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Assalamualaikum SS Dato’ Seri Mufti. Hope that you are always in good health. I have a question. I once heard the imam of the isyak prayer supplicates after the recitation of the Fatihah in prayer, or more accurately put after he recite ولا الضالّين he continued with the supplication اللهم اغفر لي ولوالديّ before saying amin (ending the Fatihah recitation). Is this permissible? Hope for an explanation from you.



Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.

Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

Prayer is the main obligation of a Muslim. The first question that will be asked by Allah SWT on Judgement day. In a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah RA:

إِنَّ أَوَّلَ مَا يُحَاسَبُ النَّاسُ بِهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مِنْ أَعْمَالِهِمُ الصَّلاَةُ ، قَالَ يَقُولُ رَبُّنَا عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لِمَلاَئِكَتِهِ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ : انْظُرُوا فِى صَلاَةِ عَبْدِى أَتَمَّهَا أَمْ نَقَصَهَا؟ فَإِنْ كَانَتْ تَامَّةً كُتِبَتْ لَهُ تَامَّةً ، وَإِنْ كَانَ انْتَقَصَ مِنْهَا شَيْئًا قَالَ : انْظُرُوا هَلْ لِعَبْدِى مِنْ تَطَوُّعٍ ، فَإِنْ كَانَ لَهُ تَطَوُّعٌ قَالَ : أَتِمُّوا لِعَبْدِى فَرِيضَتَهُ مِنْ تَطَوُّعِهِ. ثُمَّ تُؤْخَذُ الأَعْمَالُ عَلَى ذَلِكُمْ

“The first thing about which the people will be called to account out of their actions on the Day of Judgment is prayer. Our Lord, the Exalted, will say to the angels - though He knows better: Look into the prayer of My servant and see whether he has offered it perfectly or imperfectly. If it is perfect, that will be recorded perfect. If it is defective, He will say: See there are some optional prayers offered by My servant. If there are optional prayer to his credit, He will say: Compensate the obligatory prayer by the optional prayer for My servant. Then all the actions will be considered similarly.”

Narrated by al-Baihaqi (4169) in Al-Sunan Al-Kubra

Al-Munawi explained, the above hadith shows how important the commandment of prayer is and that it is a worship of utmost importance. The Prophet PBUH himself would first teach the matters pertaining prayer when a person embraces Islam. The reason is, the Prophet PBUH did so for it is as Allah SWT has commanded him and there are wisdoms behind the commandment. This make it so that the prayer should be a priority for Muslims. There is no reason for a person to not perform prayer. (Refer Faidh Al-Qadir Syarh Al-Jami’ Al-Saghir, 8/46)

The hadith directly gives us the understanding that prayer is a priority that should not be taken lightly nor should it be neglected. In whatever situation one is in, he must fulfil his prayer.

The same is stated for supplication, it is a form of worship of a servant’s hope towards Allah SWT. The Prophet PBUH said:

إِنَّ الدُّعَاءَ هُوَ الْعِبَادَةُ ثُمَّ قَرَأَ وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِى أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ

"Supplication is the worship." Then he recited: 'And your Lord said: 'Call upon Me, I will answer you. Verily, those who scorn My worship, they will surely enter Hell in humiliation (40:60).'" [1]

Sunan al-Tirmizi (3555)

Before we answer the question presented, we would like to first explain that there are a few places and situations in prayer where it is either permissible or sunnah to supplicate. It is divided into two types:

Place or situation in prayer where there are evidences that specify it as a place or situation that is sunnah for supplication. It is sunnah to prolong one’s supplication without any time limitation. The examples for them are:

  1. In prostration. This is according to a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah RA, the Prophet PBUH said:

أَقْرَبُ مَا يَكُونُ الْعَبْدُ مِنْ رَبِّهِ وَهُوَ سَاجِدٌ فَأَكْثِرُوا الدُّعَاءَ

“The nearest a servant comes to his Lord is when he is prostrating himself, so make supplication (in this state).”

