Supplication, making a request, to Allah can be made both within and after the conclusion of the prayer as well as any other appropriate time. The necessity of performing regular supplication is established in a hadith related by Abu Huraira, where the holy prophet (pbuh) said, ‘Whoever does not supplicate to Allahinvokes His wrath’ (Tirmidhi). This because supplication implies an attitude of humility and reliance on the part of the supplicant, towards the Almighty.
The performance of regular supplication by an individual is a sign of the favour of Allah. Imam Ali, a man known for his wise counsel, is reported to have said, ‘Allah does not inspire seeking of forgiveness in servants He wishes to punish.’
Supplication before the Conclusion of Prayer
One supplicates in the prayer within the final rakah following the recitation of darood, and just before the concluding salaam. Ones supplications within the prayer have to be in Arabic, moreover one may only use those supplications that the holy prophet (pbuh) is reported to have used within the prayer.
Supplication in Prayer When in Prostration, Sajdah
Abu Huraira reported that the holy prophet (pbuh) said, ‘A servant is nearest to his Lord when he is in a state of prostration, so increase your supplications when in prostration.’ (Muslim) According to the renowned Indian scholar Shaykh Akram Nadwi, in the Hanafi school of thought the above hadith applies only to voluntary, nafl, prayers (one supplicates in prostration after having said subhana rabbial aala, x3). In contrast according to Shaykh Abdul Kareem Yahya, in the Shafi school of thought, one may make supplication during prostration in any type of prayer.
Supplication at the Conclusion of the Prayer
Having concluded the prayer it is good practice to make further supplications. These may be in Arabic or any given language, moreover the supplication may consist of ones own personal words.
Certain etiquettes ought to be adhered to when supplicating:
- The hands ought to be raised palms upwards.
- It is better to begin the supplication by praising Allah and reciting darood. The holy prophet (pbuh) said, ‘ When anyone of you supplicates let him start by praising his Lord, then let him send blessings on me, then let him request whatever he wants.’ (Tirmidhi).
One example of the above etiquette is to begin by saying , ‘Alhamdulillahi wassalatu salaamu sayidina Muhammad.’
To makes ones supplication and then to finish by saying, ‘Subhaana rabbika rabbil izzati amma yasifoon, wassalamun mursaleen walhamdulillahi rabbil aalameen.’ [Glory to the Lord of honour and power, He is free from what they ascribe to Him, and peace be upon the apostles, and praise be to the Lord of the worlds].
- One must be firm in ones language. The holy prophet (pbuh) said, “None of you should say ‘O Allah forgive me if you wish’…but he should always be firm in asking Allah, for nobody can compel Allah to do something against His will.” (Bukhari).
- One ought to pray for others as well as oneself, for this softens the heart, dispels hatred and suspicion, and strengthens the bonds of mutual kinship. The holy prophet (pbuh) said,‘Whenever a muslim prays for a brother in his absence, an angel repeats may you also be granted similar to this.’ (Muslim).
- One must never pray for harmful or forbidden things. This includes not praying for death. On this matter the holy prophet (pbuh) said, “No one should wish for death because of any misfortune that befalls him. If anyone should be in such a situation he should say, ‘O Allah keep me alive so long as life is good for me, and may I die when death is better for me.’ (Bukhari and Muslim).
- The one who is unjustly oppressed however may invoke the wrath of Allah upon the oppressor. The holy prophet (pbuh) warned us of this when he said, ‘Beware of the supplication of the oppressed for between it and Allah there is no barrier.’ (Bukhari and Muslim). Commentators have taken this to mean that the supplication of one who is unjustly oppressed is accepted even if he is a sinner.
- One must make the supplication with a positive attitude towards the Creator, and not begin to despair if ones wishes are not fulfilled. Abu Huraira reported that the holy prophet (pbuh) said, “The supplication of any one of you will be fulfilled provided he does not become as impatient as to say ‘I asked but my request was not fulfilled.” (Bukhari and Muslim).
Commentating on the above hadith scholars, have remarked that it applies to sincere, as opposed to persistently sinful, supplicants. One must also bear in mind that the fulfillment of a wish may not come in the exact form one expected it to. Moreover what is meant by being patient here, is that the supplicant understands that the fulfillment of a request may be stored up until the hereafter. Furthermore the above hadith refers to supplicants making requests that are beneficial, rather than those that are unintentially harmful. Hence the withholding of such wishes by Allah is a tremendous blessing.
Supplications For The Ill
Supplications for those who are ill are especially included here as they will inshallah be of particular help . These supplications are to be recited after and not within the prayer, or at any other appropriate time, i.e. after one has read the Quran.
Ahd hibl ba-as raban-nas ashfi anta as-shaaffee la shifaa-a illa shifaa uka shifaa-an la yughadiru suqmaa. [Remove the harm Lord of men, and grant healing. You are the Healer. There is no healing but Yours, a healing which leaves no illness behind.] (Bukhari and Muslim).
Place hands on the affected part of the body and recite: ‘Bismillahir rahmanir raheem’followed by: ‘ A-udhu bi-izzatil lahi wa qudratihi min sharri ma ajidu wa uhadhir.’ Repeat three times. [I seek shelter in Allah and His power from the evil that afflicts me and that which I apprehend.] (Muslim).
When praying for another: place your hand on the part of the body of the person that needs healing, if appropriate, and recite: ‘Bismillahir rahmanir raheem, A-udhu bil lahi wa qudratihi min sharri ma (name of person afflicted) akhidu wa uhaadhir.’ Repeat three times. [I seek shelter in Allah and His power from the evil of what (name of person) is experiencing and trying to overcome.]
May Allah accept our supplications and bless our Shaykh.
Al Fiqh Al Islam by Shaykh Mohammad Akram Nadwi. (A very readable manual on the Hanafi form of prayer.)
sunnipath.com A good source for questions relating to Hanafi and Shafi fiqh.
The Purification of the Soul a brief compilation of the works of Abu Hamid al Ghazali and other scholars.
Riyadh us Saleeheen by Imam Nawawi, an excellent collection of essential hadith in a single volume.
Fortress of the Muslims by Darrussalam Publishers is an excellent supplication text.