Are My Supplications Insincere?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question: Every time I make dua for something I feel like I am not sincere enough. Would this be considered waswasa? Also, is there a specific dua you should make when you ask Allah (SWT) for something?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum sister,

Thank you for this excellent question.

Allah, Most High, says, “[O Prophet], if My servants ask you about Me, I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me.
So let them respond to Me in obedience, and believe in Me, so that they may be rightly guided.“ [Qur`an, 2:186]
The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Supplication is worship.” [Abu Dawud]

Supplication (du`a) is the door to your relationship with Allah. Thinking that you are not sincere is surely from the Devil (Shaytan) and you must ignore it. Allah is the only judge of your sincerity, and customarily a person who doesn’t think he is sincere, is in fact sincere. Beware of letting the Shaytan dissuade you from du`a. Your Lord, Most High, has proclaimed, “Call upon Me, I will respond to you. Surely those who are too proud to worship Me will enter Hell, fully humbled.” [Qur`an, 40:60]

I have heard from a scholar once that the whole point of performing the prayer is to make du’a at the end. When one raises up one’s hands, one’s inner secrets, feelings, thoughts, doubts, and aspirations come to the lips. Who better to tell them to then the Creator? He knows them all anyway! But, we ask Him because we are the ones who need it. Our love, trust, devotion, submission, gratitude, and contentment will flourish when we turn to Him in du`a. This direct and intimate discourse that we have with Allah can be disturbed or influenced by no one. It’s just you and your Lord, especially if it is in the depth of the night.

When you ask Allah for something, some basic etiquettes come to mind.

1) Have ritual purity (ablution)
2) Face the Qibla, cover your head
3) Begin by blessing the Prophet, and end with it
4) Thank Allah for his blessing and mention his favors on you
5) Ask him to forgive you for your sins, and proceed to ask what you wish
6) Pray for others because of the following hadith: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “There is no believing servant who supplicates for his brother behind his back (in his absence) that the Angels do not say: The same be for you too.“ [Muslim]

One of my teacher’s teachers had taught her not to bother making du’a for oneself, but instead, only for the ummah of Islam, because it would come back to one, in any case. One of the best du`as that was often recited by the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace is, “O our Lord, grant us the best in this life and the best in the next life, and protect us from the punishment of the Fire. [Bukhari and Muslim]

Please see the following lecture on the subject. I have also linked a number of du’as and manners (adab) associated with du`a. Be sure to see them all.

Supplication is the Essence of Worship: The Reality and Proper Manners of Asking Allah (Dua)

Invocations and Supplications: A Comprehensive SeekersGuidance Reader
VIDEO: Three Manners of Supplication
Adab of Dua: Leave All Rhyme and Ask the Divine
Adab of Dua: The States That Can Change Fate
Adab of Dua: Are My Duas Being Answered?
Adab of Dua: Why Is My Dua Not Answered
Adab of Dua: Impermissible Duas
Adab of Dua: When Praying Is Haram

I pray that you take advantage of the very moment and supplicate. JazakAllah khayran.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Nearness To Allah

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: What should one do if they desire to excel in their Deen but find distractions holding them back?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

May Allah bless you for your sincerity in seeking guidance.

The feeling or desire to gain nearness to Allah, Most High is one of the greatest blessings anyone can attain. These impulses toward good and to fulfill life’s purpose are from Allah, Most High. Once they come, Imam Abdullah bin Alawi al-Haddad mentions, in his book, The Etiquettes of the Seeker, that one (1st) should protect that impulse, (2nd) strengthen that impulse, and (3rd) respond to that impulse.

Protecting the Urge to Gain Nearness to Allah

One should seek to protect the urge to come closer to Allah, Most High by trying to keep in a constant state of remembrance of Allah. This should be with both tongue and heart. Included in this is a recitation of the Qur’an, seeking Sacred Islamic Knowledge, learning more about the Beloved Messenger of Allah (may Allah be pleased with him), etc…

Strengthening the Urge to Gain Nearness to Allah

One should make an effort to strengthen this drive by keeping the company of righteous believers. Good companionship is a great way to keep one’s focus and determination to become better servants of Allah. Allah, Most High says, “O’ you who believe, be mindful of Allah, and be with the truthful ones.” [Qur’an; 9:119] At the same time one should try to distance themselves from sinful and/or heedless people, for this will certainly endanger one’s relationship with Allah, Most High.

Responding to the Urge to Gain Nearness to Allah

Allah, Most High says, “O’ you who believe. Respond to the call of Allah and His Messenger, when He calls you to that which will give you life.” [َQur’an; 8:24]

Responding to this urge can be done by taking any opportunity to do good deeds and to abandon procrastination. Our lives are short and we must take advantage of the time that we have been allotted.

