Etiquettes of Supplicating - I

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During the caliphate of ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, there was no rain for an entire year and the people were about to perish. So ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, gathered the people and they went out to the desert. He then asked Al-‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, the paternal uncle of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) to invoke Allah The Exalted for the Muslims. Al-‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, raised his hands towards the sky and said, “O Allah, we stretch our hands to You admitting our sins and our forelocks to You declaring our repentance, so Grant us rain.” Thus, Allah The Almighty Sent down the rain.

The mother of Anas ibn Maalik, may Allah be pleased with them, went to the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) while holding the hand of her son Anas to serve the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and asked him to supplicate Allah The Exalted for him. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) invoked Allah The Almighty Saying, “O Allah, Bless his wealth and offspring.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, lived until his wealth and offspring increased in abundance and he saw one hundred of his children and grandchildren.

Supplication (Du‘aa’) means to ask for pardon, mercy, forgiveness and to ask Allah The Almighty for what one wants to achieve. It is one of the acts of worship that earns the Satisfaction of Allah The Almighty. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said, “Supplication is worship.” [At-Tirmithi] Then the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) recited the verse in which Allah The Almighty Says (what means):

{And your Lord Says, "Call upon Me; I Will Respond to you." Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell [rendered] contemptible.} [Quran 40:60]

{Is He [not best] Who Responds to the desperate one when he calls upon Him and Removes evil} [Quran 27:62]

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said, “Nothing is more honorable in the Sight of Allah than supplicating (to Him).” [At-Tirmithi and Ahmad]

There are etiquettes for supplicating that every Muslim should abide by. Some of these etiquettes are:

• Choosing the time for supplication: There are some times when supplication is likely to be answered such as in the month of Ramadan, the Day of ‘Arafah, Fridays, the time of Sahar (last third of the night) and the first ten days of Thul-Hijjah. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “No good deeds done on any other day are superior to those done on these days (first ten days of Thul-Hijjah).” Some of his Companions asked, “Not even Jihaad in the Path of Allah?” He replied: “Not even Jihaad in the Path of Allah except that of a man who leaves (for it) with his life and wealth and does not return with either (i.e. he is martyred).” [Al-Bukhari]

It was narrated that upon entering the month of Ramadan, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) would say, “This month that has come has in it a night which is better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of it has been deprived of all of its goodness and none is deprived of its goodness except the truly deprived.” [Ibn Maajah] As for Friday, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said, “There is an hour on Friday in which a Muslim does not ask Allah for anything except that Allah Will definitely Grant it to him.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said, “Allah Descends [in a way that befits His Majesty] in the last third of every night and Says: ‘I am the King… I am the King… Is there anyone invoking Me that I May Respond to his invocation? Is there anyone asking of Me so that I May Grant him his request? Is there anyone asking My Forgiveness, so that I May Forgive him?’ And this continues until the break of dawn.” [Muslim]

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) also said: “The supplication made in between the (two) calls for prayer (i.e. Athaan and Iqaamah) will never be rejected.” [Abu Daawood, At-Tirmithi, An-Nasaa’i and Ahmad] The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said, “The supplication made in between the (two) calls for prayer (i.e. Athaan and Iqaamah) is answered, so supplicate.” [Ibn ‘Adiyy]

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said, “The slave is closest to his Lord when he is in prostration; so supplicate Allah much (in prostration).” [Muslim] Also among the times when supplications are answered is when facing the enemy, when it is raining, when roosters are crowing, after obligatory prayers and during prostration.

• Facing the Qiblah. Once, the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) went out to lead the people in the prayer of Istisqaa’ (prayer for seeking rain). He faced the Qiblah and kept invoking Allah. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

• Raising the hands. It was narrated on the authority of ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) used to raise his hands when supplicating Allah The Almighty. [Al-Haakim] The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) also said: “Allah Is Considerate and Generous; He Does not Turn away empty the hands of His servant when he raises them to Him.” [Abu Daawood, At-Tirmithi and Ibn Maajah]

• Praising Allah The Almighty and asking Him to Confer His Salutations on the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ): Salamah ibn Al-Akwa', may Allah be pleased with him, said, “I never heard the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) begin a supplication other than by saying, ‘Glory be to my Lord The Exalted, The Bestower.’” [Ahmad]

One day, the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) heard a man saying, “O Allah, I ask You as I testify that none is worthy to be worshipped except You, The One, The Absolute Who neither Begets nor Is Begotten, Nor is there to Him any equivalent.” The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said, “Indeed, you have asked Allah with His Greatest Name upon which He Gives when He is Asked with it and Answers when He is invoked by it.” [Abu Daawood]

Fadhaalah ibn ‘Ubayd, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Once, while we were sitting with the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) a man entered the mosque and prayed and then said, ‘Allahumma’ghfir li warhamni [O Allah, Forgive me for my sins and Bestow Your Mercy upon me].’ The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) told him: ‘You have been hasty in your Du‘aa’ O you who are praying. When you finish your prayer and are seated, you should first praise Allah The Exalted as He Deserves, then ask Him to Confer His blessings and peace upon me , then Supplicate to Him.’” After this, another man entered and prayed. Then he praised Allah and asked Him to Confer His Peace upon the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). Thus, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) told him, “O you who are praying, invoke Allah and He Will Answer your invocation.” [Abu Daawood, At-Tirmithi and An-Nasaa’i]

• Being persistent in supplication and repeating it thrice. ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas‘ood, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “If the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) invoked Allah, he would do so thrice. And if he would ask Allah, he would do so thrice. And the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “The supplication of every one of you will be granted as long as he is not impatient and say, ‘I have supplicated my Lord but He has not answered it.’” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) also said: “None of you should say, ‘O Allah, Forgive me if You Will, Have mercy upon me if You Will. Rather, be determined in asking for Allah Does whatever He Wills and no one forces Him. (i.e. one should invoke Allah The Almighty with certainty that his supplications would be answered as Allah Has Power over all things.)” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Sufyaan ibn ‘Uyaynah  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “None of you should abstain from invoking Allah because of what is apparent from his sins as Allah The Almighty answered the invocation of the worst of creation, Iblees, may Allah Curse him. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {He said, "My Lord, then reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected." [Allah] Said, "So indeed, you are of those reprieved. Until the Day of the time well-known."} [Quran15: 36,37,38]

• Lowering the voice when supplicating. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Call upon your Lord in humility and privately;} [Quran 7:55] The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said to the Companions, may Allah be pleased with him, when they raised their voices in supplication, “You are not calling upon someone deaf or absent. You are calling upon One who is All-Seeing and All-Hearing. He is with you all the time.” [Muslim]

• Supplicating Allah The Almighty with what was mentioned in the Quran and the Sunnah. It is better for the Muslim to supplicate Allah The Almighty with what was mentioned in the Noble Quran of many invocations such as:

Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
{"Our Lord, Forgive us our sins and the excess [committed] in our affairs and Plant firmly our feet and Give us victory over the disbelieving people."} [Quran 3:147]
{"Our Lord, Give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and Protect us from the punishment of the Fire."} [Quran 2:201] 

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