Ma’rifa (Noesis) of Supplication: معرفة الدعاء

Ma’rifa 1.

When Allah wills to respond to a servant (hear a servant), gives him permission to make Du’a (Supplication) , said the Prophet.
كنز العمال – للمتقي الهندي
المجلد الثاني >> الإكمال من الباب الثامن الفصل الأول في فضل الدعاء والحث عليه

3156- إذا أراد الله أن يستجيب لعبد أذن له في الدعاء.
(الديلمي عن ابن عمر).


In other words due to unital nature of Tauhid (Divine Oneness) no mind or heart could ever fathom a supplication since the Oneness does not allow any other mind or intellect or spirit to near or to approach.

But Allah gives the servant the ability to make supplication; in other words the supplicant does not commence the supplication it is Allah who commences any and all supplications. Supplicant is secondary, though to our Nafs (Self) ambiguously seems that the Self is the supplicant commencing the supplication while Allah is secondary to respond.


Ishara 1.

A plant situated in darkness has no particular direction to direct its growth. Now shines the light, the plant grows and moves towards the light. Allah is the light and you are the plant in darkness, when you move towards the light i.e. in supplication, the light had shone first, you supplicate second!

It is absurd that plant in darkness could ignite any light! Similarly it is absurd that you are supplicating  in and of your Self, it was Allah who called upon you first, you reacted and that reaction formed the supplication. Supplications are byproducts of Allah fulfilling the servants.

For whom the supplication has commenced, (already) gates of fulfillment had had opened for, said the Prophet.
كنز العمال – للمتقي الهندي
المجلد الثاني >> الإكمال من الباب الثامن الفصل الأول في فضل الدعاء والحث عليه

3154- من فتح له من الدعاء منكم فتحت له أبواب الإجابة.
(ش عن ابن عمر).




Ma’rifa 2.

The provision is not diminished by disobedience, and also not increased by good deeds, yet the forsaking of supplication is a form of disobedience! said the Prophet.
الجامع الصغير. – لجلال الدين السيوطي
المجلد الثاني >> [تتمة باب حرف الألف]

1999- إن الرزق لا تنقصه المعصية، ولا تزيده الحسنة، وترك الدعاء معصية
[“ولا تزيده الحسنة”: أي بالنسبة لما في العلم القديم الأزلي]ـ
التخريج (مفصلا): الطبراني في الصغير عن أبي سعيد


Your provisions, length of life, happiness or sorrows, gain and loss, health and illness, are all Primordial Decisions set in Azal (Sempiternity), and this life an investigation of such infinite past decisions, like unto a motion picture enacting dramatizing a historical event.

The Prophet explains why sometimes the most criminal are the richest and most affluent, yet the most pious the poorest the weakest, not always true though, but explains that Nafs (Self) commands you to do good so you might get more rewards in terms of daily provisions, and that is not always true, most times false.

The Prophet continues with an advice to avoid being a hapless fatalist, that in spite of the said earlier claims the servant should be supplicating often.


Adab (Etiquette) of Supplication

You could easily derive the circumstances of life that are prerequisite for a properly performed supplication:

  1. Proper language to speak during the good times and hard times
  2. Attention to orphans in you community and nationwide in your country
  3. Urging to feed the people at difficult times
  4. Avoid hoarding other people’s inheritance e.g. family members, wealth of other nations by perpetual greed and warring
  5. Controlling one’s infatuations and emotions for accumulations (of all kinds)

89:15 BUT AS FOR man,  whenever his Sustainer tries him by His generosity and by letting him enjoy a life of ease, he says, “My Sustainer has been [justly] generous towards me”;

فَأَمَّا الْإِنسَانُ إِذَا مَا ابْتَلَاهُ رَبُّهُ فَأَكْرَمَهُ وَنَعَّمَهُ فَيَقُولُ رَبِّي أَكْرَمَنِ


89:16 whereas, whenever He tries him by straitening his means of livelihood, he says, “My Sustainer has disgraced me!”

