the face after du’aa in qunut as mustahabb (recommended) were,

“Al-Qadi Abu Tayyib, Shaykh Abu Muhammad Al-Juwayni, Ibn As-Sabbagh, Al-Mutawalli, Shaykh Nasr in his Kitab, and the author of Al-Bayan (that will be produced below).”

Imam An-Nawawi then states the second opinion,

“That one does not wipe his face, and this is the Sahih (correct opinion), this was deemed correct by Imam Al-Bayhaqi, Ar-Rafi’i and the later scholars of the researchers.” (Al-Majmu’ Vol. 3 pg 480)

Imam Abul-Husayn Yahya ibn Abil-Khayr ibn Salim Al-‘Imrani Ash-Shafi’i Al-Yamani [489-558 A.H.] states in his tome, “Al-Bayan fi Madh-hab Al-Imam Ash-Shafi’i”, as alluded to by Imam An-Nawawi in the above quote, the following:

“And with all of this, it is recommended that one wipe their hands upon their face at the end of the du’a, due to what is reported from Ibn ‘Abbas (ra) that the Nabi (sa) said, “When you supplicate, supplicate to Allah with the palms of your hands, and do not call upon him with the tops of your hands [facing upward], and when you have finished [the supplication] wipe your face with your hands.” Ibn As-Sabbagh said, “One does not wipe their hands upon any part of the body save for the face, and if one does that it is makruh (disliked).” ((page 257 of Al-Bayan fi Madh-hab Al-Imam Ash-Shafi’i published by Dar Al-Minhaj and Edited by Qasim Muhammad An-Nuri, of whose footnote we have left out of this selection to maintain the integrity of the quote from Imam Al-‘Imrani ))

Imam An-Nawawi continues after quoting the above opinions:

“Imam Al-Bayhaqi said,

“It is not preserved to wipe the face after qunut from any of the salaf (pious predecessors). And it was narrated from some of them [that it was done] in the du’aa outside of Salah, but as for within the Salah itself, then it is an act that does not have a report (khabr), athar, or even qiyas (analogical deduction) for it. And so what takes precedence is that one is not to do this.”

Imam An-Nawawi then quotes the ahadith which Imam Al-Bayhaqi narrates regarding this issue:

1) What is reported in the Sunan of Abu Dawud from Muhammad ibn Ka’ab Al-Qurathi from Ibn ‘Abbas (radiya Allahu anhuma) “Supplicate Allah with the palms of your hands; do not supplicate Him with their backs upwards. When you finish supplication, wipe your faces with them.” Abu Dawud said, “This hadith has been reported from other than this way from Muhammad ibn Ka’ab all of them having weakness (wahiyah). This is its text, and it is weak too.

2) Then Imam Al-Bayhaqi reports from ‘Ali al-Bashaani who said, ‘I asked Abdullah (i.e. ibn Al-Mubarak) regarding wiping the face after making du’aa and he said, ‘I did not find for it anything established’. ‘Ali said, ‘And I did not see him doing this action.’ And he said, ‘Abdullah used to make Qunut after ruku’ in his witr and he would raise his hands while doing so.

Imam An-Nawawi says, “This is the last of Al-Bayhaqi’s words in his Kitab As-Sunan. There is a well known letter written to Ash-Shaykh Abu Muhammad Al-Juwayni in which he rejects the things pertaining to one wiping their face after qunut. [..] Regarding the hadith of ‘Umar (radiya Allahu ‘anhu) that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) when making du’aa, would not place his hands down without wiping his face with them,’ as reported by Imam At-Tirmidhi who said ‘this hadith is gharib’, then Hammad ibn ‘Isa’ is the only one narrating it, and Hammad is weak. Shaykh Abdul-Haqq mentioned this hadith in his Kitab Al-Ahkam and said, ‘Tirmidhi said, ‘this hadith is Sahih’, then this [ i.e. this quote from Abdul-Haqq] is a mistake as he did not say it was sahih but he said it was ‘gharib’.