Practical Steps

The ways to Allah, Most High are many. So much that one may become bewildered trying to figure out how to gain the good pleasure of Allah. I would advise seeking Islamic Knowledge from a qualified scholar, who is a person of mindfulness of Allah (taqwa) and Prophetic Character.

The above-mentioned author, Imam Abdullah bin Alawi al-Haddad (may Allah shower him is mercy) has a book called, The Book of Assistance. This is a good book to strive to implement. One should take one chapter at a time and strive to implement its teachings before moving on to the next chapter.

May Allah bless you and assist you in attaining His good pleasure

Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

The Conditions Of Repentance

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: How many are the conditions of repentance?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa Rahmatullah,

Repentance is immediately obligatory from every sin, major or minor. Allah Most High says, “Turn to Allah in repentance all together, O believers, so that you may be successful.” (Sura al-Nur 24:31)

Imam Nawawi mentions three central conditions for valid repentance (tawba):

(1) leaving the sin altogether,

(2) having remorse over having committed the sin, and

(3) firmly resolving never to return to the sin.

If the sin relates to the right of another human being, then, additionally, (4) that right must be returned. But some note that this point is actually a separate duty (wajib) outside of the act of repentance for the initial wrongdoing — the correcting of which, may or may not affect the acceptability of your repentance. If distinct, what this means is that withholding the right would become another, separate sin.

Moreover, the scholars explain that there are also a few other conditions which apply to repentance, including doing so:

(5) before the sun rises from the west,

(6) before one’s soul begins exiting the body, and

(7) sincerely, such as out of fear of His wrath and punishment, and not for any worldly reason.

Repentance from one sin is valid even if a person is engaged in other sins, and it is valid even if a person has returned to the same sin time and again, on condition that each time he met the conditions of valid repentance. Lastly, the most optimal manner of repenting is by praying the Prayer of Repentance (salat al-tawba).

The Accepted Hajj, Becoming Muslim and Rights

Although there are a number of traditions (ahadith) which speak of the slate of the person who performs an accepted hajj or becomes Muslim being wiped clean from sin, such narrations do not relate to actual rights which need to be fulfilled and lifted from one’s dues. Accordingly, debts owed to others, for example, need to be repaid and prayers and fasts that were omitted (by the Muslim) need to be made up. What is wiped away is the original sin and not the duty to subsequently correct the wrong?

In a beautiful tradition (hadith) of the Beloved Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), he informed us that, “The one who repents from sin is like the one who has no sin.” (Ibn Majah) And in one of the Aphorisms (al-Hikam) of Ibn ‘Ata Illah al-Sakandari (may Allah sanctify his secret), he says, “There is no grave sin when you faced by His Eternal Grace.” But the basis is to be balanced, between fearing for the acceptance of one’s repentance and hopeful in the mercy of the Ever-Merciful.

(Nawawi, Riyad al-Salihin/Sharh Sahih Muslim; Birgivi, al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya, with Nabulsi and Khadimi’s respective commentaries; Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid ‘ala Jawharat al-Tawhid)

Please also see: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance) and: Major vs Minor Sins, and Haram vs. Makruh Tahriman and: Prayer of Repentance: Salat al-Tawba

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan, and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based on his family.

Suplication In Prostration

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: What is the ruling of making supplication [dua] after prayer in prostration [sajdah]? So the prayer has ended and a person goes into prostration and makes dua. What do the Hanafi scholars say regarding this?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

Performing a prostration for no reason is neither deemed disliked nor an act of drawing closer to God.

However, when coupled with a du’a, this can be seen as prostration for a purpose, namely to humble oneself in front of God and supplicate to Him for one’s needs. As such, it would be permitted and rewarding in so far as it constitutes a form of submission to God.

The only time it would be disliked is if performing such a prostration will lead to people believing that it is an action that is a specific prophetic sunna or necessary. In most cases, this confusion is not expected. Nonetheless, it is an important consideration to keep in mind.

Sources: Ibn Abidin, Hashiya.

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas was born and raised in New York and graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. Ustadh Salman’s personal interests include research into the fields of law/legal methodology, hadith, theology, as well as political theory, government, media, and ethics. He is also an avid traveler and book collector. He currently resides in Amman with his wife.

Grave Visits

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: My husband offers only Friday prayers and their family belongs to a sect. They visit shrines. Is my marriage valid?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

Yes, your marriage is certainly valid.

Missing prayer is sinful but a person does not become a non-Muslim due to it. You should gently encourage your family to perform their obligatory prayers when the right moment presents itself for presenting such advice.

