11: The Performance of Du’a in Islam

Majlis notes the practice of making Du’a varies among different groups of Muslims within Trinidad and Tobago, and this difference of opinion is often justified using Islamic theology. This can, and in some instances has, led to the confusion of members of the Muslim community regarding the practice of Du’a and acceptability of variance of practices. Majlistt thus sees the need to address these concerns.

In particular, the variance speaks in part to two distinct areas:

  1. How Du’a is made and how it should be made (speaking to such areas of contention as whether Du’a should be made, should hands be raised, whether the Du’a should be recited loudly or softly, whether it should be made individually or as a group, and the length of the Du’a)
  • When Du’a should be made (with contentious areas including Du’a after Adhan, after the Fard Salaah collectively and individually, after Janaazah, at the cemetery after burial, and in congregation)

This paper seeks to clarify the Islamic position across these areas, considering the positions of all schools of Fiqh represented in the Majlis.

1.  What is Du’a

Du’a is derived from the root letters that mean “call someone, invite, call upon, invoke, supplicate”. As Muslims, we understand Du’a to mean ‘to pray to Allah, supplicate to Him, or petition Him humbly, desiring to obtain some good that He can bestow’.

In the Qur’an the word Du’a is used in different contexts, relating to:

  1. Each other: “Like the Du’a of one of you to another” (Qur’an 24:63)
  2. Missionary Work: “Invite to the way of your Rabb” (Qur’an 16:125)

“a group of people inviting to all that is good: (Qur’an 3:05)

  1. False deities: “the deities other than Allah whom they invoked” (Qur’an 11:101)
  2. Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala: “Invoke then, Allah, sincere in your devotion to Islam (Qur’an 40:14)

In relation to Zikr and Du’a, people often associate Zikr with Du’a, and it is common for persons to confuse both areas. Majlistt wishes to note that Du’a is supplication to Allah Ta’ala, and Zikr is glorification of Allah Ta’ala.

2.  The Importance of Du’a in Islam

Du’a makes a connection between the Creator and the creation. It is one of the most powerful and effective acts of worship a human being can engage in. The All-Merciful, Ever-Bountiful Creator has instructed us to make Du’a.

“And your Rabb says ‘Make Du’a to Me and I shall respond to you’” (Qur’an 40:60)

In relation to making Du’a to Almighty Allah, we are told:

  1. “Make Du’a to your Rabb with humility and in private” (Qur’an 7:55)
  2. “Make Du’a to Him with fear and longing” (Qur’an 7:56)
  3. “And make Du’a to Him, sincere in your faith in Him alone” (Qur’an 7:29; 40:14)
  4. “They used to make Du’a to Us in yearning and awe” (Qur’an 21:90)

And Almighty Allah, the Samii-‘ud-Du’a (Qur’an 3:38, 14:39) has repeated His promise of responding to Du’as. “I respond to the Du’a of the supplicant whenever he calls on Me.” (Qur’an 2:186)

Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) is known to have humbled himself before his Lord in all matters and used to make Du’a. Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) set the example of abundant Du’a in his daily life.

It is reported that Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) and assured his Ummah, “A servant is granted an answer provided he does not ask for anything that is sinful or for severance of blood ties and provided he does not demand an answer quickly.” It was asked “O Messenger of Allah, what is demanding an answer quickly?” He said “It is when he says ‘I have supplicated and I have supplicated and I have not been responded to.’ So, he becomes weary in such circumstances and abandons making Du’a.” (transmitted by Imam Muslim)

And He, Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him, informed his Ummah, “No Muslim invokes a Du’a in which there is no sin and severance of blood ties except that Allah gives him as a result one of 3 things: either He hastens for him the answer or He stores it up for him in the Hereafter or He turns away from him an equivalent amount of evil.” (transmitted by Imam Ahmad)

The Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) is reported to have said, “There is nothing more honourable to Allah than Du’a.” (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban and Haakim)

The Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) narrates from his Lord who says: “O Children of Adam! Until such a time you continue to make Du’a to Me and have trust and hope in Me, I will continue forgiving your sins no matter what they are and I do not care for anything (Allah is independent).” (Tirmidhi)

The Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) is reported to have said “Du’a is the weapon of a Mu’min, a pillar of the Deen and the light of the skies and earth.” (Haakim & Abu Ya’la)

The Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) is reported to have said “Du’a can protect and avert all those calamities and misfortunes (balaa) that descend and that which will descend in the future. So, O Servant of Allah! Observe Du’a.” (Tirmidhi and Haakim)

Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) is reported to have said “When Balaa (calamity) descends, Du’a intercepts it and then both wrestle till Qiyaamah.” (Bazzaar, Tabaraani & Haakim)

The Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) is reported to have said “Du’a is the essence of worship.” (Tirmidhi) 

The Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) is reported to have said “Shall I not inform you of that thing which will protect you from your enemy and increase your sustenance?  Make Du’a to Allah, day and night because Du’a is a weapon of a Mu’min.” (Abu Ya’laa)

His Companions learnt from him (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) what they heard him say in Du’a and from what he taught them to say on specific occasions.

3.  Etiquette of Du’a

In Islam, there are certain etiquettes to be observed when making the Du’a.

  1. The one who is making Du’a must have belief in Tawheed and sincerity towards Allah alone while making Du’a. Du’a is an act of worship. Directing one’s worship to other than Allah alone is an act of major Shirk. Allah Ta’ala says in the Holy Qur’an:

You [alone] do we worship, and from You [alone] do we seek help (Qur’an 1:5) 

And they were not commanded, except that they should worship Allah sincerely, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him), and perform As-Salat and give Zakat and that is the right religion. [Qur’an 98:5]

2. When making Du’a, call Allah by His Beautiful Names. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:‏

And to Allah belong the Most Beautiful Names, so invoke Him by them…” [Qur’an 7:180]

  • Don’t be hasty while making Du’a. As Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said “I saw a man making Du’a ‘O Allah, forgive me and have mercy on me.’” So, the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “You were hasty. When you pray, praise Allah as He deserves to be praised, ask Allah to send blessings upon me, then call upon Allah.” (at-Tirmidhi)

Ibn Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) said, ‘Allah does not accept Du’a from the conceited, the one who flaunts and the one who is not serious, (He accepts only) from a person who praises and asks from his heart.’ (at‐Tirmidhi).

3. Repent for all the previous sins before making Du’a and sincerely ask for Allah’s forgiveness.

4. One of the most essential things needed for the acceptance of the Du’a is having certainty that the Du’a will be accepted.

The Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Ask Allah with certainty that He will answer your prayers, and know that Allah will not accept the supplication from an absent heart.” (at‐Tirmidhi).

3.1 Desirable Acts in Making D’ua

  1. Make Du’a with humility and respect, lowering the voice, and with great keenness, hope, firmness and the conviction that the Du’a will definitely be accepted.
  2. Don’t lift your gaze towards the sky.
  3. Refrain from musical styles.
  4. Make Du’a through a wasila (Good deeds etc.).
  5. Confess one’s sins.
  6. Ask from the depth of your heart.
  7. Ask repeatedly, at least three times.
  8. Ask Allah beseeching him. 
  9. Don’t ask for something impossible. 
  10. When making Du’a for someone one should make Du’a for himself first, then for the person. 
  11. The Du’a should be comprehensive.
  12. A person should ask using those Du’as mentioned in the Qur’an and Hadith.
  13. A person should ask every need only from Allah.
  14. If he is an Imam, he should not only ask for himself rather he should include the congregation in his Du’a.
  15. Before completing Du’a he should mention the praises of Allah.
  16. Send Durood on the Prophet (Peace be upon him).
  17. On Completion say Ameen.
  18. At the end he should pass his hands over his face.