Sahih Muslim (744)

  1. After the final tasyahhud. This is supported by a narration from Abdullah bin Mas’ud. He said:

كُنَّا نَقُولُ فِى الصَّلاَةِ خَلْفَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- السَّلاَمُ عَلَى اللَّهِ السَّلاَمُ عَلَى فُلاَنٍ. فَقَالَ لَنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- ذَاتَ يَوْمٍ « إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ السَّلاَمُ فَإِذَا قَعَدَ أَحَدُكُمْ فِى الصَّلاَةِ فَلْيَقُلِ التَّحِيَّاتُ لِلَّهِ وَالصَّلَوَاتُ وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ أَيُّهَا النَّبِىُّ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى عِبَادِ اللَّهِ الصَّالِحِينَ فَإِذَا قَالَهَا أَصَابَتْ كُلَّ عَبْدٍ لِلَّهِ صَالِحٍ فِى السَّمَاءِ وَالأَرْضِ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ ثُمَّ يَتَخَيَّرُ مِنَ الْمَسْأَلَةِ مَا شَاءَ

“While observing prayer behind the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) we used to recite: Peace be upon Allah, peace be upon so and so. One day the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said to us: Verily Allah is Himself Peace. When any one of you sits during the prayer, he should say: All services rendered by words, by acts of worship, and all good things are due to Allah. Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and Allah's mercy and blessings. Peace be upon us and upon Allah's upright servants, for when he says this it reaches every upright servant in the heavens and the earth. (And say further): I testify that there is no god but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger. Then he may choose any supplication which pleases him and offer it.”

Sahih Muslim (402)

  1. Qunut in witir prayer. This is in accordance with a statement of the grandson of the Prophet PBUH, Hasan bin Ali RA, where he said:

عَلَّمَنِي جَدِّي رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى الله عَليْهِ وسَلَّمَ كَلِمَاتٍ أَقُولُهُنَّ فِي قُنُوتِ الْوِتْرِ : اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِنِي فِيمَنْ هَدَيْتَ , وَعَافِنِي فِيمَنْ عَافَيْتَ ، وَتَوَلَّنِي فِيمَنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ ، وَقِنِي شَرَّ مَا قَضَيْتَ ، وَبَارِكْ لِي فِيمَا أَعْطَيْتَ ، إِنَّكَ تَقْضِي وَلاَ يُقْضَى عَلَيْكَ ، إِنَّهُ لاَ يَذِلُّ مَنْ وَالَيْتَ ، سُبْحَانَكَ رَبَّنَا تَبَارَكْتَ وَتَعَالَيْتَ

“My grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), taught me some words to say in Qunut of Witr: Allahumma ‘afini fiman ‘afait, wa tawallani fiman tawallait, wahdini fiman hadait, wa qini sharra ma qadait, wa barik li fima a’tait. Innaka taqdi wa la yuqda ‘alaik, innahu la yudhillu man walait. Subhanaka rabbana tabarakta wa ta’alait (O Allah, pardon me along with those whom You have pardoned, be an ally to me along with those whom You are an ally to, guide me along with those whom You have guided, protect me from the evil that You have decreed, and bless for me that which You have bestowed. For verily You decree and none can decree over You. He whom You support can never be humiliated. Glory is to You, our Lord, You are Blessed and Exalted).”

Sunan Ibnu Majah (1168)

There are several places in prayer where supplication is recited. However, the supplication is not long and only several ma’thur and short supplication are recited. Among them are:

  1. Iftitah supplication. It is recited right after takbiratul ihram.
  2. Supplication in rukuk (bowing) and sujud (prostration). In a narration from Ummul Mukminin Aisyah R.Anha, she said:

كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يُكْثِرُ أَنْ يَقُولَ فِي رُكُوعِهِ وَسُجُودِهِ سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَا وَبِحَمْدِكَ اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي

The Messenger of Allah(ﷺ) often said while bowing and prostrating himself; “Glory be to Thee, O Allah, out Lord.” And “Praise be to Thee, O Allah, forgive me,” Thus interpreting the (command in the Qur’an).

Sahih al-Bukhari (817)

  1. After coming up from rukuk (bowing).
  2. Between the two prostration. Ibnu Abbas said:

كَانَ يَقُولُ بَيْنَ السَّجْدَتَيْنِ اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَارْحَمْنِي وَاجْبُرْنِي وَاهْدِنِي وَارْزُقْنِي

"Between the two prostrations, the Prophet would say: (Allahummaghfir li, warhamni, wajburni, wahdini, warzuqni). 'O Allah! Pardon me, have mercy on me, help me, guide me, and grant me sustenance.'"

Sunan al-Tirmizi (284)

These are the sunnah types of supplication to be recited in certain places in prayer. There are some specified ma’thur supplication and others are any supplication that one wishes to recite.

Coming back to the question presented, basically after the recitation of al-Fatihah, it is sunnah to recite any surah or verse of the Quran. This is in accordance with the statement of the Prophet PBUH, from Abu Hurairah RA, he said:

فَمَا أَسْمَعَنَا النَّبِىُّ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- أَسْمَعْنَاكُمْ وَمَا أَخْفَى مِنَّا أَخْفَيْنَاهُ مِنْكُمْ وَمَنْ قَرَأَ بِأُمِّ الْكِتَابِ فَقَدْ أَجْزَأَتْ عَنْهُ وَمَنْ زَادَ فَهُوَ أَفْضَلُ

“(The recitation) that we listened to from the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) we made you listen to it. And that which he recited inwardly to us, we recited it inwardly for you. And he who recites Umm al-Qur'an, it is enough for him (to complete the prayer), and he who adds to it (recites some other verses of the Holy Qur'an along with Surat al-Fatiha), it is preferable for him.”

Sahih Muslim (910)

Al-Khatib al-Syarbini said that reciting a surah after al-Fatihah is sunnah even if it is a short surah. It is sunnah to recite the surah in the first two rakaat of prayer, for both jahriyyah or sirriyyah prayers. (Refer Al-Iqna’ Fi Hilli Alfaz Abi Syuja’ ,1/142).

Or to recite amin for those who are performing the congregational prayer. Imam al-Nawawi said that it is sunnah to recite amin after reciting the Fatihah together with the imam. (Refer Al-Majmu’ Syarh Al-Muhazzab, 4/235)

However, if a person recites any supplication after the Fatihah it does not invalidate the prayer. The reason is, it is considered as zikr (remembrance of Allah SWT) which is permissible. This is in accordance with a hadith narrated by Huzaifah bin al-Yaman. He said:

إِذَا مَرَّ بِآيَةٍ فِيهَا تَسْبِيحٌ سَبَّحَ وَإِذَا مَرَّ بِسُؤَالٍ سَأَلَ وَإِذَا مَرَّ بِتَعَوُّذٍ تَعَوَّذَ

“ When he (the Prophet PBUH) recited an Ayah which mentioned the tasbeeh, he would say Subhan Allah and when he recited the Ayah which tells how the Rubb is to be asked, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) would then ask from Him; and when he (ﷺ) recited an Ayah asking one to seek Protection Allah, he would seek Protection of Allah.”

Sahih Muslim (1291)

Ibnu Naqib al-Misri al-Syafi’I state that a prayer is not invalidated by zikr. However, it will be invalid if the supplication recited is for someone. Such as when a person sneezes and he recites “May Allah bless you,” (رحمك الله). The reason is, it is as if someone is talking in prayer. However, if the supplication uses sighah ghaib, then it does not invalidate prayer. (See Tanwir Al-Masalik Bi Syarh Wa Adillah Umdah Al-Salik Wa ‘Uddah Al-Nasik,1/233)

Thus, any supplication such as اللهم اغفر لي ولوالدي stated by the questioner is permissible. However, it is prioritized to supplicate where it is sunnah to supplicate in prayer. This is a safer alternative to avoid the khilaf (difference of opinions by scholars). Furthermore, the act of supplicating right after reciting ولا الضالين is khilaful awla. The reason is, it is sunnah to recite amin according to the narrations of several hadiths.

May Allah SWT give understanding in religion to us all. Wallahua’lam.

End note:

[1] Surah Ghafir : 60