Some Verdicts Pertaining to Du’a
By Al-Imam An-Nawawi (rahimahullāh)
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. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Messenger
1496. Usamah bin Zaid (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said, “He who is favoured by another and says to his benefactor: ‘Jazak-Allah khairan (May Allah reward you well)’ indeed praised (the benefactor) satisfactorily.”
Commentary: If one is unable to return someone’s kindness with kindness, he should say, “Jazak-Allahu khairan (May Allah reward you well).” This means: “I am unable to reciprocate your kindness. May Allah grant you the best reward for it.” Obviously there is no match for the reward that one gets from Allah. For this reason the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) said that it was the best of the praise for a benefactor.
1497. Jabir (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “Do not invoke curses on yourself or on your children or on your possessions lest you should happen to do it at a moment when the supplications are accepted, and your prayer might be granted.”
Commentary: Almighty Allah always listens to everyone’s prayer but He has fixed certain times when He grants more prayers addressed to Him. Therefore, one should never curse oneself or one’s own children or one’s own business, etc., lest this is done at the time when prayers are accepted by Allah and then one has to regret it all his life.
1498. Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu`anhu) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “A slave becomes nearest to his Rabb when he is in prostration. So increase supplications in prostrations.”
Commentary: This Hadith points out the excellence of supplicating while prostrating in Solat, as one gets closer to Allah in this position.
1499. Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam): “The supplication of every one of you will be granted if he does not get impatient and say (for example): ‘I supplicated my Rabb but my prayer has not been granted’.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
The narration of Muslim is: “The supplication of a slave continues to be granted as long as he does not supplicate for a sinful thing or for something that would cut off the ties of kinship and he does not grow impatient.” It was said: “O Messenger of Allah! What does growing impatient mean?” He (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said, “It is one’s saying: ‘I supplicated again and again but I do not think that my prayer will be answered.’ Then he becomes frustrated (in such circumstances) and gives up supplication altogether.”
Commentary: We learn from this Hadith that one should continue beseeching Allah without ever thinking that in spite of praying for a long time, his prayer has not been granted. One should never allow frustration to overcome in his mind. If a person’s supplication is not granted for a long time, there would be certainly some good for him in that delay the reason of which is known to Allah Alone. It is, therefore, essential that he should never cease to pray whether his prayer is granted or not. Persistence in prayer is certainly beneficial to him.
1500. Abu Umamah (radiyallāhu`anhu) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) was asked: “At what time does the supplication find the greatest response?” He (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) replied, “A supplication made during the middle of the last part of the night and after the conclusion of the obligatory prayers.”
Commentary: “Al-’Akhir” is the characteristic of “Jauf” and in the present context it means the late hours of night. “Jauf” can also mean here “middle”, that is in the later-half of the night.
In other words, if the night is divided between two equal parts then it (Jauf) would be the middle of the second part. In either case it is the time of the night which in other Ahadith has been termed as the third part of the night. It is the time when Almighty Allah comes to descend on the sky of this world.
Prayers are also granted by Allah after the obligatory Solat.
1501. ‘Ubadah bin As-Samit (radiyallāhu`anhu) said: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “Whenever a Muslim supplicates Allah, He accepts his supplication or averts any similar kind of trouble from him until he prays for something sinful or something that may break the ties of kinship.” Upon this someone of the Companions said: “Then we shall supplicate plenty.” The Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) said, “Allah is more plentiful (in responding).”
Commentary: We learn from this Hadith that prayer (supplication) is beneficial to us in any case, because Almighty Allah either grants the prayer we make, or if the supplication is not being accepted, He removes some future trouble that was destined for us, or He grants us in full in the Hereafter.
A Muslim should never feel shy of praying to Allah. In fact, he should persistently pray because there is no end to His Treasures.
1502. Ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallāhu'anhu) said: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) used to say when he was in distress: “La ilaha illallahul-Azimul-Halim. La ilaha illallahu Rabbul-’Arshil-’Azim. La ilaha illallahu Rabbus-samawati, wa Rabbul-ardi, wa Rabbul-’Arshil-Karim. (None has the right to be worshipped but Allah the Incomparably Great, the Compassionate. None has the right to be worshipped but Allah the Rabb of the Mighty Throne. None has the right to be worshipped but Allah the Rabb of the heavens, the Rabb of the earth, and the Rabb of the Honourable Throne).”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: The only medicine in a time of distress is the remembrance of Allah Whose Help alone should be sought. This Du’a contains words which glorify Allah and exalt Him far above all else. It is desirable to recite these words when one is in distress as this is exactly what the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) used to recite in such situations.
And Allāh Almighty Knows best.
[Excerpted from "Some Verdicts Pertaining to Du’a (Supplications) Chapter 252, Riyad-Us-Saliheen", Compiled by Al-Imam Abu Zakariya Yahya bin Sharaf An-Nawawi Ad-Dimashqi Via Guided Ways]