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SUPPLICATION REGULATIONS AND ETIQUETTES

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST GRACIOUS, THE MOST MERCIFUL.

THE THIRD SERMON OF THE MONTH OF SHA’BAN, DATED 20/8/1445 AH – 1/3/2024 AD

TOPIC: SUPPLICATION: REGULATIONS AND ETIQUETTES

THE FIRST SERMON

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, who says in His Noble Book: (وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ) “And when My servants ask you concerning Me, indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” (Al-Baqarah: 186) We praise Him, seek His assistance and forgiveness, and seek refuge in Allah from the evils of ourselves and the wickedness of our deeds. Whoever Allah guides, there is no one who can misguide him, and whoever Allah leaves astray, there is none to guide him. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, alone, without any partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.

Dear servants of Allah, I advise you all and myself to have Taqwa (God-consciousness) of Allah, openly and privately, as it is the ultimate goal of all acts of obedience and all that is commanded and prohibited. Allah, the Exalted, says: (يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاَّ وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ) “O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him].” (Al-Imran: 102)

Believers, this is the third meeting in the month of Sha’ban, and after it comes the blessed month of Ramadan, the month of answering prayers. The topic of our sermon today revolves around SUPPLICATION: REGULATIONS AND ETIQUETTES.

Dear Muslims, supplication is a means of relieving the heart, dispelling worries, and alleviating sorrows. It is the companion of the believer in times of trials and a source of comfort in times of distress and calamities. It is the refuge of the oppressed and the solace of the weak. It brings blessings and repels calamities. Supplication has guaranteed results and brings profit. It severs the ties with creation and relies solely on Allah, the Exalted. In fact, Allah becomes displeased when His servant stops asking Him.

Supplication, along with taking the necessary means, is a great act of worship. It is the remembrance of Allah, a constant act of worship, and a continuous form of devotion. Allah, the Exalted, has commanded us to increase in supplication and to continuously seek His help and turn to Him alone. He, the Exalted, does not sleep or slumber. He says: (وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ) “And your Lord says, ‘Call upon Me; I will respond to you.'” (Ghafir: 60) An-Nu’man bin Bashir narrated that he heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) saying, “Supplication is worship.” (At-Tirmidhi and Ahmad) Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Supplication is the essence of worship.” (At-Tirmidhi)

And Allah, the Exalted, says: (وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ) “And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” (Al-Baqarah: 186)

Our belief, which is undeniable, is that everything happens by the decree of Allah. We always repeat: (قُلِ اللَّهُمَّ مَالِكَ الْمُلْكِ تُؤْتِي الْمُلْكَ مَن تَشَاءُ وَتَنزِعُ الْمُلْكَ مِمَّنْ تَشَاءُ وَتُعِزُّ مَن تَشَاءُ وَتُذِلُّ مَن تَشَاءُ بِيَدِكَ الْخَيْرُ إِنَّكَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ. تُولِجُ اللَّيْلَ فِي النَّهَارِ وَتُولِجُ النَّهَارَ فِي اللَّيْلِ وَتُخْرِجُ الْحَيَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَتُخْرِجُ الَمَيِّتَ مِنَ الْحَيِّ وَتَرْزُقُ مَن تَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ) “Say, ‘O Allah, Owner of Sovereignty, You give sovereignty to whom You will and You take sovereignty away from whom You will. You honor whom You will and You humble whom You will. In Your hand is [all] good. Indeed, You are over all things competent. You cause the night to enter the day, and You cause the day to enter the night; and You bring the living out of the dead, and You bring the dead out of the living. And You give provision to whom You will without account.'” (Al-Imran: 26-27)

Therefore, while we focus on work, mobilization, organizing events, and managing affairs, and while we take all the material means for victory, our certainty, which does not waver, is that the matter is in the hands of Allah alone. That is why we turn to Him in supplication to remove afflictions, alleviate harm, and bring victory. Supplication is a weapon that the oppressors neglect and even mock.

If harm befalls us or we are faced with difficulties, we will never be disappointed in our Lord.

Allah is sufficient for us and He is the best disposer of affairs. We raise our complaints and supplications to Him.

