Some may argue it is an innovation to believe a du'a is most certainly accepted while having a first look at ka'bah and making du'a as this has not been reported by the Prophet (saw). In this answer, we will discuss the issue and refer to the scholarly views.
There is no evidence stating specifically that a du'a is definitely accepted during the first look at ka'bah.
What has been reported are the following weak reported ahadith:
1. عن أبي أمامة أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: تُفْتَحُ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ وَتُسْتَجَابُ دَعْوَةَ الْمُسْلِمِ عِنْد رُؤْيَةِ الْكَعْبَةِ – الشيرازي في المهذب في فقه الإمام الشافعي 1/402
Abu Umamah (ra) narrated the Prophet (saw) said: The doors of the sky open and du'as of Muslim are accepted when looking at the Ka'bah. (Shirazi, Al-Muhadhab fi fiqh al-Imam al-Shafi'i, Vol. 1, p. 402)
2. عن أبي أمامة أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: " تُفْتَحُ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ، وَيُسْتَجَابُ الدُّعَاءُ فِي أَرْبَعَةِ مَوَاطِنَ: عِنْدَ الْتِقَاءِ الصُّفُوفِ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ، وَعِنْدَ نُزُولِ الْغَيْثِ، وَعِنْدَ إِقَامَةِ الصَّلَاةِ، وَعِنْدَ رُؤْيَةِ الْكَعْبَةِ – البيهقي 3/502، والطبراني في المعجم الكبير 8/196
Abu Umamah (ra) reports that Messenger of Allah (saw) said: 'The doors of the sky open and du'as are accepted on four occasions; When the armies clash in war; When rain falls; At the time of iqamah [for salah]; When looking at the Ka'bah. (Baihaqi 3:502; Tabrani, Al-Mu'jamul Kabir 8:196)
The ahadith narrated mentioned above are weakened by many hadith scholars such as imam Nawawi, ibn al-Mulaqin, ibn Hajar and Albani. (Nawawi, al-Majmu Sharh al-Muhadhab, Vol. 8, p. 8; Ibn al-Mulaqin, Al-Badr al-Munir, Vol. 9, p. 70; Ibn Hajar, Talkhis al-Habir, Vol. 4, p. 188; Albani, Al-Silsila al-Da'eefah, 3410)
Imam Nawawi who stated:
أَمَّا حَدِيثُ أَبِي أُمَامَةَ فَغَرِيبٌ لَيْسَ بِثَابِتٍ
As regards to hadith narrated on the authority of Abu Umamah, it is a gharib (strange), not established hadith. (Nawawi, al-Majmu Sharh al-Muhadhab, Vol. 8, p. 8)
However, some Shafi'i scholars such as imam Shirazi cited these hadiths, without commenting on its authenticity, referring du'a is accepted when looking at ka'bah. Imam Shirazi stated:
وَإِذَا رَأَى الْبَيْتَ دَعَا لَمَّا رَوَى أَبُو أمامة أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيه وَسَلَّمُ قَالً :" تُفْتَحُ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ وَتُسْتَجَابُ دَعْوَةَ الْمُسْلِمِ عِنْدَ رُؤْيَةِ الْكَعْبَةِ " وَيَسْتَحِبُّ أَنْ يَرْفَعَ الْيَدُ فِي دُعَاءٍ لَمَّا رَوَى اِبْنُ عُمَرٍ قَالَ قَالً رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيه وَسَلَّمُ :" تَرْفَعُ الْأَيْدِي فِي الدُّعَاءِ لِاِسْتِقْبالِ الْبَيْتِ " وَيَسْتَحِبُّ أَنْ يَقُولُ : اللَّهُمُّ زِدْ هَذَا الْبَيْتُ تَشْرِيفًا وَتَكْريمًا وَتَعْظِيمًا وَمَهَابَةً وَزِدْ مِنْ شَرَفِهِ وَكَرْمَهُ مِمَّنْ حَجَّهُ أَوْ اِعْتَمَرَهُ تَشْرِيفًا وَتَكْريمًا وَتَعْظِيمَا وَبِرَا لَمَّا رَوَى اِبْنُ جرِيجٍ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيه وَسَلَّمُ كَانَ إِذَا رَأَى الْبَيْتَ رَفْعُ يَدِيهِ وَقَالَ ذَلِكً وَيُضِيفَ إِلَيه :" اللَّهُمُّ أَنْتَ السّلامُ وَمِنْكَ السّلامَ فَحَيُّنَا رَبِّنَا بِالسّلامِ " لَمَّا رَوَى أَنَّ عُمَرً كَانَ إِذَا نَظَرٍ إِلَى الْبَيْتِ قَالَ ذَلِكً .