Similarly, visiting shrines is permissible. It is no different from visiting any other grave.

Marriage is only invalidated through divorce, annulment, a khul’, or the apostasy of one of the spouses. The latter case has a very high threshold. We do not rule Muslims as disbelievers unless there is decisive and clear evidence in that regard. The issues you mention do not relate to belief/disbelief.

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas was born and raised in New York and graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. Ustadh Salman’s personal interests include research into the fields of law/legal methodology, hadith, theology, as well as political theory, government, media, and ethics. He is also an avid traveler and book collector. He currently resides in Amman with his wife.

What Should I Do If I Hear The Prayer Call After Finishing My Current Prayer?

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: As-salam Alaykum, What should I do if I hear the azan after finishing the current obligatory prayer?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Thank you for your important and valued question.

The prayer is valid as long as the prayer time has actually entered. You can work out when the prayer enters by following accurate timetables like those found on Islamicfinder.com. As long as you pray after that time, the prayer is find.

Whether or not there is an azan, or when exactly someone calls the azan is another issue: sometimes people call the azan late, especially in non-Muslim countries where people are far from the mosque. In fact, even in Muslim countries, the azan is often called for a whole region/city 5 mins or so late so as to account for the difference of the position of the sun in respect to the different parts of the region/city.

I would just check the app’s settings with Islamicfinder.com. If it seems complete off, then I would repeat the prayer.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

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 crafts lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Can I Trust the Prayer of Consultation of Someone Else?

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I have asked to an Imam to perform the prayer of consultation on why we cannot have a baby. After praying it this Imam told to my husband that if he would marry someone else he would have a baby. As for having a baby with me it won’t happen.

Can we trust this Imam?

Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam

Thank you for your question.

There are a few points of consideration regarding your question:

1. A vision that one may see at the time of praying istikharah should not be taken as fact. Neither is a vision a requirement when performing istikharah.

2. Istikharah is not a means via which one reads the future. The Dua of istikharah explains clearly that istikharah is for the one that faces two options. He then, after studying both options and inclining towards one over the other, prays istikharah, asking Allah that if he is inclined towards the correct option that Allah makes it possible and easy for him. However, if it’s the incorrect option that Allah turns it away from him and him away from it.

3. While some of the Maliki scholars allowed a second person to pray istikharah (in your case a third person) on behalf of himself, the origin and preferred method is for each person to pray istikharah for themselves.

Consequently, my advice is to ignore the vision of this third person and pray to Allah that He grants you a child. Many sisters tend to only conceive a few years after marriage and three years is not a long time. Also, you may explore what medical options are available to assist you in falling pregnant. It is also advisable that both you and your husband visits a doctor to determine exactly what is the problem, if there is one.

Lastly, and in no way leastly, you may recite the following often, placing your trust in Allah:

رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَاء

Rabbi hab li milladunka dhurriyatan tayyibah innaka sami`u-du`a

“O my Lord, grant me a progeny that is pure, for You hear (our) prayers!” (3:38)

رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا

Rabbana hab lana min azwajina wa dhurriyyatina qurrata `ayun wa’ja’lna lilmuttaqin imama

“Our Lord, grant us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous.” (25:74)

May Allah bless you in your marriage, protect you from all harm and grant you pious offspring, Amin.

Wassalam
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Can I pray Tarawih Prayers If I Have Overdue Obligatory Prayers to Complete?

Shaykh Farid Dingle answers a question related to praying Tarawih salaah when one has overdue obligatory prayers to complete (according to the Shafi school of thought).

 

Question:

Assalamu alaikum.

For the past three years I haven’t been praying salah consistently and sometimes didn’t pray for months on end. I’m now taking my deen more seriously and I am making up these missed prayers. Inshallah it will be easier in the future.

I wanted to ask, since Ramadhan is coming up – am I allowed to pray Tarawih?
Here’s my specific situation: Me and my family sometimes go to a community mosque during Ramadhan, a small place, for iftar and tarawih. We follow behind the imam, as he makes intention for the women behind him too. My family are not aware of me missing prayers for so long and I am too afraid to tell them – I want to keep this
private. I read somewhere that one should not do sunnah prayers when they have fardh to make up, but I don’t know how I’ll be able to wriggle out of Tarawih. In this case, is it okay for me to offer my Tarawih prayer? I could try and make an excuse to go home, but I don’t want to end up having to lie. And praying Tarawih, I feel, would help me become more connected to Allah, and I would really love to participate in it. Ramadan is also during my exam season, so I need all the blessings I can get. I would love some guidance with this.

Jazakallah Khairan.

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Short answer
You can just make-up prayers behind the imam as he prays Tarawih.

