Q. Could you let me know if after making dua and/or zikhr, the passing of your hand over your face, is it allowed or is it a biddah?
A. With respect to the act of passing the hands over your face after making dua, this is not Bidah, it is evident in the tradition. In this regard, Abdullah bin Umar (RA) has narrated that ‘when the Prophet (SAW) used to stretch his hands for supplications, he will not put them down until he passed them on his face.’ (Recorded by Tirmizi). After quoting this hadith, Imam Tirmizi says this hadith is Saheeh (sound).
The great scholar of hadith, Hafiz Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani has also quoted this hadith in his famous book ‘Subulas Salaam’ and has stated, ‘And in this hadith, there is a proof for the legitimacy and genuineness of passing the hands over the face after dua’. (Subulas Salaam – Tuhfatul Ahwazi Vol. 9 pg. 305).
It is also narrated from Abdullah bin Abbas (RA) in a Marfu’ tradition that the Prophet (SAW) said, ‘when you are finished (from dua) pass your hands over your face’ (Recorded by Abu Dawood and Baihaqi in his Sunan – l’la’us Sunan Vol 3 pg 208).
These traditions prove that the act of passing one’s hands over the face (after dua) is evident in the traditions and hence, cannot be called a bid’ah.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan