Fiqh is Not Black and White

What is said about wiping the face after du’a?

From those that allowed it are Imam Nawawi (rh), Sanani (rh), Ibn Hajr (rh). From our times the aalim Ibn jibreen and from the people of the past, Hassan al Basri and Imam Ahmad (rh)!

Although many scholars have weakened it, and it’s better to avoid it, to call it a bid’ah seems very difficult!

So, whilst we don’t follow these actions ourselves, as the evidence doesn’t seem strong, to say it is a bid’ah is very problematic!

And from the Sahaaba Ibn ‘Umar (ra) and Zubayr (ra) did it!

So, we must be careful when saying something is an innovation.

Of the dozens that have commented on this issue, only one or two scholars have said it is an innovation.

  • Fiqh is not black and white.

Other issues which would come under this:

  • Trimming the beard
  • Trousers above the ankles
  • Prayer beads

And more. These issues are not clear cut innovations or haraam. We can say that it’s safer to avoid them etc and this is how the ulema speak.

For example, does Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen (rh) use language such as “bid’ah” and “it’s false” or softer language?

Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about the ruling on wiping the face with the hands after making du’aa’. He replied:

Wiping the face with the hands after making du’aa’ is more likely to be not prescribed in Islam, because the ahaadeeth that have been narrated concerning that are da’eef (weak). Shaykh al-Islam (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: They cannot be used as evidence. If we are not certain or we think it most likely that this is not prescribed, then it is better not to do it, because Islamic rulings cannot be proven on the basis of mere conjecture, unless we believe it to be mostly likely to be the case.

What I think about wiping the face with the hands after du’aa’ is that it is not Sunnah. As is well known, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) prayed for rain during his Friday khutbah and raised his hands, but it is not narrated that he wiped his face with them. Similarly, in a number of ahaadeeth it says that the Prophet raised his hands, but there is no proof that he wiped his face. End quote.

Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 14/question no. 781

The main point being made is to:

  • Be open minded
  • Not exclude others views
  • Research matters properly

For example, the hands on the chest when praying, Imam Ahmad (rh) actually disliked this and some said most of the narrations are weak. However, the ones above the navel are stronger than those below so just above the navel is fine.


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