The principle
The issue of praying supererogatory prayers (sunna/nafl) while one has make-up prayers (qada) is nothing particular to do with supererogatory prayers themselves; rather, the issue is delaying making up obligatory prayers without a valid excuse, such as another more pressing obligation.

For example, if one had an obligatory prayer that one had missed without a valid excuse, such as just being lazy or finding it awkward to pray at work, one could not delay making it up for, say, answering a personal email or having a cup of tea. One could only delay it for something obligatory, such as eating main meals, sleeping, going to work if one supports oneself. One such non-obligatory thing is supererogatory prayers.

For this reason, the Shafi’i scholars tell us that one cannot pray supererogatory prayers while one has make-up prayers to perform because it entails delaying an immediate obligation for other than another more pressing obligation.

The practice
Okay, so based on this principle, someone who has years of make-up prayers no longer has any free time whatsoever: it is just them and the prayer mat until the finish. Is that right?

The answer is that Islam is reasonable, and while this principle might apply to one or two make-up prayers that one might well take a day off work or stop a conversation to pray immediately, one cannot apply this for weeks or months on end. To do so would most probably make one go insane, or cause one to lose one’s job or marriage, or the like.

Practically, one should make a realistic schedule of prayers that one makes up a day, and stick to it no matter what, without going to extremes.

For more detail, please see: http://seekershub.org/ans-blog/2017/06/18/18205/

Tarawih
A simple solution to praying Tarawih when you have make-ups is to intend praying a missed Fajr for each two rakas that the Imam does. This is acceptable because, in the Shafi’i school, it is valid to pray an obligatory prayer (fard) behind a supererogatory prayer (nafl/sunna).

This way you would not be delaying making up prayers without a valid excuse.

I pray this helps.

Farid

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


 

 

Can I Pray Asr at an Earlier Time Due to Work?

Shaykh Tabraze Azam answers a question related to performing the Asr prayer at an earlier time due to work commitments, according to the Hanafi school of thought.

 

Question:

Assalaam Alaykum
Respected shaykh(s), I have an issue in that I find it difficult to pray Asr at the later (predominant) Hanafi time due to work commitments (there is slight danger I could miss it altogether). May I therefore pray Asr at the earlier start time according to the fatwa of the Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammed Shaybani (as well as 3 great mujtahids of the other schools)? I would pray on my own and not in jamat unfortunately.
Also may I resort back to normal Hanafi Asr start times on days off or whenever it becomes easier to do so?

 


Answer:

Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Yes, you may pray the mid-afternoon prayer (‘asr) at the earlier time. Deeming the prayer time to have entered at this earlier point is a sound and follow-able position in the Hanafi school.

Usually, it would be proper to follow the practice of your local community’s congregation. Failing that, you should try to pray at the later time as doing so is more religiously precautionary.

When neither is a reasonable option, you may pray at the earlier time. But you should be wary of using both times interchangeably as you can fall into laxity, and also lose something of the sanctity of the prayer time.

Nevertheless, even if you don’t make the early position your regular and consistent practice, it would be acceptable to follow it on occasions in which there is a need or benefit in doing so.

Please also see:https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/can-pray-asr-isha-earlier-time-country-times-followed/ and: https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/when-should-i-pray-asr-when-my-local-mosque-is-following-the-earlier-time/

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam, Tabraze Azam

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


 

When Do I Recite the Ta’awwudh in Prayer?

Shaykh Abdurrahim Reasat advises when to recite the ta’awwudh in prayer, according to the Hanafi school of thought.

 

Question:

Salamu alaikum,

I am trying to bring my salah in line with Hanafi fiqh.

  1. Should I say ta’awudh (“I seek protection in Allah from shaytan, the accursed one.”) and bismillah after reciting surah al-fatiha and before reciting 3 verses (or more) of the quran in salah?
  2. Is this permissible or would it count as unnecessarily delaying a wajib?
  3. Should I simply say it once before surah al-fatiha and then after saying ‘ameen’ continue to recite 3 verses (or more) of the quran?
  4. Should I repeat the ta’awudh and bismillah for the surah al-fatiha of the second raka?
Jazakum Allah khairun

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykuk as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

The ta’awwudh should only be recited once, in the first unitbefore the basmala and the Fatiha. Repeating it, or reciting it elsewhere would contravene the sunna, and therefore be disliked.

After finishing the Fatiha, one says ‘Amin’, and then proceed to recite a at least three short verses, or one long verse of the Qurʾan. In the case where one is going to recite a full sura, such as sura al Karin it is good to repeat the basmala, though this is not a specific sura. (Ibn Abidin, Radd al Muhtar)

I pray that helps.

Abdul-Rahim

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.