And so the upshot is that our companions [of the Shafi’i school] have three opinions, 1) The correct opinion (sahih), and it is that it is recommended to raise the hands in du’aa of qunut without wiping the face, 2) that it is not recommended to raise the hands or wipe the face, 3) that both wiping the face and raising the hands are mustahabb (recommended). And as for other than wiping the face, such as the chest and other parts, then our companions have agreed that it is not mustahabb, rather Ibn As-Sabbagh and others said, ‘it is Makruh’. And Allah Knows Best!”1

A Review of The Proofs

The following is a review of the proofs utilized by the Imams regarding this issue. I have included the criticisms of the late Muhammad Al-Albani who deemed these narrations weak, and thus the act itself invalid. I have relied upon the responses to his opinion by the Sunni ‘Ulama’, and have quoted the Shafi’i Imams in defense of the ahadith reported regarding this issue. Any mistakes are from myself, and any good is from the efforts of those Imams who I have relied upon.

First: The narration of ‘Umar ibn Al Khattab in Sunan At-Tirmidhi

حَدَّثَنَا ‏ ‏أَبُو مُوسَى مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الْمُثَنَّى ‏ ‏وَإِبْرَاهِيمُ بْنُ يَعْقُوبَ ‏ ‏وَغَيْرُ وَاحِدٍ ‏ ‏قَالُوا حَدَّثَنَا ‏ ‏حَمَّادُ بْنُ عِيسَى الْجُهَنِيُّ ‏ ‏عَنْ ‏ ‏حَنْظَلَةَ بْنِ أَبِي سُفْيَانَ الْجُمَحِيِّ ‏ ‏عَنْ ‏ ‏سَالِمِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ‏ ‏عَنْ ‏ ‏أَبِيهِ ‏ ‏عَنْ ‏ ‏عُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ ‏ ‏رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ ‏ ‏قَالَ ‏كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ‏ ‏صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ‏ ‏إِذَا رَفَعَ يَدَيْهِ فِي الدُّعَاءِ لَمْ يَحُطَّهُمَا حَتَّى يَمْسَحَ بِهِمَا وَجْهَهُ ‏

قَالَ‏ ‏مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الْمُثَنَّى ‏ ‏فِي حَدِيثِهِ ‏ ‏لَمْ يَرُدَّهُمَا حَتَّى يَمْسَحَ بِهِمَا وَجْهَهُ ‏ ‏قَالَ ‏ ‏أَبُوعِيسَى ‏ ‏هَذَا ‏ ‏حَدِيثٌ صَحِيحٌ  غَرِيبٌ ‏ ‏لَا نَعْرِفُهُ إِلَّا مِنْ حَدِيثِ ‏ ‏حَمَّادِ بْنِ عِيسَى ‏ ‏وَقَدْ تَفَرَّدَ بِهِ وَهُوَ قَلِيلُ الْحَدِيثِ وَقَدْ حَدَّثَ عَنْهُ النَّاسُ ‏ ‏وَحَنْظَلَةُ بْنُ أَبِي سُفْيَانَ الْجُمَحِيُّ ‏ ‏ثِقَةٌ وَثَّقَهُ ‏ ‏يَحْيَى بْنُ سَعِيدٍ الْقَطَّانُ

Musaa Muhammad ibn Al-Muthannaa and Ibraahim ibn Ya’qub and more than one stating that Hammaad ibn ‘Eesaa Al-Juhani narrated to us from Hanthalah ibn Abi Sufyaan Al-Jumahiy from Saalim ibn Abdullah from his father (Abdullah ibn Umar) from Umar ibn Al-Khattab (radhiya Allahu ‘Anhu) who said that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) when raising his hands  in du’aa, would not put them down until he had wiped his face with them.

At-Tirmithi continues, “This hadith is Sahih ghareeb2, we do not know it save from the hadith of Hammad ibn ‘Eesaa, and he alone narrates this [from Hanthala]. He has few hadith and the people reported from him. And Hanthalah ibn Abi Sufyaan al-Jumahiy is thiqah (highly trustworthy), and he was declared thiqah by Yahyaa ibn Sa’id Al-Qattaan.”

As was quoted before, Imam An-Nawawi faults Shaykh Abdul-Haqq for saying that Imam At-Tirmidhi graded this hadith Sahih. The fault is that Shaykh Abdul-Haqq (rahmatullah ‘alayh) did not report Tirmidhi’s words ‘gharib‘, or singularly narrated chain, but instead “Sahih Gharib”, which according to Imam An-Nawawi in his Al-Adhkar is not found in any “relied upon manuscript”.

Imam An-Nawawi then declares the defect in this chain to be Hammad ibn ‘Isa as he said he was “da’if” (weak). Not here that he did not label him “very weak” or “abandoned”. The late Muhammad Al-Albaani in his Irwa’ states that Hammad ibn ‘Eesaa Al-Juhani is dha’if jiddan (very weak). He writes,

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

Ibn Ma`in said, “A good shaikh” Abu Haatim said, “Weak in Hadeeth”; Abu Daawood said, “Weak, he reports munkar ahadith”; Hakim and Naqqash said, “He reports fabricated ahaadeeth from Ibn Juraij and Ja`far as-Saadiq.” He is declared to be weak by Daraqutni. Ibn Hibban 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 Makula said, “They declare his ahadith to be weak.”

Hence, the like of this reporter isvery weak, so his ahadith cannot be raised to the level of hasan, let alone saheeh!”

The exact words of Al Albaani are:

قلت : فمثله ضعيف جدا ، فلا يحسن حديثه فضلا عنه أن يصحح

He is stating that this hadith is like that of a ‘very weak‘ hadith. The obvious question is: How is this reporter ” Dha’if Jiddan – Very weak”? The Imaam of Ahlus Sunnah, Yahya ibn Ma’een labeled this man, “A Saalih Shaykh!”3. Furthermore, Imaam At-Tirmidhi clearly states, “And the people reported from him”. An-Naas or the people is in reference to the scholars of hadeeth. That means that this narrator was NOT abandoned by the scholars. Not only does he say the scholars did not abandon him, but he grades the hadith Authentic (sahih)! The Shafi’i, Imam Adh-Dhahabi mentions in Al-Mizan,

ضَعَّفَهُ أَبُو دَاوُدَ وَأَبُو حَاتِمٍ والدَّارَقُطْنِيُّ وَلَمْ يَتْرُكْهُ

“He was weakened by Abu Dawud, Abu Hatim, and Ad-Daraqutni, but he was not Abandoned [by them].”

This proves that the scholars did not consider him “very weak” as claimed. Rather, they were cautious and sought supporting narrations. For if he were VERY weak, the scholars would have abandoned his narrations altogether. This is further attested too by the verdict of Ibn Hajr in his Taqrib declaring him “Dha’if“, while not declaring him “very weak” or “abandoned”. Shaykh Shu’ayb Al-Arna’ut in his gloss of the Hafith Ibn Hajr’s Taqrib also affirms Hafith Ibn Hajr’s final determination that Hammad was only weak. Thus, the claim that he is “very weak” is an exaggeration. Some may argue that Hakim and Naqqash declared that he reported fabrications, we say either of two things:

1) The scholars obviously did not accept this standard or else you would have seen them labeling him Kath-thab (liar) or matruk (abandoned). Rather, there is nearly a unanimous decision that he is only “dha’if” and not a fabricator!

2) He is not reporting from these men and they were specific in their criticism. Rather he is reporting from Hanthalah ibn Abi Sufyaan.

It is interesting to note that the Shafi’i Imam, Al-Hafith Ibn Hajr Al-’Asqalani’s grading of “Dha’if” against Hammad ibn ‘Eesa. Al-Hafith (rahimahullah) states in Bulugh Al-Maram after mentioning this specific narration,

“Reported by Tirmithi. It has shawahid (supporting narrations) such as the hadith Ibn ‘Abbaas that is reported by Abu Dawud and elsewhere. These narrations, collectively, warrant the hadith to be considered Hasan!”

Even though he declared him weak, he did not abandon his reports, rather he used them as support with other narrations. The editor, Shaykh Hazim Al-Qadhi, declares this hadith to be “Hasan li-ghayrih (good with the support of other narrations)” in his gloss of Subul-As-Salam of Imaam As-Sana’ani. Imaam As-Sana’ani himself states after this hadith, “In this narration is daleel (proof) that it is legislated to wipe the face after finishing one’s du’aa”.4

Second Hadith: The Narration of As-Saa’ib Ibn Yazeed from His Father Yazeed ibn Sa’id

The second report comes from Abu Dawud in his Sunan and Imam Ahmad in his Musnad;

‏حَدَّثَنَا ‏ ‏قُتَيْبَةُ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ ‏ ‏حَدَّثَنَا ‏ ‏ابْنُ لَهِيعَةَ ‏ ‏عَنْ ‏ ‏حَفْصِ بْنِ هَاشِمِ بْنِ عُتْبَةَ بْنِ أَبِي وَقَّاصٍ ‏ ‏عَنْ ‏ ‏السَّائِبِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ ‏ ‏عَنْ ‏ ‏أَبِيهِ ‏ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ ‏ ‏صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ‏ ‏كَانَ ‏ ‏إِذَا دَعَا فَرَفَعَ يَدَيْهِ مَسَحَ وَجْهَهُ بِيَدَيْهِ

“Qutaybah ibn Sa’id narrated to us from Ibn Lahi‘ah from Hafs ibn Hashim ibn ‘Utbah ibn Abi Waqqas from As-Sa‘ib ibn Yazid from his father that the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) when making du’aa would raise his hands and then would wipe his face with his hands.”

There are two defects in this chain:

1) Abdullah ibn Lahi’ah. There is disagreement regarding him. The majority say that he was mistaken after his books were burnt. There is praise from major scholars, such as Abdullah Ibn Wahb who called him a Saadiq (truthful) and a righteous man. Ibn Hajr labeled him, “Saduq, he mingled [hadith] after his books burnt…”.5 Haafith Shu’ayb Al-Arnaa’ut disagrees and states, “Dha’if (weak), his reports must be followed up, and his hadith are Sahih if reporting from him are the ‘Abaadilah: i.e. Ibn al Mubaarak, Ibn Wahb, Ibn Yazeed Al-Muqri’, Ibn Maslamah Al-Qa’nabi, for they followed his principles and transcribed what he said…”

Regarding this hadith, an important point must be made. Qutaybah ibn Sa’id is reporting from him. Qutaybah reported from Ibn Lahi’ah prior to his books being burnt as stated by Shaykh Shu’ayb Al-Arnaa’ut in his Tahreer.6


Shaykh Taha Karaan and Mawlana Abdur-Rahman pointed out that Qutaybah ibn Sa’id heard from Ibn Lahi’ah after his books were burnt. Mawlana A. Khan said:

“In light of Mawlana Taha’s notes below, it becomes clear why Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r)  enquired as to the authenticity of Qutaybah’s narrations from ibn Lahi`ah.  It was because he only narrated from ibn Lahi`ah after the burning of his library –  his library burnt in 171;  Qutaybah started travelling in quest of knowledge 172 -. Qutaybah then explains that it was because he first verified ibn Lahi’ahs narrations from Abdullah ibn Wahb and then heard hadith from him:

جعفر الفريابي. سمعت بعض أصحابنا يذكر أنه سمع قتيبة يقول: قال لي أحمد بن حنبل: أحاديثك عن ابن لهيعة صحاح! فقلت: لأنا كنا نكتب من كتاب ابن وهب ثم نسمعه من ابن لهيعة

[end quote]

*end Edit  Jan. 10 2010*

So it seems, because of this checking of Qutaybah ibn Sa’id with the ahadith of Abdullah ibn Wahb, Shaykh Shu’ayb Al-Arna’ut simply classified this at the standard of acceptability, and Allah knows best. This lends strength to a stronger period in Ibn Lahi’ah’s career as a Muhaddith. However, he could still be labeled as weak, as Ibn Ma’in stated he was weak prior to his burning of his books, though this view is not held by the majority. He is not severely weak however, as even Muhammad Al-Albani attested to in his Radd Al-Mufhim and elsewhere.

2) The second weakness is that the one Ibn Lahi’ah is reporting from, Hafs ibn Hashim, is majhul (unknown) as stated by Ibn Hajr and the rest of the Muhaddithin. However, Ibn Lahi’ah follows up this chain, as mentioned by Imam Ibn Hajr in his Tahthib at-Tahthib with another reporter in his place, Yahya ibn Is-haq As-Silahini. Ibn Sa’ad said about him, “thiqah and a master of hadeeth.” He was declared thiqah by Ahmad and others as well. Due to this thiqah follow-up narrator, it is not severely weak, and clearly can be used as a supportive narration.