3.2 When Du’a should (and should not) be made

Within Islam, there are some times that are highly recommended to make Du’as:

  1. The Night of Power (Lailatul Qadr)
  2. The Day of Arafat (Especially after Zawal and specifically on the plains of Arafat)
  3. The Month of Ramadhan
  4. The Night of Jumu’a (Thursday night)
  5. The Day of Jumma (before sunset)
  6. The Day of Jumma (between adhan and the time when the imam sits on the mimbar)
  7. Last third of the night
  8. Wednesdays[1] between Zuhr and Asr Prayer
  9. Between Adhan and Iqamah
  10. After the 5 Fard Salah
  11. In Sajdah
  12. After recitation of the Qur’an
  13. After listening to the recitation of the Qur’an
  14. At the completion of the Qur’an (Khatam)
  15. After drinking Zam Zam
  16. At the time of rainfall
  17. In a Majlis where the Dhikr of Allah and His Rasul (pboh) is made
  18. At the time when a person is dying
  19. When the Heart cries (in state of anxiety, distress, pain or sadness)
  20. When the Sun begins to descend (just after midday)
  21. When you wake up suddenly in the night from Sleep (provided you go to sleep with wudhu)
  22. The night of the 1st of Rajab
  23. Night of 15th of Sha’baan
  24. Night of Eid ul Fitr
  25. Night of Eid ul Adha
  26. Looking at the Ka’ba
  27. When a person is travelling
  28. When a person is sick
  29. Making Du’a in absence of a person

Also, within Islam, there are certain places where Du’a would be accepted.

  1. During the Tawaaf (circumambulation of the Kaabah)
  2. Multazam (the space between the Black Stone and the Kaabah door)
  3. Inside the Holy Kaabah 
  4. Under the Meezab (spout of the Kaabah) al Rahmah
  5. In the Hateem (Extension of the Original Kaabah – horseshoe area north of the Kaabah)
  6. By Hajar al Aswad (The Black Stone)
  7. At Rukn Yamani (Yemeni corner of the Kaabah – normally exposed)
  8. Behind Maqam Ibrahim (Prophet Ibrahim’s station)
  9. At As-Safa
  10. At Al-Marwah
  11. Between Safa and Marwah
  12. Upon Seeing the Kaabah no matter from what direction or distance 
  13. In Masjid un Nabawi
  14. In the Roudah of the Mosque of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) 
  15. In Masjid Quba 
  16. At the Mountain of Uhud 

We wish to remind persons that it is prohibited for Muslims to pray for the forgiveness of deceased non-Muslims, based on the Quranic reference “It is not for the Prophet and those who believe, to pray for the forgiveness of unbelievers even though they may be near of kin after it has become clear that they are people of hell-fire.” [Qur’an 9: 113]

4.  On the Issue of Raising Hands for the Du’a

The raising of our hands when we make Du’a to Almighty Allah is amongst the etiquettes of Du’as as taught by the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him), established in books of Hadith.

  1. Hazrat Salman al-Farsi reported: The Prophet, Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Verily, Allah is munificent and generous. He would be ashamed, when a man raises his hands to Him, to turn them away empty and disappointed.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhī 3556)
  • The Messenger of Almighty Allah sought to make his supplications to Almighty Allah at times he would raise his hands above his shoulders, with the palms of his hands facing inwards (i.e. his face) (praying for rain – istisqaa). (Abu Dawood)

There is also evidence in the authentic Sunnah that the Messenger of Almighty Allah would raise his hands during his qunut supplications during the prayer, and also during his supplications during the prayers of Istisqaa or rain.

On the basis of above Hadith, most scholars state that there is nothing wrong in raising the hands while making Du’a.

The majority of the Hanafi scholars and jurists are of the opinion that raising hands to make supplications at any time is Mustahab and recommended.

Imam Qastallani said in his book (Irshad al Saari Sharh Saheehul Bukhari) that it is recommended to raise hand in any Du’a. However, some others state that raising hands is not recommended except while performing Salatul-Istisqaa’ (Prayer performed for beseeching Allah for Rain). They quoted the following Hadith in support of their view:

Hazrat Anas Ibn Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) did not raise his hands in his invocations except in Salatul-Istisqaa’ (at which time he used to raise his hands so high that one could see the whiteness of his armpits).

