Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Solāh al-Hajjat

Solāh al-Hajjat
(The Solāh of Need)

By Ibn Sālih

Question: As-salāmu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullāh.What is the authenticity of Solātul Hajjat (the Solāh of Need)? Jazakallāh Khairun.

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-`ālamīn. There is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam is His Messenger.

Solāh al-Hajjat is a Nawafil Solāh offered for the accomplishment of a particular purpose or need. It consists of careful ablution, followed by a calm Solāh of two raka’at, then a sincere supplication that states what one wishes to be accomplished and requesting Allāh’s help and mercy in its accomplishment.

But some scholars views that Solāh al-Hajat is not specifically prescribed in shari’ah (Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, Fatāwā Nūr `ala’l-Darb, 1/169). The ahādith about it are considered weak. Imām At-Tirmidzi (rahimahullāh) in his Sunan pointed out it as da’ief (weak). Others consider it as fabricated.

At-Tirmidzi (rahimahullāh) narrated in the chapter concerning Solāh al-Hajat:

“ ‘Ali ibn ‘Eesa Ibn Yazid Al-Baghdadi told us, ‘Abdallāh Ibn Bakar Al-Sahmi told us, and ‘Abdallāh Ibn Munir told us, from ‘Abdallāh Ibn Bakar from Fa‘id Ibn ‘Abd Al-Rahman from ‘Abdallāh Ibn Abi Awfa who said: ‘The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said:

“Whoever has any need of something from Allāh or from any of the sons of Ādam, let him do wudhu’ and do it well, and perform Solāh two raka’at, then let him praise Allāh and send blessings on the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam), then let him say:

Lā ilāha ill-Allāh il-Halīmul-Karīm. Subhān-Allāhi Rabbil-‘arshil-‘azīm. Al-hamdu lillāhi Rabb il-‘ālamān.  As ‘aluka mujibati rahmatika wa ‘aza ima maghfiratik, wal-ghanīmata min kulli birrin wal-salāmata min kulli ithmin. Lā tada’ li dzanban illā ghafartah, wa la hamman illā farajtah, wa la hājatan hiya laka ridha nilla qadaytah, Yā arham al-rahimīn

(There is no god but Allāh, the Patient, the Most Generous. Glory be to Allāh, the Lord of the Mighty Throne. Praise be to Allāh, the Lord of the Worlds, I ask You for Your mercy and forgiveness, for help to do all good deeds and for protection from all sins. Do not leave for me any sin but You forgive it, any worry but You relieve it, or any need with which You are pleased but You meet it, O Most Merciful of those who show mercy).”

But Abu ‘Eesā (At-Tirmidzi) said: “This is a gharīb hadīth. The fact that Fā’id Ibn ‘Abd Al-Rahmān is among the narrators makes the hadīth very weak. Fā‘id is Abul-Warqā’.” Al-Albāni said: “It is very weak indeed.” Al-Hākim said: “Fabricated ahādīth were narrated from Ibn Abi Awfā.” (Mishkāt al-Masābīh, 1/417).   This hadīth was also narrated by Ibn Mājah, in his Sunan, 1/144, also via Fā‘Id Ibn ‘Abd Al-Rahmān. Al-Albāni said, in Da’ief Sunan Ibn Mājah, no. 293: “(It is) very weak.”

On the basis of the above hadith, the prayer could not be established as prescribed Sunnah. But its duā glorifies Allāh; contain the essence of Tawhid and Taqwa.

Nevertheless Dr. Mahmud Al-Khayami, Head of Islamic Studies Department, Al-Azhar University, stated:

“It was the Sunnah of the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) to ask Allāh Almighty for all what he needed. Moreover, he highly encouraged his companions and followers not ask any human or depend on them to answer their needs, rather they should ask their Lord and Creator, Allāh, to provide them with all they need and fulfill all their wishes.

There is no authentic hadith from the Sunnah to offer two raka‘at and make du‘ā as some Muslims do, calling it Solāh Al-Hajat. They may have been mistaken because of a hadith – the only hadith in this matter – recorded by Ahmad and At-Tabarāni, which according to the majority of hadith scholars, it is "very weak" hadith, as held by Al-Albāni.”

