Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research

A Du’a a Day: Prophetic Prayers for Ramadan

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيم

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Beneficent

Download the digital version here.

Table of Contents:

Introduction

Section 1: Prayers for guidance and forgiveness

Introductory paragraph

  • (1.1) Prayer for guidance and integrity
  • (1.2) Prayer for ease in following guidance 
  • (1.3) Prayer for taqwá and purification of the soul
  • (1.4) Best prayer for seeking forgiveness (sayyid al-istighfār)
  • (1.5) Prayer in sujūd for forgiveness of all sins 
  • (1.6) Seeking forgiveness to start and conclude the prayer 
  • (1.7) Prayer for steadfastness upon Islam 
  • (1.8) Prayer for steadfastness and determination
  • (1.9) Prayer for comprehensive light 

Section 2: Building good habits

Introductory paragraph

  • (2.10) The most frequent prayer of the Prophet ﷺ
  • (2.11) Prayer at the beginning of your daily ṣalāh
  • (2.12) Prayer at the end of every ṣalāh
  • (2.13) Always seek refuge from these three
  • (2.14) Seek refuge from these four

Section 3: Praying for others

Introductory paragraph

  • (3.15) Prayers for the Prophet ﷺ and his family
  • (3.16) Prayer for our parents
  • (3.17) Prayer to make our spouses and children the delight of our eyes
  • (3.18) Prayer for Allah’s righteous servants
  • (3.19) Prayer for showing appreciation
  • (3.20) Prayer for those who have preceded us in faith

Section 4: The last ten nights

Introductory paragraph

  • (4.21) Prayer for laylat al-qadr
  • (4.22) Prayer for the beginning of qiyām al-layl
  • (4.23) Prayers made in qiyām 
  • (4.24) A comprehensive prayer
  • (4.25) A comprehensive prayer (Continued)
  • (4.26) Longing to meet Allah
  • (4.27) Prayer for a good ending
  • (4.28) Prayer for the correction of one’s affairs
  • (4.29) A comprehensive prayer to conclude the month

Introduction

All Praise is for Allah, Lord of the Universe, the Only One worthy of worship. Peace and blessings be upon the final messenger Muhammad ﷺ and all those who follow his way with righteousness until the end of time. He taught us how to worship our Lord and his teachings are sufficient for us, exemplifying the best manner of calling on Allah.

One of the greatest acts of devotion that we can perform in the blessed month of Ramadan, and at any other time of the year for that matter, is supplication (duʿāʾ). The Prophet ﷺ said, “Supplication is (the essence) of worship.”[1] Every act of worship carries an explicit duʿāʾ (such as prayer) or an implicit duʿāʾ by which we ask Allah to accept whatever good deed we are doing. 

The best supplications are taken verbatim from the Qur’an and Sunnah. Some of them are more powerful and concise than others, while some are more appropriate to a specific context. The Prophet ﷺ once passed by his wife Juwayrīyah who had been supplicating in her place from the time of fajr until after sunrise. He ﷺ said to her, “I said four statements after I left you, three times each. If these words were weighed against whatever you have said since this morning, it would surely outweigh them: Glory be to Allah and His praise by the number of His creation, by His pleasure, by the weight of His Throne, and by the vastness of His words.”[2] 

We should strive to memorize prophetic supplications and utilize them often. If we are unable to do so, then understanding them and utilizing their translations can suffice. Prophetic words have a special impact on the heart, particularly because of the rich meaning of the original Arabic and the wisdom of the All-Wise Who revealed them to him. We must also strive to cleanse our hearts of arrogance, lowly desires, and other such spiritual flaws in order to maximize the positive impact duʿāʾ can have upon us. Duʿāʾ itself is a means of purification of the soul.

While it is permissible to supplicate in our own wordings in any language, it is also possible to transgress in supplication. This can happen if we do not follow the proper etiquette or conform to the Qur’an and Sunnah. ʿAbdullāh ibn Mughaffal (ra) heard his son supplicating, “O Allah, I ask You for the white palace on the right side of paradise when I enter it.” ʿAbdullāh said, “O my son, ask Allah for paradise and seek refuge in Him from the hellfire, for I heard Allah’s Messenger ﷺ say: There will come some people who will transgress in ritual purification and in duʿāʾ.”[3] In this instance, going into such detail and asking for very specific things is frowned upon. ʿĀʾishah said, “Allah’s Messenger ﷺ used to like comprehensive duʿāʾ and would leave off other kinds.”[4] This is why it is so important to adhere to the etiquette of duʿāʾ.

How to use the book

In total there are twenty-nine supplications in this small booklet. They revolve around four themes pertinent to the month of Ramadan: guidance, good habits, prayers for others, and supplications specific to the last ten nights. However, our goal is not simply that you memorize the duʿāʾ. We want you to understand the duʿāʾ. This is why we have added a brief overview of each duʿāʾ to help you better understand its meaning. We recommend following the booklet in order, devoting each day to reading one duʿāʾ, its translation, context, overview, and notable benefits. We also recommend memorizing these supplications and adding them to your daily acts of worship. If you dedicate just a few minutes daily, you will complete this booklet by the end of Ramadan inshāʾAllāh.

I. Prayers for guidance and forgiveness 

All of us are in perpetual need of Allah’s guidance. This is why Allah prescribed for us to recite Sūrat al-Fātiḥah in each unit of the five daily prayers, containing the duʿāʾ, “Guide us to the straight path.”[5] Without guidance from Allah, we could not worship or serve Him properly. Life would be very confusing and its purpose would be unclear. We are always in need of guidance: we need Allah to show us the right path, we need Him to help us walk that path, and we need Him to maintain that guidance for us until we reach our destination.

(1.1) Prayer for guidance and integrity

اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِنِي وَسَدِّدْنِي

Allāhumma ihdinī wa-saddidnī   

Translation: O Allah, guide me and keep me upright. [Muslim]

Context: This is a duʿāʾ that the Prophet ﷺ taught his younger cousin and great companion, ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (may Allah be pleased with him). Imam Muslim narrates that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said to ʿAlī: Say, “O Allah, guide me and keep me upright. When you mention guidance, visualize the straight path, and when you consider sadād, think of aiming an arrow straight at its target.”[6] 

Overview: This is a truly wonderful duʿāʾ that is brief yet comprehensive. When we ask Allah for guidance we are really asking for knowledge of the truth and the ability to adhere to it. Guidance is essential for success in this life and the next. It is through this guidance that we set goals that are pleasing to Allah and follow a path that leads to Paradise. However, in order to achieve these goals, we need to remain upright on the straight path and not deviate from it. This is the meaning of sadād. Imām Al-Nawawī mentioned that the sadād of the arrow is aiming it straight. So when we ask Allah for sadād we are asking Him to grant us success by making us upright and straight in all of our affairs.[7] 

This is the beginning of the blessed month of Ramadan. Beginnings tend to be met with fervor and excitement. If we have fasted before, we may rely on our past experience and not realize how much we need Allah’s guidance. We may think that it is simply our willpower that will get us through the day of fasting. However, it will not happen without Allah’s guidance. The Prophet ﷺ himself said, “O Allah, had You not guided us, we would not have given charity or performed prayer.”[8] 

Furthermore, embarking on the path is no guarantee that we will stay on the path or complete the task. The Prophet ﷺ was reminding ʿAlī of this when he said to him “think of aiming an arrow straight at its target.” A minor defect in the arrow, a gust of wind, or any other unexpected occurrence can cause an arrow to miss its target. A person might be in the right place at the right time (i.e., they have been guided to the right path), but it does not guarantee that the target will be hit (this is sadād). This is why we must ask Allah for both guidance and sadād.

Notable Benefits:

  1. ‘Alī was one of the greatest companions. He was one of the first to accept Islam. He was from the family of the Prophet ﷺ and married the Prophet’s ﷺ daughter. He was even one of the rightly-guided Caliphs (al-khulafāʾ al-rāshidūn). Despite this elevated status, the Prophet ﷺ taught him to ask Allah for guidance. This shows us how important it is for every believer to ask Allah for guidance, regardless of their status.
  2. The Prophet ﷺ not only taught ʿAlī what to say, he taught him what to think about when he is asking Allah! This helps to ensure that one’s heart will be focused when invoking Allah and not preoccupied with something else.
  3. Guidance is what we ask from Allah in every single rakʿah of every alāh, “Guide us on the straight path.” Allah not only shows us the straight path, but He assists us in staying firm upon it until we reach our destination of paradise by His grace and mercy.

Asking for guidance is an essential part of our religion, but following that guidance is not always easy. Implementing what we know to be true often involves overcoming bad habits or controlling our base desires. Therefore, we should also ask Allah to make following the guidance easy for us.

(1.2) Prayer for the ease of following guidance 

 رَبِّ اهْدِنِي وَيَسِّرِ الْهُدَى لِي

Rabbi ihdinī wa-yassir al-hudá lī

Translation: “My Lord, guide me and make guidance easy for me.” [al-Tirmidhī, Abū Dāwūd, and Ibn Mājah]

Context: This duʿāʾ is part of a longer yet powerful supplication, which is narrated to us by ʿAbdullāh ibn ʿAbbās, a younger cousin of the Prophet ﷺ and one of the most notable youth around the Messenger ﷺ. He would later become an illustrious scholar of Islam. The full supplication is as follows:

My Lord, help me and do not give help against me; grant me victory and do not grant victory over me; plan on my behalf and do not plan against me; guide me and make right guidance easy for me; and grant me victory over those who act wrongfully towards me. My Lord, make me grateful to You, mindful of You, full of fear of You, devoted to Your obedience, humble before You, earnest in supplication, and penitent. My Lord, accept my repentance, wash away my sin, answer my supplication, clearly establish my evidence, make true my tongue, guide my heart, and remove any malice from my breast.[9]

Overview: In this duʿāʾ, we learn the invaluable importance of Allah’s divine guidance. We learn this from the fact that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ is the best of humankind and the most guided. The whole purpose of his prophethood was to explain Allah’s guidance to humanity, yet some of his most frequent supplications were to ask for Allah’s guidance. This demonstrates to us the utter necessity of Allah’s guidance in every aspect of our lives and how we must never take it for granted.

“Make guidance easy for me” is a request that Allah make the means of doing good easily accessible to us, such that obedience to Him will not be abnormally difficult or burdensome. We are asking Allah to give us a positive attitude, the right environment, good companions, and everything else that makes the path of guidance easier for us to follow.

Notable Benefits:

  1. All believers are in need of divine guidance, even the prophets.
  2. Acting upon Allah’s guidance requires sacrifice, struggle, courage, and commitment. Hence we ask Allah to make it easy for us.

One of the primary goals of guidance is the purification of our souls. When asking Allah for guidance, we must also ask him to purify our souls and grant us taqwá, which is the ultimate goal of fasting this blessed month of Ramadan.

(1.3) Prayer for taqwá and purification of the soul

  اللَّهُمَّ آتِ نَفْسِي تَقْوَاهَا وَزَكِّهَا أَنْتَ خَيْرُ مَنْ زَكَّاهَا أَنْتَ وَلِيُّهَا وَمَوْلاَهَا

Allāhumma āti nafsī taqwāhā wa-zakkihā anta khayru man zakkāhā anta walīyuhā wa-mawlāhā

Translation: O Allah, give my soul (nafs) its God-fearing righteousness (taqwá) and purify it, for You are the best to purify it. You are its Protector and its Guardian. [Muslim]

Context:  This duʿāʾ is part of a longer supplication as follows: 

O Allah, I seek refuge in You from disability, laziness, cowardice, miserliness, senility, and the punishment of the grave. O Allah, grant my soul a sense of righteousness and purify it, for You are the best to purify it. You are its Protector and its Guardian. O Allah, I seek refuge in You from knowledge that does not benefit, from a heart that is not reverent, from a soul that is not content, and from a supplication that is not answered.[10]

Overview: In this duʿāʾ, we learn about the importance of the heart, mind, and soul. We also learn about the importance of cleansing them of spiritual flaws (e.g., laziness) and tangible ailments (e.g., senility), as well as nurturing them upon faith and devotion to Allah. This can only be achieved with the help of Allah. Allah alone is the Creator of the human soul and ultimately He is the only One who can purify us. Hence our need to supplicate to Him. 

