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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Ten Points to Consider in Making a Supplication (duā’) IMAM DIDMAR FAJA· From Ihya Ulūm Al-Dīn of Imam Ghazalī.

Ten Points to Consider in Making a Supplication (duā’)
From Ihya Ulūm Al-Dīn of Imam Ghazalī.
 Summarized by Imam Didmar Faja
Supplication in the Quran
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ
And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So, let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” Quran (2:186)
وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِي سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَ
And your Lord says, "Call upon Me; I will respond to you." Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell [rendered] in humiliation.” Q. (40:60)
Ten Points to Consider in Making a Supplication (duā’)
1. Utilizing the specific times for the supplication to be accepted. Fridays, early dawns (sahar)
وَبِالْأَسْحَارِ هُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ
And in the hours before dawn they would ask forgiveness.” Q. (51:18)
حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ يَحْيَى، قَالَ قَرَأْتُ عَلَى مَالِكٍ عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الأَغَرِّ، وَعَنْ أَبِي سَلَمَةَ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ: “يَنْزِلُ رَبُّنَا تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا حِينَ يَبْقَى ثُلُثُ اللَّيْلِ الآخِرُ فَيَقُولُ مَنْ يَدْعُونِي فَأَسْتَجِيبَ لَهُ وَمَنْ يَسْأَلُنِي فَأُعْطِيَهُ وَمَنْ يَسْتَغْفِرُنِي فَأَغْفِرَ لَهُ".
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (pbuh) as saying, “Our Lord, the Blessed and the Exalted, descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the latter part of the night is left, and says: Who supplicates Me so that I may answer him? Who asks Me so that I may give to him? Who asks Me forgiveness so that I may forgive him?”
2. Availing yourself for supplication during some honorable conditions you may be in.
For example: fighting in a war for the sake of Allah, during the rainfall, when performing the obligatory prayers. Mujāhid (a scholar from the early generations of Muslims) said,
إن الصلاة جعلت في خير الساعات فعليكم بالدعاء خلف الصلاوات
“Verily the prayers were prescribed to be performed during the best times, therefore, invoke Allah after them.”
Also, another good time to supplicate is between the Adhān and Iqāmah, when fasting, and while in sajdah.
3. Facing the Kaba and raising the hands.
It is narrated from Jābir bin Abdillāh that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) came to the standing place in cArafāt, faced the Kaba and kept invoking Allah until the sunset.
In another instance, Salmān al-Fārisī (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Prophet peace be upon him mentioned,
إِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ حَيِيٌّ كَرِيمٌ يَسْتَحِي مِنْ عَبْدِهِ إِذَا رَفَعَ يَدَيْهِ إِلَيْهِ أَنْ يَرُدَّهُمَا صِفْرًا.
Verily, your Lord is so much kind and generous that he feels shy of returning the hands of His servants empty once they raise them to Him.” (A sound Hadith, in Al-Tirmidhī, Ibn Mājah, and Al-Ḥākim)
Umar Ibn al-Khattab mention that it was the habit of the Messenger of God, that whenever he stretched his hands to invoke Allah, not to withdraw them until he would pass them over his face.
4. The voice when making a personal supplication should not be very loud, nor very low.
Overall, supplication in private is preferred. Allah in the Quran describes the way how Prophet Zakariyyā supplicated to Him,
إِذْ نَادَى رَبَّهُ نِدَاءً خَفِيًّا
When he called to his Lord a private supplication.” Q. (119:3)
In another ayah Allah states,
ادْعُوا رَبَّكُمْ تَضَرُّعًا وَخُفْيَةً ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ
Call upon your Lord in humility and privately; indeed, He does not like transgressors.” Q. (7:55)
5. No need to make your supplication in a rhythmic way, nor use sophisticated words when supplicating.
It could prevent someone from being humble in supplication.
According to learned man, you should invoke Allah, the Almighty with the tongue of humility and not with the tongue of eloquence and fluency.
It is said that the learned among the abdāl (among the elite servants of God) invoke God with no more than seven words, if not less.
6. One should show humility, submission, hope and fear of God while supplicating.
Some of these qualities could be found in Prophet Zachariah (Zakariyyā) and his household, his wife Elizabeth (Īshā’), and his son John (Yaḥyā). Allah describes them by saying,
فَاسْتَجَبْنَا لَهُ وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ يَحْيَىٰ وَأَصْلَحْنَا لَهُ زَوْجَهُ ۚ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ وَيَدْعُونَنَا رَغَبًا وَرَهَبًا ۖ وَكَانُوا لَنَا خَاشِعِينَ
Indeed, they used to hasten to good deeds and supplicate Us in hope and fear, and they were to Us humbly submissive.” Q. (21:90).
7. One should put the hope and trust in God by being certain that God will answer the prayer.
In a Hadith it states,
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ ادْعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَنْتُمْ مُوقِنُونَ بِالإِجَابَةِ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَسْتَجِيبُ دُعَاءً مِنْ قَلْبٍ غَافِلٍ لاَهٍ ‏"رواه الترمذي
Abū Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “Call upon Allah while being certain of being answered, and know that Allah does not respond to a supplication from the heart of one heedless and occupied by play.” (Al-Tirmidhī)
8. Be persistent in your supplications and repeat some of them thrice.
The mother of the believers, Āisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “If anyone of you invokes for a certain thing and he comes to know that his invocation has received an answer, let him say,
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي بِنِعْمَتِهِ تَتِمُّ الصَّالِحَاتُ
Praise be to Allah with Whose favor all good things are accomplished.” And if the answer slows to come to him, he should say,
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ عَلَى كُلِّ حَالٍ
Praise is to Allah in all circumstances.” (Based on reports from Āisha and Abū Hurayrah, found in Hadith compilations of Imam Al-Bayhaqī and Al-Ḥākim)
9. Start your supplication by mentioning the name of God first, then also invoke Him to bestow His peace and blessings to His Messenger (pbuh).
In a Hadith that is narrated by Abū al-Dardā’ Prophet (pbuh) said,
عن أبي الدرداء رضي الله عنه قال: قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: إذا سألتم الله عز وجل حاجة فإبتدئُو بالصلاة
علي فإن الله تعالي أكرمُ مِن أن يُسألَ حاجتين و يَقضِيَ إحداهما و يَرُدَّ الأخرى.
It is reported by Abī Al-Dardā’ (may Allah be pleased with him) who mentioned that the Prophet (pbuh) said, “When you ask Allah for something, you should begin by invoking the peace and the blessings of Allah upon me, for it is not befitting for the generosity of Allah Almighty, when he is asked for two needs, to fulfill one and reject the other.” (Abū Ṭālib al-Makkī, Qūt al-Qulūb)
Abū Sulaymān al-Darānī mentioned, “Whoever likes to ask Allah for anything, let him
begin by invoking Allah’s prayers and blessings upon the Prophet of Allah (pbuh), then ask Him for his need, and then conclude with invoking Allah’s prayers and blessings upon the Prophet (pbuh); and that’s because Allah Almighty accepts both prayers and He is too Generous to reject what is between them.”
10. Your inner character (adab) must be upright with God, and that’s what causes a supplication to be answered.
A key component for this point is; turning to Allah with repentance, abandoning oppression, and turn to Him with all of your attention. It is reported that People during the time of Moses were given to severe drought. Moses came out with the children of Israel to invoke God for rain, but they were not provided with rain. God spoke to Moses, “I’m not to respond to you and to those who are with you as long as there is among you one who goes about slandering the others.
Moses replied, “O Lord! Who is that person so we can drive him out from among us?” God said to Moses, “O Moses! I forbid you to adhere to slandering, and I’d be the one to commit it?!” Moses said to the children of Israel, “Turn to the Lord altogether in repentance from being given to slandering.” When they repented, God Almighty sent rainfall upon them.
According to Sufyān al-Thawrī, it is reported that the children of Israel will be followed by a seven-year famine and it was so much severe that they were forced to eat almost unimaginable things. During this famine, they used to come out to the mountains, weeping and invoking God with humility. God inspired to their prophets, “Even if you walk to Me on foot until your knees become bear, and your hands rise up to reach the sky, and your tongues weary and cease to invoke more, I will not answer the invocation of anyone of you, nor will I bestow mercy upon the weeping among you until you abandon the injustices towards those who have been wronged.” They complied; thereupon, they were provided with rain as of the very day they did.
According to Abū al-Ṣiddīq al-Nājī, “Solomon (pbuh) came out to invoke Allah for rain And on the way he came upon an ant thrown on its back and it was raising its sides up to the sky and saying, “O God we are creatures among Your creation and we cannot be independent of your sustenance. Don’t ruin us because of the sins of anyone else other than us.” On hearing that Solomon (pbuh) said (to those around him), “Return, for you have been provided with water with the help of the invocation of some other than you.
It is also narrated that during a very dry season Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) invoked Allah for rain with the help of the Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), the uncle of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). When Umar finished his invocation, Abbas said,
اللهم إنه لم ينزل بلاء من السماء إلا بذنب ولم يكشف إلا بتوبة
O Allah, no distress descends from the sky but because of a great sin, and it is not removed but by the virtue of repentance...”
Lecture delivered at Virtual Monthly Mawlid 5/17/2020, Sponsored by Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE) - Video Link:


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