If (the Muslim) sees the ka'bah, he should make du'a because of what has been narrated by Abu Umamah that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: The doors of the sky open and du'as of Muslim are accepted when looking at the ka'bah". It is also recommended to raise one's hands in supplication because of what has been reported that Umar ibn al-Khattab that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: Hands should be raised while making du'a in front of ka'bah. It is also recommended to supplicate: "O Allah, increase this house of Yours loftiness, greatness, honour, dutiful, reverence and increase who honours and magnifies it from those who made pilgrimage or visit greatness, loftiness, dutiful and reverence. Because of what has been narrated by ibn Juruj that the Prophet (saw) did so. He should also add "O Allah! You are the Bestower of security and security comes from You; Blessed are You. O Possessor of glory and honour, bestow upon us security, O Our Lord! (Shirazi, Al-Muhadhab fi Fiqh al-Imam al-Shafi'I, Vol. 1, p. 403)
Another Shafi'i scholar, Al-Manawi, also interpreted "looking at ka'bah" in the hadith as the first look. He stated:
قَوَّلَهُ : وَعِنْدَ رُؤْيَةُ الْكَعْبَةِ يَحْتَمِلُ أَنَّ الْمُرَادَ أَوَّلَ مَا يَقَعُ بَصَرُ الْقَادِمِ إِلَيهَا عَلَيهَا ، وَيَحْتَمِلُ أَنَّ الْمُرَادَ مَا يَشْمَلُ دَوامُ مُشَاهِدَتِهَا ، فَمَا دَامَ إِنْسانُ يَنْظُرُ إِلَيهَا فَبَابُ السَّمَاءِ مَفْتُوحً وَالدُّعَاءُ مُسْتَجَابٌ ، وَالْأَوَّلُ أَقْرَبُ – المناوي، فيض القدير شرح الجامع الصغير 3/339
By saying "while seeing the ka'bah", he probably meant the first glance given by the one coming to it. Also, it probably means to see it continuously, so the doors of heavens open and du'a is accepted as long as he still looking at it. However, the first interpretation is the nearest meaning. (Al-Manawi, Fayd al-Qadir, Sharh al-Jam al-Saghir, Vol. 3, p. 339)
Although there is no authentic hadith referring du'a is certainly accepted when having a first look at ka'bah in particular, it is not an innovation or bid'ah to believe in that. Because of the above-mentioned reports about the acceptance of du'a when looking at the ka'bah in general. Also, the Muslim should think well of Allah (swt), as He says in a qudsi hadith:
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم: إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَقُولُ أَنَا عِنْدَ ظَنِّ عَبْدِي بِي وَأَنَا مَعَهُ إِذَا دَعَانِي – مسلم 97/130
Abu Huraira (ra) narrated the Messenger (saw) as saying that Allah thus stated: I am to my slave as he thinks of Me, (i.e. I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him) and with him as he calls Me. (Muslim 97:130)
So, the Muslim should believe that Allah is able to accept his du'a especially in such blessed and honourable occasions like looking at ka'bah for the first time and He is able to make all his His servant's dreams come true.
It is not an innovation to believe that the first du'a made with first glance at ka'bah is accepted. Because there are some traditions, although weakened by scholars, saying looking at ka'bah, in general. is one of the occasions when du'a is acceptable.
Albani, Al-Silsilah al-Da'ieefah
Al-Manawi, Fayd al-Qadir, Sharh al-Jam al-Saghir
Ibn al-Mulaqin, Al-Badr al-Munir
Ibn Hajar, Talkhis al-Habir
Nawawi, al-Majmu Sharh al-Muhadhab
Shirazi, Al-Muhadhab fi fiqh al-Imam al-Shafi'i
Tabrani, Al-Mu'jamul Kabir
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