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Invocations in times of worry and grief

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A Prayer to Ease Anxiety and Depression

Explanation from Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya

It was reported from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No person suffers any anxiety or grief, and says:

Allaahumma innee ‘abduka wa ibn ‘abdika wa ibn amatika, naasiyati bi yadika, maadin fiyya hukmuka, ‘adlun fiyya qadaa’uka, as’aluka bi kulli ismin huwa laka sammayta bihi nafsaka aw anzaltahu fi kitaabika aw ‘allamtahu ahadan min khalqika aw ista’tharta bihi fi ‘ilm il-ghaybi ‘andak an taj’ala al-Qur’aana rabee’ qalbi wa noor sadri wa jalaa’a huzni wa dhahaaba hammi

(O Allaah, I am Your slave, son of Your slave, son of Your female slave, my forelock is in Your hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every Name belonging to You which You named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Qur’aan the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety)’ – but Allaah will take away his sorrow and grief, and give him in their stead joy.”(Ahmad 1/391 and Al-Albaanee declared it sahih.)

Imam Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya said about this dua in his book ‘The Provisions of the Hereafter’ that the verse, “Lord: I am Thy servant, whose father and mother are thy servants…” embodies the core of knowledge and recognition of Allah Almighty, and the secrets of worship, and no single book can ever detail their full meaning. Yet, this prayer is full of recognition of who is God, and in it, the worshipper calling upon His Lord, acknowledges his Creator, and presents himself as Allah’s servant, and the son of His servants.  The caller also places things where they belong by recognizing that his fate is in Allah’s Hand; that his destiny is moving according to the divine plan; that Allah Almighty does whatever He pleases with it; that the servant can neither bring benefits nor harm to himself; that he cannot bring about his own birth, death, or resurrection; that his destiny is in Allah’s Hand; that he has no power to alter it except as Allah wills; that he is totally dependent on his Creator, Cherisher, Sustainer, and Lord; that his own existence is subject to whatever Allah Almighty decrees; and that Allah is just, and what He wills shall be.

Imam Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya then explains the next part of the dua: “My fate is in Thy Hand, and my destiny is moving according to Thy plan.  Thou art indeed just in Thy judgment…”This section of the prayer embodies two cardinal aspects which are the core of the doctrine of monotheism (Tawheed): (1)  the first is the recognition and confirmation of fate, and that Allah’s decree regarding His servant shall unfailingly come into force, and that the servant cannot escape it or repel it; and (2) the second aspect proclaims that Allah is just, that He does not oppress His servants, and that what He decrees is due by virtue of divine justice and knowledge of such needs.  This is because injustice represents the need, ignorance, incompetence, weakness, and inferiority of an unjust person, and therefore, such attributes are not divine, and they cannot come from one who is omniscient, All-Knowing, wise, and has no needs. Hence, Allah’s wisdom is operative wherever His will is ordained.  Allah is rich beyond any need, and everything is poor and seeks its nourishment from Him.  He is All-Wise, and there is not a single atom throughout the entire universes where His will is not operative.  The absolute dependence of each and every cell in the entire creation, and their soliciting of their support and sustenance from the sole and only provider requires their gratitude. Hence gratitude (shukur) is rewarded with blessings and ingratitude (kufr) is rewarded with disapprobation and consequent punishment for the non repenting ones.

When the unrepenting and ungrateful disbelievers and idol worshipers threatened Allah’s Prophet Hud, peace be upon him, to invoke the curse of their deities upon him, he replied: I call Allah to witness and you bear witness that I am innocent regarding what you ascribe as partners to Him. Therefore, scheme (Your worst) against me and grant me no respite. I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord. There is not a moving creature whose forelock is not (held firmly) in His Hand.  My Lord is surely on a straight path, (Qur’an 11:54-56)–meaning that Allah’s power which is unlimited and unrestrained is operative over all creatures, and no one can withstand His decree.  He alone has the power to move them as He pleases, and He does so rightly, justly, wisely and mercifully.

In this prayer, the servants proclamation: “My destiny is moving according to Thy plan,” means the same as ‘There is not a moving creature whose forelock is not (held firmly) in His Hand,’ and  his saying: “Thou art indeed just in Thy judgment, ” is also parallel to ‘My lord is surely on a straight path.’  Furthermore, Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) calls in this prayer upon Allah’s most holy Names and the divine attribute He proclaimed in His kingdom, revealed in a Book, taught to a privileged servant or kept as His sole secret, so that no angel of the nearest and most exalted status and no prophet or messenger has ever known to ask by it. Such invocation surpasses all supplications, and of all prayers is the dearest to Him, and most worthy of immediate reply, because it proves the servant’s knowledge and recognition of his Lord.

Allah’s messenger (pbuh) then prayed to Allah Almighty to make the glorious Qur’an the prime of his heart, meaning the spiritual food of his body, mind, and soul, and through it, to wash away, dispel, and cure his stresses, worries, and concerns, making it the one conclusive medicine that will extract illnesses, and restore the human being to his true status and balance.  Hence, he asked his Lord to make the Qur’an the light of his soul that removes any corrosion that tarnishes his clarity and wisdom, and that polishes his heart. Such medicine works only if the patient is truthful in his asking for it, sincere in his trust in its effectiveness and uses it as prescribed by his physician.  Hence, Allah willing the correct use of the medicine will certainly be followed by complete recovery, excellent health and vitality and Allah is the Supreme helper.


About Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyya

His full name is Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, son of Ayyoub, son of Sa’ad al-Zar’i, al-Dimashqi, patronymed as Abu ‘Abdullaah Shamsu-Deen, and known as Ibn al-Qaqqim al-Jawziyaa. He was born in Damascus, Syria in 691 A.H. and he studied under his father who was the local attendant of al-Jawziyya school.  He also studied under the great Imam and scholar Imam Taqiyyu-Deen Ahmad ibn Taimiyyah who kept him as his closest student and disciple, and Ibn Al-Qayyim  later became his successor.

Ibn al-Qayyim catered to all the branches of Islamic sciences and was particularly known and commended for his commentaries on the Qur’an, hadiths, and fiqh.

Citation

The Pre-Conditions of Dua (Supplication)

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When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them). I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me; Let them also, with a will, listen to My call, and believe in Me; That they may walk in the right way. [Surah Al-Baqarah: Ayah 186]

We know that Dua (supplication) is a type of worship, so it is essential to discuss the pre-conditions that are necessary if we wish for our Dua to be answered. Just like our Salat (prayer) will not be accepted until we perform the necessary pre-requisites, such as wudu (ablution), facing the Qiblah and covering the body. Likewise our dua will likely not be accepted until some pre-requisites are met.

Let’s see what Allah (SWT) tells us about Dua for surely “Allah’s promise is the truth, and whose word can be truer than Allah’s?” (4:122)

praying pray dua supplication to god allah

The Realisation that Only Allah Responds to Dua

“Who else is there that responds to the call of the one in distress when he calls out, and He removes evil from him, and makes you inheritors of the earth ? Is there any other God besides Allah? Little is it that you remember!” (27:62)

We must fully believe that only Allah (SWT) is capable of hearing our prayer, and only Allah (SWT) has the power to grant us what we desire.

Sincerity in Dua to Allah Alone

“Will you call upon other than Allah if you are truthful?” (6:40)

“Those whom you call besides Allah are slaves like yourselves” (7:194)

“And those who you ask besides Him can neither come to your aid, nor can they help themselves!” (7: 197)

After we realize that only Allah (SWT) can respond to our Dua, then it makes sense that we pray to Allah (SWT) alone. We must be careful only to ask Allah (SWT). Idols, the sun to trees, animals, men, pious people, prophets, or even angels have no power to grant any of our Dua’s.

Let’s see what Prophet Muhammad said about Dua in the authentic Hadiths. “And he speaks not of his own desire. It is but a revelation revealed to him.” (53:3-4)

The Presence of an Attentive Heart

Prophet Muhammad said “Make dua to Allah in a state that you are certain that your dua will be responded to, and know that Allah does not respond to a dua that originates from a negligent, inattentive heart” (Tirmidhi)

This shows that our Dua must be made with a mindful heart, such that we know exactly what we are asking for, and who we are asking from, for Allah (SWT) is the Lord of Honor!

Purity of One’s Sustenance

Prophet Muhammad said “Oh you who believe! Eat from the pure and good foods We have given you” Then the Prophet mentioned a traveler on a long journey, who is dishevelled and dusty, and he stretches forth his hands to the sky , saying “Oh my Lord! O my Lord!” – while his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothing his unlawful, and he is nourished unlawfully; how can he be answered?” (Muslim, Ahmad)

Therefore, among the necessary conditions of our Dua to be accepted is the purity and lawfulness of our food.

Lack of Hastiness

Prophet Muhammad said “You will responded to as long as you are not hasty, meaning that a person says, ‘I have prayed and prayed and my prayer has not been answered!'” (Bukhari, Muslim)

This shows that Dua should be continuous, and that we should avoid giving up our Dua because it has not been responded to. For Allah (SWT) is The Wise and we know that no Dua is ever wasted! This does not mean however, that we cannot pray that our Dua be answered quickly, for it has been narrated that the Prophet prayed for rain and said “quickly, and not delayed..” (Ibn Majah)

Summary

The above are conditions that can aid us in getting our Dua responded to. The response of our Dua depends on the Will of Allah (SWT), and He responds to whom He pleases. Therefore it is possible that the Dua of a disbeliever who does not meet any of these conditions is responded to, and it is possible that a Muslim who fulfills all of these conditions is not responded to. However without a doubt, if we strive to fulfill and put into practice all of these factors we will have a much greater chance of our Dua being answered.

We also know that a Dua of a believer is never wasted. If our dua is not granted and we are patient then Allah (SWT) either turns away some evil that was going to inflict us, or Allah (SWT) reserves its rewards for the hereafter. On the day of judgement when we see the huge rewards we get for our Dua’s not being answered, we will wish none of our Dua’s got granted on earth! So even if our Dua in not answered in this life we should hope for its rewards in the next.

One of the main purposes of Dua is that we have an attentive heart towards Allah (SWT). That we turn to Him and acknowledge His Power. This however requires patience, purity and sincerity. We need to call out to Allah (SWT) with a sincere heart, for verily Allah (SWT) does not accept any Dua made from a neglectful heart. How sincere is our heart? Right now the choice is ours!

We ask Allah (SWT) the Most High, the All-Powerful, to teach us that which will benefit us, and to benefit us by that which we learn. May Allah (SWT) grant blessings and peace to our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.

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Imam Sudais Making Dua in Mecca (Dua E Qunoot) – Audio Download