Raising the hands in the extra Takbir of Salat-ul-`Eid

Q 1, 2: There is much disagreement in books concerning raising (Part No. 7; Page No. 149) the hands in the extra Takbir (saying: "Allahu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest]") of Salat-ul-`Eid (the Festival Prayer); what is the most correct opinion concerning this? Should the hands be raised when saying the Du`a' (supplication) of the Witr (Prayer with an odd number of units): "Allahumma ihdini fiman hadayta...(O Allah! Guide me among those You have guided...)"? What is the most authentic opinion reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) in this regard?

A: Raising the hands in Takbirat-ul-Ihram (saying: "Allahu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest]" upon starting Prayer) and the extra Takbir of Salat-ul-`Eid (the Festival Prayer) and the Janazah (Funeral) Prayer is Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship following the example of the Prophet) and not obligatory. A Muslim is rewarded for doing it and not punished or rebuked for giving up. Whoever does not observe it should be informed that it is Sunnah without being made to feel duty-bound to do it. Similarly, raising hands in Qunut (supplication recited while standing after bowing in the last unit of Prayer) is Sunnah. The basic principle in this regard is to raise the hands while performing Du`a', except in the positions where the Prophet (peace be upon him) supplicated but did not raise his hands, such as in the Du`a' of the last Tashahhud (testification recited in the sitting position in the last unit of Prayer), Du`a' after offering the obligatory Prayer and Du`a' of the Friday Khutbah (sermon) in cases other than the that of Salat-ul-Istisqa' (Prayer for rain). However, such issues should not be a subject of controversy and dissention among the seekers of knowledge, because the matter is flexible and doing or giving it up does not result in any deviance from Islam.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.