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Supplication: Its Virtues and Etiquettes from the Sunnah

By Editorial Staff

What are the benefits of supplication? What did the Prophet say about supplication and its merits? How should we invocate God and ask Him for what we want? What should we say in our du`aa’?

Are there certain etiquettes we need to learn and follow when we make du`aa’?

Allah says:

“Call upon me, I will respond to you. Verily, those who scorn My worship, they will surely enter Hell humiliated”. (Ghafir 40:60)

Does God really accept our du`aa’? How does He respond to us?

The following hadiths answer all these questions…

An Act of Worship

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Verily supplication is worship.” (Abu Dawud, An-Nasa’i, At-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah)

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet said: “There is nothing more noble to Allah the Glorified, than supplication.” (Ibn Majah)

Anas ibn Malik narrated that : the Prophet said: “The supplication is the essence of worship.” (At-Tirmithi)

The Prophet said, “Du`aa’ (supplication) is worship.” (Abu Dawud)

Abu Hurairah narrated that: The Prophet said: “There is nothing more honorable with Allah (Most High) than supplication.” (At-Tirmithi)

Best of Deeds

Abu Ad-Darda’ (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that :

The Prophet said: “Should I not inform you of the best of your deed, and the purest of them with your Master, and the highest of them in your ranks, and what is better for you than spending gold and silver, and better for you than meeting your enemy and striking their necks, and they strike your necks?” They said: “Of course.” He said, “The remembrance of Allah.” (Then) Mu`adh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “There is nothing that brings more salvation from the punishment of Allah than the remembrance of Allah.” (locate it in hadith collections, please)

`Abdullah ibn Busr (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that:

A man said: “O Messenger of Allah, indeed, the legislated acts of Islam have become too much for me, so inform me of a thing that I should stick to.” He (peace be upon him) said: “Let not your tongue cease to be moist with the remembrance of Allah.” (At-Tirmithi)

What to Say?

Qatada asked Anas which supplication Allah’s Prophet frequently made? He said:

The supplication that the Prophet made very frequently is as follows: “O Allah, grant us the good in this world and the good in the Hereafter and save us from the torment of Hell-Fire.” He (Qatada) said that whenever Anas had to supplicate he made this very supplication, and whenever he (intended) to make another supplication he (inserted) this very supplication in that. (Muslim)

Abu Al-Zubair said:

`Abdullah ibn Al-Zubair used to recite this supplication after each (prescribed) prayer. He then narrated a similar supplication and added to it: “There is no might and no power except in Allah; there is no god but Allah Whom alone we worship. To Him belongs wealth.” (Abu Dawud)

The Messenger of Allah said:

“The supplication of Dhun-Nun (Prophet Yunus) when he supplicated, while in the belly of the whale was: ‘There is none worthy of worship except You, Glory to You, Indeed, I have been of the transgressors. (La Ilaha illa anta subhanaka inni kunt min azh-zhalimeen)’ So indeed, no Muslim man supplicates with it for anything, ever, except Allah responds to him.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Anas ibn Malik said:

“A man come to the Prophet and said: “O Messenger of Allah, what supplication is best?’ He said: “Ask your Lord for forgiveness and to be kept safe and sound in this world and in the Hereafter.” Then (the man) came the next day and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, what supplication is best?’ He said: “Ask your Lord for forgiveness and to be kept safe and sound in this world and in the Hereafter.” Then (the man) came the third day and said: ‘O Prophet of Allah, what supplication is best?’ He said: “Ask your Lord for forgiveness and to be kept safe and sound in this world and in the Hereafter, for if you are forgiven and kept safe and sound in this world and the Hereafter, you will have succeeded.” (Ibn Majah)

When to Make Supplication?

The Messenger of Allah was asked: “At what time does the supplication find the greatest response?” He replied, “A supplication made during the middle of the last part of the night and after the conclusion of the obligatory prayers.” (At-Tirmidhi)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Supplications at two times are never turned down (or said, “Are seldom turned down”), a supplication after the Adhan has been proclaimed, and a supplication during the battle combating the enemy.” (Abu Dawud)

Anas ibn Malik narrated that :

Allah’s Messenger said: “The supplication made between the Adhan and Iqamah is not rejected.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Malik said:

There is no harm in uttering supplication in prayer, in its beginning, in its middle, and in the end, in obligatory prayer or other. (Abu Dawud and authenticated by Al-Albani)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “When you supplicate to Allah, supplicate with your palms uppermost, not with the backs of your hands uppermost, and when you finish, wipe your face with them.” (Ibn Majah)

Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them) reported:

“The Messenger of Allah said: “Glorify your Lord in ruku` (bowing posture) and exert yourself in supplication in prostration. Thus your supplications are liable to be accepted.” (Muslim)

The Messenger of Allah said: “The nearest a servant comes to his Lord is when he is prostrating himself, so make supplication (in this state).” (Muslim)

Etiquette of Du`aa’

Abu Huraira reported:

People should avoid lifting their eyes towards the sky while supplicating in prayer, otherwise their eyes would be snatched away. (Muslim)

Narrated Anas ibn Malik:

“I saw the Messenger of Allah supplicating Allah in this manner with the palms of his hands and also with their backs upwards.” (Abu Dawud)

Fadalah ibn `Ubaid (may Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) heard someone supplicating after his prayer without praising Allah and without supplicating Allah for the Prophet. With regard to him, the Messenger of Allah said, “This man rushed”. Then he called him and said, “When any one of you have performed salah (prayer) and wants to supplicate, let him praise Allah first then glorify Him in the beginning and then he should supplicate Allah for me. Then he may supplicate for whatever he likes.” (Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi)

Anas reported Allah’s Messenger as saying:

“When one of you makes supplication, he should supplicate with a will and should not say: O Allah, confer upon me if You like, for there is none to coerce Allah.” (Muslim)

A supplication should be made in full confidence and one should persistently express his desire before Allah in his supplication:

The Messenger of Allah said, “You must not supplicate: ‘O Allah! forgive me if You wish; O Allah bestow mercy on me if You wish.’ But beg from Allah with certitude for no one has the power to compel Allah.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

God’s Acceptance

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“Whenever a Muslim supplicates Allah, He accepts his supplication or averts any similar kind of trouble from him until he prays for something sinful or something that may break the ties of kinship.” Upon this someone of the Companions said: “Then we shall supplicate plenty.” The Messenger of Allah said, “Allah is more plentiful (in responding).” (At- Tirmidhi)

Also, the Messenger of Allah said: “There is none who utters a supplication, except that Allah gives him what he asked, or prevents evil from him that is equal to it – as long as he does not supplicate for something evil, or the cutting of ties of the womb.”

Abu Hurairah reported Allah’s Messenger as saying:

“The supplication of the servant is granted in case he does not supplicate for sin or for severing the ties of blood, or he does not become impatient. It was said: Allah’s Messenger, what does: “If he does not grow impatient” imply? He said: That he should say like this: I supplicated and I supplicated but I did not find it being responded. and then he becomes frustrated and abandons supplication.” (Muslim)

The Messenger of Allah said: “There is none who utters a supplication, except that Allah gives him what he asked, or prevents evil from him that is equal to it – as long as he does not supplicate for something evil, or the cutting of ties of the womb.” (At-Tirmidhi)

It is recommended for the one who supplicated not to be impatient– i.e. to say ‘I supplicated and received no response’

Abu Hurairah reported that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

“The supplication of every one of you is granted if he does not grow impatient and says: I supplicated but it was not granted.” (Muslim)

 

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