We have a large number of Hadiths which report some prayers by the
Prophet. Many of these include requests for ordinary things which everyone
would like to enjoy in life, such as good health, a life of plenty, a
refined nature, good manners, etc. There is hardly any quality that makes
anyone of us a better person which is not mentioned in the Prophet’s
It is needless to say that having such qualities makes us better Muslims and
as such, draws us nearer to God and makes us more likely to earn the
greatest prize of all, namely, admittance into heaven. For example, the
Prophet highlights in his prayer the qualities of forbearance and shows that
it is a quality to earn much reward from God when exercised in human
A person who shows much forbearance is thus praised by people and rewarded
Much of the Prophet’s supplication is also geared toward the hereafter.
Seeking God’s forgiveness features very highly in his supplication because
when a person is forgiven sins, he escapes punishment. That is a great feat
He will also be rewarded for his good deeds and that is sufficient to tilt
the balance in his favor. Since everyone of us is liable to commit sins,
some of which may be very serious, we need to pray for forgiveness all the
time. We cannot do better than following the Prophet’s example and using his
own supplication in this regard. Let us consider here some examples of his
Abu Hurairah quotes the Prophet as saying: “The supplication most likely to
be answered is to say: You are my Lord and I am your servant. I have wronged
myself and I do acknowledge my wrong actions. Only You forgive wrong
actions. My Lord, forgive me.” (Related by Al-Bukhari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad
and Ahmad). The Arabic version of this supplication is as follows:
“Allahumma anta rabbi wa’ana abduk, thalamtu nafsi wa’taraftu bithanbi, la
yaghfiru athunooba illa ant. Rabbi ighfir li.”
The first thing to note about this supplication is the acknowledgment of the
Lordship of God and the reiteration of the relationship between Him and His
This is always the right approach. Once we acknowledge this relationship and
we are fully aware of its implications, we put ourselves on the right course
to receive God’s grace.
It is He who has promised to answer our supplication as he says in the
Qur’an: “Your Lord says: Pray Me and I will answer you.” The acknowledgment
of His Lordship is, then, the key to answering our prayers.
The second point is the acknowledgment of the fact that when we commit sins
we wrong ourselves, because we incur God’s displeasure and expose ourselves
to His punishment. This can only be avoided by seeking His forgiveness. This
acknowledgment of our sins is made in a private address we make to God.
Hence, it is acceptable.
It must be distinguished from the sort of boasting some hardened sinners may
indulge in when they tell others about what they have committed. A person of
this type may speak of his, say, drinking and participation in an orgy, or
he may boast about robbing other people and making away with their property
in order to show his strength. This is an added sin he commits, which makes
forgiveness even more difficult for him to obtain. When we acknowledge our
sins before God, we are actually blaming ourselves and expressing our
repentance. The final point is the acknowledgment that only God forgives
sins and wrongs. As such, we pray Him to forgive us.
A companion of the Prophet said to him once: “Messenger of God, teach me a
supplication which benefits me. He said: “My Lord, protect me from the evil
of my hearing and my sight, and my tongue and my heart and from the evil of
my sperm.” (Related by Al-Bukhari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, An-Nassaie, and Abu
Dawood.) In Arabic this supplication is pronounced as follows: “Allahumma
‘aafini min sharri sam’ie wa bassari wa lissani wa qalbi wa sharri maniyi.”
In this supplication, the Prophet teaches us to request God’s protection
against what sins we may do with our senses and other organs.” The evil of
hearing is to listen to backbiting, obscenities, falsehood, perjury. If we
deliberately sit with people who engage in such foul talk, we share with
them their sins.
This is the evil of our hearing. It is needless to say that if we hear such
things by coincidence, without taking part in them, or seeking to hear them,
we are not accounted for that.
The evil of eyesight is to look deliberately at what is forbidden or to look
at sins being committed by others, condoning them. It is also evil to look
stealthily at what we should turn our eyes away from. The evil of our
tongues is to utter falsehood of any sort. That of our hearts is to
entertain evil thoughts.
The last type of evil we request God’s protection from is that of our sexual
desires, whether it is fornication or its preliminaries.
Abdullah ibn Abbas reports that he heard the Prophet saying the following
supplication: “My Lord, help me and do not help anyone against me. Support
me and do not support anyone against me. Scheme for me and do not scheme
against me. Facilitate for me the following of right guidance. Grant me Your
aid against anyone who unjustly attacks me. My Lord, make me grateful to
you, always remembering you, fearful of You, obedient to You and humble
before You and make me tender-hearted, penitent.
Accept my repentance, wash away my wrong actions and answer my supplication.
Establish my proof and guide my heart, let my tongue always say the truth
and purge my heart of all evil thought.” (Related by Al-Bukhari in Al-Adab
Al-Mufrad, Abu Dawood, At-Tirrnithi and Ibn Majah). The Arabic version of
this supplication is as follows: “Rabbi a’inni wa la tu’in alay, wansurni wa
la tansur alay, wamkur li wa la tamkur alay, wa yasir li al huda, wansurni
ala man bagha alay. Rabbi ij’alni shakkaran lak, thakkaran rahiban lak,
mitwa’an, mukhbitan lak, awwahan muneeban. Taqabbal tawbati wa aghsil
hawbati, wa ajib da’wati, wathbbit hujjati, wahdi qalbi, wa sadded lissani,
wasslul sakheemata qalbi.”
This supplication is an all-comprehensive one which does not need any
comment from me.
If we learn it and get used to saying it after our prayers or any other
time, we stand to receive much help from God in all respects.
inculcation of His love, Allah granted humanity a beating heart; and for the
acquisition of knowledge, Allah gave human beings acute minds. Thus, the
sustenance of the heart is love and the sustenance of the mind is sacred
knowledge. Love alone leads to deviant innovations, and it is knowledge that
restores a balanced equilibrium. Knowledge alone leads to arrogant pride and
it is love that restores modesty and humility.