As we enter into this blessed month, we are reminded that the goal is not to simply deprive ourselves of our natural appetites. The ultimate goal of this exercise of restraint is to attain taqwá, which literally means to shield oneself from something undesirable and to be on guard. The purpose of a shield is to protect, so taqwá protects a person from the displeasure of Allah. Out of the fear of His displeasure, one avoids sins and seeks to perform good to save themselves from His punishment. This is why Allah refers to taqwá as ‘the best provision.’[11]

Notable Benefits:

  1. Supplications such as these have powerful purifying effects upon the soul when said with conviction, persistence, and proper etiquette. In fact, no one can succeed in the hereafter unless they come to Allah with a “pure heart.”[12] We need to attain a pure heart in this life, lest we suffer dire consequences on the Day of Resurrection.
  2. This duʿāʾ is particularly relevant to Ramadan because the purpose of fasting is to achieve taqwá, which is what we are asking Allah for in this supplication. Without Allah’s aid, our fasting will not have the desired effect.

The primary method of purifying our souls and cleansing our hearts is to seek forgiveness for our shortcomings and sins. Therefore, istighfār should also be a part of our daily supplications.

(1.4) Best prayer for seeking forgiveness (sayyid al-istighfār)

اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ رَبِّي لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ خَلَقْتَنِي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ وَأَنَا عَلَى عَهْدِكَ وَوَعْدِكَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا صَنَعْتُ أَبُوءُ لَكَ بِنِعْمَتِكَ عَلَىَّ وَأَبُوءُ لَكَ بِذَنْبِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي فَإِنَّهُ لاَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ 

Allāhumma anta rabbī lā ilāha illā anta khalaqtanī wa-anā ʿabduka wa-anā ʿalá ʿahdika wa-waʿdika mā’istaṭaʿtu aʿūdhu bika min sharri mā ṣanaʿtu abūʾu laka bi-niʿmatika ʿalayya wa-abūʾu laka bidhanbī fa’ighfir lī fa-innahu lā yaghfir al-dhunūba illā ant

Translation: “O Allah, You are my Lord, there is no God but You. You created me and I am Your servant, and I abide by Your covenant and promise (to honor it) as best as I can. I seek refuge in You from the evil that I have committed. I acknowledge Your favor upon me, and I acknowledge my sin, so forgive me, for surely none can forgive sins but You.” [al-Bukhārī]

Context: The Prophet ﷺ told us that this is the greatest way to ask forgiveness from Allah (sayyid al-istighfār). After teaching us the wording of this duʿāʾ, the Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever says this in the day with conviction and dies before evening, he will be among the people of Paradise. Whoever says this in the night with conviction and dies before morning, he will be among the people of Paradise.”[13] This promise, of course, is predicated on meeting the conditions and etiquette of duʿāʾ.

Overview: Among the reasons this duʿāʾ is so important is because of the themes and topics it contains. These themes include the Oneness of Allah, His Lordship over us, and the purpose of life. Allah created us and our purpose of existence is to surrender to His servitude. We must dedicate our lives to fulfill His covenant and promise to do the best we can. In addition, we recognize Allah’s many favors upon us and acknowledge our sins, shortcomings, and mistakes, confessing to Allah that we need His forgiveness. ‘Forgiveness’ (maghfirah) from Allah refers to Him concealing our sins and protecting us from their evil consequences. 

Notable Benefits:  

  1. This duʿāʾ is the best way to ask for Allah’s forgiveness.
  2. Allah promises to forgive us if we sincerely repent to Him, as in the verse, “Whoever commits evil or wrongs himself, but then seeks forgiveness from Allah, will find Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”[14]
  3. Seeking forgiveness from Allah protects us from punishment, as He said, “Allah would not punish them while they seek His forgiveness.”[15] Ibn ʿAbbās explained, “In the time of the Prophet ﷺ, there were two divine protections against misfortune: the presence of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ and seeking forgiveness. The first has been taken away, but seeking forgiveness remains.”[16]

Just as the Prophet ﷺ taught us to seek Allah’s forgiveness in the morning and the evening, he would often seek Allah’s forgiveness while in prayer. We should remember our major and minor sins and seek forgiveness for them, especially in prostration (sujūd)

(1.5) Prayer in sujūd for forgiveness of all sins 

 اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لي ذَنْبِي كُلَّهُ دِقَّهُ وجِلَّهُ وأَوَّلَهُ وآخِرَهُ وعَلانِيَتَهُ وسِرَّهُ

Allāhumma ighfir lī dhanbī kullahu diqqahu wa-jillahu wa-awwalahu wa-ākhirahu wa-ʿalāniyatahu wa-sirrahu

Translation: O Allah, forgive all of my sins: the small and great, the first and the last, the public and the private. [Muslim]

Context: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ would say this duʿāʾ when he was in prostration (sujūd) in prayer.[17]

Overview: We learn from this duʿāʾ that we must take care of our faith by doing righteous deeds to offset our sins, shortcomings, and mistakes. We first ask Allah to forgive all of our sins, then we mention those sins in detail. This helps us to remember our wrongdoings, which makes us more submissive and humble in our request for forgiveness. The Prophet ﷺ would seek forgiveness for even the smallest of mistakes, which we would not consider a big deal! His Lord, indeed, held him to the highest standards as our greatest example.

Notable Benefits:

  1. One of the best times to supplicate is in the prostration part of the prayer, as the Prophet ﷺ said, “The servant is closest to his Lord during prostration, so increase your supplications therein.”[18]
  2. We learn not to belittle the seeming insignificance of our minor sins, but rather consider the Greatness of the One we have sinned against. Bilāl ibn Saʿīd used to say, “Look not at the smallness of the sin, but rather at the One Whom you have disobeyed.”[19]
  3. Not only must we be concerned about discontinuing habits involving minor sins, we should also not lose hope in being forgiven for our major sins if we sincerely fulfill all of the conditions of repentance. Ibn ʿAbbās said, “No sin is too enormous if forgiveness is sought, and no sin is too small if committed stubbornly.”[20]

The Prophet ﷺ would frequently make this duʿāʾ while prostrating in prayer. He ﷺ  would also seek forgiveness at the beginning and end of prayer. 

(1.6) Seeking forgiveness to start and conclude the prayer

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي مَا قَدَّمْتُ وَمَا أَخَّرْتُ وَمَا أَسْرَرْتُ وَمَا أَعْلَنْتُ أَنْتَ الْمُقَدِّمُ وَأَنْتَ الْمُؤَخِّرُ وَأَنْتَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

Allāhumma ighfir lī mā qaddamtu wa-mā akhkhartu wa-mā asrartu wa-mā aʿlantu anta al-muqaddimu wa-anta al-muʾakhkhiru wa-anta ʿalá kulli shayʾin qadīr

Translation: “O Allah, forgive me for my past and future sins, what I have done secretly and what I have done openly. You are the One who brings forward (al-Muqaddim), and the One who delays (al-Muʾakhkhir), and You have power over all things.” [al-Bukhārī and Muslim]

Context: Abū Mūsá al-Ashʿarī mentioned that the Prophet ﷺ would say the following duʿāʾ

O Allah, forgive me my faults, my ignorance, my excess in all my affairs, and what You know better than me of these things. O Allah, forgive me for what is serious and trivial, mistaken and deliberate, for I am guilty of all of that. O Allah, forgive me for my past and future sins, what I have done secretly and what I have done openly. You are the One who brings forward (al-Muqaddim), and the One who delays (al-Muʾakhkhir), and You have power over all things.[21]

Abū Mūsá did not specify when the Prophet ﷺ would say this supplication. However, ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib reports that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ would say these words at the beginning of the night prayer, as well as at the end of prayer before pronouncing the final invocation of peace (taslīm).[22]

Overview: This duʿāʾ is similar to the previous one. It is part of human nature to fall into sins, but there is a method for the believer to escape the trap. We turn back to Allah and acknowledge our sins, shortcomings, and mistakes. We turn away from the sin and to Allah, begging for His forgiveness, for sins detract from Allah’s pleasure with us and the blessings He has bestowed upon us.

Notable Benefits:  

  1. This duʿāʾ has been narrated by a number of companions. Based on the combination of their reports, this duʿāʾ is best said to start the night prayer and can also be said before the final taslīm of daily prayers.
  2. In line with this duʿāʾ, we should say “I seek forgiveness from Allah” (astaghfirullāh) three times after the prayer. Scholars have explained that the wisdom in this practice is that it reminds us that our worship of Allah is actually a favor He has bestowed upon us. Therefore, upon completion of any good deed, no matter how perfectly we think we have done it, we are always in need of Allah’s forgiveness for any shortcomings within it.

We have been asking Allah for His guidance and forgiveness. As we come to the conclusion of our first week of fasting and increasing in duʿāʾ, we should feel closer to Allah. It is important that we ask Allah to keep us steadfast upon guidance. 

(1.7) Prayer for steadfastness upon Islam

يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِي عَلَى دِينِكَ

Yā muqallib al-qulūb thabbit qalbī ʿalá dīnik 

Translation: O Turner of hearts, set firm my heart upon Your religion. [al-Tirmidhī]

Context: Umm Salamah, the wife of the Prophet ﷺ, was asked, “O Mother of the Believers, what was the supplication that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said most frequently when he was with you?” She said, “The supplication he said most frequently was: ‘O Turner of hearts, set my heart firm upon Your religion.’ So I said: O Messenger of Allah, why do you supplicate so frequently with, ‘O Turner of hearts, set my heart firm upon Your religion.’ He said, ‘O Umm Salamah! Verily, there is no human being but that his heart is between two fingers of the fingers of Allah, so whomever He wills He makes steadfast, and whomever He wills He causes to deviate.’”[23]

In another instance, Anas ibn Mālik reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to say often, “O Turner of hearts, set my heart firm upon your religion.” So I said: O Messenger of Allah, we have faith in you and believe in everything you have been sent with, so are you afraid for us? He said, “Yes. Verily, the hearts are between two fingers from the fingers of Allah. He turns them however He wills.”[24]

Overview: In this duʿāʾ, we learn the importance of a sound believing heart and the great emphasis the Prophet ﷺ placed upon it, as it was among his most frequent supplications to ask Allah to guide his heart and establish it firmly upon the religion of Islam.

Notable Benefits:

  1. The heart is literally the center of our being and must be safeguarded from evil influences. If we allow the whisperings of Satan or the whims of the ego to overcome it, it could very well ruin our entire being. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Verily, in the body is a piece of flesh which, if sound, the entire body is sound, but if corrupt, the entire body is corrupt. Truly, it is the heart.”[25]
  2. It is the nature of the heart to often change from state to state. In this regard, the Prophet ﷺ said, “The parable of the heart is that of a feather blown about by the wind of the desert.”[26] The heart changes according to many different factors, including what we expose ourselves to, our inward and outward actions, and our emotional states. This duʿāʾ teaches us to stay focused and prioritize protecting our hearts by regularly asking Allah to keep them attached to Islam and to act accordingly.
  3. We are not entitled to guidance, nor can we guarantee that we will remain guided or die as believers. Thus, we must continually ask Allah for guidance and to keep our hearts firm upon Islam.

When asking Allah for steadfastness, we can get more specific and ask for steadfastness in practicing the religion and following the guidance, as the next supplication demonstrates.

(1.8) Prayer for steadfastness and determination

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الثَّبَاتَ فِي الْأَمْرِ وَالْعَزِيمَةَ عَلَى الرُّشْدِ

Allāhumma innī asʾaluka al-thabāta fī-al-amri wa-al-ʿazīmata ʿalá al-rushd    

Translation: “O Allah, I ask You for steadfastness in the matter (of religion) and I ask You for determination upon guidance.” [al-Tirmidhī and al-Nasāʾī]

Context: This duʿāʾ is part of a longer supplication which the companion Shaddād ibn Aws said that the Prophet ﷺ used to say in his ṣalāh and taught the companions to say as well. Shaddād would also teach this duʿāʾ to others: 

O Allah, I ask You for steadfastness in the matter (of religion) and I ask You for determination upon guidance, and I ask You to make me grateful for Your favor, and for excellence in worshipping You, and I ask You for a truthful tongue and a sound heart, and I seek refuge in You from the evil of what You know, and I ask You for the good of what You know, and I seek Your forgiveness for that which You know. Verily, You are the Knower of all that is hidden.[27]

Overview: This duʿāʾ is very similar to the first two supplications in this collection. They all touch upon similar themes such as the importance of Allah’s guidance, as well as understanding that guidance requires proper intention, determination, and sacrifice. As Muslims, we understand the light of faith is Allah’s greatest gift to us and we must never take it for granted. Rather, we always thank Allah for it and ask Him to increase our guidance and give us the discipline and courage to act in accordance with it.

Notable Benefits:  

  1. The companions were enthusiastic to share the teachings of Islam with subsequent generations, which includes us! Shaddād ibn Aws taught this great supplication to a follower (tābiʿī, a student of a companion) from the tribe of Ḥanẓalah.
  2. Nothing the Prophet ﷺ taught us is too insignificant to share, as he said, “Convey from me, even a single verse (āyah).”[28]

All of these things that we ask Allah for related to guidance are part of the light of Allah in our lives. One of the best supplications we can make is to ask for light to illuminate every aspect of our lives.

(1.9) Prayer for comprehensive light

اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ فِي قَلْبِي نُورًا وَفِي بَصَرِي نُورًا وَفِي سَمْعِي نُورًا وَعَنْ يَمِينِي نُورًا وَعَنْ يَسَارِي نُورًا وَفَوْقِي نُورًا وَتَحْتِي نُورًا وَأَمَامِي نُورًا وَخَلْفِي نُورًا وَاجْعَلْ لِي نُورًا

Allāhumma ijʿal fī qalbī nūran wa-fī baṣarī nūran wa-fī samʿī nūran wa-ʿan yamīnī nūran wa-ʿan yasārī nūran wa-fawqī nūran wa-taḥtī nūran wa-amāmī nūran wa-khalfī nūran wa-ijʿal lī nūran

Translation: O Allah, place light in my heart, and light in my seeing and light in my hearing, and light on my right and light on my left, and light above me and light below me, and light in front of me and light behind me. [O Allah], grant me light!  [al-Bukhārī and Muslim]

Context: Ibn ʿAbbās reported: I spent the night in the house of my mother’s sister, Maymūna. The Prophet ﷺ got up and relieved himself, washed his face and hands, and then went to sleep. He again got up and went to a water-skin, opened the top, and performed wuḍūʾ. He did not use much water, yet he washed thoroughly and then stood up to pray… He prayed thirteen rakʿahs in all and then slept till he began to breathe heavily, which he used to do when he slept. Bilal then came and informed the Prophet ﷺ of the time for (fajr) prayer. The Prophet ﷺ stood for prayer, and his supplication included these words: “O Allah, place light in my heart, light in my hearing, light in my sight, light on my right, light on my left, light in front of me, light behind me, light above me, light below me, make light for me.”[29] 

Overview: In this duʿāʾ, we learn a very important practice: this supplication is one of the ways to prepare ourselves for visiting the most beloved place to Allah, the masjid, the building whose purpose of existence is to facilitate the worship of Allah. We also learn how to prepare ourselves for the prayer, among which is to make the right supplications to put our minds in the right place before the prayer even begins. We are also acknowledging many of Allah’s blessings upon us, like the faculties of sight and hearing, and asking Allah to illuminate them, that we use them to do what is pleasing to Him and beneficial for ourselves. 

Notable Benefits:  

  1. Light is a frequent metaphor in the Qur’an and Sunnah. It could represent guidance, knowledge, life, religion, faith, divine revelation, the prophets, the Qur’an, or sound reasoning. Each of these manifestations of light build upon each other and reinforce each other, as in the famous Qur’anic parable, “Light upon light.”[30] This duʿāʾ is a request for Allah to compound all of the light He has given us.
  2. This duʿāʾ is one of the best supplications to say while walking to the masjid.
  3. The companions like Ibn ʿAbbās were eager to watch the Prophet’s ﷺ every action, practice, and habit. All of our knowledge of the Sunnah is due to their keen observance of his behavior.
  4. The Prophet ﷺ was likewise eager to educate even his youngest companions. Ibn ʿAbbās was an adolescent at the time, yet he would become one of the most prolific and authoritative Muslim scholars of his generation.

The supplications mentioned above all relate to guidance and steadfastness upon that guidance. A primary aspect of guidance is building good habits. Supplications related to this will be covered in the next chapter.

II. Building good habits

ʿĀʾishah (ra) narrated that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “The most beloved deeds to Allah are those done most regularly and consistently, even if they are few.”[31] One of the signs of an accepted Ramadan is an increase in piety. This manifests in noticeable changes to our lives such as new good habits. The development of good habits is part of our spiritual growth. There are many recommended supplications in which we ask Allah to give us the strength and guidance to build good habits. In this section, we will discuss some of these supplications and the good habits we can learn from them. All of the duʿāʾs mentioned in this section are supplications that the Prophet ﷺ would make frequently, often in his ṣalāh.

(2.10) The most frequent prayer of the Prophet ﷺ

اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Allāhumma rabbanā ātinā fī al-dunyā ḥasanatan wa-fī al-ākhirati ḥasanatan wa-qinā ʿadhāb al-nār

Translation: O Allah, our Lord! Give to us in the world that which is good and in the hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire. [al-Bukhārī and Muslim]

Context:  Anas ibn Mālik, the servant of the Prophet ﷺ, noted that this duʿāʾ was the most frequent supplication of the Prophet ﷺ.[32]

Overview: This is a comprehensive duʿāʾ. A man came to the Prophet ﷺ and said, “I don’t know how to hum like you and Muʿādh, but I ask Allah for paradise and I ask him to save me from the fire.” The Prophet ﷺ replied, “It is about this that we are humming.”[33] (When a person is constantly mentioning Allah and calling upon him, you might hear a humming sound.) The sum total of everything that you are asking Allah for—provisions, a good spouse, guidance, light, righteous offspring, etc.—is either from the good of this life or the next, or you’re seeking protection from the fire and those things that lead to it.  

Notable Benefits:

1. Qatādah ibn Diʿāmah al-Sadūsī, one of Anas’s students, asked him about the most frequent duʿāʾ the Prophet ﷺ made. He replied by mentioning the above duʿāʾ. One of the narrators went on to say, “Whenever Anas would supplicate, he would say these exact words. If he wanted to say a different duʿāʾ, he would still include this very supplication [in his other duʿāʾ].”[34]

2. Notice that this duʿāʾ starts with Allāhumma and Rabbanā, combining the attributes of Allah’s divinity and lordship. We also see this in the duʿāʾ of Prophet ʿĪsá who said, “O Allah, our Lord, send down to us a table spread with food from heaven to be a festival for us.” [al-Māʾidah (5):114] This combination is quite rare. The majority of the duʿāʾs from the Qur’an begin with ‘My Lord’ or ‘Our Lord’ (rabbī or rabbanā), while the majority of duʿāʾs from the Sunnah begin with Allāhumma.

3. This duʿāʾ is based upon a duʿāʾ mentioned in the Qur’an, making it a Qur’anic supplication.[35] It is prohibited to recite the Qur’an in prostration (sujūd). However, you can recite this duʿāʾ in prostration, as the Prophet ﷺ did, because the intent is calling upon Allah, not recitation of the Qur’an.

Say this duʿāʾ the next time you make sujūd. Say it often and ponder over the importance of developing this good habit of asking Allah for the best of both worlds. Part of the good of this world is being consistent in prayer. 

(2.11) Prayer at the beginning of your daily ṣalāh

اللَّهُمَّ بَاعِدْ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ خَطَايَاىَ كَمَا بَاعَدْتَ بَيْنَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ اللَّهُمَّ نَقِّنِي مِنَ الْخَطَايَا كَمَا يُنَقَّى الثَّوْبُ الأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الدَّنَسِ اللَّهُمَّ اغْسِلْ خَطَايَاىَ بِالْمَاءِ وَالثَّلْجِ وَالْبَرَدِ

Allāhumma bāʿid baynī wa-bayna khaṭāyāya kamā bāʿadta bayna al-mashriqi wa-al-maghrib. Allāhumma naqqinī min khaṭāyāya kamā yunaqqá al-thawb al-abyaḍu min al-danas. Allāhumma ighsil khaṭāyāya bi-al-māʾi wa-al-thalji wa-al-barad

Translation: O Allah, distance me from my sins as You have distanced the East from the West. O Allah, cleanse me of my transgressions as the white garment is cleansed of stains. O Allah, wash away my sins with water, snow, and hail. [al-Bukhārī and Muslim] 

Context: We learn this duʿāʾ from the companion Abū Hurayrah, who noticed that the Prophet ﷺ would say something silently after the opening takbīr of prayer, but before reciting Sūrat al-Fātiḥah.

Abū Hurayrah said: Allah’s Messenger ﷺ used to keep silent between the takbīr and the recitation of Qur’an. That interval of silence used to be short. I said to the Prophet ﷺ, “May my parents be sacrificed for you! What do you say in the pause between takbīr and recitation?” The Prophet ﷺ then mentioned the above duʿāʾ.[36]

Overview: In this duʿāʾ we again learn the importance of seeking Allah’s forgiveness for our sins, and the impact sins have upon the soul. In all three sentences of this duʿāʾ, we are acknowledging our sins and shortcomings and asking Allah to purify and forgive us. 

When we pray to Allah to distance us from our sins, we are asking Him to erase those sins from our account with Him, to completely remove the effects and evil consequences of those sins, and to distance us from the things that caused us to fall into the sins in the first place.  

Notable Benefits:  

  1. We gain a deeper appreciation of the attention and precision the companions had when learning every detail about the Prophet’s ﷺ life. 
  2. There are many different duʿāʾs that the Prophet ﷺ would recite at the beginning of ṣalāh. These supplications are known as duʿāʾ al-istiftāḥ. It is best to learn more than one and alternate between them. 
  3. This is the most authentic duʿāʾ to recite between the takbīr and Sūrat al-Fātiḥah.[37] 

Saying this duʿāʾ is a reminder at the beginning of every prayer that we need Allah’s help to distance us from bad habits. At the end of every prayer, there is another duʿāʾ we can say to help us build good habits.

(2.12) Prayer at the end of every ṣalāh 

 اللَّهُمَّ أَعِنِّي عَلَى ذِكْرِكَ وَشُكْرِكَ وَحُسْنِ عِبَادَتِكَ‏

Allāhumma aʿinnī ʿalá dhikrika wa-shukrika wa-ḥusni ʿibādatik  

Translation: O Allah, aid me in remembering You, thanking You, and worshipping You properly. [al-Nasāʾī and Abū Dāwūd]

Context: We learn this duʿāʾ from an amazing hadith in which Muʿādh ibn Jabal, one of the scholars among the companions, said that the Prophet ﷺ said, “By Allah, I love you, Muʿādh. By Allah, I love you! I advise you to never leave off saying this duʿāʾ at the end of every prayer. ‘O Allah, aid me in remembering You, thanking You, and worshipping You properly.’”[38]

Overview: There is no request better than asking Allah to aid you in pleasing Him. We are in need of Allah’s aid to remember Him with our hearts and praise Him with our tongues. This dhikr of Allah brings tranquility to the heart and peace of mind. Without it, we would truly be lost. 

Thanking Allah is not just something done with the tongue. We need Allah’s aid to be truly grateful for His blessings. This means that we recognize His countless favors, praise Him for them, and use them in a manner that is pleasing to Him. If Allah has blessed us with sight, using that faculty to look at something harām is a form of ingratitude. If Allah has blessed us with hearing, using that faculty to listen to something harām is a form of ingratitude. This is why we need Allah’s aid at all times to be truly grateful to Him.

Worshipping Allah properly means that we do acts of obedience sincerely for Him, seeking only His pleasure. Additionally, those deeds must conform to the teachings of the Messenger ﷺ. In this duʿāʾ, we are implicitly asking Allah to grant us understanding of the religion, for there is no way to worship Him properly without knowledge. 

Notable Benefits

  1. Muʿādh ibn Jabal was a companion of great virtue. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ not only specifically chose him to impart this knowledge, but also informed Mu’adh that he loved him. 
  2. The teaching style of the Prophet ﷺ was very effective. By telling Muʿādh that he loves him before imparting his advice, the Prophet ﷺ is gaining Muʿādh’s full attention and letting him know that he wants good for him. 
  3. Muʿādh advised his student, al-Ṣunābiḥī, to say this duʿāʾ at the end of every prayer. Al-Ṣunābiḥī then advised his student, Abu Abdur-Rahman al-Ḥubulī, to say this duʿāʾ at the end of every prayer. This shows the importance of teaching others what Allah has blessed you to learn.

As we ask Allah for these good habits, we must also seek His Divine protection from harm. Here is another prophetic duʿāʾ that was frequently said at the end of prayer.

(2.13)  Always seek refuge from these three

 اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْكُفْرِ وَالْفَقْرِ وَعَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ

Allāhumma innī aʿūdhu bika min al-kufri wa-al-faqri wa-ʿadhāb al-qabr   

Translation: O Allah I seek refuge in You from disbelief, poverty, and the torment of the grave. [al-Nasāʾī]

Context: Muslim ibn Abī Bakrah, narrated that he heard his father say at the end of his ṣalāh, “O Allah, I seek refuge in You from disbelief (kufr), poverty, and the torment of the grave.” I started to recite them and he said: “O my son, where did you learn these words?” I said: “O my father, I heard you saying this supplication at the end of the prayer, and I learned it from you.” He said: “Continue to recite them, O my son, for the Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to say this supplication at the end of the prayer.”[39]

OverviewKufr is the opposite of faith (īmān) and is also the opposite of gratitude (shukr). When we seek refuge in Allah from kufr, we are asking Him to save us from those things that harm our faith as well as those things that would lead to us being ungrateful for His blessings. 

Poverty refers to a deficiency in, or lack of, something. It often refers to a lack of wealth, which can lead people to be immoral, steal, or even kill, among other things. But it can also refer to the poverty of the soul and the ego’s insatiable need for external validation. Allah is al-Ghanīy (Self-Sufficient, Rich) and it is in Him that we seek refuge from poverty.

We also seek refuge in Allah from the punishment of the grave, which is the first stage of the next life. A person will remain in the grave until the resurrection. The general causes of punishment in the grave are, “not knowing Allah, neglecting His commands, and disobeying Him,” as Ibn al-Qayyim mentions.[40] So when we seek refuge from the punishment of the grave, we are also seeking refuge from those things that lead to punishment. Additionally, we are implicitly asking for the opposite qualities, for “Allah will not punish a soul that knows Him, loves Him, follows His commands, and avoids His prohibitions.”[41]

Notable Benefits:  

  1. Making duʿāʾ at the end of ṣalāh before the taslīm is a sunnah that we should be more keen on implementing. 
  2. When ʿUthmān ibn ʿAffān, one of the rightly-guided caliphs, would stand at a grave he would cry until his beard was soaked in tears. It was said to him: “Paradise and the fire were mentioned and you did not cry, yet you cry because of this?” So he said: “Indeed Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said: ‘Verily, the grave is the first stage of the hereafter. Whoever is saved from it, whatever comes after will be easier for him. If he is not saved from it, whatever comes after will be worse for him.’ I have never seen anything more frightening than the grave.”[42] 

Besides the three sources of harm mentioned in this supplication, there are other sources of harm that we need to seek Allah’s protection from. The next supplication is also said at the end of prayer and covers some of these.

(2.14) Seek refuge from these four 

 اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ جَهَنَّمَ وَمِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ وَمِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَحْيَا وَالْمَمَاتِ وَمِنْ شَرِّ فِتْنَةِ الْمَسِيحِ الدَّجَّالِ

Allāhumma innī aʿūdhu bika min ʿadhābi jahannam wa-min ʿadhāb al-qabri wa-min fitnat al-maḥyā wa-al-mamāti wa-min sharri fitnat al-masīḥ al-dajjāl

Translation: O Allah, I seek refuge in You from the punishment of Hellfire, from the punishment of the grave, from the trials of life and death, and from the evil of the trial of the False Messiah. [al-Bukhārī and Muslim]

Context: Abū Hurayrah narrated that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said: “When one of you finishes the (last) tashahhud, he should seek refuge in Allah from four things,” and then he mentioned this duʿāʾ.[43] 

Overview:  Even though the grave is the first stage of the next life, the Prophet ﷺ begins this duʿāʾ by seeking refuge from the Fire. This is because of the severity of the Fire and its punishment. The punishment of the grave was discussed in the previous duʿāʾ. When seeking refuge from the ‘trials of life,’ we are asking for Allah’s protection from spiritual, emotional, and physical harm in this life. Seeking refuge from ‘the trials of death’ is a petition for divine protection from diabolical temptations at the time of death in addition to the trial in the grave that occurs after death.

Every prophet has warned his people about the Dajjal and informed them of his deception.[44] The trials that will result from his emergence in the world, which marks the end of time, will be among the worst of all trials.   

Notable Benefits

  1. The Prophet ﷺ put great emphasis on teaching his companions this duʿāʾ. In fact, ʿAbdullāh ibn ʿAbbās said that the Prophet ﷺ would teach them this duʿāʾ like he would teach them a sūrah from the Qur’an.[45] 
  2. Due to the importance the Prophet ﷺ placed on learning this duʿāʾ, all four schools of law (madhhabs) have stated that it is highly recommended to say this duʿāʾ before concluding the ṣalāh.[46]

These supplications focus on giving us the strength to do good deeds and avoid evil habits. However, Muslims do not supplicate only for themselves. Part of Islamic brotherhood and sisterhood is making supplications for other believers too. Some of these supplications that we can make for others will be covered in the next section.

III. Prayers for others 

Praying and supplicating to Allah on behalf of others has tremendous benefits in this life and in the hereafter. We might ask what do we get out of supplicating for someone else? Very much, it turns out. For starters, many supplications in the Qur’an and Sunnah prescribe praying for the benefit of others, so these supplications are recorded as good deeds in our records. In addition, whenever we supplicate for another believer, an angel makes the same supplication for us; i.e., if we ask Allah to guide someone else, the angel asks Allah to guide us too![47] 

For this reason, if our pious predecessors (salaf) wanted to pray for themselves, they would supplicate for their brothers and sisters to receive the benefits they themselves desired, anticipating the reciprocal response of the angel; they would pray for others just as they would pray for themselves.[48] Scholars have further considered supplications for fellow believers to be their right (ḥaqq) in Islam; they are entitled to our supplications on their behalf.[49] A great example of this is the companion Abū al-Dardāʾ (ra), who used to supplicate for seventy of his fellow believers by name in his prostrations.[50] 

The practice of selfless supplication is an essential component of a healthy, functional Muslim community. Even when another Muslim sneezes, we have a prescribed supplication for their benefit. All of this produces mutual empathy, compassion, and the strengthening of fellowship (brotherhood and sisterhood) in Islam.

(3.15) Prayers for the Prophet ﷺ and his family 

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا بَارَكْتَ عَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ

Allāhumma ṣalli ʿalá Muḥammad wa-ʿalá āli Muḥammad kamā ṣallayta ʿalá āli  Ibrāhīm innaka ḥamīdun majīd. Allāhumma bārik ʿalá Muḥammad wa-ʿalá āli Muḥammad kamā bārakta ʿalá āli Ibrāhīm innaka ḥamīdun majīd

Translation: O Allah, send your grace upon Muḥammad and the family of Muhammad, as You have sent your grace upon the family of Abraham. Verily, You are Praiseworthy and Majestic. O Allah, bless Muḥammad and the family of Muḥammad, as You have blessed the family of Abraham. Verily, You are Praiseworthy and Majestic. [al-Bukhārī and Muslim]

Context: The Prophet ﷺ taught his companions to say this duʿāʾ in the final sitting of prayer, as well as at other times.[51]

OverviewṢalāh  means “prayer,” but to ask Allah to “pray” over the Prophet ﷺ means to ask Allah to give him special grace. Bārik means “to bless,” so we are asking Allah to bless the Prophet ﷺ. Āl means the family, household, followers, and supporters of the Prophet ﷺ. Ḥamīd is the perfect and eternal praiseworthy attribute of Allah, and Majīd is the perfect and eternal majestic attribute of Allah.

Notable Benefits:  

  1. The divine reward for deeds is by jins al-ʿamal; i.e., the reward will “match” the deed being rewarded. For example, whoever relieves the difficulty of a believer in this life will have a difficulty removed in the next life. Hence, whoever “prays” upon the Prophet ﷺ once, Allah will “pray” upon him ten times.[52]
  2. Though we recite this in every ṣalāh, we often forget that we are actually praying for the Prophet ﷺ. Thinking of this as a duʿāʾ and contemplating what you are saying is one of the best ways to gain mindfulness and attentiveness (khushūʿ) and presence of heart in prayer.

The Prophet ﷺ has more right to the believer’s goodness than any other human being. After the Prophet , it is our parents who have the most rights over us, which is why we should pray for them often.

(3.16) Praying for your parents

رَبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا

Rabbi irḥamhumā kamā rabbayānī ṣaghīra 

Translation: My Lord, have mercy on them (my parents) as they raised me when I was young. [Sūrat al-Isrāʾ 17:24]

Context: In this passage, Allah decrees for us to be good to our parents. He mentions this command immediately after commanding us to worship Him alone, indicating its great importance. He commands us to speak kind words to our parents and to not even say “uff (a mild word of annoyance) to them. He then commands us to “lower the wing of humility out of mercy for them,” and concludes the āyah by instructing us to say this duʿāʾ.[53]

OverviewRabbayānī (i.e., “they raised me”) comes from the same root as the word Rabb (Lord) for Allah. Allah as Rabb means not only that He is All-Powerful and All-Sovereign, but the One who takes it upon Himself to rear His servants until they reach knowledge, maturity, and wisdom. Our parents are the primary means through which Allah rears us from being ṣaghīr (small, young) into adulthood.

Notable Benefits

  1. Righteousness to parents (birr al-wālidayn) is a command repeated several times in the Qur’an and mentioned often in the Sunnah. The scholars would frequently begin their books of ethics on the right of parents to respect, kind treatment, and obedience (within reasonable limits). 
  2. This duʿāʾ said on a regular basis stimulates love for our parents, which further assists us in fulfilling our duties towards them.

After our parents, our most important relationships are with the people of our household. Just as we should pray for our parents often, we should pray for our spouses and children daily too.

(3.17) Make our spouses and children the delight of our eyes 

رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا

Rabbanā hab lanā min azwājinā wa-dhurrīyātinā qurrata aʿyunin wa-ijʿalnā li-al-muttaqīna imāma 

Translation: Our Lord, grant us comfort for our eyes among our spouses and offspring, and make us leaders among the righteous. [Sūrat al-Furqān 25:74]

Context: This duʿāʾ is included in a longer passage beginning with verse 25:63 that describes the characteristics of the “servants of the Most Merciful” (ʿībād al-Raḥmān). The believers who take on these characteristics are promised paradise and peace in the hereafter.[54]

Overview: This duʿāʾ is a request to Allah for our spouses, children—and even ourselves—to be virtuous. We ask Allah to make them the “coolness of our eyes,” which in this context means to see our family members having faith, obeying Allah, and behaving righteously so we can be together with them in Paradise. One of the greatest joys a parent can experience is to see their children grow up into God-fearing believers. We also ask Allah to make ourselves leaders of the righteous; i.e., who fear Allah, are mindful and conscious of Him, and avoid minor and major sins. This is not a request for political power or worldly status, but rather to be a moral example for our family, friends, and fellow Muslims to emulate.

Notable Benefits

  1. This duʿāʾ reminds us of our responsibility to provide guidance and education to our families, especially to our children. We should wish the best for our families just as we want it for ourselves. We ought to be pleased and deeply grateful to Allah to see our family members following the way of Islam. 
  2. We should strive to be a moral example for our family and community members to emulate, without desiring to show off or gain worldly status.

The believer is not concerned only with his own family, but for the entire creation. Our supplications, therefore, should not only be for our families but for others too, starting with the righteous.

(3.18) Prayer for Allah’s righteous servants 

السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى عِبَادِ اللَّهِ الصَّالِحِينَ

Al-salāmu ʿalaynā wa-ʿalá ʿibād Allāhi al-ṣāliḥīn 

Translation: Peace be upon us and upon the righteous servants of Allah. [al-Bukhārī and Muslim]

Context: This duʿāʾ is said as part of a longer supplication that is said during the sitting portion of prayer (tashahhud) as follows: “Greetings, prayers, and all good things are for Allah. Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the mercy of Allah and His blessings. Peace be upon us and upon the righteous servants of Allah.”[55]

Overview: This duʿāʾ is a request for Allah to grant salām, meaning “peace” but also safety, security, and well-being upon ourselves and the righteous servants of Allah. It is prescribed in prayer to invoke peace upon ourselves and then upon the righteous servants of Allah, which includes all of the prophets (peace be upon them), their devoted followers, and all those who followed them throughout history. 