Third Hadith: The narration of Ibn ‘Abbaas (radhiya Allahu ‘anhu)

This is the narration alluded to by Al-Haafith Ibn Hajr in his Bulugh Al-Maram. Abu Dawud records it in his Sunan thus:

حَدَّثَنَا ‏ ‏عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مَسْلَمَةَ ‏ ‏حَدَّثَنَا ‏ ‏عَبْدُ الْمَلِكِ بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ أَيْمَنَ ‏ ‏عَنْ ‏ ‏عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ يَعْقُوبَ بْنِ إِسْحَقَ ‏ ‏عَمَّنْ ‏ ‏حَدَّثَهُ عَنْ ‏ ‏مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ كَعْبٍ الْقُرَظِيِّ ‏ ‏حَدَّثَنِي ‏ ‏عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عَبَّاسٍ ‏
أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ‏ ‏صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ‏ ‏قَالَ ‏ ‏لَا تَسْتُرُوا الْجُدُرَ مَنْ نَظَرَ فِي كِتَابِ أَخِيهِ بِغَيْرِ إِذْنِهِ فَإِنَّمَا يَنْظُرُ فِي النَّارِ سَلُوا اللَّهَ بِبُطُونِ أَكُفِّكُمْ وَلَا تَسْأَلُوهُ بِظُهُورِهَا فَإِذَا فَرَغْتُمْ فَامْسَحُوا بِهَا وُجُوهَكُمْ ‏
قَالَ ‏ ‏أَبُو دَاوُد ‏ ‏رُوِيَ هَذَا الْحَدِيثُ مِنْ غَيْرِ وَجْهٍ عَنْ ‏ ‏مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ كَعْبٍ ‏ ‏كُلُّهَا وَاهِيَةٌ وَهَذَا الطَّرِيقُ أَمْثَلُهَا ‏ ‏وَهُوَ ضَعِيفٌ ‏ ‏أَيْضًا

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:

“The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Do not cover the walls. He who sees the letter of his brother without his permission, sees Hell-fire. Supplicate Allah with the palms of your hands; do not supplicate Him with their backs upwards. When you finish supplication, wipe your faces with them.”

Abu Dawud says, “This hadith is is reported from other directions (of narration) from Muhammad ibn Ka’ab, all of them containing weakness (wahiyah), and this path (tareq) is an example of that. It is Dha’if (weak) as well.”

The weakness in this hadith, as mentioned by Al-Albaani in his Irwaa are two things:

A) Abdul Malik ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad – who is Majhul according to Ibn Hajr in his Taqreeb. Haafith Shu’ayb Al-Arnaa’ut disagrees and states, “Majhul-Al-Haal” because two trustworthy reporters report from him. However, his hadeeth are acceptable according to the conditions of An-Nawawi and Ibn As-Salaah because his status is “Majhul-Al-Haal” as two or more trustworthy narrators narrate from him and there is no criticism against his status. This will be dealt with below.

B) ‘Abdullah ibn Ya’qub ibn Is-haq – who is also Majhul Al-Hal.

To be Majhul-Al-Hal/Mastur7 is not an extreme weakness, and according to some, is not a weakness at all. Imam As-Sakhāwī said in his Fat-hul Mughīth that ‘Ad-Dāraqutnī said,

“Whoever has two thiqah people report from them, that results in the lifting of his not being known (jahālah), and establishes for him ‘Adālah (probity).”

He also quotes Ibn Abdul Barr (rahmatullah ‘alayh) as saying in his Istidhkār, “Whoever has three, and it is said two, thiqah reporters report from him then he is not Majhūl (unknown).”

Ibn Salāh also mentions in his Muqaddimah,

    “The transmitter whose indentity is unknown: Those who do not accept the relation of a transmitter whose identity is unknown DO SOMETIMES accept the RELATION OF A TRANSMITTER WHOSE INTERGRITY IS UKNOWN. Someone whom TWO UPRIGHT NARRATORS relate hadīth from and identify (that is, name) is not considered unknown in this sense. In response to some questions he was asked, Abu Bakr Al Khatīb Al-Baghdādī said, ‘In the view of the scholars of hadīth an unknown transmitter is everyone whom the scholars do not know and whose hadīth are only from the line of a SINGLE student…”

Imām Al-Qastalānī writes in his Irshād As-Sārī,

      “And the Jahālah is raised from a transmitter if two thiqah reporters, known for knowledge report from him, and all of his


    have ‘adalah”.” He continues to say that Ibn As-Salāh considered the correct opinion to be that he is not Mastūr if two well known narrators take from him.

Imām An-Nawawī also accepted the utilization of the Mastūr reporter in his Al-Majmu’ Sharh al Muhadhdhab (9/34). When discussing a narration he states,

        “And so Abū Ya’alā al Mawsūlī reported it in his Musnad with a Sahīh isnād, except that one man in [the chain] is


        , and what is correct is that it is


      (jawāz) to use as proof the narration of the Mastūr.”

