What follows is a tremendous supplication which contains 22 pleas, all of which are among the most important things for which a slave can ask his Lord. They are also a means to his rectification, happiness and success in this life and the next.

This supplication is of such benefit that al-Bazzār (d. 749) states in his biography of Shaykh al-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728), that this particular supplication made up most of his duʿāʾ’s to Allāh.

Arabic Text

Supplication for 22 Things - Arabic Text Image

Translation

On the authority of Ibn ʿAbbās who said, “I heard the Prophet, may Allāh’s praise and security be upon him, supplicating with this:

“O my Lord! Aid me and do not aid against me, help me and do not help against me, plan in my favour and do not plan against me, facilitate guidance for me and help me against one who transgresses against me.

O my Lord! Make me extremely grateful to You, constant in remembering You, fearful of You, abundantly obedient to You, humble towards You, humbly abundant in supplication to You, penitent to You, accept my repentance, cleanse my sins, establish my proof, guide my heart, correct my tongue and remove evil from my heart.”

Reported by al-Bukhārī in al-Adab al-Mufrad, no. 665 and authenticated by al-Albānī in Ṣaḥīḥ al-Adab al-Mufrad.

Transliteration

Rabbee a’innee wa laa tu’in alayya, wan-surnee wa laa tansur alayya, wam-kur lee wa laa tamkur alayya, wa yassir liya-l-huda, wan-sur-nee ala mum-bagha alayya.

Rabbij-alnee shakkaaran laka, dhakkaaran laka, raahiban laka, mitwaa’an laka, mukhbitan laka, awwaahan muneeban, taqabal tawbatee, wagh-sil hawbatee, wa ajib da’watee, wa thabbit hujjatee, wahdee qalbee, wa saddid lisaanee, waslul sakheemata qalbee.

Commentary

Sources of the Ḥadīth

The ḥadīth is recorded in at least 11 individual ḥadīth collections.

It is recorded by al-Bukhārī in al-Adab al-Mufrad (nos. 664 and 665), Abū Dāwūd in his Sunan (no. 1510) in the “Book of Witr: Chapter – What One Says When He Ends…”, al-Tirmidhī (no. 3551) in his Sunan, “Book of Supplications: Chapter – Supplication of Allāh’s Messenger”, Ibn Mājah in his Sunan (no. 3830), “Chapters of Supplication: Chapter – Supplication of Allāh’s Messenger”, al-Nasāʾī in al-Sunan al-Kubrá, Aḥmad in his Musnad (3:452, no. 1997), Ibn Ḥibbān in his Ṣaḥīḥ (3:277), the Muṣannaf of Ibn Abī Shaybah (10:280), ʿAbd b. Ḥumayd (1:236), al-Ḥākim in his al-Mustadrak (1:519) and the Musnad of al-Shihāb (2:344).[1]

Grading of the Ḥadīth

The ḥadīth has been graded ṣaḥīḥ by Sh. al-Albānī in Ṣaḥīḥ al-Adab al-Mufrad, and Ṣaḥīḥ Sunan Abī Dāwūd (1:414).

al-Ḥākim graded the ḥadīth ṣaḥīḥ in his al-Mustadrak and al-Dhahabī agreed with him in his review of it.

al-Tirmidhī grades it ḥasan ṣaḥīḥ.

Meanings of the Words

O my Lord!

((رَبِّ))

One is essentially saying, “I call upon You my Lord, the One Who created me, owns me, nurtures me and has full power, authority and control over me.” This is because Allāh’s Lordship (Rubūbiyyah) involves three things; [1] Creating (khalq), [2] Owning (mulk) and [3] Commanding (amr).

Allāh’s Rubūbiyyah towards the creation is of two types; [1] a general rubūbiyyah and [2] a specific rubūbiyyah. Allāh’s general Lordship covers all of creation; Muslims and non-Muslims, animals, plants, planets etc. This general Lordship (rubūbiyyah ʿāmmah) refers to the fact that Allāh creates everything, owns everything and provides all of creation with the material sustenance they need to maintain their material existence. It also means that Allāh generally guides the creation to the things which benefit their worldly existence.

