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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


A.M. Journal

Muhammad Speaks

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


QUESTION: Why do many Muslims place their hands over their face after completing Dua --or rub their hands together before placing them on their face?
— Madison, Wise.

IMAM: The reason Muslims put their hands over the face is because it was a tradition, a habit of the early Muslims to do that. I believe the gesture is a normal or natural one, as when someone gives you something.

Whatever we receive from God, we think of it as food, either for the body, for the spirit or the mind. So I think the gesture towards the face means that we are accepting that blessing — we want this to become us: "I want this blessing to improve my being -- myself -- my personality and everything."

The face is symbolic of the character and personality. And when we take the blessing to our face, it is a gesture that says, "We want our character to benefit from this blessing. We want God to protect our character and to feed our soul."

Another explanation would be that the hands are clean that receive the blessing and we direct it to our face in hopes that our face will be clean - face being symbolic of the person's character.

Wiping the hands first is just a normal, unrehearsed kind of thing where you are just conscious of the hands sometimes being not clean. So, we wipe our hands.