وَأَمَّا إِذَا مَا ابْتَلَاهُ فَقَدَرَ عَلَيْهِ رِزْقَهُ فَيَقُولُ رَبِّي أَهَانَنِ


89:17 But nay, nay, [O men, consider all that you do and fail to do:] you are not generous towards the orphan,

كَلَّا بَل لَّا تُكْرِمُونَ الْيَتِيمَ


89:18 and you do not urge one another to feed the needy,

وَلَا تَحَاضُّونَ عَلَى طَعَامِ الْمِسْكِينِ


89:19 and you devour the inheritance [of others] with devouring greed,

وَتَأْكُلُونَ التُّرَاثَ أَكْلًا لَّمًّا


89:20 and you love wealth with boundless love!

وَتُحِبُّونَ الْمَالَ حُبًّا جَمًّا
الجامع الصغير.  – لجلال الدين السيوطي
المجلد الثاني >> [تتمة باب حرف الألف]

6. Silent supplication
الجامع الصغير.  – لجلال الدين السيوطي
المجلد الثاني >> [تتمة باب حرف الألف]

1250- أفضل الدعاء دعاء المرء لنفسه
التخريج (مفصلا): الحاكم في المستدرك عن عائشة

7. Additional supplications added for the Prophet and his family:

Supplication is veiled until adoration and peace sent for Muhammad and members of his household
الجامع الصغير – لجلال الدين السيوطي
المجلد الثالث >> فصل: في المحلى بأل من حرف الدال

4266 – الدعاء محجوب عن الله، حتى يصلى على محمد وأهل بيته
التخريج (مفصلا): أبو الشيخ <ابن حبان> عن علي



Long Supplications

41:51 And, too, when We bestow Our blessings upon man, he tends to turn aside and keep aloof [from remembering Us]; but as soon as evil fortune touches him, he is full of LENGTHY prayers!

وَإِذَا أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَى الْإِنسَانِ أَعْرَضَ وَنَأى بِجَانِبِهِ وَإِذَا مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ فَذُو دُعَاء عَرِيضٍ


This is a problem, lack of Etiquette for Divine Presence and lack of manners during the supplications to be overly wordy and lengthy and yet just the day before we were aloof away from anything relating to Allah!

Improper conduct and behavior to remember Allah only when in need or in fear.


Short Supplications

Best supplication is short supplication:

Most excellent supplication is Al-Hamd-u Li-Llah-i (All perpetual praise and adoration for Allah), said the Prophet.
الجامع الصغير.  – لجلال الدين السيوطي
المجلد الثاني >> [تتمة باب حرف الألف]

1253- أفضل الذكر لا إله إلا الله، وأفضل الدعاء الحمد لله
التخريج (مفصلا): الترمذي والنسائي وابن ماجة وابن حبان في صحيحه والحاكم في المستدرك عن جابر


Best supplication is Al-‘Istighfar (Seeking forgiveness from Allah), said the Prophet.
الجامع الصغير. – لجلال الدين السيوطي
المجلد الثالث >> باب: حرف الخاء

4006 – خير الدعاء الاستغفار
التخريج (مفصلا): الحاكم في تاريخه عن علي


The Al-‘Istighfar supplication of Moses peace be upon him, short and received immediate reply:

28:16 [And] he (Moses) prayed: O my Sustainer! Verily, I have sinned against myself! FORGIVE ME!” And He/Allah forgave him – for, verily, He/Allh alone is truly forgiving, a dispenser of grace.

قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي فَغَفَرَ لَهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ


Prophet was asked by a bedouin to teach him a supplication that Allah might give him some benefit from, Prophet told him to say:

O my Lord for You all praise, and all gratitude for You as well, while all affairs return to you (for judgement and fulfillment)
كنز العمال – للمتقي الهندي
المجلد الثاني >> الأدعية المطلقة

5097- عن سعد أن أعرابيا قال للنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: علمني دعاء لعل الله أن ينفعني به، قال قل: اللهم لك الحمد كله، ولك الشكر كله، وإليك يرجع الأمر كله.



© 2015-2002,  Dara O Shayda