The second type of Lordship which is the specific Lordship, is specifically for the Muslims and no one else. This specific and exclusive Lordship (rubūbiyyah khāṣṣah) means that Allāh nurtures the believers with īmān, good deeds and He facilitates every goodness for them and protects them from every evil as Imām al-Saʿdī (d. 1376) mentions in his tafsīr. Perhaps this is the reason why, al-Saʿdī opines, that most of the supplications of the Prophets use the word “Rabb” (Lord, Master) i.e. because of how comprehensive it is.

Thus, when you call upon Allāh by saying “Rabbī” (O my Lord!), you are calling upon One Who alone can provide you with everything you require to sustain and develop both your material existence and your spiritual existence.

[1] aid me

((أَعِنِّي))

This is a general plea to Allāh to aid one in every single thing and in every single way. It is not restricted to a specific type of aid. Thus, one is asking Allāh to aid and assist him in all matters; religious matters, material matters and matters of the next life.

You are asking Allāh, the Mighty and Exalted, to help you to obey Him and worship Him in the most complete and perfect manner which makes Him pleased with you. You are asking Him to help you to remember Him and be grateful towards Him as well.

[2] and do not aid against me

((وَلا تُعِنْ عَلَيَّ))

Do not extend Your help to those who will prevent me from obeying You. The scholars mention three enemies which work to prevent you from obeying Allāh: [1] your soul which naturally inclines towards evil (al-nafs-ul-ammārah bi-l-sūʾ); [2] the devils amongst jinn and; [3] the devils amongst mankind. You are asking Allāh to stop these three elements from obstructing your path to obeying Allāh.

[3] give me victory

((وَانْصُرْنِي))

Grant me victory in all circumstances over the enemy; my enemy and the enemy of Your religion. Grant me victory over my soul which inclines towards evil, for indeed it is the greatest of my enemies.

[4] and do not give victory to anyone against me

((وَلا تَنْصُرْ عَلَيَّ))

Do not let me be defeated and overcome by anyone of Your creation. Do not let the soul which inclines towards evil (al-nafs-ul-ammārah bi-l-sūʾ) overcome me such that I end up following my desires and end up abandoning guidance.

[5] plan in my favour

((وَامْكُرْ لِي))

In this plea one is beseeching Allāh to plan against those who plan evil against you, to bless you with a safe and sound plan and exemplary route in repelling the hand of your enemy so that you are safe from their evil.

In a collection of his fatāwá, Sh. Muḥammad b. Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn was asked if it is permissible to describe Allāh by saying He plots (makr) and that He is a plotter (mākir). The Shaykh replies that Allāh cannot be described this way except in a restricted manner and never in an absolute sense. Allāh states {Do they feel secure from the plan (makr) of Allāh, none feel secure from the plan of Allāh except people who are losers} [al-Aʿrāf:99]. This verse proves that Allāh has a makr (plot, plan, scheme). Makr is to bring down one’s opponent without them realising it. Similar to this is the ḥadīth in al-Bukhārī which states that, “War is deceit.”

If one asks how can Allāh be described with makr when its apparent meaning is negative? The Shaykh responds by explaining that makr when used appropriately is actually praiseworthy as it indicates the strength of the planner and that he vanquishes his enemy. This is why Allāh is not described with makr unrestrictedly, thus one cannot say, for instance, that Allāh is mākir (plotter, planner, schemer). The description of makr is only mentioned in a situation which is praiseworthy such as His saying, {they plot and Allāh plots} [al-Anfāl:30], {they plotted a plot and We planned a plan, while they perceived not} [al-Naml:50] and {do they feel secure from the plan of Allāh} [al-Aʿrāf:99]. Similarly, we do not negate this description from Allāh absolutely, we only affirm it in places which indicate praise and so we describe Him in that manner and in places where it does not indicate praise we do not describe Him with that. Consequently, we do not apply the name mākir (plotter, planner) to Allāh so one cannot say that Allāh’s name is al-Mākir. Makr (plotting and planning) is from Allāh’s active attributes because they are connected to His Will (mashīʾah) i.e. He does them when He wishes.

