I know the majority of scholars accept weak Hadiths for virtues bearing in mind certain conditions. However my question is regarding why weak Hadiths are also used for those things which are not related to virtues. I am confused regarding the wiping of the face after prayer, from what I have been informed is there are many weak Hadiths on the issue, however the wiping of the face isn’t virtuous.
So why would weak Hadiths be accepted in this example and others like it. Could you also direct me to any books where this is clarified.
Your question needs to be addressed in two parts,
1) The issue of wiping the hands over the face after du’a is actually established by a combination of several Hadiths which have collectively reached the level of being sound (hasan lighayrihi).
See our full answer on this here.
2) The correct wording for the popular view of the Scholars on the issue of weak Hadiths should be as follows:
Weak Hadiths are accepted -with certain conditions- for all topics besides legislation (ahkam) and beliefs (‘aqidah).
This is wonderfully expounded in the book of by Respected Teacher; Al-Muhaddith Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah (hafizahullah) entitled Hukmul ‘amal bil Hadithid Da’if.
This book -in over two hundred pages- is the most comprehensive article on this topic, and it explains the issue from the viewpoint of all the scholars of the truth throughout the ages.
Several years ago, I commenced an article to explain this issue in English entitled; The Authority and Application of Weak Hadiths in Shari’ah.
I hope to be able to complete it in the near future with a summary of the work of Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah (hafizahullah) as well.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar