Purification of the Soul

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." {qluetip title=[1]}Abu Ya'la (no. 439), Ibn Adi (2/296), al-Hakim (1/492) and al-Quda'i (no. 143). The hadith is maudu' as declared by al-Albani. Al-Haythami says in Majma' az-Zawa'id (10/147), "The isnad contains al-Hasan bin Abi Zayd and he is abandoned." Refer to ad-Da'ifah (no. 179, 180){/qluetip}

Supplication takes one of three positions against illness:

  1. It is stronger than the illness and therefore represses it.
  2. 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.
  3. 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." {qluetip title=[2]}Reported by al-Hakim (1/492), at-Tabarani in al-Awsat (no. 4615) and in ad-Du'a (no. 33), al-Bazzar (3/29), al-Khatib in his Tarikh (8/453) and Ibn al-Jawzi in al-Wahiyat (no. 1411) The isnad to the hadith is da'if but the hadith is hasan is due to witnesses. Refer to Sahih al-Jami' (2/1279 no. 7739).{/qluetip}

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!" {qluetip title=[3]}Mishkat al-Masabih (Eng. Trans. 1/472), at-Tirmidhi (no. 3548) and al-Hakim (1/493). The hadith is hasan due to witnesses as declared so by as-Sakhawi and al-Albani. Refer to Sahih al-Jami' (1/641 no. 3409) and Maqasid al-Hasanah of as-Sakhawi (pg. 255 under no. 486){/qluetip}

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." {qluetip title=[4]}Mishkat al-Masabih (Eng. Trans. 2/1026). Reported by Ahmad (5/277, 280), Ibn Majah (chpt. 10, no. 90), al-Hakim (1/493), Ibn Abi Shaybah (10/441), Ibn Hibban (no. 1090), al-Baghawi (6/13) and al-Quda'i (no. 831). The isnad is da'if but the hadith has a support that strengthens it from the hadith of Salman with the words, "Nothing but supplication averts the decree, and nothing but righteousness increases the life-span." Reported by at-Tabarani in al-Kabir (no. 6128), at-Tirmidhi (no.2139) and others{/qluetip}

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." {qluetip title=[5]}Mishkat al-Masabih (Eng. Trans. 1/473). Reported by at-Tirmidhi (no.3373), Ibn Majah (no. 3827), Ahmad (2/443), al-Hakim (1/491) and al-Bayhaqi in ad-Da'wat al-Kabirah (no. 22) with a good isnad. The hadith has a witness with a da'if isnad from the hadith of Anas reported by at-Tabarani in ad-Du'a (no. 24) and the hadith of Nu'man bin Bashir reported by the authors of the Sunan{/qluetip}

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." {qluetip title=[6]}Reported by Uqayli in ad-Du'afa (1/198/2), al-Falaki in al-Fawa'id (2/89), Ibn Adi (7/163) and at-Tabarani in ad-Du'a (no. 20). The hadith is maudu. Refer to Silsilah ad-Da'ifah (no. 637), Irwa al-Ghalil (no. 677) and Talkhis al-Habir of Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani (2/194 no. 716){/qluetip}

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." {qluetip title=[7]}Kitab az-Zuhd of Imam Ahmad (2/273, chpt. Akhbar Muwarraq al-Ijli) and Abu Nu'aym in al-Hilya (2/235){/qluetip}

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.' " {qluetip title=[8]}Sahih al-Bukhari (Eng. Trans. 8/236 no. 352){/qluetip}

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." {qluetip title=[9]}Sahih Muslim (Eng. Trans. 4/1430 no. 6595){/qluetip}

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.' " {qluetip title=[10]}Ahmad (3/193-210), Abu Ya'la (no. 2865), at-Tabarani in al-Awsat (no. 2518) and in ad-Du'a (no. 21), and Ibn Adi (6/2219). Its isnad is hasan and the hadith is also reported via another route from by al-Bazzar (4/37){/qluetip}

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. {qluetip title=[11]}From Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "Our Lord, the Blessed and Most High, Descend every night to the lowest heaven when only the last third of the night remains and says, 'Who is calling upon Me so that I may respond? Who is seeking My forgiveness so that I may forgive Him?' " [Reported by Sahih Muslim (Eng. Trans. 1/365 no. 1656)]{/qluetip}
  • At the time of the adhan. {qluetip title=[12]}From 'Anas that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "When the adhan is proclaimed, the doors to the heaven open and the supplications are answered." [Reported by at-Tayalisi (no. 2106), at-Tabarani in ad-Du'a (no.485) and others with a hasan isnad and is made sahih due to supports. Refer to as-Sahihah (no. 1413) and the notes of F. Zamrali to at-Targhib fi'd-Du'a (pg. 76-77 no. 35)]{/qluetip}
  • Between the adhan and iqamah. {qluetip title=[13]}From 'Anas that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "The supplication made between the adhan and the iqamah will not be rejected." [Reported by Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi (no. 212, 3594), Ahmad (3/119), Ibn Abi Shaybah (no. 8465) and others with a da'if isnad but the hadith has supports which make it sahih. Refer to Irwa al-Ghalil (no. 244), the notes of F. Zamrali to at-Targhib fi'd-Du'a (pp. 75-78, no. 35)]{/qluetip}
  • At the ends of the prescribed prayers. {qluetip title=[14]}From Abu 'Umamah that the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam was asked, "When is the supplication most likely to be accepted?" He replied, "In the last depth of the night and at the end of the prescribed prayers." [Reported by at-Tirmidhi who said that it was hasan and al-Albani agreed]{/qluetip}
  • From the time the Imam ascends the pulpit to the time the prayer has finished on the day of Jumu'ah. {qluetip title=[15]}From Abu Musa that he heard the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam saying concerning the hour in which the supplications will be answered on the day of Jumu'ah, "It is between the time that the Imam sits (on the pulpit) and the time that the prayer is completed." [Reported by Muslim and Abu Dawud. Shaykh 'Ali Hasan said, "This (time) is problematic, however this is not the place to explain it."]{/qluetip}
  • The last hour after the 'Asr prayer. {qluetip title=[16]}From Jabir that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "The day of Jumu'ah has twelve hours, and during one of the hours you will not find a Muslim servant of Allah asking Allah for something except that He will give it to him. Seek it in the last hour after the prayer of 'Asr." [Reported by Abu Dawud (Eng. Trans. 1/270 no. 1043), an-Nasa'i and others]

Alongside this the servant appends to this fear and reverence in the heart, beseeching his Lord in a state of humility and submissiveness. He faces the qiblah and is in a state of purity, he raises his hands to Allah and begins by praising and extolling Him, then he invokes peace and blessings upon Muhammad, His servant and Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam. He precedes mentioning his need by seeking forgiveness from Allah and then he earnestly and sincerely makes his request as one who is needy and impoverished, supplicating to Him out of hope and fear. He seeks the means of getting close to Him by mentioning His Names and Attributes and making the religion sincerely for Him Alone.

Before making supplication he gives in charity. If all this is done then this supplication will never be rejected especially if the servant employs the supplications that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam informed us would be accepted or if his supplication includes mention of Allah's Greatest Name ... {qluetip title=[17]}Translator: Abu Dawud reports the hadith of Fudalah bin Ubayd that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam heard a man supplicating in prayer. He did not glorify Allah and neither did he invoke blessings on the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam. The Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "He made haste." He then called him and said to him or to those around him, "If any one of you prays, he should commence by glorifying his Lord and praising Him; he should invoke peace and blessings on the Prophet and thereafter he should supplicate Allah for anything he wishes." [Abu Dawud (Eng. Trans. 1/390 no. 1476), at-Tirmidhi (no. 3476), an-Nasa'i (3/44), Ahmad (6/18) and others with a hasan isnad. Refer to the notes of F. Zamrali to at-Targhib fi'd-Du'a (pg. 11)]{/qluetip}{qluetip title=[18]}Translator: From 'Ali that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "Every supplication is veiled until one has invoked peace and blessings upon the Prophet." [Reported by Ibn Mukhlid in al-Muntaqa (1/76) and al-Asbahani in at-Targhib (2/171) and others. The hadith is hasan due to supports. Refer to as-Sahihah (no. 2035) and Sahih al-Jami' (no. 4523)]{/qluetip}

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.

Be Mindful O Mankind!

There are three things that cannot be acquired by means of three other things: riches by means of desire, youth by means of khijab (dying of the beard) and health by means of medicine.
Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (d. 13H), may Allah be pleased with him

Never Forget What They Said

“You must remember what Amalek has done to you, says our Holy Bible — we do remember” referring to the ancient enemy of the Israelites, in scripture interpreted by scholars as a call to exterminate their “men and women, children and infants.”
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 28 October 2023