What we learn from the words of the Shaykh is that whoever plans against Allāh, Allāh plans against him in return. It is a restrictive active attribute of Allāh (ṣifah fiʿliyyah muqayyadah) which occurs with Allāh’s Will. Consequently, it is not applied to Allāh absolutely. It is only applied in response and as recompense for those who scheme against Allāh and His friends.

[6] and do not plan against me

((وَلا تَمْكُرْ عَلَىَّ))

Sh. Ḥusayn al-ʿAwāyishah states, the meaning of “plan in my favour and do not plan against me” is: plan in my favour against the one who wants evil and falsehood for me and do not plan against me, thus have mercy upon me and do not deal with me based on my evil intentions, such that I become deceived and transgress the boundaries without realising it, thereby becoming destroyed.

 [7] facilitate guidance for me

((وَيَسِّرْ لِيَ الْهُدَى))

Here, you are asking Allāh to make it easy for you to follow His guidance, to walk its path and that He opens up the ways for you to be able to do good deeds. You are asking Allāh to make you into someone who does not become tired and bored of worshipping Allāh nor become distracted from Him.

What is guidance though? Guidance, is to know the truth and act by it (maʿrifat-ul-hudá wal-ʿamal bihi). Guidance is of two types: [1] guidance of direction (dalālah wal-irshād) and guidance of facilitation and firmness and (tawfīq and tathbīt). The first refers to being notified of and becoming aware of the guidance and the second refers to being blessed with following that guidance and remaining firm upon it. So, for example, you have been told about this beautiful supplication which the Prophet used to say. This is guidance of direction i.e. you have been informed of a good deed. If you now act upon that good deed and start using this supplication when you make duʿāʾ, this is guidance of facilitation and firmness i.e. you have been guided to not only knowing about this good deed but also acting on it – this is complete guidance.

So, what you are asking Allāh is to grant you knowledge of the truth and to make it easy for you to act by the truth by doing good deeds, and not be misled from that path until you meet Him.

[8] and help me against one who transgresses against me

((وَانْصُرْنِي عَلىٰ مَنْ بَغَى عَلَيَّ))

This is a plea to Allāh to help you against those who oppress you and to grant you victory over them. The scholars note that this particular part of the supplication is a more specific request to the general request mentioned above “give me victory and do not give victory to anyone against me”.

Additionally, Shaykh al-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah states that this part of the supplication is the supplication of one who is fair and just and not the supplication of one who goes overboard by saying, “Help me against my enemy without restriction!”. The lesson we learn from the Shaykh’s words is that we should always be just and fair when supplicating to Allāh against one who is oppressing us. Our supplications should be in proportion to the oppression and not go beyond it.

O my Lord!

((رَبِّ))

The first half of this supplication so far relates to asking Allāh for things which help you in relation to dealing with others. This second half of the supplication relates to asking Allāh for things which apply to you as a person and which bring you closer to Allāh.

These things in this second half of the supplication are obviously of greater importance as is evident from the emphatic linguistic form of the words used in them; shakkāran, dhakkāran, awwāhan. This form of the word signifies doing an action constantly, frequently, repeatedly, intensely and with vigour.

[9] make me extremely grateful to You

((اجْعَلْنِي شَكَّارًا لَكَ))

Make me someone who is abundantly grateful to You for the innumerable blessings You have bestowed upon me, in open and in secret, in good times and in difficult times, through my words and my deeds.

