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IslamQA: Is raising the hands obligatory for dua?

Do we have to cup and raise our hands to supplicate or does only saying it in our heart do count as supplication? I always find myself lying on the bed with my mind roaming to every place I can be and suddenly I think about something or someone and make dua for it. So, I wonder.

Actually according to a hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari it was extremely rare for the Prophet to raise his hands in prayer:

Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet (ﷺ) never raised his hands for any invocation except for that of Istisqa' [praying for rain] and he used to raise them so much that the whiteness of his armpits became visible. (Book 15, Hadith 26)

So the normal thing to do is actually to not raise your hands. But raising the hands is considered permissible or recommended by many scholars, so it is a matter of personal choice.

Sources:

And God knows best.
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