The Answered Supplication


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  • The Answered Supplication


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    In the Name of Allah, the
    Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

    Chapter One

    Supplication is a call from an inferior to the superior,
    only addressed to he whose power surpasses that of the supplicant. With The
    Almighty, we supplicate Him because nothing in the entire universe is beyond
    His Power. If you want anything your means are powerless to fulfill, you cry
    for the Help of The Most High in the whole universe, Who is indeed above all
    means, instruments and causes. You turn to the Power and Might that created
    this universe and originated its causes crying, ‘O Lord,’ so that He, all
    praise and glory be to Him, fulfills to you what your resources have failed to
    make happen.

    Supplication is always for a thing you believe is
    prosperous for you. Every one of us wishes for goodness, measured from his own
    viewpoint and based on the extent of his knowledge. He sees that money is good
    for him so he begs for it, and he sees that authority is good for him so he
    begs Allah to have it. Even when you curse others, you want to quench the anger
    harbored in your heart against the one who treated you unjustly or unrightfully
    seized a possession of yours.

    Supplication is an avowal of one’s helplessness.
    Therefore, we may find that some men wielding authority, who can do whatever
    they will with their power and influence, or with their money, do not
    supplicate. Why should they when they believe themselves able to fulfill
    whatever they want? The Noble Qur’an depicts this image to us through the
    glorious verse saying (what means):

    “Nay! Verily, man does
    transgress all bounds (in disbelief and evil deed, etc.). Because he considers
    himself self-sufficient.” (Al-‘Alaq, 96: 6-7)

    The meaning is that you, man, when you are able by your
    own means to fulfill what you wish, you forget – because of your negligence –
    Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, and His Supreme Power. As now witnessed,
    the further humanity progresses in civilization, the more it is obsessed with
    the vanity of self-sufficiency and the deeper it breeds the pride of possessing
    power, hardly remembering Allah.

    In the past, man used to look for water and toil hard in
    search of it. He used to dig wells that derive their supply deep within earth
    from rainwater, moving after it from one place to another. Recite the glorious
    Qur’anic verse in which Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He, says (what means):

    “See you not, that Allah
    sends down water (rain) from the sky, and causes it to penetrate the earth,
    (and then makes it to spring up) as water-springs and afterward thereby
    produces crops of different colours, and afterward they wither and you see them
    turn yellow, then He makes them dry and broken pieces. Verily, in this, is a
    Reminder for men of understanding.” (Az-Zumar, 39: 21)

    In the past, man depended on these springs and wells to
    supply his need of water. If it happened that he went to the well or the spring
    from where he used obtain his water supply and he found none, he used to
    stretch his hands towards the heaven and cry, ‘O Lord.’ Then, civilization
    flourished and through tanks, the conduction of water to homes became possible.
    At home, you turn the tap on and water gushes, but on finding nothing, what
    would happen? Would you invoke your Lord? No, you would not, but you would
    think of calling the water company or the town council or the municipality to
    pump water into the building. The same happens in all other human needs,
    civilization has solved man’s problems. But instead of expressing gratitude to
    Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, Who empowered man with knowledge and
    provided him with the supply usually given by search, and instead of whispering
    to himself as the Noble Qur’an instructs us (what means):

    “And Who sends down
    water (rain) from the sky in due measure. Then We revive a dead land therewith,
    and even so you will be brought forth (from the dead).” (Az-Zukhruf, 43: 11)

    Man sees the blessings and remains blind to the Bestower,
    all because of his oblivion and ingratitude. When we turn on the tap we have to
    bear in mind that the water company does not create the water we drink but
    Almighty Allah is the One Who created it, originated it and send it down from
    heaven. We have to ascribe the blessing to the True Giver and thank Him for it.
    Instead, we adopt the causes and forget the Causer, Allah, same as we do in
    anything else.

    If we review the modern means of transport: the airplane
    that makes us sails through the sky, the vehicle that transports us from one
    place to another easily and smoothly, the elevator that spares us the trouble of
    ascending and descending the stairs in high places, in all we must remember the
    True Giver, Allah, all praise and glory be to Him. Because such instruments of
    civilization are made of materials which Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He, has
    created on earth. Realized through the work of the minds that Allah, The
    Exalted and Ever-Majestic, has endowed us with; minds prepared to work and
    think, and guided to realize what He, The Sovereign, willed to be. The
    knowledge, the mind and the matter are all from Allah – hence – the true Giver
    is Almighty Allah. But we benefit from them as things taken for granted!! We do
    not contemplate the bestowments that Allah has conferred upon us, and
    regretfully, the greater the bestowments the lesser the thanks given!!

    Remembering Allah at every blessing is a must, and
    thanking Him when benefiting from it is also a must. Allah, all praise and
    glory be to Him, loves to hear the voices of His believing servants begging
    Him. He loves to hear them saying, O Lord.’ He may delay the response,
    for them to continue supplicating and for Him to hear the sound of their
    supplications. But The Exalted and Ever-Majestic hates the voices of the
    disbelievers, therefore He may answer their worldly desires – without delay –
    not to hear their voices calling Him. Worldly gains are worth nothing in the
    Sight of Allah, all praise and glory be to Him. The Messenger of Allah (may
    Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Had this world been worth a
    mosquito wing in the Sight of Allah, He would not have given a disbeliever from
    it a sip of water.”

     

    Linguistically, Ad-Du‘â’ [the Arabic word for
    supplication, invocation, prayer….] is a call, and it has more than a
    denotation. With respect to humans, if addressed from a superior to an inferior
    it would be a command: as when the boss asks his employee to execute such and
    such tasks. That would be an order. It could be from a human to another coequal
    to him, thus it would be a request. It could be from an employee to his boss;
    in such case it would be a wish.

    Ad-Du‘â’ according to the terminology of the Sharî‘ah
    [Islamic Law] is a request from a servant to His Lord. Supplication dictates
    that there must be a supplicant (the servant) and a highest Answerer (Allah),
    all praise and glory be to Him. The purpose of supplication is having (what man
    begs for). Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He, has strewn His Causes in His
    Universe for the believer and the nonbeliever to adopt them. Therefore,
    supplication should be addressed to The Causer not the causes. In his supplication
    man begs for things he sees as good for him, judged by his limited knowledge,
    imperfect human power and imbalanced criteria. But Allah, glory be to Him – Who
    alone possesses Power and Knowledge – sees that the thing His servant
    unknowingly begs for is evil for him and the Mercy lies here in not answering
    the servant’s call, so the unfulfillment of the prayer becomes the bestowed
    good and the given response.

    We may clarify the issue and approximate the picture to
    the minds by a son who asks his father to buy him a gun in order to protect
    himself. The son imagines that having a gun is good for him, because people
    will fear him and he will be abler to defend himself. Considering the request
    from the son’s viewpoint, we may see that his demand will avail him good, but
    actually it will not. For the son may act rashly and rushes into a dispute or a
    fight, looses his temper, shoots his opponent and commits a crime against a
    human soul. He may also incur his own death, thus forbidding him to carry a gun
    is for his own good. But the son sees the unfulfillment of his demand as a
    denial of being a fear-inspiring man, capable of defending himself. The son is
    blind to the wisdom behind the unfulfillment, but the father knows where lies
    the good and he acted accordingly.


    Invoking for good…and evil

    Man should invoke Allah for whatever good he may wish for,
    but likewise he must regard the denial as in his favor. He has to leave the
    answer that will surely bring him good only to Allah, whether the answer is by
    fulfillment or denial, and not to distress himself by his impatience for not
    being answered. That is the purport of the glorious Qur’anic verse saying (what
    means):

    “And man invokes (Allah)
    for evil as he invokes (Allah) for good and man is ever hasty.” (Al-Isrâ’, 17:
    11)

    The Truth [Al-Haqq: one of the Beautiful
    Names of Allah], all praise and glory be to Him, teaches us that the valid
    criteria of judging good are not in our hands. The Most Exalted and
    Ever-Majestic, says (what means):

    “It may be that you dislike
    a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good.” (An-Nisâ’, 4: 19)

    The Almighty says (what
    means):

    “Consider it not a bad
    thing for you. Nay, it is good for you.” (An-Nûr, 24: 11)

    Therefore, do not think that the unfulfillment of the supplication
    bespeaks Divine Wrath. It is the supremacy of Godship. Not only does Allah, all
    praise and glory be to Him, want to please you, but to fulfill to you only what
    brings you goodness. If Allah answered any prayer, whether good or evil,
    endless adversities would have befallen people.