The hadith refered was narrated by Abu Darda (radiyallāhu`anhu) who said that the Messenger of Allāh (Salallāhu `alayhi wasalam) said:

"Whoever performs ablutions well and offers two nawafil raka`ahs and completes them to perfection will be granted by Allāh whatever he prays for, either immediately or in Allāh’s good time."

[Recorded by Imām Ahmad (Musnad al-Qāba`il): He said ‘Sahih’; But the narrators of this hadith named Maimun or Abu Muhammad al-Mara‘ie At-Tamimi, a person who was majhul, unsure of his status by hadith scholars. Even Yahya Ibn Abi Kathir was tsiqah but sometimes he narrated mudallas hadith and sometimes he narrates hadith with broken chain of narrators (mursal). The Hadith is considered weak, cannot be used as strong evidence. But Sheikh Sayyid Sabiq classified it Sahih in his Fiqh As-Sunnah.]

Given the above, it is the duty of a Muslim to pray, call, and make du`ā - seeking Allāh’s Blessing wherever and whenever he or she so wishes from Allah - not in special form of Salāh Al-Hajat but nawafil solāh and duā`s.

[See: On Islam (Ask the Scholar) Nov 10, 2010]

Notwithstanding the above, Al-l-Qur`ān and other hadith clearly states that if a Muslim is in state of distress and in need of help, he should pray, make du`ās seek ing Allah’s help and mercy.

Call upon Me, I will answer you

Allāh Almighty says in Al-Qur`ān:  “And seek help through patience and prayer …” [Al-Baqarah, 2:45] “And your Lord says: Call upon Me, I will answer you; surely those who are too proud for My service shall soon enter hell abased.” (Ghafir, 40: 60)

Allāh commands His servants to use patience and prayer to acquire the good of this life and the Hereafter.  Allāh has promise to answer our call.

So, when a Muslim is in distress, he or she may perform Nawafil Solāh accordingly – with no restrictions to certain number of raka`at and then supplicating to Allāh Almighty for his blessings and mercy.

Hudhayfah (radiyallāhu`anhu) narrated, who said: “When anything distressed the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam), he would pray.” [Narrated by Abu Dawud in his Sunan, 1124, and classified as hasan in Sahih al-Jāmi’, 4703)]

The Du`ā that Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) used to say when in distress.

There are du`ās made by Rasūllulāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) when he were in distress. Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallāhu‘anhu) that the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) used to say, when he felt distressed:  “Lā ilāha ill-Allāh al-`Azīm ul-Halīm, Lā ilāha ill-Allāh Rabb il-`Arsh il-`Azīm, Lā ilāha ill-Allāh Rabb is-Samawāti wa Rabb il-Ard, wa Rabb il-`arsh il-Karīm    (There is no god except Allāh, the All-Mighty, the Forbearing; There is no god except Allāh, the Lord of the Mighty Throne; There is no god except Allāh, Lord of the heavens, Lord of the earth and Lord of the noble Throne)” 

[Recorded by Al-Bukhari, Muslim]

Anas Ibn Mālik (radiyallāhu`anhu) reported that the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) used to say, when something upset him: “Yā Hayyu yā Qayyūm, bi Rahmatika astaghīth (O Ever-Living One, O Everlasting One, by Your mercy I seek help)”

[Al-Bukhari, Muslim]

`Abdallāh Ibn Mas`ud (radiyallāhu‘anhu) reported that the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said:

“No person suffers any anxiety or grief, and says:  “Allāhumma inī `abduka wa ibnu `abdika wa ibni amatika, naasiyati bi yadika, maadin fiyya hukmuka, `adlun fiyya qadā `uka, as`aluka bi kulli ismin huwa laka sammayta bihi nafsaka aw anzaltahu fi kitābika aw `allamtahu ahadan min khalqika aw ista’ tharta bihi fi `ilm il-ghaybi `andak an taj `ala al-Qur`āna rabī’ qalbi wa nūr sadri wa jalā `a huzni wa dzahāba hammi”   (O Allāh, I am Your slave, son of Your slave, son of Your female slave, my forelock is in Your hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every Name belonging to You which You named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Qur`an the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety)

But Allāh will take away his sorrow and grief, and give him in their stead joy.”

