Sermon Delivered on Friday 18TH DHU AL-HIJJA 1436AH (2ND OCTOBER, 2015)

As- Salaam alaykum warahmotu llah wabarakaatuh.


The sermon centres on: Power of Prayer/Efficacy of Supplication

Praise belongs to Allâh, to Whom all praise is due. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allâh, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. May the peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him, his family and his companions.

The significance and importance of prayers and invocations to Allâh in the life of Muslims at both communal and individual levels cannot be over-emphasised. This fact has been buttressed by Almighty Allâh where He says in the Glorious Qur'ân: [Say (O Muhammad): "My Lord pays attention to you only because of your invocation to Him"] Qur'ân, 25 (Suuratul-Furqân): 77. In another instance, the Exalted Allâh assures that He will immediately provide the request of His obedient and believing servant when He says: [  And when My slaves ask You (O Muhammad ) concerning Me, Then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when He calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). so let them obey Me and believe In Me, so that they may be led aright]. Qur'ān, 2 (Suuratul-Baqarah), verse 186. In fact, Almighty Allâh regards a non-supplicating human being as arrogant and, therefore, deserving His most severe torment on the Day of Judgment. This fact is unequivocally stated in Verse 60 of Chapter 40 (Suuratu Ghâfir) where He states inter alia:  [  And Your Lord said: "Invoke Me, [i.e. believe In My Oneness (Islâmic Monotheism)] (and ask Me for anything) I will respond to Your (invocation). Verily! those who scorn My Worship [i.e. do not invoke Me, and do not believe In My Oneness, (Islâmic Monotheism)] they will surely enter Hell In humiliation! ]

It is however noteworthy that many people complain that although they practice this religious obligation (i.e. supplicating) regularly, their prayers were not granted and their wishes and aspirations do not come to fruition. These people are only being overzealous in their claim\s as there is no human being is not being favoured one way or the other. I will like to ask whoever who thinks he\she is being ignored by  Allâh  to think about his\her existence, does he\she determines his\her being alive or he\she owes it to the Perfect Creator?! Are you a healthy, seeing, hearing, smelling, talking and\or sane human being by your own design or all or some of these bounties you are enjoying are attributable to the Benevolent Creator and Perfect Designer?! If you have never pondered over it you better realize and appreciate it now!  

After taking cognisance of the above-mentioned fact, we may say that there are some factors that serve as impediments to one's supplications being granted by Allâh in the desired way as there others that prove to be facilitators of early and total acceptance of prayers. These factors are derived from relevant verses of the Glorious Qur'ân and authentic sayings of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) However, suffice is to list them at this juncture without quoting their proofs as that may unnecessarily elongate this hand-out that is intended to furnish the reader with the basic and best supplications a Muslim cannot do without.

The barriers to the acceptance of man's supplications include:

  1. Divided loyalty: It may be that one supplicates to other than Allâh in the course of his invocation. This idolatry which is the greatest sin and greatest reason for non-acceptance.
  2. Hastiness: Allâh loves His creatures to be persistent and consistent in their prayers. However, some people are too hasty and are, therefore, likely to leave prayers in apathy and weariness before the desired fruits ultimately come their way.
  3. Inconsistency in prayers: As said earlier, a prayerful servant may be denied his requests from Allâh to his indecisiveness and inconsistency in his supplications. This means that one needs to be firm in order to be blessed with the positive impact of prayers. 
  4. Allâh's Wisdom: As man's knowledge is limited  and his desires are sometimes parochial, he may pray for something that will not be in his interest. To safeguard against granting what will harm him in the long term, Allâh at times deny him this request. In short, there may be acceptance of supplication in its denial.
  5. Wishing evils for others or undesirable things for self: This is closely related to the one mentioned earlier as it has to do with requests that are sinful and\or injurious to the supplicant's moral, religious and\or physical well-being. In short, it is better that supplications against another persons or even against oneself not to granted.
  6. Dealing in Harâm (forbidden) transactions and consumption of prohibited foods and drinks: Man who requests Allâh's favours should also endeavour to honour his covenant with the Lord. How would you want your Omnipresent Benefactor to continue granting you your wishes when you are wallowing in sins and rolling in ruinous escapades?!
  7. Nonchalant attitude towards wellbeing of the generality of fellow Muslims: The principal hallmark of Muslims as a people (Ummah) is enjoining to do the righteousness and forbidding what is evil. If this attribute is elusive in a society, Allâh may decide to punish the people individually or collectively by not granting their request\s.
  8. Inordinate pursuit of desires and succumbing to whims: Many people fail to realize that one of the main factors that distinguish man from animals is the ability to exercise control over one's lusts and desires. If a man however degenerates to the status of animal by granting his body whatever it requires without minding Allâh's injunctions, he may have to pay for it by being denied His much-needed requests and favours.
  9. Non-devotion in prayers: If man is found of the habit of straying away in his obligatory prayers (Salât) and  daily supplication, he will have to forfeit his requests to Allâh as this lackadaisical attitude is tantamount to negligence and disrespect to the Merciful God. In essence, one should not invoke Allâh with an inattentive and neglectful heart.
  10.  Non-adherence to the proper etiquette of supplications: acceptable supplications have some etiquettes that each Muslim has to strictly adhere to. These will be soon enumerated for everybody to note and observe.

On the contrary, facilitators of acceptance of prayers are the availability of factors that are direct opposite of the impediments that were mentioned and explained above. We will, therefore, list them without any illustration:

  1. Sticking to Halâl (permissible) things and deals alone.
  2. Repentance and return of entrusted things and\or properties to their rightful owners.
  3. The supplicant should not be in hurry in the cause of expectation of the prayers' requests.
  4. Calling people to righteousness and forbidding them from evil.
  5. Total devotion and absolute concentration in prayers and during the times of invocations.
  6. Shunning evil wishes, satanic requests and immoral supplications.
  7. Righteousness and obedience to Allâh.
  8. Firmness and consistency in prayers and supplications.
  9. Fervent seeking of Allâh's forgiveness.
  10.  Supplicating the Lord with humility and in fear.
  11. Supplicating during specified times, circumstances and places when and where prayers are most likely to be granted. These include: mosques, when one has performed ablution, after the daily obligatory prays, after the Adhân (Call to prayer), during journey, when one is about to break his fast, in the Holiest Mosques of Makkah and Madeenah, on Arafat day, during prostration (Sujuud) in obligatory prayers, in an unspecified hour on Friday, in the early hours of the morning (i.e. few hours before Subh prayer, etc.

Also noteworthy is for the Muslim to know the etiquette of supplication. The beloved etiquette of the supplicant is to organize his invocation to Allâh as follows:

  1. He praises Allâh and extols Him.
  2. He gives his salutations to upon the Prophet (P.B.U.H.)
  3. He seeks repentance from his sins and acknowledges his wrongdoings.
  4. He thanks Allâh for His multiple blessings.
  5. He begins with his supplications, being keen to use the supplications mentioned in the Qur'ân, which are called Jawâmic (comprehensive) as we will soon unveil them, and the supplications that are authentically reported from the Prophet (P.B.U.H.), the most important and the commonest that will be mentioned afterwards.
  6.  He closes the supplications with salutations upon the Prophet (P.B.U.H.)

Dear brothers and sisters in Islam, I want to just cite some few comprehensive prayers/supplications and their meanings from the Book of Allah in order for us to ponder over their meanings. The selected Qur'ânic prayers are preceded with "Rabbanâ" which mean "Our Lord".

Virtually all of us want to be forgiven of our sins as much as we want to opportune to perform righteous hajj that will be acceptable to our Creator, bequeath good children and progeny who will not only be a pride to us in our lifetime  but also be good ambassadors to us after transition to the eternal life. The prayers offered by Prophet Ibraaheem and his beloved son, Prophet Ismaa'eel, as related to us by Allaah Himself will be very useful to us all in this regard. It goes thus:

 128. "Our Lord! and make us submissive unto You and of Our offspring a nation submissive unto you, and show us Our Manâsik (all the ceremonies of pilgrimage - Hajj and ' Umrah, etc.), and Accept Our repentance. Truly, You are the one who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful". Suuratul-Baqarah (Chapter 2), Verse 128.

Equally, one of the most comprehensive Qur'anic supplications that are indispensable for all of us is the prayer of the wise righteous Muslims that Allaah relates to us inter alia:

201. and there are men who say: "Our Lord! give us good In This world and good In the Hereafter, and defend us from the torment of the Fire!" Suuratul-Baqarah (Chapter 2), Verse 201.

In the same vein, the prayer of Taaluut (Saul) and his people is of paramount importance and relevance to whoever that want surmounts his challenges, subdue his enemies and crush his adversaries.

250. and when they advanced to meet Jalût (Goliath) and his forces, they invoked: "Our Lord! Pour forth on us patience and make us victorious over the disbelieving people." Suuratul-Baqarah (Chapter 2), Verse 250.

Equally, our Merciful God reminds us about His leniency with us, teaches us to ease our affairs for us and appeal for His magnanimity in the last verse of the longest Chapter of the Glorious Qur'an thus:

286. Allâh burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which He has earned, and He is punished for that (evil) which He has earned. "Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did Lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); Our Lord! put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have Mercy on us; You are Our Maulâ (Patron, Supporter and Protector, etc.) and give us victory over the disbelieving people." Suuratul-Baqarah (Chapter 2), Verse 286.

In another place, Allaah teaches us to supplicate to him to guide us to steadfastness in the practice of His Religion thus:

8. (They say): "Our Lord! let not Our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us Mercy from you. Truly, You are the Bestower." Suural Aal 'Imraan (Chapter 3), Verse 8.

On a final note, I will recommend that you, my beloved brothers and sisters, endeavour to supplicate with these Qur'ānic prayers and the likes as much as you can in Arabic. Even if you do not know their meanings, the blessings of the language that Allaah preferred to carry His Revelation will work in your favour so that the wishes of your heart will be granted. You can also repeat them as much as available time permits you taking into cognisance that our most beloved the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) guides us in a sound tradition that odd numbers are most beloved to Allāh.

Fa-s- salaamu alaykum wa rahmatu llah wabarakaatuh.

 PREPARED AND DELIVERED BY: Dr. Abdulhafeez Adedemeji

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