[10] constantly remembering You

((ذَكَّارًا لَكَ))

Make me someone who remembers You all the time with my heart, tongue and limbs, through mentioning Your Names, supplicating to You, praying to You, reciting the Qurʾān, learning religious knowledge and reminding others about You.

Make me someone who remembers You abundantly at all times, in all situations; standing, sitting, lying down, in the morning, in the evening, in secret and in public. Asking Allāh to make you someone who remembers Him abundantly indicates how important and virtuous a deed remembering Allāh is.

[11] fearful of You

((رَاهِبًا لَكَ))

Here you are asking Allāh to make you someone who is fearful of Him all the time and in all situations; during the night and during the day, in travel and in residence, when in private and in public.

[12] constantly obedient to You

((مِطْوَاعًا لَكَ))

Make me someone who is quick to obey you and obeys You a lot by submitting to You and performing good deeds which You commanded and staying away from deeds You have prohibited.

[13] humble towards You

((مُخْبِتًا لَكَ))

Make me someone whose heart is completely humbled in front of You out of deep respect and veneration.

[14] abundant in supplication and submissiveness to You

((أَوَّاهًا))

The word awwāh is defined in numerous ways by the scholars. Linguistically it refers to making a plaintive sound. In this context it can refer to being extremely submissive and subservient and to being tender-hearted. It can also refer to one who supplicates a lot and cries.

Thus, one is asking Allāh to make him someone who is constantly submissive to Him, possessing a tender heart which causes him to supplicate to Allāh perpetually with tears in his eyes. Among the many qualities with which Allāh describes and praises the noble Prophet Ibrāhīm, ʿalayhissalām, is that he was awwāhun munīb, as in Sūrah Hūd (11): 75. One of the lessons we learn from this is that one is encouraged to ask Allāh to grant him the good qualities similar to that of the leading righteous people.

 [15] penitent to You

((مُنِيبًا))

Make me someone who, whenever I sin, I turn immediately to You in repentance.

 [16] accept my repentance

((تَقَبَّلْ تَوْبَتِي))

Accept my repentance by forgiving me for the sins I have committed, whether big or small, open or secret, relating to You, or myself or others. Accept my repentance by making it the type of repentance which fulfils the necessary conditions of a true repentance and which adheres to the required etiquettes.

Repentance is to:

  1. Stop the sin immediately
  2. Feel deep remorse for having committed the sin
  3. Seek Allāh’s forgiveness
  4. Firmly resolve never to return to it
  5. Return the right of the one whose right you took unjustly

[17] wash away my sins

((وَاغْسِلْ حَوْبَتِي))

Purify me from my sins so that it is as though I never committed them. The scholars mention that washing normally does not leave any trace of dirt. Similarly, one is asking Allāh to wash his sins away completely such that no trace of it or its effects remains on him.

[18] answer my supplications

((وَأَجِبْ دَعْوَتِي))

Please answer my supplications to You by helping me to be someone who fulfils the conditions of an acceptable supplication and someone who does not do anything which prevents supplications being answered.

[19] establish my proof

((وَثَبِّتْ حُجَّتِي))

This is a general plea to Allāh. It can mean for Allāh to establish your proof in this world against His enemies, with conclusive proof, in terms of calling to goodness and forbidding evil. You are also asking Allāh to establish proof of your faith by making you firm in your belief and good deeds in this life and making you firm in answering the questions of the grave in the next life.

[20] guide my heart

((وَاهْدِ قَلْبِي))

This is a plea to Allāh to guide you in all affairs. It is a plea to guide your heart to knowing Allāh, to knowing the Straight Path which involves guidance to every goodness with which Allāh is pleased. You are asking Allāh to guide your heart to knowing what He has forbidden so that you may avoid them.

Guidance of the heart leads to the guidance of the limbs as the heart is the master of the body and whichever direction the heart goes, so do its servants. This indicates the importance of the heart in relation to the rest of the body. It echoes the ḥadīth in which the Prophet said, “There is a piece of flesh in the body which if it be sound, the rest of the body will be sound; surely it is the heart.”

