Praying for a Person in Qunut

Question: When reciting the Qunut prayer in Fajr, can one pray for a specific person?


Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Yes, you can pray for a specific person in the prayer in general and in qunut of Fajr and Witr.

In general, addressing anyone in the prayer breaks in the prayer. But merely mentioning their name without actually addressing them is fine. Imam Nawawi says, ‘As for invocations, glorifying Allah, and any prayers in Arabic, whether mentioned in a hadith or not, they do not affect the prayer. However, any form of addressing a created being must be avoided, with the sole exception of addressing the Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace).’ (Rawdat al-Talibin)

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) once lifted his head from his last bowing and prayed, ‘O Allah, save ‘Ayyash ibn Abi Rabi’a! O Allah, save Salama ibn Hisham! O Allah, save Walid ibn al-Walid!’ (Bukhari and others)

Khattabi said, ‘This proves that praying for specific people by name does not break the prayer.’ (Ma’alim al-Sunan, Khattabi)

Another hadith in Sahih Muslim mentions that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) prayed against certain individuals. Hafidh al-Iraqi said, ‘This proves that Imam Abu Hanifa’s opinion that one cannot pray for or against specifically named individuals is incorrect.’ (Tarh al-Tathrib, Iraqi) Obviously, Hafidh al-Iraqi would still respect Imam Abu Hanifa’s opinion as a valued scholarly opinion but would disagree.

So, yes, you can mention specific people’s names in qunut.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years, he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.