Friday, August 29, 2014

Wiping the Face After Making Du‘a’

asy-Syeikh al-Albaniy said:
“As for (the ruling of) wiping the face with both hands (or palms), that is at this juncture (after Qunoot), then there is not even a single narration mentioning it. Therefore it is a bid‘ah. As for (doing it) outside Solah,, then there is no valid authentic narration to support it. All the narrations regarding it are weak (da‘ief), and some are extremely weak compared to some others, as I have explained in Da‘ief Sunan Abi Dawud (pg. 146) and al-Ahadiets as-Sahihah (595) and that’s the reason why, al-‘Izz bin ‘Abdis Salam said in some of his fatwas (religious verdicts): It is not performed except by an ignorant.” [1]
Pertaining to this issue of wiping the face, there is a hadeets narrated by Imam Abu Dawud in his Sunan (no: 1485) from Ibn ‘Abbas, such that some defended this practice by citing this hadeets and claiming with that, it is to be done. Some even went to the extent accusing those who are not practicing it as people who are defiant towards the Prophet and can be considered as Anti-Sunnah/Hadeets, those who are against the Sunnah, may fall to disbelief for rejecting the hadeets of the Prophet. These are false accusations and a form of slander, without doing proper and sufficient research. WalLahul Musta‘an.

Even Dr. Wahbah az-Zuhaili, claims that this is to be practised in his al-Fiqh al-Islamiy, in fact, listing it as part of the etiquette of doing Du‘a’. Although he made this mistake, yet he did not go to the extent of making wild accusations as some preachers here in Singapore would do, getting the support of the masses to slander those who are not doing “wiping the face” or those teaching through their writings or speeches according to the conclusion of scholars mentioned by asy-Syeikh al-Albaniy.

As a clarification, a “hadeets” is a statement or an action claimed to be said or done by the Prophet. It includes his taqrier (permission) too. Yet this “claim” can be true or false. The one who made the accusation saying “this hadeets is in Sunan Abi Dawud, it is a hadeets and these people who rejected it are Anti Hadeets!” This accusation is based on utter ignorance, because the scholars used terms for hadeets to signify its status, using such terms as Sahih, Hasan, Da‘ief, Mawdu‘, Mutawatir and so forth. So in this case, it has been proven there is a hadeets or some ahadeets (what claimed to be as originated from the Prophet). However, it is a “weak” and in fact, some are “very weak” narrations, as concluded by scholars of this field of hadeets and thus in no way regarded as a teaching of the Prophet. Weak narrations are to be rejected and so, how can those who rejected these ahaadeets regarded as “Anti Hadeets/Sunnah”?

Why should the people, without knowledge, accept and follow such preachers, who did not make any effort to get to the truth and not doing any research, who ignorantly dismissed and rejected all the conclusion of the scholars who went through the hardship of extensive research to explain the status of these narrations? These scholars took the pain to preserve the actual, original, authentic teachings of the Prophet. Is Imam al-Bukhariy considered an “Anti Hadis” since he was among the scholars who rejected hadeets, i.e. when it is weak or fabricated? La haula wa la quwwata illa billah. These preachers have the audacity to accuse Great Scholars of Hadeets like al-Bukhariy, Ibn ‘Adiy as “Anti Hadeets”. AlLahul Musta‘an.

As a matter of fact, Imam Abu Dawud who was among the scholars who narrated this hadeets, he personally said:
“This Hadeets, with the additional wording: {Wiped his face at the end of it (du‘a’)} all are Wahiyah (extremely weak)! This route is the best and yet it is also Da‘ief (weak).” 

 This is due to one of the narrators in the chain of narration whose name was not mentioned (majhul). However Imam Ibn Majah and others, did mention his name as Salih bin Hassan and unfortunately he is clasiified as a very weak narrator. As a conclusion, the additional wording which states: “wiping of the face after du‘a’” is classified as Munkar[2]. According to asy-Syeikh al-Albaniy, till the time he wrote about this, he had never came across a valid narration which proves that it is to be practised.

Apart from that, what al-Manawi said regarding the statement of al-‘Izz as “inappropriate”, is not to be taken into consideration or a justified ruling as most probably, what was clear to al-‘Izz was still ambigious to al-Manawi. To us, in this issue, the truth is with Imam al-‘Izz, due to the status of the hadeets which is Da‘ief jiddan (extremely weak) and to the consensus of scholars of Hadeets, it is not to be practised.

There is another narration, claimed to be from the action of Ibn ‘Umar, mentioning that he would wipe his face after making Du‘a’ and this hadeets is also Munkar[3] as explained by Abu Zur‘ah due to a narrator who is known to Scholars of Hadeets as a fabricator of hadeets (his narrations are maudu‘ – fabricated).