[21] correct my tongue

((وَسَدِّدْ لِسَانِي))

This is a plea to Allāh to make you truthful in whatever you say and to make you avoid the sins of the tongue; lying, backbiting, slandering, making false oaths etc. You are asking Allāh to correct your tongue and to make it upright so that you do not speak except the truth.

[22] and remove evil from my heart

((وَاسْلُلْ سَخِيْمَةَ قَلْبِي))

This is plea to Allāh to remove jealousy, envy and hatred from your heart and all other darkness of the heart. It is a plea to remove all the evils of the heart, the evils which arise from one’s chest and which eventually settle in one’s heart and exhibit themselves through evil behaviours and deeds. Once again this indicates the importance of the state of the heart in relation to the rest of the body.

I ask Allāh the Mighty and Exalted to help you learn this beautiful supplication, to understand its meanings, to implement it in your life and to be blessed with everything that you ask for.

Finally, whatever is correct is from Allāh and whatever mistakes have occurred therein are mine alone.

Completed on Sunday, 4th Dhū al-Qaʿdah 1440 or 7th July 2019 by the one in constant need of Allāh’s extensive mercy,

Abū Ḥayyān Salal b. ʿAbd al-Ghafūr al-Brīṭānī al-Atharī.

http://www.abuhayyaan.com

 Bibliography

The following material was used in writing this article:

al-Albānī, Muḥammad Nāṣir al-Dīn. Ṣaḥīḥ al-Adab al-Mufrad li al-Imām al-Bukhārī. al-Jubayl al-Ṣināʿiyyah: Maktabat al-Dalīl, 1418/1997. See: pp. 247-8, no. 516.

al-ʿAwāyishah, Ḥusayn b. ʿAwdah. Sharḥ Ṣaḥīḥ al-Adab al-Mufrad. ʿAmmān: al-Maktabah al-Islāmiyyah, 1423/2003. See: 2:320-4.

al-Badr, ʿAbd al-Razzāq b. ʿAbd al-Muḥsin. Fiqh al-Adʿiyah wa al-Adhkār. Riyad: Maktabat Dār al-Minhāj, 1434. See: pp. 910-13.

Bassām, Abū Ṣuhayb. Explanation of al-Adab al-Mufrad: A Code for Everyday Living – The Example of the Early Muslims. Audio. 2nd February 2019. Available at: http://www.istiqaamah.net/wp-content/uploads/audio/Abu%20Suhaib/Adab%20ul%20Mufrad/Adab%20ul%20mufrad%20H670.mp3. Listen to no. 670 from 27m30s onwards.

al-Bukhārī, Muḥammad b. Ismāʿīl. Kitāb al-Adab al-Mufrad, Ed. Muḥammad Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī. al-Riyāḍ: Maktabat al-Maʿārif, 1419/1998). See: Chapter 288 – Supplications of the Prophet, 1:348-9, no. 665.

Bukhārī, Abu ʿAbdullāh Muḥammad b. Ismāʿīl. Al-Adab Al-Mufrad. A Code for Everyday Living: The Example of the Early Muslims. Leicester: UK Islamic Academy, 2012.

https://kalemtayeb.com/safahat/item/3111 last accessed: 21.02.19

al-Jīlānī, Faḍl Allāh. Faḍl Allāh al-Ṣamad fī Tawḍīḥ al-Adab al-Mufrad. [no place]: 1416/1995. 2 Vols. [Introduction by ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ Abū Ghuddah].

al-Sulaymān, Fahd b. Nāṣir b. Ibrāhīm. Majmūʿ Fatāwá wa Rasāʾil Faḍīlah al-Shaykh Muḥammad b. Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn. al-Riyāḍ: Dār al-Waṭan, 1413. See: 1:170.

[1] See: https://kalemtayeb.com/safahat/item/3111#_ftn3 (last accessed: 11.02.19)