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Is raising hands in dua an innovation?

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Raising the hands during dua (supplication) is a common practice that is recommended and encouraged in the Qur'an and the hadith (sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad).

The Qur'an contains several verses that encourage Muslims to make du'a, albeit silent about raising their hands when making dua, such as:

  • Surah Al-Mu'minun (Chapter 23, verse 2): "And your Lord says, 'Call upon Me; I will respond to you.' Indeed, those who disdain My servitude will enter Hell [rendered] contemptible."

  • Surah Al-Baqarah (Chapter 2, verse 186): "When My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me and believe in Me that they may be guided."

The ahadith however contain numerous reports of the Prophet (saw) raising his hands when making du'a, and he is reported to have encouraged his companions to do the same. For example, in one hadith, the Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said:

"The hands are the keys to poverty and wealth. When a man raises his hands to the sky and makes a du'a, Allah will give him according to his request. But when he lowers his hands, he will be forsaken." (Bukhari)

Raising the hands during dua is a practice that is recommended and encouraged in Islam. Therefore, it cannot be considered an innovation (bid'a) in the sense of being a new or novel practice that has no basis in the Qur'an or the hadith. Rather, it is a longstanding and well-established practice that is rooted in revelation.

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