Du’a (Supplication) in a Glance 2

Du’a (Supplication) in a Glance 2

Despair; the state of the disbeliever

The supplicant should be aware that it is Almighty God who has invited him to pray and has guaranteed the acceptance of the supplication. Accepting the prayer and granting the supplicant’s exigency is easy for Allah, since each and every world’s creature is under His Absolute Power, and He provides the grounds for the fulfillment of His servant’s exigency with a single order.

It is, therefore, not right to become hopeless in the Presence of God, whose Insight, Mercy and Forgiveness is infinite, especially when praying. Despair, as specified in the Holy Qur’an, is the attribute of the disbelievers:

يَا بَنِيَّ اذْهَبُوا فَتَحَسَّسُوا مِنْ يُوسُفَ وَأَخِيهِ وَلا تَيْئَسُوا مِنْ رَوْحِ اللَّهِ إِنَّهُ لا يَيْئَسُ مِنْ رَوْحِ اللَّهِ إِلاَّ الْقَوْمُ الكَافِرُونَ.

Go, O my sons! And ascertain concerning Joseph and his brother, and despair not of the Spirit of Allah. Lo! None despaireth of the Spirit of Allah save disbelieving folk. (1)

The Holy Qur’an strongly recommends against being hopeless of God’s Mercy:

لا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ.

Despair not of the Mercy of Allah! (2)

The Prophet of Islam (S) states:

اَلفَاجِرُ الرَّاجِي لِرَحْمَةِ اللهِ تَعَالَى أقْرَبُ مِنْهَا مِنَ العَابِدِ المُقَنَّطِ.

Allah’s Mercy is nearer to a hopeful sinner than to a hopeless worshipper.(3)

Imam Sadiq (as) said:

الْيَأسُ مِنْ رَوْحِ اللهِ أشَدُّ بَرْداً مِنَ الزَّمْهَرِيرِ.

The cold of despair from God’s Mercy is colder than intense cold. (4)

Despair from Allah’s Mercy is considered as a major sin in accordance to Islamic teachings and traditions, and the hopeless is promised chastisement. The supplicant should not despair, in case his/her supplication is not answered. Perhaps the acceptance of supplication has not been in accord with God’s expediency, the precise setting of acceptance may not have come, or God wants the supplicant to continue supplicating for his/her demand.

Moreover Allah may want to postpone granting the supplicant’s exigency to the Day of Judgment, in order to make the yielding eternal. Therefore, losing hope of Allah’s Compassion is in no way acceptable from a believer. Many significant traditions have been narrated in Islamic books, considering du’a’ and its acceptance. A few instances come here:

Imam Sadiq (as) narrates:

إنَّ الْعَبْدَ لَيَدْعُو اللهَ فَيُقُولُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لِلْمَلَكَيْنِ: قَدِ اسْتَجَبْتُ لَهُ، وَلكِنْ إحْبِسُوهُ بِحَاجَتِهِ فَإنَّي أُحِبُّ أنْ أسْمَعَ صَوْتَهُ، وإنَّ العَبْدَ لَيَدْعُو فَيَقُولُ اللهُ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى: عَجِّلُوا لَهُ حَاجَتَهُ فَإنِّي أبْغَضُ صَوْتَهُ.

Surely, a servant prays and Allah says to two angels: ‘I accepted his supplication, but don’t grant his demand so that he continues praying, because I desire to hear his voice.’ And another servant prays, so Allah says: ‘Give him his demand promptly; I hate his voice.’ (5)

Mansur Sayqal says: I asked Imam Sadiq (as): Perhaps someone prays, and his supplication is accepted but not granted at once. Imam confirmed it. I asked: What is the reason? Is it for him to pray more? Imam confirmed it again. (6)

Conditions of Du’a’

If the supplicant wants his du’a’ to be accepted, she/he should meet certain conditions, which are enumerated by Ahl al-Bayt (as) in valid books such as “Usul Al-Kafi”, “Mahajjat al-Bayza’ “, “Wasa’il al-Shi’a”, “Jami’ al-Ahadith al-Shi’a”, etc.