Following the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him), who fervently supplicated to Allah for victory in the Battle of Badr, we are in great need of applying this noble Prophetic tradition and seeking refuge in Allah to remove the darkness from the Ummah, repel harm, and eliminate injustice and oppressors, especially in these two noble months, the present one and the upcoming one. It is noteworthy that the verse that speaks about the nearness of Allah and His response to the supplicant is mentioned in the context of the verses about fasting. Allah says: (وإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ) “And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” (Al-Baqarah: 186)

We must seek the best times for acceptance, such as after the prayers, especially Fajr and Asr prayers, before sunrise and before sunset, at the time of breaking the fast, in the depths of the night, in the pre-dawn hours before Fajr, after reciting the Quran, and during prostration.

We should supplicate to Allah with humble hearts and hopeful souls, seeking His mercy and victory, and having full confidence in His promise. “Invoke Allah while being certain of the response. And know that Allah does not respond to a supplication from a heedless heart.”

There are multiple reasons for the acceptance of supplication in these days:

Firstly, the greatness of the blessed month and the inclination of Allah towards His servants who approach Him with worship, Quran recitation, remembrance, and sincere hearts that are not distracted or heedless.

Secondly, fasting. The fasting person’s supplication is answered until he breaks his fast, and he has a supplication that is not rejected when he breaks his fast.

Thirdly, the great injustice that has befallen us and the Ummah from the occupying forces in the Muslim lands, whose hearts have become like stones or even harder.

The supplication of the oppressed, especially at the time of breaking the fast and in the depths of the night, is answered, even if the supplicant is a sinner. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, for there is no barrier between it and Allah.” He also said, “The supplication of the oppressed is answered, even if he is wicked, for his wickedness is only against himself.” So, his supplication is answered because he is oppressed, not because of his personal qualities.

How much more, if the oppressed is from among the pious ones, goodness, and reform?! How then, if the oppressed is an orphan whose father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, spouse, or family member was unjustly killed? How then, if the oppressed mother of the orphan is imprisoned after the martyrdom of her husband at the hands of the oppressors?! Indeed, the supplication of this oppressed person opens the doors of the heavens, and it ascends to Allah faster than lightning. Allah Almighty promises to answer it, as said by the Prophet, peace be upon him: “Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, for it is carried on the clouds. Allah Almighty says: ‘By My might and majesty, I will surely aid you, even if it is after a while.'”

And do not let your heart change when you see a delay in the answer to your supplication, for the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said:  (وَكَذَلِكَ أَخْذُ رَبِّكَ إِذَا أَخَذَ الْقُرَى وَهِيَ ظَالِمَةٌ إِنَّ أَخْذَهُ أَلِيمٌ شَدِيدٌ) “Indeed, Allah gives respite to the oppressor until, when He seizes him, He does not let him escape.” Then he recited: “And thus is the seizure of your Lord when He seizes the cities while they are committing wrong. Indeed, His seizure is painful and severe.”

ETIQUETTES OF SUPPLICATION:

What are the etiquettes of supplication?

1- Facing the Qibla and raising the hands during supplication.

2- Starting and ending the supplication with praising Allah and sending blessings upon His Messenger, peace be upon him. Fadalah bin `Ubaid narrated: “While the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was seated, a man entered and performed Salat, and he said: ‘O Allah, forgive me, and have mercy upon me.’ The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘You have rushed, O praying person. When you perform Salat and then sit, then praise Allah with what He is deserving of, and send Salat upon me, then call upon Him.”

Abu Sulayman al-Darani, may Allah have mercy on him, said: “Whoever wishes to ask Allah for a need, let him begin by sending blessings upon the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, then ask for his need, and finally conclude by sending blessings upon the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. Indeed, Allah the Exalted accepts the invocation of the two blessings, and He is more generous than to leave unanswered what is between them (i.e the two invocations of blessings on the prophet- peace be upon him).”

3- The best times for acceptance of supplication: Friday, the Night of Decree, the last third part of the night, when the khateeb ascends the pulpit, between the call to prayer and the Iqamah to commence prayer, and before breaking the fast for the fasting person.

4- Lowering the voice, for Allah says: (ادعوا ربكم تضرعًا وخفية إنه لا يحب المعتدين) “Call upon your Lord in humility and privately; indeed, He does not like transgressors. “And it was said, “O Messenger of Allah, is Allah near so we call Him out loud, or far so we whisper to Him?” So Allah Almighty revealed: (وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ) “And when My servants ask you concerning Me, indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” (Al-Baqarah: 186)

5- Avoiding affectation in supplication, such as memorizing rhymed phrases and prolonging the supplication. It is better to supplicate from the heart and with what is narrated from the Prophet, peace be upon him. Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: A man supplicated and said, “O Allah, I ask You, by You is all praise, there is no god but You, the Originator of the heavens and the earth, the Possessor of majesty and honor, O Ever-Living, O Sustainer of [all] existence.” So the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Do you know what this man supplicated with?” They said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said, “By the One in whose hand is my soul, he supplicated to Allah with His greatest name, which if He is called by it, He answers, and if He is asked by it, He gives.”

