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Last Updated: 2010/08/01
Summary of question
When we do dua, is it true that we should not look up but into our hands?
When we do Dua, is it true that we should not look up but into our hands? I have even read that looking up is bad for eye sight. Is it ok if we look up or should we look at the palm of our hands when doing the duas?
Concise answer

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Detailed Answer

There are a few points that need to be made regarding this subject:

1- It is mustahabb when doing the qunut in the prayer, to put the hands together the palms of the hands being towards the sky, adjacent to the face, with all the fingers except for the thumbs stuck together and to look at the palms of the hands.[1]

2- Imam Sadiq (as) has said: “The way to raise the hands when doing dua is to face the palms towards the sky and to do dua, this is [the sign of] inclination [towards Allah (swt) or dua], or to move the pointing finger (of the right hand) to the left and right, this is [the sign of] imploration, or to raise the hands in front of the face (so that the tips of the fingers are pointing towards the sky) this is [the sign of] ibtihal and tabattul (in which one closes his eyes to the world and only pays attention to Allah (swt)).” He also said: “When doing dua, one’s ibtihal should be at its highest and try to have your tears come and roll onto your face. It is also good for one who is doing dua to have wudu and be facing the qiblah, and one of the other good things one can do when doing dua is to do it in holy and sacred places (like the shrines of the imams and masjids) and holy times, like during the night of and day of Jum’ah (Friday), the day of Arafah, throughout the holy month of Ramadan and before dawn and when it rains.[2]

Of course, do remember that all of what was mentioned above are the mustahabb acts of doing dua and none are wajib, therefore not observing any of them will not be a problem (for instance, if you don’t raise your hands at all, it is still okay, the same goes for looking at the hands).[3] Therefore, looking up to the sky is totally okay.

[1] Tawdihul-Masa’el (annotated by Imam Khomeini), vol. 1, pg. 603, Ayatollahs Golpaygani, Khu’i, Tabrizi, Sistani, Safi, Zanjani.

[2] Mufid, Irshadul-Qulub, Mostarhemi, Seyyed Hedayatullah, vol. 2, pg. 180.

[3] See: The conditions for duas being answered for sure Question 197 (website: 983).

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