The Etiquette for Supplications

Iبِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is an extract from Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahid an-Nazhifi’s (r.a.) Maba’di al-Ishraq wa al-Iswad fi ma li at-Tijani min al-Idzkar wa al-Awrad, “Foundations of Illumination & Gratification of the Tijani Remembrances and Litanies.”  There are ten rules of etiquette for, supplications, ud’iyyah.  They are given below.

The supplicant must set aside time for his ud’iyyah.  This is especially pertinent during the noble times, such as the Day of ‘Arafah, the day of Juma’ah, Ramadhan, and the time of swahur.

The supplicant must take advantage of the opportunity afforded by the noble times, such as the time of the meeting of the armies in the way of Allah (s.w.t.), at the time of rainfall and at the time of standing for swalah.  It is related that the Gates of Heaven are Opened during these occurrences.  And Mujahid (r.a.) said, “Verily prayer was placed during the best times.  So, see to it that you supplicate after the prayers.”  Also, during the call to prayer in accordance with the hadits that states supplication between the adzan and the iqamah are not rejected.  Also throughout the duration of fasts because of the hadits that states the supplications of those who fast are not rejected.  Additionally, during prostration in accordance with the hadits that states the Closest that a slave is to his Lord is when he is prostrating.  So we must make plenty of supplication during it.

The supplicant must face the qiblah, raising the hands so that he can see the white palms.  According to a hadits, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) used to raise his hands until he could see his white palms.  And it is confirmed to rub one's face with them both after supplication is in accordance without the hadits.  The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) used to, when supplicating, join his hands and place the palms of them o his face and run them down his face upon completion.  The supplicant should not raise his gaze to the sky according to the hadits where the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Let the people leave off raising their gazes to the sky, or may Allah Snatch away their sight.”

The supplicant should moderate his voice during supplication according to the hadits where the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Humble yourselves.  Verily you are not calling upon a deaf, nor one unable to speak, nor one who is blind.  You are calling upon One Who Hears, One Who Sees.”

The supplicant should  abandon a melodious tone during supplication for the state of the one who supplicates should be privacy and humility and showing off is contrary to that.

Supplications should be in private, with humility, hope and fear.   He, the Exalted, has Said:

… These (three) were ever quick in emulation in good works: they used to call on Us with love and reverence, and humble themselves before Us. (Surah al-Anbiya’:90)

Call on your Lord with humility and in private: for Allah loveth not those who trespass beyond bounds. (Surah al-A’araf:55)

The supplicant should persist in supplication and be certain in its being answered, and that his hope in it be sincere, according to the hadits, “Let not one of you, when he supplicates say, ‘O Allah!  Forgive me, if You so will.  O Allah!  Have Mercy on me, if You so will.’  Let him be firm in his demands.  For verily, He will not cheat Him, Exalted is He.’”

The supplicant should persist in his supplication and that he repeat it three times, in accordance with the hadits, “He”, referring to the Prophet (s.a.w.), “used to, when he supplicated, supplicate three times.  And when he asked, he asked three times.”  And it is important that one not think that the answer is coming slow, in accordance with the hadits, “Accepted from one of you is that which he does not hurry and say, ‘I supplicated and it was not Answered.’"

The supplicant should open the supplication by remembering Allah (s.w.t.).  So, he should not open with his demands, since it has been related that the Prophet (s.a.w.) used to open his supplication with, “Subhana Rabbi al-Ali al-‘Ala al-Wahhab.”  And likewise he should open his supplication by sending blessings on the Prophet (s.a.w.) and close by it in accordance with the hadits, “When you ask Allah (s.w.t.) for a need, then begin by sending blessings on the Prophet (s.a.w.).  For verily Allah is more Generous than that He should be asked for two needs and that He should Grant one of them and reject the other.”

Supplication is the most important for acceptance.  It is repentance, turning away from sin, and turning to Allah (s.w.t.) with one's whole self.  That is because Allah (s.w.t.) does not accept the supplication of the negligent heart.

O Allah!  Our Generous Lord!  Wake us from habitual negligence and Accept us by Your Sheer Bounty and Grace, by rank of the one who said, “Seek a means through my rank.  For verily my rank with Allah is Great,” and by the rank of his hidden secret, Abi al-Abbas at-Tijani (q.s.), the cave of the fearful and the offender.  And Allah the Exalted Knows Best and is More Wise.


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