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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


A.M. Journal

Muhammad Speaks

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


QUESTION: Why do Muslims use this wiping-type motion of taking the hand and bringing it up to the face and then down over the face?

WDM: Tradition has it that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on most occasions, after finishing Dua would use the palm of the open hand on his face, or carry the open hand to his face. But on some occasions after Dua, he also would bring his hands to the heart.
I believe most people, when they bring their hands to their face, are taking in a sign, receiving blessings of God to their face, or receiving the blessings of God that they asked for to their hearts.

I believe that the open hand has another meaning also, and that meaning is open honesty — openness on the part of the person. They are not holding back anything, they are not concealing anything, they are not being deceptive. They are perfectly honest in what they are saying to God, and in their intent. When they apply it to their face, I believe the gesture here symbolizes the desire that my (the person praying) character conforms to that. When applied to the heart, they are saying symbolically, "I wish my heart conforms to this openness."