Qunut is a supplication recited immediately before or after ruku`. It is permissible to recite the qunut aloud in any of the five daily Prayers at those times when Muslims are faced with calamities.
We cite what Sheikh Sayyed Sabiq states in his well-known book, Fiqh Us-Sunnah:
It is permissible to make qunut before ruku` (bowing), or it may be recited after straightening up after the ruku`. Humaid said: “I asked Anas, ‘Is the qunut before or after the ruku`?’ He said, ‘We would do it before or after.’” This was related by Ibn Majah and Muhammad ibn Nasr.
If one makes qunut before the ruku`, one should say “Allahu Akbar” and raise one’s hands to the ears before reciting the supplication, and similarly say “Allahu Akbar” after the qunut, and then bow. This has been related from some Companions. Some scholars hold that it is preferable to raise one’s hands in supplication during the qunut, while others disagree.
As to wiping the face with the hands after the qunut, Al-Baihaqi writes, “It is preferred not to do so and to confine one’s self to what the early generations did. They raised their hands but did not wipe their faces during the Prayer.”