    A woman who invokes evil upon her son at an angry moment
    saying, ‘O Lord! Would that I wear black and mourn his death,’ or, ‘Please
    Lord, take his life and relieve me.’ What would have happened if Allah answered
    the prayer of that mother? Would not she be smitten with grief and would pain
    severely if Allah answered her prayer? When she comes to her senses, she would
    beg Allah not to answer her prayer. Such prayers express the sundry emotions
    that man experiences, during which he turns to heaven and says, O
    Lord,’ but afterwards he feels happy that Allah has not fulfilled his
    supplication.

    Times of supplication

    Supplication is required at every place and time, because
    it is the communication between the servant and his Lord. If man supplicated
    Allah and sought His Help all the time, Allah would always be in his mind, and
    whoever has Allah in his mind and heart shall neither go astray, nor fall into
    distress and misery. When man feels at heart that the entire universe is powerless
    and that Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He, Alone is the All-Powerful, it will
    draw him closer to attain right faith in heart.

    Seeking the Help of Allah in everything is the ideal way
    to lead a tranquil life. When man always remembers that Allah with His Power,
    Might and Majesty is near him, he will enjoy peace, because none is Exalted in
    Might save Allah, none is Capable save Allah and none is Powerful save Allah.

    By supplication you are resorting to the Strongest
    Support, because Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, is the Ever Living Who
    never dies. He is Always mightily there when you call on Him. He, be ever
    gloried His Majesty and Might, is the All-Powerful, Whose Power never abates,
    neither does His Might. Whenever you supplicate Him you find Him Omnipotent of
    fulfilling what you wish. Being the All-­Hearer, the All­-Knower, you can never
    be, for a twinkling of an eye, beyond His Hearing and Knowledge. When you
    supplicate Him you find Him All-Hearing, All-Knowing, the Sustainer and Protector
    of all that exists. Neither slumbers, nor sleep overtakes Him. Recite the
    glorious Qur’anic verse saying (what means):

    “Allah!
    Lâ ilâha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the
    Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither
    slumber, nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and
    whatever is on earth.” 
    (Al-Baqarah, 2: 255)

    Allah, Whose Majesty reigns supreme, is never heedless of
    His servants for an instant. He is The Almighty and everything in His universe
    is subjected to His Might and Power. None is above the Command of Allah, but
    the entire universe submits to His Ruling Will. Allah has created man having a
    free will to obey or disobey. Had Allah willed to create man having no power of
    free choice, easily He would have done it. Allah, all praise and glory be to
    Him, says to His Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, (what
    means):

    “It
    may be that you (O Muhammad) are going to kill yourself with grief, that they
    do not become believers [in your Risalah (Messengership) and in your
    Message of Islamic Monotheism]. If We will, We could send down to them from the
    heaven a sign, to which they would bend their necks in humility.”
    (Ash-Shu‘arâ‘, 26: 3-4)

    The power of free choice, to obey or disobey, that Allah,
    all praise and glory be to Him, gave to His servants is His Divine Will
    established in His universe. Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, hates that
    we supplicate others than Him, or turn to those who are too far below Him. In
    this regard, Allah, glory be to Him, says (what means):

    “Is
    not Allah Sufficient for His slave? Yet they try to frighten you with those
    (whom they worship) besides Him! And whom Allah sends astray, for him there
    will be no guide.” (Az-Zumar, 39: 36)

    When you invoke Allah alone, you have become certain that
    there is neither Might nor power save with Allah, but when you ask a man in
    power or authority, you are actually asking a powerless unable man; someone
    living in a world of vicissitudes. Perhaps, today he is powerful and tomorrow
    he loses his power. Perhaps, today he is wealthy but his money ends overnight.
    Perhaps, today he is alive but tomorrow he shall die. Instead of answering your
    entreaty, he turns you down when in the Hands of Allah Alone lies all goodness
    and prosperity. If Allah fulfills to everyone all his wishes, His Treasures
    will remain inexhaustible, verily, Allah provides sustenance to whomever He
    wills, without limit. 