The above-mentioned Hadith is interpreted by the scholars of Hadith, that this Hadith is not denying and rejecting the raising hands in Du’a but its height, the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) never has raised so high except in istisqa. Imam Nawwai further said that there are approximately 30 Ahadith which state that Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) and his Sahabah use to raise hands in Du’a beside Saltul  Istisqa.( Sharhul Muhazzab).

Al Hafiz ibn Hajar said: “The Nafi will be referred to specific way either to so high which indicates in Hadith “until whiteness of his armpits was seen”

Ibn ‘Umar used to do Rami of the Jamrat us Ulaa (the Jamra near to the Khaif mosque) with seven small stones and used to recite Takbir on throwing every pebble. He then would go ahead till he reached the level ground where he would stand facing the Qiblah for a long time to invoke (Allah) while raising his hands (during the invocations). Then he would do Rami of the Jamrat-ul-Wusta (middle Jamra) and then he would go to the left towards the middle ground, where he would stand facing the Qiblah. He would remain standing there for a long period to invoke (Allah) while raising his hands, and would stand there for a long period. Then he would do Rami of the Jamrat-ul-Aqaba from the middle of the valley, but he would not stay by it, and then he would leave and say, “I saw the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) doing like this.”

Raising the hands in Dua is an etiquette which is commonly recorded in the Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him).

4.1 Raising the hands in Du’a after Salah

Al-Fadl bin Al-`Abbas narrated that:

Allah’s Messenger (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “As-Salat is performed in sets of two units [and] Salah fundamentally constitutes sitting in the Tashahhud posture after every two units, displaying humility, helplessness, pleading to Allah and raising ones hands to his lord with open palms, saying [in earnest]: ‘O my Rabb, O my Rabb’. And whoever does not do this, then it is like this or that.”   (Tirmizi 385) This Hadith also transmitted by Imam Abu Dawud, Hafiz Ibn Khuzaymah, Imam Nisai, Imam Ibn Maja. Imam Sayuti says that it is Sahih (Faddh al Wiaa Fi Ahadith Raf al yadayni fil D’ua).

Muhammad Ibn Abu Yahya says: ‘I noticed Abdullah Ibn Zubayr observing a person who had raised his hands in Du’a before terminating his Salah, Abdullah Ibn Zubair (May Allah be pleased with him) said to him: ‘The Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) would not raise his hands in Du’a until after completing his Salah.’

Hafiz Haytami records this Hadith in Majma, transmitting it on the authority of Imam Tabarani. The chain of transmission is sound. Hafiz Ibn Hajar says that this Hadith is sound (Nataij al afkaar.)

Ismail Ibn Umayyah narrates that when the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) completed his Salah he would raise his hands and bring them together. He would then make the following supplication:

“Allaahumma ighfir li ma qaddamtu wa ma akhkhartu wa ma asrartu wa ma a’lantu wa ma asraftu wa ma anta a’lamu bihi minni. Anta al-muqaddim wa anta al-mu’akhkhir laa ilaaha illa anta (O Allah! Forgive me what I have done in the past, and what I will do in the future, and what I have concealed, and what I have done openly, and what I have exceeded in, whatever You know about me more than I. You are the One Who brings forward, and You are the One Who puts back, there is no god except You).” (Imam Abdullah Ibn al Mubarak records this Hadith in az-Zuhad)

Ibn Kathir (May Allah be pleased with him) mentions in the story of ‘Alaa bin Hadhrami (May Allah be pleased with him). He was a senior Sahabah, a scholar and one devoted to worship and he was also one whose Du’a would readily be accepted “And at the time of Fajr the Azan was called so he (‘Alaa (May Allah be pleased with him) led the people, when he finished the Salaah, he knelt on his knees and the people knelt, he engaged himself in Du’a, raising his hands, and the people did the same”. (Al-Bidaayah wa Al-Nihaayah, Vol 6, page 328, Imam Tabari also recorded this in his Tareekh)

Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Holy Prophet (peace be on him) raised his hands after making Salaam, and then whilst facing in the direction of the Qiblah, he said: “O Allah, liberate Waleed bin Waleed, ’Iyaash bin Rabeea’h,Salamahbin Hisham, and the weak Muslims who don’t possess any means (for escape) and are not shown a path from the hands of the disbelievers”. (Ibn Katheer narrated this on the authority of Ibn Abi Hatim)

Ibn Abi Shaiba has also narrated in his Musannaf from Aswad Al Amiri (May Allah be pleased with him) who said, ‘I performed Salat Al Fajr with the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him). When he made Salaam, he turned to the people, raised his hands and made Du’a.’ (Abi Shaiba, Hadith No.3110, Vol.3, Pg.66)

Khusaif has narrated from Anas Ibn Maalik r.a from the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) that he said, ‘There is no servant who opens his hands in Du’a after every Salaah and then says: ‘Except that it is a right upon Allah that he will not return the servants hands empty.’ (Kanzul Umaal, Hadith No.3476, Vol.2, Pg.134, Amal Al Yawm Wal Lail –Ibn Sunni).

Imam Malik said: “I saw Aamir bin Abdullah Ibn Zubair (son of Abdullah Ibn Zubayr) raising his hands in Du’a whilst he was sitting after Salah.  Imam Malik was asked: ‘Do you find this action objectionable?’ He said: ‘There is nothing wrong in it but the hands should not be raised very high (in this instance)’.” (Allamah Abul Abbas Ahmad bin Yahya records this discussion in one of his Fatawa)

Du’a after Salaah is recommended. Du’a can be made individually or collectively.   

5.  Making Du’a after the Fard Salaah

Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:

And when you have finished devote yourself to Allah in worship, and to your Lord turn intentions and hopes. (Qur’an 94:7-8)

Imam Qurtubi reports that Ibn Abbas and Qatadah maintain that it refers to exerting oneself in Du’a and begging Allah for one’s need upon completion of Salah. (Tafsir al-Imam al-Qurtubi)

Imam Ibn e Kathir offers the following commentary:

Ibn Masud (May Allah be pleased with him) says that this means one should yearn for Allah’s mercy and for the fulfilment of his needs whilst he is still sitting in the place where he had performed Salah. Ali bin Talha transmits from Ibn Abbas that this means one should exert oneself in Du’a. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

Imam Jassas also records that Qatadah says that when you have completed your salah, exert yourself in Du’a, begging from your Rabb. (Ahkaam al-Qur’an). Allama Alusi writes the following under the commentary of this verse: “Ibn Jarir transmits on the authority of Ibn Abbas that this verse means that one should exert oneself in Du’a upon completing Salah.” (Ruuh ul Ma’ani)

From Ahadith:

Mu’adh (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) took hold of my hand and said, “O Mu’adh! By Allah I love you, so I advise you to never forget to recite after every prayer: “Allahumma a’inni ala dhikrika, wa shukrika, wa husni ‘ibadatika (O Allah, help me remember You, to be grateful to You, and to worship You in an excellent manner).”
(Abu Dawud, H.N 1422, this Hadith also appears in Sunnan Abu Dawud and Sunan Nisa’i. Haafiz Ibn Hibban and Haakim classify it as Sahih)

Imam Tirmizi has recorded a tradition from Abu Umamah in which it is stated that the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked ‘Which Du’a is most accepted to Allah?’ The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) replied ‘Du’a made in the last part of the night and after Fardh Salah.’ (Tirmizi H.N 3499)

Hazrat Thauban reported, when the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) finished his prayer, he begged forgiveness three times and said: O Allah! Thou art Peace, and peace comes from Thee; Blessed art Thou, O Possessor of Glory and Honour. Walid reported: I said to Auza’i: How is the seeking of forgiveness? He replied: You should say: I beg forgiveness from Allah, I beg forgiveness from Allah.” (Sahih Muslim H.N 591)

Imam Tabarani has mentioned in his book ‘Al Kabeer’ from Abdullah Bin Abbas, and in his book ‘Al Awsat’ from Abdullah Bin Umar may Allah be pleased with him, it states that these companions narrate that the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) performed Salaah Al Fajr and then turned to the people and said, ‘Allahumma Barik Lanaa Fi Muddinaa Wa Saa’inaa Wa Barik Lanaa Fi Madinatinaa.’