[Recorded by Al-Bukhari, Muslim]

Asma’ bint `Umays (radiyallāhu`anha said: The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said to me: “Shall I not teach you some words to say when you feel distressed? [Say:] “Allāh, Allāh, Rabbi Lā ushriku bihi shay`an (Allāh, Allāh, my Lord, I do not associate anything with Him).”

[Al-Bukhari, Muslim]

The Duā of Prophet Yunus (‘alaihissalām)

The Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said to his companions: "Shall I not tell you some words which, if distress or grief befalls any of you and he offers this prayer (supplication), it will bring him joy?  It is the dua’ of Dzul-Nun (Prophet Yunus or Jonah `alaihissalām):  Lā illāha illa anta Subhānaka inni, Kuntu minadz dza limīn (There is no god but You, Glory to You; verily I was one of the wrongdoers.)”  (Al-Anbiyā’, 21:87)

[Sahīh al-Jāmi’ al-Saghīr, no. 2605]

Stricken with calamity, Yunus (`alayhissalām) realized his mistake and immediately turned to Allāh for forgiveness. He made a supplication that was simple and short. Nevertheless, its words carry so much significance that this small supplication is considered to be the “Mother of all supplications”. From the darkest chamber of the whale’s stomach, he cried out to Allāh“Lā illāha illa anta Subhānaka inni, Kuntu minadz dza limīn (There is no god but You, Glory to You; verily I was one of the wrongdoers.)” (Al-Anbiyā’, 21:87)

This short supplication has three important components. First, Jonah (`alayhissalām) recognized that there is no other authority or power worthy of worship except Allāh. Besides Him, he can turn to no one for help – no king, no judge, and no personal attorney. If there is anyone who is capable of forgiveness and help, that is only Allāh, the Supreme Authority of the entire universe. Second, he declared that Allāh is above all blames and shortcomings. Allāh Subhānahu wa ta’ala is not to be blamed for his situations, for He never commits a wrong against anyone. He is above and beyond all faults and shortcomings. Lastly, he admitted that he has committed a mistake. This admittance and recognition of one’s own fault is perhaps the most important element in seeking forgiveness. For Jonah (‘alayhissālam), this admission did not merely come out from his lips but also from the bottom of his heart.

This short supplication was so heavy in weight that Allāh Subhanahu wa ta’ala turned to him in forgiveness and delivered him from these three layers of darkness. [See Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

The Du’ā of Prophet Ayyub (‘alayhissalām).

Prophet Ayyub (`alayhissalam), after being afflicted with calamities, distress and severe skin disorder for years, called for Allah’s Mercy: “...Annī massaniyāddhurru wa anta ar hamu ar rahimīn. (Indeed, adversity has touched me, and you are the Most Merciful of the merciful).” [Al-Anbiyā’, 21:83]. Prophet Ayyub’s condition was ultimately restored.

It is a Sunnah to ask Allāh Almighty for all what he needed. Moreover, he highly encouraged his companions and followers not ask any human or depend on them to answer their needs, rather they should ask their Lord and Creator, Allāh, to provide them with all they need and fulfill all their wishes. Solāh is a sanctified and mauqif moment for the servant in the presence of his Lord and Divinity in truth. When a Muslim is in distress, he or she may perform Solāh al-Hajat: “… Call upon Me, I will answer you…” (Ghafir, 40: 60). It may be done with no restrictions to certain number of raka’ahs or supplicating only the narrated duā’s. 

The Mālikis, Hanbalis, Ash-Shāfi’ies and some Hanafis view that it consists of two raka’at. But some Hanafis say that it consists of four raka‘at and others say that it is a twelve-raka`at Solāh. Al-Shāfi‘ies held the Solāh al-Hajat falls under an optional solāh established by individuals.

And, Allāh Almighty Knows best.

[Adapted from: Islam Q&A Fatwa No: 2161 by Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid; On Islam by Dr. Mahmud Al-Khayami (2010/11/10)]

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