Notable Benefits

  1. The Prophet ﷺ mentioned that if we say this duʿāʾ “it will be for every righteous slave in the heavens and on earth.”[56] Imagine the reward one gets for praying for that many people! When we say this duʿāʾ in our daily prayers, we should keep this in mind and allow it to stimulate feelings of love and solidarity with all believers who have ever lived.  
  2. We say this duʿāʾ in the sitting position of every ṣalāh. Due to the frequency with which we say it, we may say it mechanically without being mindful that we are actually making a prayer for ourselves and the believers! It is important to remember that this is a duʿāʾ and to say it with full conviction and presence of heart.

Our relation with others is not limited to praying for them. We should also express gratitude to them whenever they do anything good for us.

(3.19) Prayer for expressing appreciation to someone

جَزَاكَ اللَّهُ خَيْرًا

Jazāk Allāhu khayran 

Translation: May Allah reward you with good. [al-Tirmidhī]

Context: This is a very common phrase in Muslim cultures, asking Allah to reward someone who does a good deed. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever receives a good deed and says to its doer, ‘May Allah reward you with good,’ he has expressed his appreciation.”[57]

Overview: In this duʿāʾ, we ask Allah to grant someone jazāʾ (reward or recompense) with khayr (goodness in this life and in the hereafter). It is a way of thanking someone while simultaneously acknowledging that Allah is the true source from which the reward for good deeds should be sought.

Notable Benefits

  1. This duʿāʾ is an easy way to express thanks and appreciation to someone who performs a good deed, as well as to ask Allah to reward it in the best manner, most importantly in the hereafter. 
  2. It is very important to complete the entire phrase. Some people say jazāk Allah without adding khayr, which means “May Allah reward you…” but a reward, by definition in both English and Arabic, could be good or bad! Instead, we need to say the whole phrase to complete the duʿāʾ for Allah to reward the person with good.

Beyond the living believers, our bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood extend to those who have preceded us in faith. They too should be remembered in our daily supplications.

(3.20) Prayer for those who have preceded us in faith 

رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَانِنَا الَّذِينَ سَبَقُونَا بِالْإِيمَانِ وَلَا تَجْعَلْ فِي قُلُوبِنَا غِلًّا لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ رَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ 

Rabbanā ighfir lanā wa-li-ikhwāninā alladhīna sabaqūnā bi-al-īmāni wa-lā-tajʿal fī qulūbinā ghillan li-alladhīna āmanū rabbanā innaka raʾūfun raḥīm

Translation: Our Lord, forgive us our sins and the sins of our brothers who preceded us in faith, and leave no malice in our hearts towards those who believe. Lord, You are truly Compassionate and Merciful. [Sūrat al-Ḥashr 59:10]

Context: This duʿāʾ comes after a passage praising the Anṣār (Muslims who initially resided in Medina) for helping the Muhājirūn (who were forced from their homes) when they migrated from Mecca to Medina. The Anṣār loved the Muhājirūn for the sake of Islam and even gave preference to them in food and supplies, despite their own hardship. Allah warns us that we must protect our souls from stinginess in order to succeed in the hereafter. Then, He gives us this duʿāʾ for all the believers to make for each other, including the Muslims who embraced Islam in its earliest phases and all believers from previous generations.[58]

Overview: This duʿāʾ is another supplication for forgiveness for ourselves and also for our believing brothers and sisters in Islam, including those who came before us in previous generations. We ask Allah to remove ghill (hatred, malice, envy) towards the believers from our hearts. Supplications of this nature, in fact, are the most effective way to purify our hearts from these harmful spiritual diseases. Moreover, we acknowledge the Kindness and Mercy of Allah and invoke these two Beautiful Names as it is proper etiquette to praise Allah by His appropriate names when asking Him for anything. 

Notable Benefits

  1. This duʿāʾ is important for fostering the love and compassion that should characterize the Muslim community. 
  2. As Muslims, we should ask Allah to forgive us all for our sins, and we ourselves should forgive each other. 
  3. We must ask Allah to remove any ill feelings in our hearts towards each other, such as malice (ḥiqd), hate (bughḍ), and envy (ḥasad), which are all implied by the word ghill. By repeating this duʿāʾ, especially in regard to Muslims we have bad relations with, we can purify our hearts of these spiritual diseases and perhaps open the way to reconciliation and renewal of the bonds of Islam.

Praying for our parents, spouses, children, the righteous, and the deceased are all important parts of our daily supplications. During the last ten nights of Ramadan, we should increase our supplication for all of the above in addition to other duʿāʾs.

IV. Prayers during the last ten nights

The last ten nights of Ramadan are the most important nights of the year. The rest of Ramadan can be seen as a period of preparation for these last ten nights. It is during these ten nights that we push ourselves to do our very best. The Prophet ﷺ used to strive hard in worship in the last ten nights of Ramadan more than he did at any other time.[59] Therefore, along with other acts of devotion, we should increase our supplication to Allah.

(4.21) Prayer for laylat al-qadr

 اَللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ اَلْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي

Allāhumma innaka ʿafūwun tuḥibbu al-ʿafwa fa-ʿfu ʿannī  

Translation: O Allah, indeed You are all-Pardoning, You love pardoning, so pardon me. [al-Tirmidhī and Ibn Mājah]

Context: ʿĀʾishah narrated that she said: “O Messenger of Allah, if I know when the Night of Al-Qadr is, what should I say in it? He said: ‘Say: O Allah, indeed You are all-Pardoning, You love pardoning, so pardon me.’”[60]

Overview: There are three main elements in this duʿāʾ. The first is affirming one of Allah’s perfect names: al-ʿAfūw (the all-Pardoning). The second is affirming that Allah loves the quality of pardoning (ʿafw), and the last is asking Allah for His ʿafw.

One of the meanings of ʿafw (ʿayn-fa-waw) is the complete removal of something, such that even its traces do not remain. According to some scholars, ‘pardoning’ (ʿafw) is slightly different from ‘forgiveness’ (maghfirah), which is when Allah covers up our sins and protects us from their evil consequences. When we ask for ‘pardoning,’ however, we are asking for complete erasure of the sin. This implies that you have a clean slate and will not be questioned about those sins on the Day of Reckoning.[61]

The implications of this duʿāʾ are simply amazing! Not only does Allah completely pardon us for our wrongdoings when we repent, turn to Him, and ask for His pardoning, He actually loves this act of pardoning! This is quite different from our dealings with many people who may ‘forgive but not forget,’ or who may ‘let it go’ but only begrudgingly.

Notable Benefits

  1. It is profound that ʿĀʾishah asked the Prophet ﷺ what to say during laylat al-qadr, which indicates that the companions understood the importance and value of duʿāʾ at this time. 
  2. The Prophet ﷺ is instructing the most beloved person to him, his wife ʿĀʾishah, to ask for pardoning from Allah. This is after fasting for at least twenty days and striving in prayer, charity, and other forms of devotion to Allah. One takeaway from this is to know that Allah’s pardoning of our shortcomings is better for us than our own good deeds. 
  3. We should strive to do what Allah loves. Allah loves pardoning so we should do our best to pardon others, just as we want Allah to pardon us. Allah says, “Let them pardon, and let them overlook. Do you not love for Allah to forgive you? Allah is Forgiving, Beneficent.”[62] This is the time of year to learn to forgive. Recent studies about people’s regrets at the end of life mention that not forgiving others is one of their greatest regrets.[63] 
  4. Pardoning is not always the best option. If pardoning someone emboldens them to continue their wrongdoing, it is actually better not to pardon them. They should be held accountable and punished accordingly to prevent them from harming others.[64]

This duʿāʾ should be said frequently throughout the last ten nights (and days) of Ramadan. It can be said in the ṣalāh (e.g., in sujūd or before taslīm) or outside of prayer (e.g., in between the adhān and the iqāmah). One of the best times to say this duʿāʾ is in the last third of the night. The night prayer is so important that the Prophet ﷺ would say a special duʿāʾ at its beginning. 

(4.22) Prayer for beginning qiyām al-layl 

 اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّ جِبْرَائِيلَ وَمِيكَائِيلَ وَإِسْرَافِيلَ فَاطِرَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ عَالِمَ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ أَنْتَ تَحْكُمُ بَيْنَ عِبَادِكَ فِيمَا كَانُوا فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ اهْدِنِي لِمَا اخْتُلِفَ فِيهِ مِنَ الْحَقِّ بِإِذْنِكَ إِنَّكَ تَهْدِي مَنْ تَشَاءُ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ

Allāhumma rabba Jibrāʾīl wa-Mīkāʾīl wa-Isrāfīl fāṭir al-samāwāti wa-al-arḍi ʿālim al-ghaybi wa-al-shahādati anta taḥkumu bayna ʿibādika fīmā kānū fīhi yakhtalifūn ihdinī limā-khtulifa fīhi min al-ḥaqqi bi-idhnika innaka tahdī man tashāʾu ilá ṣirāṭin mustaqīm

Translation: O Allah, Lord of Jibrīl, Mīkāʾīl and Isrāfīl, Creator of the heavens and the earth, Knower of the unseen and the seen, You judge between Your slaves concerning that wherein they differ. Guide me in those matters about which there is dispute regarding the truth by Your Leave, for You are the One Who guides to the straight path. [Muslim]

Context: ʿAbdulraḥmān ibn ʿAwf, one of the ‘Ten Promised Paradise’ from the companions, asked ʿĀʾishah to tell him what the Prophet ﷺ would say when he got up to pray at night. ʿĀʾishah said, “He ﷺ would begin his prayer with these words …”, and then mentioned the above duʿāʾ.[65]

Overview: Prayer at night is called qiyām al-layl (standing at night) or, more specifically, tahajjud if it occurs after going to sleep. It is the most virtuous and important prayer after the five daily prayers. The Prophet ﷺ said, “The best prayer one can perform apart from the obligatory prayers is one performed at night.”[66] The night prayer is one of the primary ways that the Prophet ﷺ would bring life to the night during these last ten nights of Ramadan. ʿĀʾishah said, “When the last ten nights of Ramadan began, the Prophet ﷺ used to tighten his belt,[67] stay awake throughout the night, and awaken his family (for prayer).”[68]

In this duʿāʾ, the Prophet ﷺ is asking for Allah’s guidance in matters about which people dispute. He begins by calling upon Allah as the Lord of three specific angels: Jibrīl, Mīkāʾīl, and Isrāfīl. Each of these angels has been assigned a critical function for the sustenance of life: Jibrīl is responsible for revelation, which nourishes the soul; Mīkāʾīl is responsible for rain, which is necessary for physical life; and Isrāfīl is responsible for blowing into the horn, which marks the resurrection and the beginning of one’s eternal life in the hereafter. The beginning of this duʿāʾ is directly related to the ‘ask’: we need guidance in every aspect of our existence. We need guidance for our spiritual well-being, for our physical health, and on the Day of Resurrection to make it successfully across the ṣirāṭ (the bridge over the hellfire). 

Ibn al-Qayyim said, “Guidance has yet another level, the last one, which is guidance on the Day of Resurrection on the way to the Garden. Whoever is guided in this earthly abode to the straight path of God, for which He sent messengers and revealed scriptures, will be guided there to the straight path to the Garden, the abode of His reward. Only to the extent that the servant had been steadfast on the straight path that God set forth in the earthly abode shall he be steadfast on the bridge spread across the breadth of Hell.”[69]

The Prophet ﷺ also mentions, before asking for guidance, that Allah is the Knower of what is seen and unseen. This is significant because we are implicitly acknowledging that our knowledge is limited, hence we cannot possibly guide ourselves when the path becomes unclear. We are asking Allah—Who knows everything—to give us the blessing of guidance and keep us firm on the path that pleases Him. It is by Allah’s permission alone that one is guided to the truth about matters of dispute.

Notable Benefits

  1. Part of this duʿāʾ finds its root in the statement of Allah, “Then Allah, by His grace, has guided the believers to the truth regarding those disputes. And Allah guides whomever He wills to the Straight Path.”[70]
  2. ʿAbdulraḥmān ibn ʿAwf and the other companions of the Prophet ﷺ were very keen about learning about the fine details of how the Prophet ﷺ worshipped when he was out of the public eye. They would ask about things that they did not have the opportunity to observe so that they could emulate him and follow his footsteps. Consequently, this should serve as an encouragement for every Muslim to learn more about how the Prophet ﷺ worshipped Allah and attempt to emulate his way. 
  3. ًThe statement “You judge between your servants” reminds us to prepare for the day when the truth will be revealed and Allah will judge between us. Therefore, our intent should be to arrive at the truth in all issues of dispute and to accept the truth no matter who it comes from, even if it takes us out of our comfort zone.

Praying the night prayer was a habit the Prophet ﷺ practiced consistently. Just as ʿĀʾishah, the wife of the Prophet , informs us of what he used to say at the beginning of ṣalāh, she has also narrated some of his other supplications at this very important time.

(4.23) Prayers made in qiyām

 اللَّهُمَّ أَعُوذُ بِرِضَاكَ مِنْ سَخَطِكَ وَبِمُعَافَاتِكَ مِنْ عُقُوبَتِكَ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْكَ لاَ أُحْصِي ثَنَاءً عَلَيْكَ أَنْتَ كَمَا أَثْنَيْتَ عَلَى نَفْسِكَ

Allāhumma aʿūdhu bi-riḍāka min sakhaṭika wa-bi-muʿāfātika min ʿuqūbatika wa-aʿūdhu bika minka lā uḥṣī thanāʾan ʿalayka anta kamā athnayta ʿalá nafsik 

Translation: O Allah, I seek refuge in Your pleasure from Your wrath, and in Your forgiveness from Your punishment. I seek refuge in You from You. I cannot fully praise You. You are as You have praised Yourself. [Muslim]

Context: ʿĀʾishah said: “I noticed Allah’s Messenger ﷺ was not in bed one night, so I searched for him. My hand then touched the soles of his feet while he was in prostration; they (feet) were raised and he was saying, ‘O Allah I seek refuge in Your pleasure…’”[71]

Overview: In this duʿāʾ, the Prophet ﷺ is seeking refuge in Allah’s pleasure and forgiveness from His wrath and punishment. This is similar in meaning to the hadith, “[O Allah] there is no shelter or escape from You except in You.”[72] Ibn al-Qayyim said, “[The Prophet ﷺ] sought refuge in the divine attribute of pleasure from the divine attribute of anger, and in the act of forgiveness from the act of punishment. So he sought refuge in Him from Him based on both considerations, as if he was combining what he separated in the two previous statements.”[73]

The duʿāʾ concludes with “I cannot fully praise you. You are as You have praised Yourself.” This means that we cannot praise Allah as He deserves, no matter how much we try. Our praise of Allah will always be far less than the praise due to Him. 

Notable Benefits:  

  1. We should all have secret good deeds that even the people closest to us do not know about. These are sincere private acts of worship between us and Allah.
  2. We can never praise Allah enough. His perfection is beyond our comprehension. This duʿāʾ teaches us how to call on Him while recognizing that.
  3. Qiyām al-Layl is the one of the most important times to make duʿāʾ, and that is why many of the greatest supplications of the Prophet ﷺ were made during qiyām.

We learn this great duʿāʾ from ʿĀʾishah who heard the Prophet ﷺ saying it in sujūd. It is amazing how many duʿāʾ we learn from her, either because she heard the Prophet ﷺ saying them or because he taught her directly. The following duʿāʾ is one of those he specifically taught her and encouraged her to say. 

(4.24) A comprehensive, complete prayer 

اَللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ كُلِّهِ عَاجِلِهِ وَآجِلِهِ مَا عَلِمْتُ مِنْهُ وَمَا لَمْ أَعْلَمْ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الشَّرِّ كُلِّهِ عَاجِلِهِ وَآجِلِهِ مَا عَلِمْتُ مِنْهُ وَمَا لَمْ أَعْلَمْ اَللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ خَيْرِ مَا سَأَلَكَ عَبْدُكَ وَنَبِيُّكَ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا عَاذَ بِهِ عَبْدُكَ وَنَبِيُّكَ

Allāhumma innī asʾaluka min al-khayri kullihi ʿājilihi wa-ājilihi mā ʿalimtu minhu wa-mā lam aʿlam. Wa-aʿūdhu bika min al-sharri kullihi ʿājilihi wa-ājilihi mā ʿalimtu minhu wa-mā lam aʿlam. Allāhumma innī asʾaluka min khayri mā saʾalaka ʿabduka wa-nabīyuka wa-aʿūdhu bika min sharri mā ʿādha bihi ʿabduka wa-nabīyuk

Translation: O Allah, I ask You from all that is good, in this world and in the hereafter, what I know and what I do not know. O Allah, I seek refuge with You from all evil, in this world and in the hereafter, what I know and what I do not know. O Allah, I ask You for the good that Your slave and Prophet has asked You for, and I seek refuge with You from the evil from which Your slave and Prophet sought refuge. [Ibn Mājah]

Context: This is the first part of a duʿāʾ that the Prophet ﷺ described as being comprehensive and complete. He said to ʿĀʾishah, “Stick to these comprehensive, complete prayers” and then mentioned this duʿāʾ.[74]

Overview: This is a tremendous duʿāʾ that really leaves no stone unturned. It encompasses asking for every kind of good, tangible and intangible, related to worldly matters as well as matters of the next life. Your desire for health, a righteous spouse, financial stability, forgiveness, guidance, etc. is included in this duʿāʾ. We might be aware of some of what is good for us, but we do not know everything that can bring us benefit. Even that—the good that you are unaware of—is included in this duʿāʾ. Similarly we are seeking refuge in Allah from every type of evil, physical and metaphysical, related to this life and the next. Even some of the things that we internally desire could actually be harmful to us. This duʿāʾ is a protection against that.

Furthermore, this duʿāʾ subsumes every other duʿāʾ that the Prophet ﷺ has made. By asking Allah for the good that our Prophet ﷺ asked for, and seeking refuge in Him from the evil that the Prophet ﷺ sought refuge from, we are covering every base.

Notable Benefits:  

  1. This duʿāʾ is one of the most comprehensive prayers one can make.[75] Al-Mullah ʿAlī al-Qārī (d. 1014H) called it “the most comprehensive supplication that has been narrated.” [76]
  2. It is important for those who have knowledge to teach others, especially when they are members of the same household. The Prophet ﷺ was keen on teaching these very powerful words to his beloved wife ʿĀʾishah and mentioned that they were “comprehensive” and “complete” as an incentive to say them frequently.
  3. ʿAbdullāh ibn Masʿūd (ra) used to say a duʿāʾ very similar to this one before exiting the prayer. He would also teach others to say this duʿāʾ before the taslīm.[77]

Take some time to repeat this duʿāʾ. Contemplate its meanings. Think about the fact that the Prophet ﷺ taught this duʿāʾ to ʿĀʾishah, the most beloved person to him in the world. This duʿāʾ is special! Be grateful to Allah for guiding you to this special duʿāʾ during these special days and nights. After spending some time to familiarize yourself with the first part of this duʿāʾ, move on to the last part.

(4.25) A comprehensive, complete prayer (continued) 

اَللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ اَلْجَنَّةَ وَمَا قَرَّبَ إِلَيْهَا مِنْ قَوْلٍ أَوْ عَمَلٍ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَا قَرَّبَ إِلَيْهَا مِنْ قَوْلٍ أَوْ عَمَلٍ وَأَسْأَلُكَ أَنْ تَجْعَلَ كُلَّ قَضَاءٍ قَضَيْتَهُ لِي خَيْرًا 

Allāhumma innī asʾaluka al-jannata wa-mā qarraba ilayhā min qawlin aw ʿamalin wa-aʿūdhu bika min al-nāri wa-mā qarraba ilayhā min qawlin aw ʿamalin wa-asʾaluka an tajʿala kulla qaḍāʾin qaḍaytahu lī khayra

Translation: O Allah, I ask You for Paradise and for that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed. And I seek refuge in You from Hell and from that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed. And I ask You to make every decree that You decree concerning me good. [Ibn Mājah]

Context: This is the last part of the previous duʿāʾ that the Prophet ﷺ taught ʿĀʾishah.[78]

Overview: There are five major requests in this part of the duʿāʾ. The first is for Paradise, which is the permanent abode of unimaginable bliss that every believer seeks. The second request is for guidance and aid from Allah in performing the deeds that are pleasing to Him and lead to Paradise. The third is for protection from Hell. The fourth request is for protection from the statements and deeds that lead to Hell. 

The fifth and final request is for Allah to make everything that He decrees for us ‘good.’ This should be understood in light of other teachings of the Prophet ﷺ, such as his statement, 

How wonderful is the case of a believer! There is good for him in every situation, but this applies only to a believer. If something good happens to him, he thanks [Allah] and this is good for him. When he faces adversity, he endures it patiently and this too is good for him.[79] 

Hence, the good that we are asking Allah for is our response to what has been decreed. If we are experiencing ease and prosperity, but are not showing gratitude to Allah for His blessings, or we use those blessings to disobey Allah, then this is not good for us, even though Allah has decreed ease for us. Similarly, if we are faced with hardship and difficulty, yet we patiently endure that trial and avoid anything that would displease Allah, this is actually good for us, even though Allah decreed an adverse situation. The Prophet ﷺ used to also say, “I ask You to make me pleased with that which You have decreed.”[80] Perhaps this duʿāʾ lends clarity to what we are asking for when we say, “And I ask You to make every decree that You decree concerning me good.”

Notable Benefits

  1. This part of the duʿāʾ focuses on the hereafter. Though we should ask Allah for things we need in our temporary existence on earth, our primary concern should be the place we will reside eternally. The Prophet ﷺ would often say when calling upon Allah, “And let not the world be our greatest worry.”[81] We need Allah’s help to enter paradise and to be saved from the fire. 
  2. We should not belittle any good deed or any sin. Everything we do or say, or fail to do or fail to say, has the potential to take us closer to either Paradise or the Fire. In this duʿāʾ, we are asking Allah to help us say and do those things that will take us to Paradise and to protect us from anything that leads to the Fire. The Prophet ﷺ said, “A person may utter a word which pleases Allah without giving it much weight, and because of that Allah will raise him degrees. Another person may utter a word which displeases Allah without thinking of its gravity, and because of that he will be thrown into the Hellfire.”[82]
  3. Only Allah knows what is truly best for us. Allah says,  “Perhaps you dislike something that is good for you and like something that is bad for you. Allah knows and you do not know.”[83] When we ask Allah to make every decree for us good for us, we are asking Him to aid us in being content and pleased with His decision for us. Ibn al-Qayyim describes being pleased with Allah and His decree as the paradise of this earth, the greatest of the doors to Allah, the bliss of the worshippers, and the joy of those who long to meet Allah.[84]

As the month of Ramadan rapidly comes to an end, it should remind us that life too will one day come to an end. This is why it is important to make sure that we ask for good in the life to come.

(4.26) Longing to meet Allah

اللهُمَّ إني أَسْأَلُكَ بَرْدَ الْعَيْشِ بَعْدَ الْمَوْتِ وَأَسْأَلُكَ لَذَّةَ النَّظَرِ إِلَى وَجْهِكَ وَالشَّوْقَ إِلَى لِقَائِكَ فِي غَيْرِ ضَرَّاءَ مُضِرَّةٍ وَلاَ فِتْنَةٍ مُضِلَّةٍ 

Allāhumma innī asʾaluka bard al-ʿayshi baʿd al-mawti wa-asʾaluka ladhdhat al-naẓari ilá wajhika wa-al-shawqa ilá liqāʾika fī ghayri ḍarrāʾa muḍirratin wa-lā fitnatin muḍillah

Translation: O Allah I ask You for a life of coolness after death. I ask You for the delight of gazing upon Your Face. [And I ask You for] the longing to meet You, but not due to a harmful adversity or fear of a misleading trial. [al-Nasāʾī]

Context: ʿAmmār ibn Yāsir, the companion of the Prophet ﷺ, once led the people in prayer and made it brief. It was as if they disliked that, so he said, “Did I not perform the rukūʿ and sujūd properly?” They replied in the affirmative. He then said, “And I also said a duʿāʾ that the Prophet ﷺ used to say:

O Allah, by Your Knowledge of the unseen and by Your Power over creation, let me live as long as You know that life is good for me, and let me die when You know that death is better for me. O Allah, grant me fear of You in secret and in public. I ask You to make me true in speech in times of pleasure and of anger. I ask You to make me moderate in times of wealth and poverty. And I ask You for everlasting delight and joy that never ends. I ask You to make me pleased with that which You have decreed and for a life of coolness after death. I ask You for the delight of gazing upon Your Face. [And I ask You for] the longing to meet You, but not due to a harmful adversity or fear of a misleading trial. O Allah, beautify us with the adornment of faith, and make us guides who are rightly guided.[85]

ʿAmmār ibn Yāsir (ra) was telling the people he led in ṣalāh that he was able to say this prophetic duʿāʾ despite them feeling like his prayer was short. It is from this longer duʿāʾ that we extracted the duʿāʾ for today.

Overview: There are three main requests in this duʿāʾ. The first is asking for a ‘life of coolness’ after death. This means asking for comfort and relief in every stage of the next life. The second request is asking for the delight of seeing Allah’s Face. This is the greatest bliss that one can experience in the hereafter. Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, 

When the people of Paradise enter Paradise, the Blessed and the Exalted will say to them, ‘Is there anything more that you wish for Me to give you?’ They will reply: ‘Have You not made our faces bright? Have You not brought us into Paradise and saved us from the Fire?’ Allah will then remove the Veil. They will feel that they have not been awarded anything dearer to them than looking at their Lord.[86] 

The third request is for the sincere desire to meet Allah, “but not due to a harmful adversity or fear of a misleading trial.” In explaining this part of the duʿāʾ, Ibn Rajab says, “Longing to meet Allah necessitates looking forward to death.[87] The wish for death often happens to people caught up in this worldly life when they are faced with harmful calamities, even though this is prohibited in Islam. Religious people may also wish for death for fear of misleading trials (fitan muḍillah). Hence, a person is asking for a death free of these two scenarios, such that it emanates strictly from loving Allah and wanting to meet Him. This lofty level was attained by many of the salaf.”[88] Hence the believer wants his longing to meet Allah to be rooted in his love for Allah and hoping for His reward and grace.

Notable Benefits:  

(1) Seeing Allah is the greatest joy of the people of paradise. “For those who do good, they will have al-ḥusná and even more.” Al-ḥusná refers to Paradise, and ‘even more’ is the blessing of seeing Allah’s Face.[89] When a person is deprived of seeing their loved one for long periods of time, there is nothing more beloved to them than finally being able to see them. The joy it brings cannot be articulated through words. Now imagine the pleasure of seeing Allah after worshipping Him in this life, and loving Him with all our heart!

(2) There is a direct connection between protecting the prayers and seeing Allah. When we are asking for the joy of seeing Allah’s Face, we are implicitly asking Allah to aid us in establishing the prayer on time, all the time. 

(3) Wanting to meet Allah does not necessitate that you love dying. The Prophet ﷺ said, 

“Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah also loves to meet him. Whoever hates to meet Allah, Allah also hates to meet him.” ʿĀʾishah said, “But we dislike death.” He replied, “This is not intended. What is meant is that when the death of a believer approaches, he receives the good news of Allah’s pleasure with him and His blessings upon him. So at that moment, nothing is dearer to him than what awaits him. He therefore loves the meeting with Allah, and Allah loves the meeting with him. But when the death of a disbeliever approaches, he receives the evil news of Allah’s torment and His Requital, whereupon nothing is more dreaded to him than what awaits him. Therefore, he hates the meeting with Allah, and Allah too, hates the meeting with him.”[90]

Though it is not popular in our society to think about death, it is inevitable nonetheless. Part of our preparation for the inevitable is to ask Allah to die in a state that is pleasing to Him.

(4.27) Prayer for a Good Ending

رَبِّ تَوَفَّنِي مُسْلِمًا وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِالصَّالِحِينَ

Rabbi tawaffanī musliman wa-alḥiqnī bi-al-ṣaliḥīn 

Translation: Allow me to die as a Muslim and join me with the righteous. [Sūrat Yūsuf 12:101]

Context:  This duʿāʾ is extracted from an āyah toward the end of Sūrat Yūsuf in which Allah mentions that the Prophet Yūsuf said, 

My Lord! You have surely granted me authority and taught me the interpretation of dreams. Originator of the heavens and the earth, You are my Guardian in this world and the hereafter. Allow me to die as a Muslim and join me with the righteous. [Sūrat Yūsuf 12:101]

Overview: This duʿāʾ comes at the very end of Prophet Yūsuf’s story. After having gone through the twists and turns of life (e.g., an attempt on his life, unjust imprisonment, etc.), Allah raised him to a high position of power and reunited him with his family. Yūsuf expressed his gratitude to Allah for these blessings, then prayed to Allah to allow him to die as a Muslim and to join him with the righteous after his death. 

Wanting to die in a certain state means that we need to live in that state because death may come unexpectedly. Hence, when we make this duʿāʾ, we are actually asking Allah to make us steadfast adherents of Islam as long as we live. It is not a duʿāʾ seeking to hasten death; in fact, it is a request for a good ending to life. Furthermore, we are asking Allah to put us in the company of the prophets and His chosen servants in gardens of bliss in the hereafter. [91]

Notable Benefits:  

  1. Some might find it strange that Prophet Yūsuf would ask Allah to die as a ‘Muslim’ even though he preceded Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ by centuries. It is important to know that all of the prophets were Muslims: they worshipped Allah alone, submitted fully to Him, and rejected false idols. This is the ‘general’ Islam that all prophets taught their people.
  2. Asking Allah to cause us to die as Muslims is similar to Allah’s command, “O you who believe, fear Allah as he ought to be feared and do not die unless you are Muslims.” [Āli ʿImrān 3:102] This āyah was frequently recited by the Prophet ﷺ prior to his sermons, and we still often hear it recited by the khaṭīb on Fridays.
  3. Nothing in the above duʿāʾ indicates that we should be eager to die. In fact, this contradicts the guidance of the Prophet ﷺ, who said, “None of you should wish for death due to a calamity that has befallen him. If he must wish for death, then he should say, ‘O Allah! Let me live as long as life is better for me, and take my life if death is better for me.’”[92]

The path towards a good ending begins with the rectification of our affairs. Therefore, asking Allah to rectify our affairs is as important as asking for a good ending.

(4.28) Prayer for the correction of one’s affairs 

اللَّهُمَّ أَصْلِحْ لِي دِينِيَ الَّذِي هُوَ عِصْمَةُ أَمْرِي وَأَصْلِحْ لِي دُنْيَاىَ الَّتِي فِيهَا مَعَاشِي وَأَصْلِحْ لِي آخِرَتِي الَّتِي فِيهَا مَعَادِي وَاجْعَلِ الْحَيَاةَ زِيَادَةً لِي فِي كُلِّ خَيْرٍ وَاجْعَلِ الْمَوْتَ رَاحَةً لِي مِنْ كُلِّ شَرٍّ

Allāhumma aṣliḥ lī dīnī alladhī huwa ʿiṣmatu amrī wa-aṣliḥ lī dunyāya allatī fīhā maʿāshī wa-aṣliḥ lī ākhiratī allatī fīhā maʿādī wa-ijʿal al-ḥayāta ziyādatan lī fī kulli khayrin wa-ijʿal al-mawta rāḥatan lī min kulli sharr

Translation: O Allah, set right for me my religion which is the safeguard of my affairs. And set right for me the affairs of my world in which is my livelihood. And set right for me my hereafter to which is my return. And make life for me a means of accumulating good, and make death for me a source of relief from every evil. [Muslim] 

Context: Abū Hurayrah reported that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ used to invoke Allah with these words.[93]

Overview: This is an amazing duʿāʾ that we should commit to memory and say often. It includes asking for success in this life and the next. There are a total of five requests in this duʿāʾ. The first is asking Allah for rectification (iṣlāḥ) of our dīn. We ask for this first because our sincerity to Allah and our adherence to the teachings of His Messenger ﷺ serve as the basis for every other aspect of our lives. When Allah sets right our religious commitment, it makes Islam the guiding force of our lives. It also gives us the ability to interpret everything that happens to us in life through the proper lens. This is why the dīn is the safeguard of our affairs. If it is not set right, our decisions will not be guided in the right direction.

Set right for me the affairs of my world” refers to many important things. This includes asking Allah to provide us with that which suffices so that we will not be at the mercy of others. It also includes asking Allah to bless us with righteous families, comfortable homes, safety, and security. Allah says, “Whoever does good, whether male or female, and is a believer, We will surely bless them with a good life, and We will certainly reward them according to the best of their deeds.”[94] The good life that we ask for includes contentment, peace of mind, halal provisions, and guidance to righteous deeds.

“Set right for me my hereafter to which is my return” is a supplication for guidance towards righteous deeds that will weigh heavy on the Last Day. This includes a good ending which leads to Paradise. This reminder about the rectification of the hereafter reminds us that we need to prepare for the afterlife today. Paradise is our real home and our lives are simply a journey towards that destination. 

“Make life for me (a source) of abundance of every good.” In this part, we are asking Allah to make this life a means of attaining His pleasure. We ask Him to make each day one in which we increase in good deeds. The Prophet ﷺ was asked about the best people. He replied, “The one who lives a long life and whose actions are good.”[95] 

“Make my death a source of relief for me from every evil.” In this part, we are reminded that life has its trials, tribulations, and difficulties. Death is a relief for the believer. A funeral procession once passed by Allah’s Messenger ﷺ and he said, “He is relieved or others are relieved from him.” The people asked, “O Allah’s Messenger! Who is the one relieved and the one from whom others are relieved?” He said, “A believer is relieved (by death) from the troubles and suffering of this world and departs to the Mercy of Allah, while (the death of) a wicked person relieves the people, land, trees, and the animals from him.”[96] 

Notable Benefits:  

(1) Some of the scholars have mentioned how important it is to memorize this duʿāʾ. The great scholar of fiqh and hadith, Abū al-ʿAbbās al-Qurṭubī (d. 656), said, “This magnificent supplication combines the good of this world and the hereafter, and both religious affairs and worldly affairs. Everyone who hears it should memorize it and pray with it day and night. Perhaps he will say it at a time in which supplications are answered and gain the best of this world and the next because of it.”[97]

(2) This duʿāʾ teaches us not to neglect our worldly duties, but to prioritize the religion. Piety does not necessarily mean abandoning this world altogether. We can experience blessings and abundance in this world, but they should not distract us from worshipping Allah and prioritizing the afterlife.

As we strive to make every aspect of our existence pleasing to the One who created us, let us always remember the ultimate objective of fasting the month of Ramadan: to attain taqwá

(4.29) A comprehensive prayer to conclude the month

 اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْهُدَى وَالتُّقَى وَالْعَفَافَ وَالْغِنَى

Allāhumma innī asʾaluka al-hudá wa-al-tuqá wa-al-ʿafāfa wa-al-ghiná        

Translation: O Allah, I ask you for guidance, piety, abstinence (from the unlawful), and contentment. [Muslim]

Context: ʿAbdullāh ibn Masʿūd (ra) mentioned that the Prophet ﷺ used to supplicate with these words.[98]

Overview: The sum total of what we have been striving for in this month is guidance. This is the most important thing to ask Allah for. The next priority is taqwá, which is the objective of our fast. This beautiful duʿāʾ includes asking for both guidance and taqwá. These two concepts have already been explained earlier in this book. The supplication includes asking for the ability to abstain from sin and for contentment or richness of the heart. 

In general, abstinence means the practice of refraining from indulging an appetite or desire. Imam al-Nawawī mentioned that ‘abstinence’ (ʿafāf) in this context refers to refraining from everything that is unlawful. Whereas ‘richness’ (ghiná) means being self-sufficient and content, not needing people or desiring their possessions.[99] Those who are granted both abstinence and contentment will be independent of other people, their hearts will be tied to Allah alone, and they will be satisfied with Allah’s provisions for them.

Notable Benefits:  

  1. Shaykh ʿAbdulraḥmān ibn Saʿdī (d. 1376 AH) said, “This duʿāʾ is one of the most comprehensive and beneficial duʿāʾs. It comprises asking Allah for the good of both the dīn and the dunya. Hence, whoever is granted guidance, piety, abstinence and contentment has indeed achieved true success in this world and the next. They have acquired everything that could be possibly sought after, and have been saved from all that is dreadful and feared.”[100]
  2. Having a lot of possessions does not make a person rich. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Richness is not an abundance of worldly goods; rather, richness is contentment with one’s lot.”[101] A person who has a lot of wealth but still craves more is often restless and not at peace. Even though he is rich, he is not happy due to his lack of contentment. Focusing on the hereafter is one of the best ways to reach the level of contentment. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever makes the hereafter his goal, Allah will bring his affairs together, place richness in his heart, and the world will come to him despite his lack of enthusiasm for it.[102]

May Allah accept from us our striving in this month, grant us taqwá, and forgive us for our shortcomings. 


Notes

[1] Sunan al-Tirmidhī, no. 3247.

[2] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 2726.

[3] Sunan Abī Dāwūd, no. 96, authenticated by al-Albānī.

[4] Sunan Abī Dāwūd, no. 1482, authenticated by al-Albānī.

[5] Qur’an 1:5.

[6] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 2725.

[7] Yahyā b. Sharaf al-Nawawī, al-Minhāj sharh Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim ibn al-Hajjāj (Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth, 1392 AH), 17:43.

[8] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 2837.

[9] Sunan al-Tirmidhī, no. 3551; Sunan Abī Dāwūd, no. 1510; Sunan Ibn Mājah, no. 3830.

[10] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 2722; Sunan al-Nasāʾī, no. 5538.

[11] Qur’an 2:197.

[12] Qur’an 26:89.

[13] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 6306.

[14] Qur’an 4:110.

[15] Qur’an 8:33.

[16] Ismāʿīl b. ʿUmar ibn Kathīr, Tafsīr al-Qurʾān al-ʿAẓīm, ed. Sāmī b. Muḥammad al-Salāmah, 8 vols. (Beirut: Dār Al-Kutub Al-ʿIlmīyah, 1998), 4:43, verse 8:33.

[17] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 483; Sunan Abī Dāwūd, no. 878.

[18] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 482.

[19] Abū Nuʿaym Aḥmad b. ʿAbd-Allāh al-Aṣfahānī, Ḥilyat al-awliyāʾ wa ṭabaqāt al-aṣfiyāʾ, 10 vols.  (Cairo: Maṭbaʿat Al-Saʿādah, 1974), 5:223.

[20] Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-Ṭabarī, Jāmiʿ al-bayān ʿan taʾwīl āy al-Qurʾān, ed. Aḥmad Muḥammad Shākir, 24 vols. (Beirut: Muʾassasat al-Risālah, 2000), 8:245, no. 9207.

[21] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 6398; Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 2719.

[22] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 771; Sunan Abī Dāwūd, no. 1509.

[23] Sunan al-Tirmidhī, no. 2140, declared fair (ḥasan) by al-Tirmidhī; Sunan Ibn Mājah, no. 3834.

[24] Musnad Ibn Ḥanbal, no. 12107, authenticated as strong (qawwī) by al-Arnāʾūṭ.

[25] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 52.

[26] Sunan Ibn Mājah, no. 88, authenticated by al-Albānī.

[27] Sunan al-Nasāʾī, no. 1304, authenticated by al-Albānī in Silsilat al-aḥādīth al-ṣaḥīḥah, 7 vols. (Riyadh: Maktabat Al-Maʿārif, 1996), 7:696, no. 3228. See also Sunan al-Tirmidhī, no. 3407.

[28] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 3461.

[29] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 6316; Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 763.

[30] Qur’an 24:35.

[31] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 6464.

[32] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 6389; Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 2690. The wording of Muslim does not include “Allāhumma” at the beginning. It starts at “Rabbanā” just like the āyah in Sūrat al-Baqarah, 2:201.

[33] Sunan Ibn Mājah, no. 3847.

[34] Sunan Abī Dāwūd, no. 1519.

[35] Qur’an 2:201.

[36] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 744; Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 598.

[37] Ibn Hajar al-ʿAsqalānī, Fatḥ al-bārī sharḥ Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, ed. ʿAbdulʿazīz ibn Bāz, 13 vols. (Cairo: Al-Maktabah as-Salafīyah, n.d.), 2:230.

[38] Sunan Abī Dāwūd, no. 1522; Sunan al-Nasāʾī, no. 1303. Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī declared its chain of narrators strong in his work Bulūgh al-marām; see Ibn Ḥajar, Bulūgh al-marām min adillat al-aḥkām, ed. Samīr al-Zuhayrī (Riyadh: Dār Al-Falaq, 2003), 96.

[39] Sunan al-Nasā’ī, no. 1347, authenticated by al-Albānī.

[40] Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawzīyah, Kitāb al-rūḥ, ed. Muḥammad al-Iṣlāḥī (Mecca: Dār ʿĀlam Al-Fawāʾid, n.d.), 223.

[41] Ibn al-Qayyim.

[42] Sunan al-Tirmidhī, no. 2308, authenticated by al-Albānī.

[43] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 1377; Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 588.

[44] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 4402.

[45] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 590.

[46] Muwaffaq al-Dīn ibn Qudāmah, Wabal al-ghamāmah fī sharḥ ʻUmdat al-Fiqh (Riyadh: Madār al-Waṭan lil-Nashr, 2007), 1:292.

[47] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 2732.

[48] Muḥammad b. ʿIzz al-Dīn b. al-Malak, Sharḥ Maṣābīḥ al-sunnah, ed. Nūr al-Dīn Ṭālib, 6 vols. (Kuwait: Dār Al-Thaqāfah Al-Islāmīyah, 2012), 3:71.

[49] Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī, Iḥyā’ ’ulūm al-dīn (Beirut: Dār al-Maʻrifah, 1980), 2:186.

[50] Al-Ghazālī, 2:186.

[51] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 6357; Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 406.

[52] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 408.

[53] Qur’an 17:23–24.

[54] Qur’an 25:63–74.

[55] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 6230; Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 402.

[56] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 6230; Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 402.

[57] Sunan al-Tirmidhī, no. 2035.

[58] Qur’an 59:8–10.

[59] Sunan Ibn Mājah, no. 1767.

[60] Sunan al-Tirmidhī, no. 3513, authenticated by al-Tirmidhī; Sunan Ibn Mājah, no. 3850.

[61] Al-Ghazali mentions that pardoning is more intense than forgiveness. Forgiveness (maghfira) essentially means concealment, whereas pardoning is indicative of total erasure. Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī, al-Maqsad al-asná fī sharḥ maʿānī asmāʾ Allāh al-ḥusná, ed. Bassām ʿAbdulwahhāb al-Jābī (Cyprus: al-Jaffān w’al-Jābī, 1987), 140. One example that a person might be forgiven for his sins but still questioned about them is found in the hadith of Ibn ʿUmar who said that the Prophet ﷺ said, “One of you will come close to his Lord till He will shelter him in His screen and say: Did you commit such-and-such sin? He will say, ‘Yes.’ Then Allah will say: Did you commit such and such sin? He will say, ‘Yes.’ So Allah will make him acknowledge (all his sins) and He will say, ‘I concealed them (your sins) for you in the world, and today I forgive them for you.’” See Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 6070; Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 2768.

[62] Qur’an 24:22.

[63] Tenzin Kiyosaki, The Three Regrets: Inspirational Stories and Practical Advice for Love and Forgiveness at Life’s End (Scottsdale, AZ: Plata Publishing, 2021).

[64] See Muḥammad al-Amīn al-Shinqīṭī, Dafʿ īhām al-iḍṭirāb (Cairo: Maktabat Ibn Taymīyah, 1996), 33.

[65] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 770. 

[66] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 1163.

[67] The scholars have mentioned two possible interpretations for this phrase. The first is that it means to get more serious and prepare to work very hard, similar to the English phrase “roll up your sleeves.” The other is that it is a figurative expression used to indicate that he would avoid intimate relationships with his wives.

[68] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 2024.

[69] Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawzīyah, Ranks of the Divine Seekers, trans. Ovamir Anjum, 2 vols. (Leiden: Brill, 2020), 1:86. 

[70] Qur’an 2:213.

[71] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 486.

[72] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 6313.

[73] Ibn al-Qayyim, Ṭarīq al-hijratayn, ed. Muḥammad Ajmal al-Iṣlāḥī, 2 vols. (Mecca: Dār ʿĀlam Al-Fawāʾid, n.d.), 1:626.

[74] Sunan Ibn Mājah, no. 3846, authenticated by al-Albānī.

[75] The Prophet ﷺ prefered duʿāʾs that were comprehensive. ʿĀʾishah said, “Allah’s Messenger ﷺ used to like comprehensive duʿāʾ and would leave off other kinds.” Sunan Abī Dāwūd, no. 1482, authenticated by al-Albānī. 

[76] ʿAlī b. Sulṭān Muḥammad al-Qārī al-Harawī, Mirqāt al-mafātīḥ sharḥ Mishkāt al-maṣābīḥ9 vols. (Beirut: Dār Al-Fikr, 2002), 5:1739, no. 2504.

[77] Muṣannaf Ibn Abī Shaybah, no. 3025. See also Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī, Fatḥ al-bārī, 2:321.

[78] Sunan Ibn Mājah, no. 3846; see duʿāʾ (4.24) above.

[79] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 2999.

[80] Sunan al-Nasāʾī, no. 1306, authenticated by al-Albānī.

[81] Jāmiʿ al-Tirmidhī, no. 3502.

[82] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 6478.

[83] Qur’an 2:216.

[84] Ibn al-Qayyim, Ranks of the Divine Seekers, 2:528. 

[85] Sunan al-Nasā’ī, no. 1305, authenticated by al-Albānī.

[86] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 181. 

[87] There is a difference between this and loving the process of death, which often entails some degree of pain and loss. This refers primarily to optimism towards Allah and looking forward to meeting Allah and not having to experience the trials of this world ever again. This will be clarified further under the Notable Benefits section.

[88] ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Aḥmad b. Rajab, Sharḥ ḥadīth labayka Allāhumma labbayk, ed. al-Walīd b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān (Mecca: Dār ʿĀlam al-Fawāʾid, 1996), 95.

[89] See Ibn Kathīr, Tafsīr Ibn Kathīr, ed. Sāmī b. Muḥammad al-Salāmah, 8 vols. (Riyadh: Dār Ṭaybah, 1999), 4:262.

[90] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 6507.

[91] See ‘Abdur-Rahman Nasir as-Sa’di, Tafseer as-Sa’di, trans. Nasiruddin al-Khattab, 10 vols. (Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House, 2018), 5:47.

[92] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 6351; Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 2680.

[93] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 2720.

[94] Qur’an 16:97.

[95] Sunan al-Tirmidhī, no. 2330, authenticated by al-Tirmidhī.

[96] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 6512; Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 950.

[97] Aḥmad b. ʿUmar al-Qurṭubī, al-Mufḥim limā ashkala min talkhīs kitāb Muslim, ed. Muḥyi al-Dīn Dīb, et al., 7 vols. (Damascus: Dār Ibn Kathīr, 1996), 7:48–49.

[98] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 2721.

[99] Al-Nawawī, al-Minhāj sharh Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim ibn al-Hajjāj, 17:41.

[100] Abdur-Rahman ibn Nasir as-Sa’di, Bahjat qulūb al-abrār (Riyadh: Maktaba al-Rushd, 2002), 203.

[101] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, no. 6446; Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, no. 1051.

[102] Sunan Ibn Mājah, no. 4105, authenticated by al-Albānī.

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Dr. Tahir Wyatt

Senior Fellow | Tahir Wyatt is a published academic, experienced interpreter, and instructor of Islamic studies and comparative religion. During his twenty-one years of studying and teaching in Saudi Arabia, he procured several degrees, including a doctorate in theology. He was also the only American ever to be appointed to teach in the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, the second holiest site in the Muslim world. Dr. Wyatt currently lectures both nationally and internationally at mosques, universities, and other institutions of learning. He serves as the Executive Director of the United Muslim Masjid in Philadelphia and is the President of the Quran, Arabic, and Reflection Institute (QARI), an institute dedicated to structured, curriculum-based instruction of the Quran and Arabic Language.

Justin Parrott

Justin Parrott

Fellow | Justin Parrott has BAs in Physics and English from Otterbein University, an MLIS from Kent State University, and an MRes in Islamic Studies from the University of Wales. He is currently Research Librarian for Middle East Studies at New York University in Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). Justin embraced Islam in 2004 at the age of 20. He studied Islam from a traditional perspective with local scholars and Imams. He served as a volunteer Imam for the Islamic Society of Greater Columbus until 2013. He is currently the faculty advisor and volunteer Imam for the Muslim Students Association at NYUAD.

Yousaf Jahangir

Yousaf Jahangir

Guest Contributor | Yousaf Jahangir is a graduate of the University of Madinah where he obtained his Bachelor's degree from the faculty of Hadith and Islamic Studies. He also spent several years studying traditionally with scholars in the Prophet’s Mosque and attained ijazāt in the six books of Hadith. Ustadh Yousaf lectures regularly to students of Islamic Studies in the UK and around the world.