Here’s a list of such conditions:

Islamic purity like wudhu’ (ablution), ghusl (ritual washing) and tayammum (ablution with soil), fulfilling the rights of the people (haqqunnas), sincerity, precise pronunciation of the du’a’, rightfully earned income, observing and strengthening kinship ties (silatur-rahim), charity (sadaqah) before du’a’, obedience to Allah, abstinence from sins, rectification of deeds, du’a’ at dawn, du’a’ in watr (name of a salat), du’a’ at the true dawn, du’a’ at sunrise, du’a’ between noon and evening prayer on Wednesday, and finally praising the Prophet (S) and his progeny (salawat) before du’a’. (7)

Thursday Night

Thursday night is considered among the best times for du’a’ in the traditions of Ahl al-Bayt (as), to that extent that it is almost equal to the Qadr night(8) in value. The insightful and pious theologians proclaim: Spend Thursday night with praying, worshipping, and invoking Allah until morning, if you can, because the Compassionate sends the angels to the first heaven to increase the virtues of the believers and abolish their sins. It is narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) in a valid tradition:

إنَّ لِلجُمُعَةِ حقّاً فَإيَّاكَ أنْ تُضَيِّعَ حُرْمَتَهُ أوْ تُقَصِّرَ فِي شَيْءٍ مِنْ عِبَادَةِ اللهِ وَالتَّقَرُّبِ إلَيْهِ بِالعَمَلِ الصَّالِحِ وَتَرْكِ الْمَحَارِمَ كُلِّهَا فَإنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى يُضَاعِفُ فِيهِ الْحَسَنَاتِ وَيَمْحُو السَّيِّئَاتِ وَيَرْفَعُ فِيهِ الدَّرَجَاتِ، وَيَوْمُهُ مِثْلُ لَيْلَتِهِ فَإن اسْتَطَعْتَ أنْ تُحْيِيَهَا بِالدُّعَاءِ وَالصَّلاَةِ فَافْعَلْ فَإنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى يُرْسِلُ فِيهَا الْمَلائِكَةَ إلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا لِتُضَاعَفَ فِيهَا الْحَسَناتُ وَتُمْحَى فِيهَا السَّيِّئَاتُ وَإنَّ اللهَ وَاسِعٌ كَرِيم.ٌ

Verily, Fridays enjoy rights (incumbent upon people). Therefore, beware of violating Fridays’ sanctity through showing shortcoming in acts of worship and instead seek nearness to Almighty Allah by means of righteous deeds and abandonment of all forbidden acts. Certainly, on Fridays Almighty Allah doubles up the rewards (of good deeds), erases forgivingly punishments (for evildoings), and raises the ranks (of faith).

Friday daytimes are similar to Friday nights; therefore, you may, when possible, stay up supplicating and offering prayers to Almighty Allah who, at that night, orders the angels to descend to the lower heavens in order to double the rewards and erase the transgressions. Most surely, Allah is Ample-giving and All-generous. (9)

إنَّ المُؤمِنَ لَيَدْعُو فِي الحَاجَةِ فَيُؤَخِّرُ اللهُ حَاجَتَهُ الَّتِي سَأَلَ إلَى يَوْمِ الجُمُعَةِ لِيَخُصَّهُ بِفَضْلِهِ.

The believer may pray for an exigency and Allah postpones answering him to grant him his demand on Thursday night. (10)

لَمَّا سَألَ إخْوَةُ يُوسُفَ يَعقُوبَ أنْ يَسْتَغْفِرَ لَهُمْ، قَالَ: (سَوْفَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ لَكُمْ رَبّي) ثُمَّ أخَّرَ الاسْتِغْفَارَ إلى السَّحَرِ مِنْ لَيْلَةِ الْجُمُعَةِ كَيْ يُسْتَجَابَ لَهُ.

When Prophet Josef’s brothers asked their father, Prophet Jacob, to seek forgiveness for them from Allah, Jacob said: ‘I will seek forgiveness for you soon.’ And he delayed seeking forgiveness for them until Friday dawn so that his exigency will be answered. (11)

Imam al-Baqir (as) says:

إنَّ اللهَ تَعالَى لَيَأمُرُ مَلَكاً فَيُنَادِي كُلَّ لَيْلَةِ جُمُعَةٍ مِنْ فَوْقِ عَرْشِهِ مِنْ أوَّلِ اللَّيْلِ إلَى آخِرِهِ: ألاَ عَبْدٌ مُؤمِنٌ يَدعُونِي لآخِرَتِهِ وَدُنْياهُ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الفَجْرِ فَأُجِيبُهُ؟ ألاَ عَبْدٌ مُؤمِنٌ يَتُوبُ إلَيَّ مِنْ ذُنُوبِهِ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الفَجْرِ فَأتُوبُ عَلَيْهِ؟ ألاَ عَبْدٌ مُؤمِنٌ قَدْ قَتَّرْتُ عَلَيْهِ رِزْقَهُ فَيَسْأَلُنِي الزِّيَادَةَ فِي رِزْقِهِ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الْفَجْرِ فَأزِيدُهُ وَأوسِعُ عَلَيْهِ؟ ألاَ عَبْدٌ مُؤمِنٌ سَقِيمٌ فَيَسْألُنِي أنْ أشْفِيَهُ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الفَجْرِ فَأُعَافِيهِ؟ ألاَ عَبْدٌ مُؤمِنٌ مَغْمُومٌ مَحْبُوسٌ يَسْألُنِي أنْ أُطْلِقَهُ مِنْ حَبْسِهِ وَأُفَرِّجُ عَنْهُ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الفَجْرِ فَأُطْلِقُهُ وَأُخَلّي سَبِيلَهُ؟ ألاَ عَبْدٌ مُؤمِنٌ مَظْلُومٌ يَسْألُنِي أنْ آخُذَ لَهُ بِظُلامَتِهِ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الفَجْرِ فَأَنْتَصِرُ لَهُ وَآخُذُ بِظُلامَتِهِ؟ قال: فَلا يَزالُ يُنادِي حَتَّى يَطْلُعَ الفَجْرُ.

During every Thursday night, Allah orders an angel to call on behalf of the Almighty: Is there any believer who calls Me for this world and the Hereafter so that I may grant his exigency? Is there any believer who repents for his sins before the sunrise, so that I may forgive him? Is there any believer who asks for the abundance of his sustenance, which I have made sparse, before the sunrise, so that I may increase it?

Is there any sick believer who asks Me to heal him before the sunrise, so that I make him well? Is there any imprisoned believer who asks me to free him before the sunrise, so that I grant him his freedom? Is there any oppressed believer who asks Me to avenge the oppressor, so that I restore his rights? He will keep saying so until dawn. (12)

Imam Sadiq (as) said:

إجْتَنِبوا المَعاصِيَ لَيْلَةَ الجُمُعَةِ فَإنَّ السَّيِّئَةَ مُضَاعَفَةٌ وَالحَسَنَةَ مُضَاعَفَةٌ. وَمَنْ تَرَكَ مَعْصِيَةَ اللهِ لَيْلَةَ الجُمُعَةِ غَفَرَ اللهُ لَهُ كُلَّ مَا سَلَفَ، وَمَنْ بَارَزَ اللهَ لَيْلَةَ الجُمُعَةِ بِمَعْصِيَةٍ أخَذَهُ اللهُ بِكُلِّ مَا عَمِلَ فِي عُمُرِهِ وَضَاعَفَ عَلَيْهِ العَذَابَ بِهَذِهِ المَعْصِيَةِ.

Avoid committing sins on Thursday nights, since the punishment is double then, just as the recompense for virtues is multifold. Whoever avoids sins on Thursday night, Allah will forgive his previous sins. And whoever openly commits sins on Thursday night, Allah will chastise him for his lifetime of sins and will multiply the punishment of his Thursday night sins, particularly due to the violation of the sanctity of Thursday night. (13)

Many prayers and supplications have been mentioned for Thursday night, among which du’a’ Kumayl has a special position.

NOTES:

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1. (The Quran 12:87)

2. (The Quran 39:53)

3. Kanz Al-Ummal: 5869; Mizan al-Hikmah: 10/5046; Al-Ghanut, tradition 17109.

4. Mustadrak al-Wasa’il: 12/59, chapter 64, tradition 13507.

5. Al-Kafi: 2/ 489, chapter min abta’at alayhi al-ijaba, traditions 2 and 3.

6. Al-Kafi: 2/489.

7. Al-Kafi: 2/466 in different chapters; Mahajjat al-Bayza’: 268-349.

8. The 27th night of Ramadan; the night when the Quran was revealed.

9. Mafatih al-Jinan, pp.13.

10. Da’awat Rawandi:35, tradition 83; Bihar al-Anwar: 86/273, chapter 2, tradition 17.

11. Al-Muqna’a: 155; Bihar al-Anwar: 86/271, chapter 2, tradition 13 & 19.

12. Bihar al-Anwar: 86/282, chapter 2, tradition 27.

13. Bihar al-Anwar: 86/283, chapter 2, tradition 28.