Supplication is a Cure

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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-Haakim in his ‘Mustadrak’ from the hadeeth of Alee bin Abee Taalib (RA) from the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘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.” (Abu Ya`laa)

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-Haakim reports from the hadeeth of Aa`ishah (RA) that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘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.” (Haakim, at-Tabaraanee)

He also reports the hadeeth of ibn Umar from the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘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 Allaah!” (Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh)

He also reports the hadeeth of Thawbaan from the Prophet sallallaahu ‘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.” (Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh)

BEING EARNEST AND PERSISTENT IN SUPPLICATION

From the most beneficial of treatments is to be earnest and persistent in supplication. Ibn Maajah reports in his Sunan the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah from the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that he said, “Allaah is Angry at whosoever does not ask of Him.” (Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh)

Al-Awzaa`ee mentions from az-Zuhree from Urwa from Aa`ishah (RA) that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Allaah Loves those who are earnest and persistent in their supplications.” (Uqailee)

Imaam Ahmad reports in his ‘Kitaab az-Zuhd’ from Qataadah 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 Allaah, the Mighty and Magnificent, may save him.” [‘Kitaab az-Zuhd’ of Imaam Ahmad [2/273, chpt. 'Akhbaar Muwarraq al-Ijlee.'] and Abu Nu`aym in ‘al-Hilya’ [2/235]]

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 Saheeh Bukhaaree from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘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.’” [Saheeh Bukhaaree [Eng. Trans. 8/236 no. 352]]

In Saheeh Muslim from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘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 Allaah, 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.” [Saheeh Muslim [Eng. Trans. 4/1430 no. 6595]]

In the Musnad of Ahmad from the hadeeth of Anas that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘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.’” (Ahmad)

THE BEST TIMES FOR SUPPLICATION

When the servant combines in his supplication presence of the heart and its being attentive and devoting itself solely to Allaah, 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.

  • At the time of the adhaan.

  • Between the adhaan and iqaamah.

  • At the ends of the prescribed prayers.

  • From the time the Imaam ascends the pulpit to the time the prayer has finished on the day of Jumu`ah.

  • The last hour after the prayer Asr.

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 Allaah and begins by praising and extolling Him, then he invokes peace and blessings upon Muhammad, His servant and Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He precedes mentioning his need by seeking forgiveness from Allaah 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 Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam informed us would be accepted or if his supplication includes mention of Allaah’s Greatest Name…

{Translators’ notes: the proofs for the above times and recommendations

1) From Abu Hurayrah (RA) that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘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 Saheeh Muslim [Eng. Trans. 1/365 no. 1656]

2) From Anas (RA) that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “When the adhaan is proclaimed, the doors to the heaven open and the supplications are answered.” (Tayaalisee)

3) From Anas (RA) that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “The supplication made between the adhaan and the iqaamah will not be rejected.” (Abu Daawood)

4) From Abu Umaamah (RA) that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘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.” (at-Tirmidhee)

5) From Abu Musa (RA) that he heard the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘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 imaam sits (on the pulpit) and the time that the prayer is completed.” (Muslim and Abu Daawood)

Shaykh Alee Hasan said, “this (time) is problematic, however this is not the place to explain it.”

6) From Jaabir (RA) that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘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 Allaah) asking Allaah for something except that He will give it to him. Seek it in the last hour after the prayer of Asr” (Abu Daawood)

7) Abu Daawood reports the hadeeth of Fudaalah bin Ubaid that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam heard a man supplicating in prayer. He did not glorify Allaah and neither did he invoke blessings on the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘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 sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and thereafter he should supplicate Allaah for anything he wishes.” (an-Nasaa`ee)

8) From Alee (RA) that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Every supplication is veiled until one has invoked peace and blessings upon the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.” (ibn Mukhlid in ‘al-Muntaqaa’)

SOME OF THE REASONS FOR SUPPLICATION BEING ANSWERED

Frequently we find the supplications that are answered to be those that combine dire need with the persons sincerely turning to Allaah Alone, or due to a good deed that the person performed before the supplication and Allaah 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 Allaah. If this person, when being in this situation, had supplicated in a house from amongst the houses of Allaah then this would have been better and more beloved to Allaah.

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.

Say Subhanallah wa bi hamdih, ‘adada khalqihi, wa ridaa nafsihi, wazinata ‘arshihi, wa midaada kalimaatihi (Glory and praise be to Allah, as much as the number of His creation, as much as pleases Him, as much as the weight of His Throne and as much as the ink of His words) more than 15 times.

These words bring many more times the reward for other forms of tasbeeh and dhikr, as was reported in sahih hadith from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)

[Shaykh Alee Hasan with some summary]