‘O Allah bless us in our Mudd and our Saa’ and bless us in our City.’ (Majma Az Zawaa’id Hadith No.5816, Vol.3, Pg.656, Dar Al Fikr). Based on this, Imam an Nawawi has stated in ‘Sharh Al Muhazzab’, ‘Du’a for the Imam and the individual is Mustahab after every Salah. There is no difference of opinion among the Scholars in this.

There is no issue or dispute on making Du’a after praying the Fard Salaah. The principle of making Du’a after Fard Salaah is well established and clear in Islam. 

5.1 Making Collective Du’a after the Fard Salaah

Habib Ibn Maslamah al-Fahri r.a narrates that he heard the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) saying: ‘Never does a group gather where one of them supplicates to Allah and the other say Ameen to that supplication except that Allah respond to their Du’as.’ (Imam Haakim and Imam Tabarani transmitted this hadith)

Hazrat Thawban (May Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There are 3 things which one should never do; Never should a person lead a congregation in Salah and then make Du’a for himself excluding them therein, if he does so he acts unfaithfully and disloyally to them. Never should a person look into a home before seeking the permission to enter, if he does so he has actually entered the home. Never should a person engage in Salah whilst suppressing his urine, instead, he should relieve himself and then perform Salah.” (Abu Dawud, hadith 90, Chapter of purification, Ibn e Majah, Imam Tirmizi says this hadith is hassan)

Imam Tabarani has mentioned in his book ‘Al Kabeer’ from Abdullah Bin Abbas, and in his book ‘Al Awsat’ from Abdullah Bin Umar (May Allah be pleased with him), it states that these companions narrate that the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) performed Salaah al Fajr and then turned to the people and said, ‘Allahumma Barik Lanaa Fi Muddinaa Wa Saa’inaa Wa Barik Lanaa Fi Madinatinaa.’ [O Allah bless us in our Mudd and our Saa’ and bless us in our City.] (Majma Az Zawaa’id Hadith No.5816, Vol.3, Pg.656, Dar Al Fikr).

Ibn Kathir (May Allah be pleased with him) mentions in the story of ‘Alaa bin Hadhrami (May Allah be pleased with him) He was a senior Sahabah, a scholar and one devoted to worship and he was also one whose Du’a would readily be accepted. “And at the time of Fajr the Azan was called so he (‘Alaa (May Allah be pleased with him)) led the people, when he finished the Salaah, he knelt on his knees and the people knelt, he engaged himself in Du’a, raising his hands, and the people did the same”. (Al-Bidaayah wa Al-Nihaayah, Vol 6, page 328, Imam Tabari also recorded this in his Tareekh)

We reiterate the aforementioned position made in section 4.1 – Du’a after Salaah can be made either individually or collectively.

6.  Making Du’a After Salat ul Janazah

Salat ul Janazah is the most important rite of a deceased believer of Islam. After Salat ul Janazah is performed, Du’a of Maghfirah (supplication for forgiveness) can be made on any day and time from right after the funeral until the day of Qiyamah. This is an open permission and there is no prohibition on making Du’a any time after Janaza is performed.

No one should believe that Du’a after Janaza is Fardh or Wajib but there are sufficient proofs supporting it being not only permissible but a commendable action practiced by respected Sahaba Kiraam may Allah be pleased with them.

Narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When you have performed funeral prayer upon the dead then be sincere to supplicate for him.” (Abu Daood)

The grammar used in the hadith is used to perform an action immediately after the action before.

The Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) performed a funeral prayer. After he had performed the Janazah, Hadrat Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) along with some other people reached late. The Holy Prophet (peace be on him) did not allow them to reperform salatul Janazah but he said to them make Du’a for the deceased and seek forgiveness. (Al-Kasani: Al Bada’i Al Sana’i fi Tartib al-Shara’I V3)

Abdullah bin Salam arrived late for Janaza of Hadrat Umar (May Allah be pleased with him). He called out to the gathering saying:

If you have surpassed me in Janazah, then do not surpass me in making Du’a for him. 

Renowned Sahabi Hadrat Abdullah Ibn Aufa performed Janazah for his deceased daughter in which he said four Takbeers. After the fourth he stood up and made Du’a equivalent to the duration between 2 takbeers. Then said addressing the people: The Holy Messenger of Allah used to practice this in Janazah. (Ibn Majah, Musnad Ahmad)

The issue here revolves around the permissibility of making congregational Du’a, and while the position of the Majlis recognizes various interpretations of the source references by different schools of Fiqh, the underlying premise is that there is nothing wrong in making collective or congregational Du’a. All should note that it is not compulsory and should not be seen as mandatory. We wish to remind all Muslims that Du’a can be made individually or collectively, and ultimately the final decision on its acceptance is up to Almighty Allah.

7.  Making Du’a at the Cemetery

Making Du’a for our deceased is a Sunnah (recommended act) of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) and he has taught us many different ad’eyah (pl. of Du’a) to make for them at different times and places.  Hence, all Muslims are urged to do this if they are truly followers of Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) as Allah said in the Qur’an ” You have in the life of The Messenger of Allah the best of examples.” (33: 21). After all, we would want people to make Du’a for us when we pass on.

The Scholars of Islam, without any doubt cannot deny the fact that making Du’a for our deceased at the cemetery is an authentic Sunnah of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) based on the following Hadith:

On the authority of Uthmaan Ibn ‘Affaan, may Allah be pleased with him, said : “Whenever the Prophet (peace be upon him) would finish burying the deceased, he used to stand by his grave and say: ” Seek forgiveness for your brother, and beg Allah to make him firm for verily he is now going to be questioned.” (Abu Daawood and authenticated by Al Haakim). Also, by Shaykh Al Albaany.

With that in mind, if we truly want to follow the example of our Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him), we should look a bit closer to his Sunnah to make sure that it is done accordingly to the best of our ability. The above Hadith mentions that he made Du’a after burial, but did not indicate how it was done, whether aloud, collectively, silently or individually, raising hands, etc. So, scholars have discussed these issues and have differences of opinion.

Some Scholars are of the view that raising the hands while making Du’a at the cemetery is recommended because it is one of the reasons for Du’a to be accepted based on the following Hadith:

“Verily, your Lord, The Blessed, The Exalted is Shy and Generous, but ashamed of His servant who raises his hands to Him and He returns them with zero ” (i.e. without granting him something).

But some other scholars say it is not necessary to raise our hands when making Du’a at the cemetery. Majlis is of the position that whether persons raise their hands or not, Du’a should be made at the cemetery.

Some scholars say that when Du’a is made that we should face the Qiblah and not the grave of the deceased. These people need to recognize that in Islam, the Qiblah of Du’a is the heavens.

We should also understand that we make Du’a to Almighty Allah on behalf of the deceased, and not to the deceased.

Majlistt recognizes that the practices vary, and it is left up to the community to decide what its practices are. It is permissible to make collective Du’a, and persons performing Du’a one way or the other should not be condemned.

It is also a practice of some people to recite the first 5 verses of Surah Baqarah at the head and the last 2 verses at the feet. Majlistt wishes to remind persons that there are some acts that are Fard, and others which are with merit.

8.  Conclusion

We recognize the diversity of practices within the Muslim community of Trinidad and Tobago informed by the various schools of Fiqh. We acknowledge the fervor with which persons hold on to specific practices based on the guidance received, and in so doing some persons tend towards the extremes, by condemning those who practice differently.

The act of praying to Almighty Allah should not serve as a basis for disunification within the Muslim community. We do note, that a conversation is necessary regarding the basis for variance in actions, and until this conversation is concluded and differences resolved, we are instructed in the Quran to

“hold fast to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Almighty Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers.” [Quran 3:103]

May Almighty Allah guide us and accept our Du’as.


[1] Imam Bukhari – al-Adab al Mufrad


September 2021
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