Here is a benefit on how to raise the hands during the qunut of witr and in general when making dua. A lot of Muslims make the mistake of separating their hands or raising them too high or low.
Shaikh Ibn ul-‘Uthaymeen rahimahullah said:
“What is correct is that he raises his hands because that is authentic from Umar ibn al-Khattab radiallahu anhu [Reported by al-Bayhaqi (2/212) and he authenticated it]. And Umar ibn al-Khattab radiallahu anhu is one of the four guided Caliphs whose Sunnah is followed due to the order of the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam [Reported by Abu Dawood no. 4604 and Tirmidhi no. 2676]. So he raises his hands.
However, how does he raise his hand?
Answer: The Scholars say he raises his hands to his chest and does not raise them a lot because this supplication is not a supplication of Ibtihaal [invocation] in which a person exaggerates in raising. Rather, this is a supplication of hoping. He spreads his hands and both palms towards the sky. This is what our companions say rahimahumullah.
What is apparent from the speech of the People of Knowledge is that he joins his hands together, one to the other. Like the situation of beggar who asks others to give him something. As for separating the hands and spacing them out, then I do not know an origin for it. Not in the Sunnah nor in the speech of the Scholars”
[Sharh Mumti’ (4/9)]
Shaikh Bakr Abu Zaid rahimahullah said:
“The position of general supplication which is called Masalah (asking) and it is also called dua. It is to raise the hands to the shoulders or the like, joining them together, spreading the palms towards the sky and the back of the hands to the earth. If he wishes, he can cover his face and the back of his hands can face the Qiblah. This form is general for when raising of the hands in supplication in general: in the qunut in witr, rain prayer, the times when raising the hands in the six places in Hajj, and other than that”
[Tasheehul-Duaa pg. 116-117]
Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan
Shaikh Abdul-Muhsin al-‘Abbad hafidhuhallah was asked:
Most of our Imams make Qunut in the Fajr prayer, So do we raise our hands with them in the Qunut considering we see that as an innovation?
Qunut is two: Qunut in the time of disaster and Qunut in Witr. There comes a narration from the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam on raising the hands in the Qunut during the time of disaster. There has come a report from Umar, Abu Hurariah and some Companions radiallahu anhum on the raising the hands in the Qunut of witr.
Always making the Qunoot in Fajr prayer is not from the Sunnah because there has not come in regards to it an established Sunnah from the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam. It only came in the Qunut during disasters and the narration did not come [mentioning it being done] on an on-going basis. So if the Imam prays and makes Qunut in the Fajr prayer, then it is upon you to pray behind him and do not abandon the prayer behind him because he makes Qunoot. However, do not raise your hands because this Qunut is not legislated. However, it is upon you to continue with him in the prayer and agree with him in the prayer without raising your hands”
[Sharh Abi Dawood no. 443 ]
Faisal ibn Abdul Qaadir ibn Hassan
Ash-Shaykh Muqbil, rahimahullah, was asked the following question,
ما حكم القنوت في صلاة الصبح ، وما العمل إذا كنت إماماً بقوم يقنتون ويتعصبون لمذهبهم ؟
What is the ruling on performing Qunoot during fajr prayer and what should be done if I am an imam for a people who usually perform the Qunoot while they are fervently attached to their mathhab (school of thought)?
القنوت في صلاة الصبح وتخصيصها يعتبر بدعة لما جاء في < سنن أبي داود > عن أبي مالك الأشجعي قال : قلت لأبي : يا أبت صليت خلف رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم – وأبي بكر وعمر فهل كانوا يقنتون ؟ قال : اي بني محدث .
The Qunoot in Salaatu Fajr and specifying it to it is considered to be an act of innovation due to what has been reported in sunnan Abu Dawuud on the authority of Abu Malik Al-Ashjai that he said “I said to my father: ‘O my father! You offered Salat behind Allah’s Messenger (salallaahu alayhi wa salam ), Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman . Did they say the qunut?’ He said: ‘It is a newly invented matter my son.‘ ”
وأما حديث أنس : أن النبي – صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم – ما زال يقنت حتى فارق الدنيا
As for the hadeeth of Anas ibn Malik, who said: “The Messenger of Allah (salallaahu alayhi wa salam) did not stop making the qunut dua during the dawn (Fajr) prayer until he left this world.”
فإنه من طريق أبي جعفر الرازي وهو مختلف فيه والراجح ضعفه .
Then indeed it is reported from the channel of the narrator Abu Jafar ar-Raazi. Although there are a difference of opinions pertaining to him, the stronger opinion is that he is weak.
أما إذا كنت إماماً وطلبوا منك أن تقنت ، فإن كان هناك نوازل وأذنوا لك أن تقنت في الصلوات كلها وتدعو دعاء يناسب القضية والحالة فلا بأس بذلك ، وإن أبوا إلا أن تقنت فقل لهم : صلوا وسأصلي معكم ، وإذا قنتوا فلا ترفع يديك ، ولا تؤمن لأنه بدعة .
As for if you are the Imam and they requested from you to perform the Qunoot (during the prayer), then if they are certain disasters (i.e. an ongoing crisis in the country) and they permitted you to perform the Qunoot in all five prayers, and you can make a du’a that is suitable for the matter and the current situation, then that is okay. And if they refuse except that you perform Qunoot (merely for Fajr prayer), then say to them, ‘you lead the prayer and I will pray along with you and when they perform the Qunoot, do not raise your hands nor should you say the word Ameen (during their Qunoot), since it an act of innovation
AbdulFattaah bin Uthman