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Things to pray for
Edited by Adil Salahi

We have a large number of Hadiths which report some prayers by the Prophet. Many of these include requests for ordinary things which everyone would like to enjoy in life, such as good health, a life of plenty, a refined nature, good manners, etc. There is hardly any quality that makes anyone of us a better person which is not mentioned in the Prophet’s supplication.

It is needless to say that having such qualities makes us better Muslims and as such, draws us nearer to God and makes us more likely to earn the greatest prize of all, namely, admittance into heaven. For example, the Prophet highlights in his prayer the qualities of forbearance and shows that it is a quality to earn much reward from God when exercised in human dealings.

A person who shows much forbearance is thus praised by people and rewarded by God.

Much of the Prophet’s supplication is also geared toward the hereafter. Seeking God’s forgiveness features very highly in his supplication because when a person is forgiven sins, he escapes punishment. That is a great feat indeed.

He will also be rewarded for his good deeds and that is sufficient to tilt the balance in his favor. Since everyone of us is liable to commit sins, some of which may be very serious, we need to pray for forgiveness all the time. We cannot do better than following the Prophet’s example and using his own supplication in this regard. Let us consider here some examples of his supplication.

Abu Hurairah quotes the Prophet as saying: “The supplication most likely to be answered is to say: You are my Lord and I am your servant. I have wronged myself and I do acknowledge my wrong actions. Only You forgive wrong actions. My Lord, forgive me.” (Related by Al-Bukhari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad and Ahmad). The Arabic version of this supplication is as follows: “Allahumma anta rabbi wa’ana abduk, thalamtu nafsi wa’taraftu bithanbi, la yaghfiru athunooba illa ant. Rabbi ighfir li.”

The first thing to note about this supplication is the acknowledgment of the Lordship of God and the reiteration of the relationship between Him and His servants.

This is always the right approach. Once we acknowledge this relationship and we are fully aware of its implications, we put ourselves on the right course to receive God’s grace.

It is He who has promised to answer our supplication as he says in the Qur’an: “Your Lord says: Pray Me and I will answer you.” The acknowledgment of His Lordship is, then, the key to answering our prayers.

The second point is the acknowledgment of the fact that when we commit sins we wrong ourselves, because we incur God’s displeasure and expose ourselves to His punishment. This can only be avoided by seeking His forgiveness. This acknowledgment of our sins is made in a private address we make to God. Hence, it is acceptable.

It must be distinguished from the sort of boasting some hardened sinners may indulge in when they tell others about what they have committed. A person of this type may speak of his, say, drinking and participation in an orgy, or he may boast about robbing other people and making away with their property in order to show his strength. This is an added sin he commits, which makes forgiveness even more difficult for him to obtain. When we acknowledge our sins before God, we are actually blaming ourselves and expressing our repentance. The final point is the acknowledgment that only God forgives sins and wrongs. As such, we pray Him to forgive us.

A companion of the Prophet said to him once: “Messenger of God, teach me a supplication which benefits me. He said: “My Lord, protect me from the evil of my hearing and my sight, and my tongue and my heart and from the evil of my sperm.” (Related by Al-Bukhari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, An-Nassaie, and Abu Dawood.) In Arabic this supplication is pronounced as follows: “Allahumma ‘aafini min sharri sam’ie wa bassari wa lissani wa qalbi wa sharri maniyi.”

In this supplication, the Prophet teaches us to request God’s protection against what sins we may do with our senses and other organs.” The evil of hearing is to listen to backbiting, obscenities, falsehood, perjury. If we deliberately sit with people who engage in such foul talk, we share with them their sins.

This is the evil of our hearing. It is needless to say that if we hear such things by coincidence, without taking part in them, or seeking to hear them, we are not accounted for that.

The evil of eyesight is to look deliberately at what is forbidden or to look at sins being committed by others, condoning them. It is also evil to look stealthily at what we should turn our eyes away from. The evil of our tongues is to utter falsehood of any sort. That of our hearts is to entertain evil thoughts.

The last type of evil we request God’s protection from is that of our sexual desires, whether it is fornication or its preliminaries.

Abdullah ibn Abbas reports that he heard the Prophet saying the following supplication: “My Lord, help me and do not help anyone against me. Support me and do not support anyone against me. Scheme for me and do not scheme against me. Facilitate for me the following of right guidance. Grant me Your aid against anyone who unjustly attacks me. My Lord, make me grateful to you, always remembering you, fearful of You, obedient to You and humble before You and make me tender-hearted, penitent.

Accept my repentance, wash away my wrong actions and answer my supplication. Establish my proof and guide my heart, let my tongue always say the truth and purge my heart of all evil thought.” (Related by Al-Bukhari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, Abu Dawood, At-Tirrnithi and Ibn Majah). The Arabic version of this supplication is as follows: “Rabbi a’inni wa la tu’in alay, wansurni wa la tansur alay, wamkur li wa la tamkur alay, wa yasir li al huda, wansurni ala man bagha alay. Rabbi ij’alni shakkaran lak, thakkaran rahiban lak, mitwa’an, mukhbitan lak, awwahan muneeban. Taqabbal tawbati wa aghsil hawbati, wa ajib da’wati, wathbbit hujjati, wahdi qalbi, wa sadded lissani, wasslul sakheemata qalbi.”
This supplication is an all-comprehensive one which does not need any comment from me.

If we learn it and get used to saying it after our prayers or any other time, we stand to receive much help from God in all respects.


For the inculcation of His love, Allah granted humanity a beating heart; and for the acquisition of knowledge, Allah gave human beings acute minds. Thus, the sustenance of the heart is love and the sustenance of the mind is sacred knowledge. Love alone leads to deviant innovations, and it is knowledge that restores a balanced equilibrium. Knowledge alone leads to arrogant pride and it is love that restores modesty and humility.


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