- 'Ali Hasan al-Halabi
Supplication is a Cure
Supplication is from the most beneficial types of healing, it is the enemy of illness and affliction - repressing it and treating it, preventing its occurrence, removing it or at least alleviating it. It is the weapon of the believer as is reported by al-Hakim in his Mustadrak from the hadith of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, radhiallahu 'anhu, from the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam that he said, "Supplication is the weapon of the believer, the pillar of the religion, and the light of the heaven and earth." 1
Supplication takes one of three positions against illness:
- It is stronger than the illness and therefore represses it.
- It is weaker than the illness and therefore the illness overcomes it and afflicts the servant, however it is still possible that it alleviate the illness.
- That they be of equal strength and prevent each other from happening in the servant.
Al-Hakim reports from the hadith of A'ishah, radhiallahu 'anha, that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "Caution is of no avail against the decree but supplication benefits those things that have occurred and have not yet occurred. For indeed while the tribulation is descending the supplication meets it and they remain struggling with one another until the Day of Judgement." 2
He also reports the hadith of Ibn 'Umar from the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam that he said, "Supplication brings about benefit to those things that have occurred and those things that have not yet occurred. So devote yourselves to supplication O servants of Allah!" 3
He also reports the hadith of Thawban from the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam that he said, "Nothing but supplication averts the decree and nothing but righteousness increases the life-span. Indeed a person is deprived of provision due to performing sins." 4
Being Earnest and Persistent in Supplication
From the most beneficial of treatments is to be earnest and persistent in supplication. Ibn Majah reports in his Sunan the hadith of Abu Hurayrah from the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam that he said, "Allah is angry at whosoever does not ask of Him." 5
Al-Awza'i mentions from az-Zuhri from 'Urwa from A'ishah, radhiallahu 'anha, that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "Allah loves those who are earnest and persistent in their supplications." 6
Imam Ahmad reports in his Kitab az-Zuhd from Qatadah from Muwarraq that he said, "I have not found a deserving similitude for the believer except in the case of a person on the sea floating on a raft supplicating to his Lord, 'My Lord! My Lord!' so that perchance Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent, may save him." 7
Being Impatient with Supplication
From the reasons that prevent the servant from attaining the fulfilment of the supplication is his being hasty and impatient, so when the answer is delayed or slow in coming he becomes frustrated and gives up supplicating. This person is like the one who sows a seed or plants a flower, watering it and tending to it, then when it is delayed in appearing or flowering he leaves it and neglects it.
In Sahih al-Bukhari from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "Your supplications will be answered as long as you are not impatient by saying, 'I have supplicated to my Lord but He has not answered.' " 8
In Sahih Muslim from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "The supplication of the servant will always be answered provided that he does not supplicate for something sinful or supplicate to sever the ties of kinship and provided that he is not impatient." It was asked, "O Messenger of Allah, what is impatience?" He replied, "He says, 'I have supplicated and supplicated but I have not received an answer' then he becomes frustrated and leaves off supplicating." 9
In the Musnad of Ahmad from the hadith of 'Anas that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "The servant will always be in a state of good as long as he is not impatient." They asked, "How is he impatient?" He replied, "He says, 'I have supplicated to my Lord but he has not answered.' " 10
The Best Times for Supplications
When the servant combines in his supplication presence of the heart and its being attentive and devoting itself solely to Allah, sincerely asking Him for the desired matter, doing so at one of the six times when the supplication is more likely to answered - these being:
- The last third of the night. 11
- At the time of the adhan. 12
- Between the adhan and iqamah. 13
- At the ends of the prescribed prayers. 14
- From the time the Imam ascends the pulpit to the time the prayer has finished on the day of Jumu'ah. 15
- The last hour after the 'Asr prayer. 1618
Some of the Reasons for Supplications Being Answered
Frequently we find the supplications that are answered to be those that combine dire need with the persons sincerely turning to Allah Alone, or due to a good deed that the person performed before the supplication and Allah made it to be the reason behind His answering the supplication as a way of showing appreciation, or the person supplicated at a time in which the supplication will be answered etc.
Someone may think that the reason of the supplication being answered lies in the wording of the supplication itself and he takes to this wording only, ignoring the other matters that this supplicator combined when supplicating. This is like a person who takes a medicine at a recommended time and in a recommended way and thereby benefits from it, another person sees this and thinks that taking the medicine on its own suffices to bring about benefit. This is incorrect and in fact this is an area in which many people have erred.
For example a person may supplicate at a time of dire need by the side of a grave and this supplication be answered. Now an ignorant person may see this and think that the reason behind the supplication being answered lay with the grave and not know that the reason actually lay in the person being in dire need and his sincerely resorting to Allah. If this person, when being in this situation, had supplicated in a house from amongst the houses of Allah then this would have been better and more beloved to Allah.
Supplication is Like a Weapon
Supplications and seeking refuge are of the level of a weapon. The strength of the weapon lies in the strength of the one wielding it and not merely in its own natural strength. So when the weapon is complete having no defect and the arm wielding it is strong and any obstacles are absent - then the weapon will cause harm to the enemy, and when any of these three matters are absent then the desired effect of the weapon will also be absent. Similarly when the supplication, in and of itself, is corrupt, or the supplicator does not combine his heart with his tongue at the time of supplication, or for some reason there be an obstacle preventing the answer - then the desired outcome will not be achieved.