THE SECOND SERMON

Praise be to Allah alone, who made the month of Ramadan a month of forgiveness, guidance, mercy, and glad tidings for the believing doers of good. He says in His clear Book: (شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِنَ الْهُدَى وَالْفُرْقَانِ فَمَنْ شَهِدَ مِنْكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ وَمَنْ كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَى مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ) “The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the mankind and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” (Al-Baqarah: 185) We praise Him, glorified and exalted be He, and we thank Him and believe in Him and rely upon Him. May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, his family and companions and those who follow them in excellence until the Day of Recompense.

As for what follows,

O noble Muslims, it is worth mentioning at this time that we remind ourselves to prepare for the coming month, the month of forgiveness and mercy, the season of goodness and blessings, the noble and blessed month of Ramadan. How does a Muslim prepare for the month of Ramadan? We hope that this advice will be the starting point for every Muslim towards goodness and righteous deeds, starting from this noble month and forever, with the help of Allah, who is the Generous, the Noble Bestower. May Allah send peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon his family and companions.

Allah says: “So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it.” (Al-Baqarah: 185)

First: Psychological and practical preparation for this blessed month:

• Engage in supplication before the arrival of Ramadan, and among the recommended supplications are:

A- “O Allah, bless us in Rajab and Sha’ban and enable us to reach Ramadan.”

B- “O Allah, allow me to reach Ramadan in safety and make Ramadan easy for me, and accept it from me.”

It is recommended for the Muslim to have the intention of sincere repentance from all previous sins and the intention to earn as much good deeds as possible in the month, because in it, the rewards and blessings are multiplied. The intention should be that this month represents the beginning of a journey towards goodness, righteous deeds, and forever, by Allah’s permission.

Second: Financial and economic preparation:

• Allocate a fixed amount from your salary or university allowance (for students) for this month to carry out some Ramadan projects, such as Ramadan charity, writing books and messages for charitable distribution, participating in a project to provide iftar meals for a whole month, and the bag of goodness, which is a collection of food items distributed to the poor at the beginning of the month, and going to the Kaaba to perform Umrah.

Third: Academic preparation:

• Learn the fiqh of fasting (etiquette and rulings) through religious lessons in mosques and other places.

• Attend some lectures and seminars held in anticipation of the approaching month of Ramadan.

Fourth: Preparations for calling to Allah:

1. The da’ee (caller to Allah) prepares for Ramadan through the following means:

  • The da’wah bag (the da’wah gift for the fasting person).
  • Writing some short messages and brochures to help prepare people for doing good deeds in the blessed month.
  • Preparing some speeches and guidance on faith and education to be delivered in the local mosque.
  • Family education through daily or weekly lessons.

Fifth: Health Preparation:

  • Every Muslim should undergo a medical examination to check for any diseases in their body that may prevent him from fasting or completing the thirty days or twenty-nine days of Ramadan. If he finds any illness in his body, he should treat it before the beginning of the month of Ramadan.

Supplication:

O Living, O Sustaining, O Possessor of Majesty and Honor, and the Mighty One who is never overcome, deal with the unjust Jews who occupy and aggress in Palestine and all the lands of the Muslims, and those who support them openly, and those who obey them in falsehood, and those who facilitate their evil deeds, and those who aid them in their oppression, and those who kill the innocent unjustly, and those who unjustly imprison the honorable, and those who harm the Muslims and peaceful people unjustly. O Allah, do not grant them success in their deceit for they are treacherous, do not rectify their actions for they are corrupt, do not fulfill their desires and hopes for they are unjust. Separate them from what they desire and intend, and do not elevate them except to fall and fail for they are futile. Do not raise a banner for them, do not grant them a goal or purpose, humiliate them and make them a lesson and a sign for the people. And may Allah send blessings upon our master Muhammad and his family and companions and those who follow them with excellence until the Day of Judgment, and grant them peace abundantly.

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