Answered by Sidi Waseem Hussain
Question: I was wondering do you know if there’s a hadith about a companion who was really sick and the Prophet prayed for his good health and then and told him never to pray for calamities because I think he had prayed for hardship. The thing is I have a friend who has been praying for tribulations and hardships. The first time she told me she had made this du`a in Makkah. She says it’s because she knows so many people who have suffered in life and she has life too easy. She says Allah tests people He loves and she thinks she’s a bad Muslim therefore being punished will help her feel good. Recently what’s come up is symptoms which the doctor has indicated could be cancer. Now she’s making du`a she gets cancer. I’m just very worried and tried explaining it to her, but if I can get a hadith I know she’ll take it to heart.
Answer: Assalamu Alaykum Warahmatullah
We always ask Allah for forgiveness and wellbeing. This is clearly stressed in many hadith.
There is a story quite close to the one mentioned that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) visited a person from amongst the Muslims, in order to inquire about his health, who had become weak like a small bird. Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said, “Did you supplicate for anything or ask Allah for something?” The man said, “Yes. I used to say: “Oh Allah, what you are going to punish me with in the Hereafter then hasten it for me in this life”. Thereupon, Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said, “Glory be to Allah, you don’t have the ability to take it [the burden of His Punishment] upon yourself. Why did you not say, Oh Allah, grant us good in the world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the torment of Fire?” The Prophet (may peace be upon him) made this supplication for him and he became well. [Muslim 2688, Tirmidhi 3487]
There are many other hadith, that stress the importance of always asking for wellbeing. Below are a few examples demonstrating this:
1. The Prophet (may Allahs peace and blessings be upon him) overheard a man asking for patience, so The Prophet (may peace be upon him) said to him, “You have asked Allah for a trial [to be patient in], rather ask for wellbeing.” [Tirmidhi 3527]
2. A man came to The Prophet (may peace be upon him) and asked him, “What supplication (du`a) is the best?” The Prophet (may peace be upon him) said, “To ask for wellbeing and cure in this world and the next”
The man came the next day and asked, “What supplication is the best?” The Prophet (may peace be upon him) answered the same as before. The man came the next day and asked the same thing. The Prophet (may peace be upon him) said, “If you are given wellbeing in this world and the next then you have succeeded.” [Tirmidhi 3512]
3. The Prophet (may Allahs peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Allah is not asked for anything more beloved to him than [being asked about] wellbeing” [Tirmidhi 3515]
4. The Prophet (may peace be upon him) ascended the mimbar crying and said, “Ask Allah for forgiveness and wellbeing, since no one has been given anything better than wellbeing after being given belief [in Islam].” [Tirmidhi 3588]
The above are examples of the sunna of the Prophet (may Allahs peace and blessings be upon him) and what he advised us to do. As it can be seen then we are not advised to supplicate for trials, tribulations and calamities upon ourselves. Rather we are advised to ask Allah to protect us and never to allow these aspects to befall us, and only when they befall us do we ask Allah to help us through them.
May Allah accept our prayers and grant you and your friend wellbeing in this world and the next,
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani