Is It Wrong to Stop Supplicating? Should One Be Specific When Supplicating?
Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
Is it wrong to stop supplicating (dua)? Should one be specific when making a supplication (dua)?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
When supplicating to Allah Most High one should concern themselves more with the etiquettes one upholds when supplicating than the answer.
Amongst the most important of these etiquettes is to know that Allah Most High knows what is best for us. To know that we are mere creation and He is the Creator of all things. For this reason we turn to Allah Most High in supplication knowing that what He decides for us is best.
As Allah Most High says, “…but perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.” [Quran, 2:216]
For this reason it is important to understand how supplications are answered.
How Supplications Are Answered
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “No Muslim makes a supplication that does not comprise of sin or breaking of family ties except that Allah will give them one of three (responses): Either Allah will hasten for them what they asked for, keep it for them as reward in the Hereafter, or avert from them a harm similar to it.” The companions said, “In that case, we will make much supplication.” The Prophet replied, “Allah has exponentially more.” [Ahmad]
However, calling upon Allah Most High is one of the most essential acts of worship therefore it should be done with great reverence.
Etiquettes of Supplicating
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Call upon Allah certain that it will be answered. Know that Allah does not answer a supplication from a heedless distracted heart.” [Tirmidhi]
From the etiquettes of supplicating are the following:
(1) Presence of heart
(2) Seeking out auspicious timings (i.e. the day of Arafa or Tahajjud time)
(3) Taking advantage of noble conditions (i.e. sajda)
(4) Facing the Qibla
(5) Raising the hands
(6) Using a moderate volume (not to loud but not silent)
(7) Do not try too hard to rhyme
(8) To be humble and devoted
(9) To have resolve (i.e. do not say O Allah do this, if you want)
(10) Be certain of response
(11) Be persistent in supplicating
(12) Do not delay
(13) To start with the remembrance of Allah Most High
(14) To return to the rightful owner anything which was unrightfully taken
[Ghazali, Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din]
(15) To start by praising Allah Most High and sending blessing on the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace)
(16) To end with Amin
[Tibi, Sharh al-Miskat]
Should One Be Specific?
Knowing that Allah Most High knows what is best for us, it is better that one makes a general supplication when asking for something that one personally wants.
For example if one wants to marry they should ask for a pious spouse not a specific person. This is because perhaps that specific person is not best for them in the long run or the desire to marry that person is for outward considerations as opposed to the state of their heart which only Allah Most High knows.
Notice that when the Prophet Musa (may Allah give him peace) supplicated to Allah Most High due to his being lonely in a strange land and his lack of shelter, he made a general supplications.
Allah Most High tells us, “…then he (Prophet Musa) said, “My Lord, indeed I am in need of whatever good You would send down to me.” [Quran, 28:24]
If one is asking of Allah Most High that which He asks of us one can be specific.
For example “Guide us to the straight path, the path of those whom You have blessed, not of those who have evoked anger or of those who have gone astray.” [Quran, 1:6-7]
Continue to call upon Allah Most High for assistance with your circumstance. Make your supplication general. Ask for a righteous spouse that is best for you in this life and next. Then persistently beseech Allah with that supplication with the aforementioned etiquettes.
Continue making the prayer of seeking guidance. And act according to whatever your heart inclines toward. Be content with whatever Allah Most High brings your way knowing that He knows what is best for you now and for your Hereafter.
Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.