Despite commonly practiced and performed at masjids, the wiping of face after Qunoot in Salah is NOT sunnah, and is in fact considered Makruh (disliked).

Hadiths

There are a few hadiths that seem to promote wiping of face after Du’a. The most famous of them is the following, found in Usool Al-Kafi:

“Any servant (of Allah) who raises his hands toward Allah, the Most Majestic, the Compelling, Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Holy, will be shy to turn him down empty-handed, and without placing in it from His favors as He wills. After praying you (every one of you) should not return his hands to normal position before wiping them over his face and head.”

يردها صفرا حتى يجعل فيها من فضل رحمته ما يشاء. فإذا دعا أحدكم فلا يرد يده حتى يمسح على وجهه ورأسه

Source: Usool Al-Kafi, Volume 2, Hadith #3073 (See Image)

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There are a couple more hadiths similar to this also, with either similar chain or no chain. All of them speak about wiping the face after du’a.

However, we find one hadith from imam Al-Hujjah (aj) which seems to warn against wiping the face after qunoot in wajib (obligatory) salah:

The Imam (aj) was asked “After a person completes reciting the Qunoot is it allowed for him to pass his hands over his face and chest On the basis of a tradition quoted in this regard, “In fact the Almighty Allah is much higher than it that He keeps the hands of his servants empty. Rather He fills them with bounties.” While some of our scholars have mentioned that it is one of the rituals in prayers. Imam (aj) said: “To pass the hands over the head and face after Qunoot is not permitted in obligatory prayers.”

وسأله عن القنوت في الفريضة إذا فرغ من دعائه أن يرد يديه على وجهه و صدره للحديث الذي روي أن الله عز وجل أجل من أن يرد يدي عبده صفرا بل يملاها من رحمته أم لا يجوز؟ فان بعض أصحابنا ذكر أنه عمل في الصلاة. فأجاب عليه السلام رد اليدين من القنوت على الرأس والوجه غير جائز في الفرائض

We find this hadith in:

– Al-Ihtijaj , Tabrasi, Volume 2, page 486
– Bihar Al-Anwar, Volume 53, Page 159-160
– The Life of Imam Al-Mahdi, Baqir Sharif Quraishi [(Arabic حیاه الامام المنتظر المصلح الاعظم, Page 107 – first image, (English, Page 159 – second image)]

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It is of interest that all of the hadiths mentioned thus far are weak. The first one speaks about performing it after du’a, while the second speaks of it specific in Salah.

So that we can understand what to do, let us turn to what the scholars say.

Fatwa

alseraj.net have published an answer to this question from Sayed Ali Al-Sistani (hf):

335     السؤال:
هناك مجموعة من الممارسات نلحظها في صلاة البعض ، ولا نعلم هل هي مستحبة ، أم لا ؟.. وهل ينبغي فعلها أم لا ؟ منها :
أولاً : ادارة الخاتم في القنوت بحيث يكون الفص باتجاه الوجه .
ثانياً : قلب الكفين حال التشهد بحيث يكون باطنهما باتجاه السماء عند الوصول الى فقرة : وتقبل شفاعته وارفع درجته.
ثالثاً : مسح الوجه بعد الانتهاء من القنوت بالكفين .
رابعاً : ضرب الفخذين بالكفين ضربة خفيفة عند قولنا : اشهد لا إله إلا الله في التشهد ؟
الفتوى : أما الاول فلم نجد له مستنداً ، وأما الثاني فلا بأس به وإن لم يرد بخصوصه ، وأما الثالث فقد ورد النهي عنه وحمله الفقهاء على الكراهة ، ولم نجد مستنداً للرابع .

Four separate questions, with Question three being the relevant and bolded part. Translation is as follows:

Q3: (What is the ruling on) wiping the face with hands on the completion of Qunoot (in Salah)?

A3: There have been reports of it being forbidden, and a group of the fuqaha have declared it a disliked thing to do.

Sayed Sadiq al-Rohani says:

It has been reported in some of the hadiths, such as in the stamped reponse (of al-Mahdi(as)) where he answered: “The wiping of the head and face after al-Qunoot is not permissible in the obligatory (prayers).

Link: click here

Similar fatwas have also been passed by Sayed Khomeini and Sayed Sadiq Shirazi.

Conclusion

For the Wajib prayers (five daily prayers and other occasional obligatory prayers) it seems as though it is suggested to stay away from wiping face. There is no proof of its benefits and if anything, it is something despised.

As for recommended prayers and du’as – there are no problems in doing them, and God willing you will be rewarded with your du’as with the intention of acting on the first hadith mentioned.