    Allah, the Lord of Honor and Power, says in the Sanctified
    Hadith:

    “O My servants! You
    all are astray save those whom I have guided, so ask Me guidance and I will
    guide you. And you all are poor, save those whom I have made beyond need, so
    ask Me and I will give you sustenance. And you all are sinners, save those whom
    I have protected, so whoever amongst you learned that I have the power of
    Pardoning, and he begged My Forgiveness I will forgive him and I mind not. And
    were the first of you and the last, the living and the dead, the green and the
    withered (i.e., the young and old; or the obedient and disobedient; or those
    who have knowledge and those who are ignorant) had the heart of the man most
    pious among My servants, that would not add to My Kingdom a mosquito wing. And
    were the first of you and the last, the living and the dead, the green and the
    withered had the heart of the wickedest among My servants, that would not
    decrease from My Kingdom a mosquito wing. And were the first of you and the
    last, the living and the dead, the green and the withered to gather at one
    highland and every man amongst you ask all he wishes for and were I to grant
    each supplicant what he asked for, it would decrease nothing from My Kingdom,
    any more than when one of you passes by the sea and immerses a needle into it
    then raises it (back) to him. This is because I am the Most Generous, the
    Glorious, Do whatever I will. My Giving is words and My Torture is words.
    Truly, My Command, when I will a thing, is only to say to it, ‘Be!’ and it is!”
     
     

    Supplication is the heart of worship

    Supplication is the heart of worship, because it is man’s
    recourse to Allah in all his affairs. It bares the insignificance of human
    power measured against the Power of Allah. It is a reminder of Allah, Blessed
    and Exalted be He. All those who sinned, gone astray or disbelieved, at hard
    times invoke none but Allah, all praise and glory be to Him. Because man at
    adversities will never lie to himself and knows by his pure believing instinct
    that only Allah possesses power. Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He, says (what
    means):

    “And
    when harm touches man, he invokes Us, lying down on his side, or sitting or
    standing. But when We have removed his harm from him, he passes on his way as
    if he had never invoked Us for a harm that touched him!” (Yûnus, 10: 12)

     

    The Truth, be ever gloried His Majesty and Mighty, gives
    us another image through the glorious verse saying (what means):

    “He
    it is Who enables you to travel through land and sea, till when you are in the
    ships and they sail with them with a favourable wind, and they are glad
    therein, then comes a stormy wind and the waves come to them from all sides,
    and they think that they are encircled therein, they invoke Allah, making their
    Faith pure for Him Alone, saying: ‘If You (Allah) deliver us from this, we
    shall truly be of the grateful.’” (Yûnus, 10: 12)

    In hardships man seeks the help of none but Allah, and
    Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He, answers his prayer. But after deliverance man
    forgets Allah, forgets his entreaties and return to erring. The Truth, be ever
    gloried His Majesty and Mighty, made supplication between Him and His servant
    without intercession; a servant directly supplicates Allah. When reciting the
    Noble Qur’an we notice that whenever the believers or others asked the
    Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) about something
    the answer was given preceded by ‘Say,’ as in the glorious verse saying
    (what means):

    “They
    ask you (O Muhammad) about the new moons. Say: These are signs to mark fixed
    periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage.” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 189)

    And
    the glorious verse saying (what means):

    “And
    they ask you concerning the mountains, say; ‘My Lord will blast them and
    scatter them as particles of dust.’” (Tâ-­Hâ, 20: 105)

    We can clearly see that the given answers for the
    questions stated in the aforesaid glorious Qur’anic verses are preceded by ‘Say,’
    because Allah wants to draw our attention that the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah
    bless him and grant him peace) is divinely inspired with the answer, that they
    are the Words of his Lord. All except for one verse in which the answer was not
    preceded by ‘Say’; the verse saying (what means):

    “And
    when
    My servants ask you
    (O Muhammad) concerning Me, I
    am indeed close (to them): I answer the
    prayer (supplication) of every suppliant when he calls on
    Me.”
    (Al-Baqarah, 2: 186)

    The Truth, Blessed and Exalted be He, did not say, ‘Say:
    I am indeed
    close
    ,’
    to make the answer directly addressed to His servants.
    We thus learn that supplication is a direct communication between the Lord and
    His servant. Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, willed it to be this way.
    The moment you raise your hands to heavens and say O Lord,’ you become
    in direct close contact with Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, you can
    pray and say whatever you wish, for it will remain between you and your Lord.
    The Truth wants to stress His closeness to His servants, and the closeness of
    His pious righteous servants to Himself. He wants them to whisper their cares
    to Him and call on Him at any time.