Ibn Al Mawwaq said,

    “Secondly: There is disagreement amongst ahlul hadīth and the fuquhā, and it is forwarded by the majority of the people of Hadīth accepted the reports and sought proof with them (i.e. from the mastūr). From them Al Bazzār and Ad-Dāraqutnī, and Al Bazzār wrote it in his Kitāb Al Ashrabah and from the benefits ‘That whomever has two thiqah reporters transmit from them, their jahālah is lifted, and the likes of this is also reported by Ad-Dāraqutnī in his Ad-Diyyāt from his Sunan.”

All of this shows that the Shafi’i Imams certainly do accept the hadith that has within it a mastur reporter. And Allah Knows Best!

There are other weak chains that support this narration. They are as follows;

Support 1:

حدثنا ‏ ‏محمد بن الصباح ‏ ‏حدثنا ‏ ‏عائذ بن حبيب ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏صالح بن حسان ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏محمد بن كعب القرظي ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏ابن عباس ‏ ‏قال ‏قال رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏إذا دعوت الله فادع ببطون كفيك ولا تدع بظهورهما فإذا فرغت فامسح بهما وجهك

This is the same hadeeth regarding the wiping of the face. It is the chain of Ibn Maajah in his Sunan. It is weak due to Saalih ibn Hassaan being within it. He is abandoned by most of the Muhadditheen. In fact Al-Bukhaari states regarding him, “Munkar Al-Hadeeth”. Adh-Dhahabi reports that Al-Bukhaari stated that when he deemed someon “munkar al hadeeth”, he is to be abandoned.

Support 2:

As Muhammad Al-Albani mentions in his Irwa‘, Ibn Nasr reports this hadeeth without Salih ibn Hassan. Instead in his place is another weak narrator by the name of ‘Eesaa ibn Maymoon Al-Madani. There is disagreement as to how severe his weakness is. Ibn Hajr concludes that he is “Dha’eef”, while Haafith Shu’ayb Arnaa’ut deems him abandoned (matruk) in his tahreer.8 Imaam Adh-Dhahabi states in his Kaashif, “He is weakened (dha’afahu).”9 Meaning Adh-Dhahabi agreed to his status being dha’eef, but not abandoned. If it is as Hafith Ibn Hajr and Imaam Adh-Dhahabi stated, then this second narration is a valid follow up and supportive chain for the first.


Imam An-Nawawi (qaddasa Allahu Ruhuh) states that the relied upon view of the madh-hab of Imam Ash-Shafi’i is that it is not established to wipe the face with one’s hands after the qunut within Salah. In fact, it is considered makruh (detestable) by the Shafi’i jurists, as nothing is specifically reported regarding this act. Imam An-Nawawi holds that it is recommended, however, to wipe one’s face after the du’aa outside of the Salah. The proofs, according to the Shafi’i Hafith Ibn Hajr and others, are at the level of Hasan or better.

I asked Shaykh Nuh Keller, an ardent Shafi’i and student of the late Shafi’i Faqih Abdul-Wakil Ad-Durubi what the ruling was on wiping the face after one’s du’aa and he said, “It is a sunnah thabita (an established act of the Prophet Muhammad), and is considered makruh within the Salah.” He also quoted the reports above for proof.10

And Allah Knows Best

Shafiifiqh.com Research Team

  1. end of the words of Imam An-Nawawi (qaddasa Allahu Ruhu), Al-Majmu’ Vol. 3 pg 480-481 []
  2. meaning narrated by one person – as is the nomenclature of the scholars of hadith []
  3. Tahtheeb at-Tahtheeb []
  4. Vol. 4 page 1543 Dar Al-Fikr Edition []
  5. Taqrib #3563 []
  6. http://www.shafiifiqh.com/documents/ibnlahiahqutaybahibnsaid.jpg []
  7. “Majhūl Al hāl: Whose integrity is unknown, but there is nothing negative about him. As a general rule , obscurity (jahāla) is over ruled when two upright individuals are known to have accepted the report of one who would otherwise be classified as Majhūl al Hāl. The word mastūr is occasionally employed as an equivalent.” [Page 89 of “A Textbook of hadīth Studies”, Muhammad Hashim Kamali.]  []
  8. #5335 of the Tahreer []
  9. entry 4403 of Al-Kashif []
  10. Orlando Suhbah Jan. 2010 []

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