Likewise is the hadeets of as-Sa-ib bin Yazid from his father which has a similar meaning, which has been narrated by Imam Abu Dawud but he (Abu Dawud) did not make any comment. However, al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar and Imam adz-Dzahabi, made their research and they identified a majhul (unknown) narrator in it’s chain (sanad).

Syeikhul Islam Ibn Taimiyah also mentioned this particular narration when he was explaining about “Wiping the face after Du‘a’ is based on da‘ief hadeets such that it is not permissible to be practised” in Majmu‘ Fatawa: 22/514-519. Besides that he clarified the issue of raising the hands while making Du‘a’ is mentioned in many Sahih hadeets, except that, there are specific occasions to do so as in accordance to the as-Sunnah. WalLahu a’lam.

Hopefully, with this elaboration, it is sufficient for us to appreciate and be thankful to our predecessor scholars, their effort, especially the Scholars of Hadeets, who made sacrifices and took all the pains to ensure that an issue or matter of this religion is understood precisely in accordance to the Sunnah or otherwise.

Although the scholars differed, yet the ones upon righteousness and the truth are those who supported their view with clear evidences and sound argument and in detail, not with those whose research is not as extensive as the former. All these, with due respect to the scholars who were sincere in their research and for our salvation in the Hereafter, practising based on the true authentic Sunnah, may with His Blessings be close and very near to our beloved Prophet and permit our entrance to Paradise with his shafa’ah (intercession), AlLahumma Amien.

Likewise, when doing Qunoot in Solat, as explained, the wiping of the face after the du‘a’ is not to be done and it is to be neglected. Al-Imam an-Nawawisaid (trans):

‘Ulama’ asy-Syafi‘iyah (the Scholars of asy-Syafi‘iyah) held 3 different views with regard to wiping the face after Qunut; the correct and reliable view is that both hands are to be raised while doing it and not to wipe one’s face after it (i.e. upon completion of the du‘a’) .....As for wiping the chest and others (with both hands), then they were in consensus all these are disapproved.”
Before that, he mentioned the narration that Aliy bin Abi Talib himself, personally, had never seen the Prophet wiping his face after du‘a’ and Ibnul Mubarak[4] concluded that there is no hadeets which is reliable from the Prophet in this matter.[5] WalLahu a‘lam.

[1] Sifat Salat an-Nabiy: pg. 178
[2]  The narration of a weak narrator who added a word or phrase which is inconsistent to the all the narrations of reliable narrators, in other words, he narrated with extra wording not present in the narration of the reliable narrators, who narrated the same hadeets.
[3] Let us not be confused by some people who did not learn Hadeets and the Sciences of Hadeets and did not acquire this knowledge through years of study under the guidance and supervision of a Scholar of Hadeets or better, a number of them, who then frivolously said, applying the  principle set by the scholars: If there be  a weak hadeets, but it is supported by many chains narrations, it will then be elevated to the status of a reliable one and lawful to be practised” without having the proper understanding of this principle, whereby the scholars had restricted this principle with certain conditions.

Among others, for a weak hadeets to be elevated to a reliable one, the chains of narrations of other hadeets bearing the same or similar “content” of the weak hadeets, must be of a quality which gives confidence and certainty and thus reliable and elevated in status. In fact, they also taught that if there be many hadeets bearing the same content, but all narrated via unreliable narrators or sources, that would only provide them with the conclusion that the hadeets is truly a lie, a fabricated one. As a simple example, when a number of people tell you something, but all of them are known to be liars or people who would spread a “hearsay”, you just cannot believe or trust them, instead you might even think that they actually conspired it.  On the contrary, even if only one single person who informs you of something, a trustworthy and reliable person known for these qualities, you will have confidence and certainty that the information is true. This is the case with regard to the hadeets of “Talqien at the point of Burial” and the hadeets of “The Middle of Sha‘baan” i.e. these two are among the examples of weak narrations, although many routes or chains of narration, yet disapproved by scholars and they clarified them as fabricated narrations.
[4] ‘Abdullah bin al-Mubarak bin Wadih al-Hanzali, at-Tamiemiy al-Marwazi, Mawla Bani Hanzalah al-Marwazi, a Tabi‘ie tsiqah (reliable trustworthy narrator), a Fiqh Scholar, mujahid (fighter in Jihad), he died  181H – as-Siyar:1299.
[5]  al-Majmu‘ Syarh al-Muhadzdzab: 3/462-463.
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