Why do some Muslims turn their palm down while praying?
During the prayer hands are kept openly up, towards the heavens. The two palms, standing at the level of chest as scale of a balance, wait openly for the blessings of the All-Compassionate from the heavens to come. However, putting the hands together and uniting them occasionally is not contrary to Sunnah. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) prayed in both ways; but, most of the time he kept his hands separate. Thus, in the sect of Shafii, palms are turned facing down at the moment of fearful sentences in prayer; on the other hand, turning down of palms is legitimized only during the ritual prayer for rain whereas other ways are not comprised by the sect of Hanafi. The action of the turning the hands down to protect themselves from calamities of the people of Shafii is based on some Hadiths. One of the Hadith is as follows:
“Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was turning his palm up by the time he was asking Allah anything to be done. However, He was turning his palm down when he wanted to avoid something.” (For Hadiths regarding the issue, see: Musnad, Ahmad b. Hanbal 4/56; Majmau’z- zawaid, 10/168; Jamu’l-fawaid, 2/618; al-Fathu’l-kabir, 2/357; ) Therefore, those who turn their hands down during the prayer act in accordance with that Hadith. They imitate the sect of Shafii about the issue.
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