Posts

Adab of Dua 24: The States That Can Change Fate

Allah Most High says, “I am near – I answer the call of the one who calls upon me (2:186).
Yet, many of us wonder: Are my duas being answered? Is there a certain dua I have to read for each of my concerns? Do my duas have to be in Arabic?

In this series of short talks, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains the reality of dua (supplication) and how to turn to Allah. It is based on a classical text on the same subject by Shaykh al Islam Zakariyya al Ansari.

This video covers the various states when we are called upon to make dua, and when it is particularly likely to be answered.

It also contains many gems about the etiquettes of visiting and being with people.

The text is divided into the 11 concise, apt sections described below.

1. The reality of dua
2. Our being called on to make dua
3. The great virtue of dua
4. The integrals of supplication, its wings, and its means
5. The conditions of supplication
6. Its proper manners
7. The times of dua and the state in which it should be made
8. Signs of acceptance of dua
9. Explaining the religious ruling of dua
10. Some encompassing supplications
11. Explaining what the greatest Divine Name is

Take a SeekersHub online course. All courses are completely free, and are taught by reliable, qualified scholars.

SeekersHub Global, a non-profit Islamic educational portal, makes sound knowledge from reliable scholars available anywhere, at any time, through online courses, on-the-ground seminars, engaging and inspiring Islamic media and direct access to scholars through our Answers service — all for FREE.

Help us continue to provide Knowledge Without Barriers through your ongoing monthly support or a one-time donation.

Resources for Seekers

The Seed and The Oasis, by Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa

The tawfiq (permission and assistance) from Allah to perform any good action always begins with an intention, explains Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa. Indeed, the Prophet ﷺ teaches us that actions are only valued in accordance with their intentions. Actions of the body are only given significance according to the accompanying actions of the heart – which is what intentions are.


In Arabic, the word for intention is “niyyah”, and its root is “nawah” : a nucleus, or seed. In order for that seed to manifest and then develop into an action, you need Allah at every step. The intention is not your creation, rather He is the Creator of all things and all actions, including those of the heart.
He created it for you, then made it appealing to you so that you desire it, and then served it for you to pick the fruit that it is. He creates the seed and plants it into the earth that is you heart. He then brings it to its germination, and He protects it against the winds that are your lower desires. Indeed, this long and great journey of the seed takes place within you.
We see actions as bigger than intentions, but the reality is you can reach with your intention what you cannot reach with your actions.

Intentions are a Gift

The whole oasis is within the seed. We must therefore never belittle intentions. The seed of intention is a seed of light, a ray of light that grows into whole a tree of that light. All the good is in the beginning; in other words, there is no ‘fath’ (success) without a ‘fatiha’ (beginning).
It is up to us now to welcome intentions as a Gift from God and not as a burden. We need to welcome them, nourish them, cultivate them, take good care of them, and be thankful that we were chosen as their guardians.

Cover photo by Ainouna Habib Badreddine. We are grateful to the The Rhoda Institute of Islamic Learning for the video.

Resources for seekers

[cwa id=’cta’]

What A Concerned Muslim Needs to Learn, and How – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

If you are serious about submitting to Allah, Most High, striving to follow the Prophet ﷺ and striving to please Allah then there is no way around a regular routine of seeking knowledge. Join Shaykh Faraz Rabbani in a clear discussion and investigation of what knowledge is necessary to be a Muslim.

What does a Muslim need to know?

We are given a summary of four particular types of knowledge one needs to know:
1) Fard al Ayn: the personally obligatory – core Islamic knowledge (aqeedah, fiqh: all financial dealings, the permissible and impermissible relationships)
2) Devotional Knowledge: knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah – cultivating the knowledge of the Quran and reading something about the Prophet ﷺ daily
3) Spiritual Knowledge: knowledge of the heart, ihsan. Ridding oneself of blameworthy traits and adorning oneself with praiseworthy characteristics.
4) Spiritual works: regular routines of acting on what one knows.
Our Ummah has been given two  gifts that no other sacred community has received in the past: the deep value and reward of intentions, and access to the remembrance of Allah.

Cover photo by Olivier Blaise. We are grateful to Madarik Centre in Amman, Jordan for the video.

Resources for the Seeker:

Can I Make up Obligatory Prayers Instead of Praying the Emphasized Sunna Prayers? Can I Have Multiple Intentions When Fasting?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum,

1. I was recently told that when making up missed prayers it is permissible to replace the Sunnah Muakadda with the making-up of the earliest prayer one has missed. Can I do this?

I was also told that one should not be praying Tarawih if one has many Fard qada to be made up.

2. Is it permissible to make multiple intentions for fasting optional fasts?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

(1) No, in making up past prayers, you should not miss the current, confirmed sunna prayers. As for the tarawih prayers, there would be some more leeway in this if a person is serious, committed, and it would impact their makeup schedule. However, this would be taken on a case by case basis, and you should consult a righteous scholar before acting.

(2) Yes, you can make multiple intentions in the way you mention, namely between an obligatory fast, and a secondary, voluntary fast, yet not between two obligatory ones– so you could not intend to make up a missed Ramadan fast and a current Ramadan fast at the same time. But fasting a makeup on a Monday, to also fulfil the sunna of fasting on Mondays, would be fine.

Please also see: Fasting Six Days of Shawwal – Ruling, Whether Consecutive, Combining Intentions, Wisdoms, and What if Unable to Fast? – Faraz Rabbani

And Allah knows best.

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Misgivings Regarding Intentions and How to Memorize Qur’an

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Im always getting doubts about my intentions, how do I know they are sincere? I keep getting shirk thoughts. For memorizing the Quran I basically don’t even tell my family that I want to memorize because I think I will be insincere. And can I memorize on my own without a sheikh? And in what order is it recommend to Memorize Quran which is easiest.
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
The basis is that we ignore misgivings.
Sincerity is something we are all striving for. We recognise our shortcomings, repent for the way things are, and then renew our resolve and intention and continue our efforts. The believers are people of action. The devil can easily trick us into making us doubt our intentions in everything such that we are left with nothing. Seek refuge in Allah, repent and renew your resolve regularly, and ask Allah for tawfiq and sincerity.
Please see: POSTS TAGGED ‘SINCERITY’ and: Intention: Validity And Sincerity and: The Reality and Importance of Intention and: Should I Remove the Hijab Because I Am a Bad Example for Others?
And consider taking: Purification of the Heart & Praiseworthy Character (from Ghazali’s 40 Foundations of Religion)
As for your specific questions:
(1) You can begin to memorize, but you should seek out a teacher. It is easy to delude oneself into thinking one has memorized correctly when the reality is otherwise.
(2) One suggestion would be to start with shorter surahs from the 30th Juz’, and then progress to the 29th Juz’, then 28th and so on. Once you are able to memorize quickly and comfortably, and have strong aspiration (himma), you can start from the 1st Juz’.
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Actions Are Rewarded Due to Intentions

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Does one get rewarded for an act one does out of mere habit that corresponds to the sunna?

Answer: Walaikum assalam

The first legal maxim that Ibn Nujaym mentioned in his Ashbah wa’l Nadha’ir is: “There is no reward without intention.” This is one of the most repeated and well-known of legal maxims.

It is taken from the well-known hadith in which the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “Verily actions are by their intentions, and one shall only have that which one intended.” [Bukhari & Muslim] The scholars stated that there is something implicit in this hadith, namely: “Verily actions are [rewarded] by their intentions, and one shall only have [the reward] for that which one intended.”

Therefore, if one’s habits or whims are in conformity to the sunna of the Prophet of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), one should strive to have an intention in it for Allah. Otherwise, it remains a habit. The scholars say, “Through intentions habits become worship.” ( bi’l niyyaat tanqalibul `aadaat `ibaadaat)

Abd Allah ibn Mubarak (Allah be pleased with him), said, “How often it is that a small action becomes great by its intention. And how often it is that a great action becomes small by its intention.” [Dhahabi, Siyar A`lam al-Nubala’, 8: 400]

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani.

Importance of Intention in Seeking Knowledge

Answered by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam

Question : Importance of Intention in Seeking Knowledge

Answer : The great Hadith master (hafidh), Imam Shams al-Din al-Dhahabi (Allah have mercy on him) states in his short but brilliant treatise al-Muqizah:

“Correcting of the intention by a student of sacred knowledge is essential. Thus, whosoever seeks the knowledge of Hadith (m, and other sciences of Islamic knowledge) to compete with others, to show-off, to achieve worldly gains or so that people praise him and his knowledge, then surely he has incurred loss. And if he seeks sacred knowledge for the sake of pleasing Allah Almighty and gaining rewards from Allah…and to benefit other people, then indeed he has triumphed. And if one’s intention is combined with the two, then the ruling (hukm) will be according to what is more dominant (ghalib).” (Dhahabi, al-Muqizah fi Ilm Mustalah al-Hadith with footnotes by Shaykh Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah, P. 65)

The above statement of Imam Hafidh Dhahabi (Allah have mercy on him) pinpoints precisely as to what intention a student must have whilst seeking sacred knowledge. One must seek sacred and Islamic knowledge with the intention of pleasing Allah Most High and benefiting others, whilst seeking knowledge for pleasing the creation of Allah and for name and fame or with the intention of gaining worldly possessions is blameworthy. If one’s intention is a mixture of the two, in that he seeks knowledge for pleasing Allah Most High but at the same time there is an element of showing off, then one will be judged according to what is predominant of the two.

Also, Imam Dhahabi (Allah have mercy on him) further points out to the signs of having a sincere intention or otherwise, He mentions that the one who seeks knowledge for the sake of Allah Most High, then that knowledge creates in him humility, humbleness and the fear of Allah. And the one who seeks knowledge for worldly gains, he becomes proud with his knowledge, thus argues and quarrels with other Muslims. (See: al-Muqizah, p. 65)

Thus, your responsibility is to correct your intention at the outset and keep examining and rectifying your intention whilst studying. If you do that, you will have fulfilled your responsibility, Insha Allah.

As for saying that sacred knowledge will create pride in you thus one should not study, this is totally incorrect and baseless. Seeking sacred knowledge is a fundamental responsibility of every Muslim male and female and should not be discarded with the fear of having pride. If one was to do that, then there is fear in everything that one does in ones life, thus one will not be able to live. This is the ploy of Shaytan, in that he wants to prevent you from studying.

Also, don’t let the name-calling affect you in your studies. Don’t worry or bother too much about it. Take it in from one ear and let it out from the other. This may be difficult but remember that, this is the Sunnah of Allah Most High, in that he does not (normally) give a high rank and status except with a struggle. Think of all the Prophets of Allah, what they had to go through in order to preach and invite people to Allah Most High. Our beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) also had name-calling, such as: a magician, insane, etc.

Thus, you are in the footsteps of the Prophets and this is a sign of acceptance, Insha Allah. Be firm and carry on with your studies. If you are severely affected by the people around you and it is impossible for you to study, then you may even want to move to another place or have a new circle of friends or study at some other place. Abstain from disclosing to them about your studying rather keep it to yourself. May Allah Most High help and assist you in your endeavours and bless us all with the light of sacred knowledge, Ameen.

And Allah knows best
Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK