Raising the Hands for Dua at the Graveside


A prominent Aalim whilst refuting the erroneous beliefs of the Ahl-e-Bid’ah, writes inter alia: “Ta’ziyat is only for three days…….” At the conclusion of the section dealing with Ta’ziyat appears a note which reads: “Note: It is permissible to raise the hands and make dua for the deceased. Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) also raised the hands when making dua for the deceased (See Bukhaari Shareef, Vol.2, page 619 and Muslim Shareef, Vol.2, page 303). Hadhrat Shah Muhammad Ishaq (rahmatullah alayh) passed away 1262 A.H, states that it is permissible to raise the hands and make dua for the deceased during ta’ziyat. (Masaail Arbaeen, page 34). It has also been established from Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) to raise the hands when making dua for the deceased at the grave.” (Muslim, Vol.1, page 313).” Please comment on these views.


Subhaanallaah! Directing the ignorant masses to Bukhaari Shareef and Muslim Shareef, and Hadhrat Shah Muhammad Ishaaq (rahmatullah alayh) is like placing pearls and diamonds in front of asses. What mileage will the masses acquire from these kutub which are closed books for them?

The simple, accepted Masnoon practices as transmitted to us from the Akaabireen – from generation to generation – have to be proffered to the masses for practical purposes. They are not in position to extract masaail from the kutub of Hadith. It is therefore futile and ludicrous to cite these kutub for consumption of the masses.

The views of any person, be he a great Aalim, if in conflict with the Sunnah as taught by the Math-hab we follow, will be set aside. It is wrong for the Aalim Sahib to cite as proof the views of an Aalim who appeared on the scene 1262 years after the Sahaabah. It is also improper for him or anyone else to bypass the teachings of the Math-hab.

It is highly improper for Muqallideen to attempt to substantiate a view by direct reference to the Ahaadith. All types of Ahaadith are found in the kutub of Hadith. The Ahaadith on Rafa’ Yadain (raising the hands) during the different postures of Salaat, folding the hands on the breast, reciting Aameen audibly, and many other Ahaadith pertaining to rules which we, the Hanafis do not follow, are authentic and are to be found in Bukhaari Shareef and many other Hadith books.

In fact all Math-habs, acquire their Hadith proofs from authentic Ahaadith. Yet, despite acknowledging the authenticity of the Ahaadith, the Hanafi Math-hab teaches that during the course of Salaat, the hands should not be raised.

The function of examining the Ahaadith and deciding which are the valid practices, was the preserve exclusively of the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen.

The Hadith which explains that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) placed twigs on two graves is authentic, yet we do not follow that practice. Similarly, it is improper for an Aalim in this day to refer us to the Hadith. It is necessary to see what the Math-hab teaches. Muqallideen have to follow their Imaam.

If we have to ignore what the Math-hab instructs and teaches, and resort directly to the Hadith books, then the entire Shariah will collapse and chaos will reign in the wake of obedience to the nafs.

The view of Shah Muhammad Ishaaq (rahmatullah alayh) is not a valid argument. Since his view is not in conformity with the Sunnah, it shall not be adopted. The practice of raising hands for dua when making ta’ziyat is not Sunnah. Surely the Aalim Sahib should have produced a better daleel for his view than to cite Hadhrat Ishaq Saheb.

Ta’ziyat is a Masnoon practice. This practice is explained by our Akaabir Ulama. If one wishes to know what to recite after Attahiyaat, there is no need to journey into the distant past for an answer. Simple masaail should be ascertained from the elementary kitaabs or from kitaabs such as Behesti Zewer.

It is wrong for a Muqallid after seeing a practice recorded in a Hadith to claim that the practice is established from Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The practice of camel’s urine for sickness is also established from Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The practice of Rafa’ Yadain is also established from Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). However, we are not allowed to adopt just every practice which we see in the Hadith narrations.

There are sharp and severe differences between practices of the Hanafi and Shaafi’ Math-habs. The Shaafis prove from the authentic Ahaadith the incumbency of reciting Surah Faatihah after the Imaam while according to the Hanafi Math-hab, this is not permissible. There is no need for the layman to reconcile these conflicts. Everyone should follow his/her own Math-hab.

Furthermore, even Mustahab acts become bid’ah when they have been elevated to a higher status. Raising the hands by the graveside is a prominent practice of the Ahl-e-Bid’ah. They regard it as an incumbent practice. Holding a staff during the khutbah is permissible. However, due to the status of Wujoob assigned to it, the Akaabireen have branded it bid’ah.

It is thus not permissible to act in accordance with just every practice which is found in the Hadith books. It is necessary for the Aalim to explain why did the Sahaabah not raise their hands at the graveside and for Ta’ziyat as a regular practice. If someone had occasionally done so, it would have been an isolated personal act which was not taught to be a Masnoon practice. We have to ascertain what the normal and permanent practice is.

It is highly erroneous to dig out a rare practice, then present it in conflict with the official Sunnah practice. Raising the hands during Ta’ziyat is not the Masnoon
practice nor is raising the hands at the graveside. The prominent Aalim Sahib has incorrectly made ta’leem of these masaa-il.

[Answered by Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai]

One thought on “Raising the Hands for Dua at the Graveside

  1. Taalib ul Ilm

    Assalamu Alaykum
    Herein lies the problem with today’s clergy – instead of following our Aslaf, they just have to dismiss the Sunnah of the Sahabah radhiyallahu anhum and our Aimmaً rahmatullahi alayhim and descend to the level of antagonists and hoist uppon the Ummah their proofs under guise of following the Holy Quran and Hadeeth.
    Members of other profressions do not publicise their ‘academic’ differences and proofs in public nor use them to score ‘brownie points’ – they leave their such finite discussions to ‘acdemic’ papers.
    However, in order to create a following and because of their ‘holier than thou attitude,’ the modern day clergy quote such sources, which lay people will not question, because of their reverence for these Divine Scriptures.
    It would appear ‘common sense’ is a rare commodity amongst Muslims – especially within their leaders and guides.
    Allah Ta’ala raise this crest fallen Ummah to its previous state of piety and honour.
    We students of Deen should make it incumbent our selves to read the publications of such erudite Scholars – Allah Ta’ala keep them all with aafiya


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