    It is required that the servant be a supplicant all the
    time, but wisdom says that you should not make all the good you gain from
    supplication just the answer, but better make beseeching Allah your gain from
    supplication.

    But what is beseeching? It is to humble and submit
    yourself, step closer and earnestly implore. What Allah hates the most in a
    servant is pride, ego and self-conceit. To feel that you are capable of
    anything by your own power, but when faced with something you are helpless
    about you realize your true ability. It alerts you that there is Him Who
    nothing stands beyond His Power in the heavens or in the earth. Therefore,
    supplication symbolizes the heart of worship to remind you that you are
    powerless, your means are powerless and your ability is powerless.

    Supplication makes you feel weak before the Power of Allah
    and His Might. It effaces in you your claim of self-sufficiency by means and
    your arrogance. The moment you kill pride, ingratitude and vanity about your
    own resources, you show true servility, or the humility of worship, and win the
    honor of showing obedience. The moment you feel that you are nothing and need
    someone to support you and give you a helping hand, after you have focused
    eyes, ears and thoughts on all those around you, but you find no supporter and
    helper save Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, this is the true desired
    servility. To always feel powerless with means alone, no matter how strong and
    influential are the means given you. To always remember The All-Powerful in Whose
    Hands is the dominion of all things, and at hard times you seek no other refuge
    but with Him. This way you have inwardly realized the meaning of servility to
    Allah. Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, says in the Sanctified Hadith:

    “He who is occupied with remembering Me than beseeching Me, I shall
    give him the best of what I give the beseechers.”

     

    If you make your only gain from supplication is to have it
    answered and you receive more from the boons of this world, as though you have
    forgotten that Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, have blessed you before
    you came into being. He prepared the whole universe for you before you live in
    it; gave you before you learned how to ask, gave you while still within your
    mother’s womb; gave you while still an infant, your mind is immature, and have
    not known yet the good you may hope for. Your nourishment within your mother’s
    womb was there for you before knowing what food is; pure and clear causing no
    excrements that may harm you. When you were born your mother’s milk was there
    to give you immunity, growth and strength. Whenever hungry you found the breast
    milk of your mother needing neither cooking nor preparation and containing all
    the essential elements for your body.

    If Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, surrounded us
    with all these blessings before knowing what a blessing is or how to ask for
    it, and if Allah originated in the universe all we need, what should be our
    gain from supplication? It is showing submission to Allah, all praise and glory
    be to Him, because when man is undeceived by his means, has killed pride, and
    humbly supplicates, he admits his weakness before Allah and acknowledges that
    the Power of Allah masters him. That is worship and that is the sublime purpose
    of supplication.

    Briefly we say that supplication is a call from the low on
    the Most High, begging for the boons man hopes to have but his means cannot
    fulfill. Pride usually fills mankind the more civilized and the higher their
    standards of living become. Man forgets Allah and depends on his power, and
    become conceited of his own resources. An unfulfilled supplication does not
    mean that Allah is unpleased with us; perhaps goodness lies in not answering
    the supplication. Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He, made the recourse of souls
    to supplication have more than a wisdom behind. Sometimes man invokes for good
    to himself and to his beloved ones, but at others the soul is fed up with all
    surrounds and a mother may curse her only son, and a father his children. Had
    Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, answered all supplicants and fulfilled
    the curse the mother or the father uttered at an angry moment, what life would
    have been like? Therefore, The Truth, be ever gloried His Majesty and Might,
    says (what means):

    “And
    were Allah to hasten for mankind the evil (they invoke for themselves and for
    their children, etc. while in a state of anger) as He hastens for them the good
    (they invoke) then they would have been ruined.” (Yûnus, 10: 11)

     

    Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, did not answer an
    evil you invoked for while excited and was merciful towards you by not
    responding. He knows that it was rash words uttered at a moment of anger that
    made you hate your beloved ones and curse them, or curse yourself, and invoke
    to be blinded or to die or for other misfortunes. It is the Mercy of Allah, all
    praise and glory be to Him, towards his creatures that considers their
    circumstances, their moments of distress and their limited knowledge of the
    domains of good and evil. Therefore, Allah, all praise and glory be to Him,
    only answers the supplication when it is truly in favor of the supplicant.

     

     

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