Prophetic Prayers No 3: A Prayer for Love

Oh God! Grant me love of You…

• This includes our love for God, and God’s love for us.

“…follow me, and God will love you and forgive you your sins.” (3:31)

Allah loves…

“those who work with excellence (muhsineen)” (2:195)

“those who repent and those who constantly purify” (2:222)

“those who are mindful (of Him) (muttaqeen)” (3:76)

“those who are patient” (sabireen) (3:146)

“those who are reliant (on Him) (mutawakkileen)” (3:159)

“those who are fair (muqsiteen)” (5:42)

Verses and hadith on Love

“But those who believe are more intense in their love for God!” (2:165)

“Love God for what He nourishes you with of His Blessings, love me due to the love of God, and love the people of my house due to love of me.” [Tirmidhi]

“Whoever loves to meet God, God loves to meet him; and whoever hates meeting God, God hates to meet him” [Bukhari]

“Have no desire for this world, Allah will love you; and have no desire for what people possess, and the people will love you.” [Ibn Maja]

and love of those whose love will benefit me with You

“‘Abu Dharr, you are with the one you love.’ I said, ‘I love God and His Messenger.’ He said, ‘Abu Dharr, you are with the one you love.’” [Bukhari, Adab]

“Whoever loves Hasan and Husain, loves me; and whoever hates them, hates me.” [Ibn Maja]

“None loves the Ansar but a believer, and none hates them but a hypocrite. So Allah will love him who loves them, and He will hate him who hates them.” [Bukhari]

Qadi Iyad on Love

Love is due to one or more of these three things:

  • Love of the outward perfection
  • Love of the inward qualities
  • Love of the benefits which can be gained

These are the reasons for which we love God, His Messengers, and the righteous

Whatever You have given me that I love, please make it a source of strength for me for that which You love.

• We are being taught that the things that we love can increase us in love of God, including our family, friends, and possessions.

• This is a fruit of gratitude (shukr): “A grateful eater is equal to a patient fasting person.” [Ibn Maja]

• This is also a fruit of using our blessings for good. One of the definitions of shukr is using one’s blessings to do good.

Whatever You have denied me that I love, please make it a respite for me for that which You love.

“But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.” (2:216)

“There is no Muslim who calls upon Allah, without sin or cutting family ties, but that Allah will give him one of three answers: He will quickly answer his supplication, He will store it for him in the Hereafter, or He will divert an evil from him similar to it.” They said, “In that case we will ask for more.” The Prophet said, “Allah has even more.” [Ahmad]

Prophetic Prayers No 2: The Springtime of my Heart

In this series, Hamza Ahmed offers reflections on some of the prayers of our beloved Prophet ﷺ . This prayer is a prophetic prescription for sorrow and grief.

I am Your slave, the son of Your male slave and the son of Your female slave,

Our parents provide for us, teach us, and guide the direction of our lives.

But this dua is all about recognising God’s power over us.

Perhaps, then, it is teaching us that it is only God who looks after us, and even our parents are nothing but his servants, and they can only help us if God allows it.

This is one of the wisdoms of the Prophet losing his parents and grandfather, and this happens throughout his life.

My forelock is in Your Hand

• Forelock – the hair on the top and front of a horse’s head. The Arabs used this as a metaphor for a person’s character and fate, shu’m al-naasiya, and mubarak al-naasiya.

• God uses this word in the Qur’an: “A lying, sinning forelock!” (Alaq: 16)

“Truly, I have relied on God, my Lord and your Lord. There is no creature except that He has hold of its forelock…” (Hud: 56)

• The ego (nafs) is like a wild creature that needs to be tamed in order to be of benefit.

I am subject to Your Decree, Your Decree for me is true justice,

• Decree (hukm) – also carries the meaning of ‘wisdom’ (hikma).

• God’s decree is always wise.

• God is al-Hakeem. Wisdom comes only from him. Questioning his Decree is like saying we are wiser than Him.

• God is al-’Adl (Justice), not ‘Aadil (the Just One). This teaches us that our understanding of justice comes from Him. There is no law of justice outside of Himself that He has to follow.

I ask you by every name that is Yours…

• This is a reminder of God’s greatness. Only He is great enough to name Himself.

“Or which You have taught anyone in Your creation, or which You have kept to Yourself in the Unseen” – this indicates there are many names of God that exist outside the 99 Names (al-Ghazali).

• We call on God through some names, depending on what we want, but calling on Him with every Name shows how needy we are for every good.

• This is also a way of including the Greatest Name:

It was narrated from Buraydah ibn al-Husayb that the Messenger of God (blessings and peace of God be upon him) heard a man saying: “O God, I ask You by virtue of the fact that I bear witness that You are Allah, there is no god but You, the One, the Eternal Refuge, Who neither begets nor is born, nor is there to Him any equivalent.” The Messenger of God (blessings and peace of God be upon him) said: “He has indeed asked God by His greatest name, which if He is asked thereby, He gives and if He is called upon thereby, He answers.”

Related by Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Ibn Maja

Ibn Hajr: “This is the soundest of all reports concerning this matter.”

that you make the Qur’an the springtime of my heart,

• Springtime – rabee’ – a reawakening of the Earth. Perhaps this indicates to us that our hearts, even if they are dead, can be brought back to life.

“And among His signs is that you see the earth devoid of life, but as soon as We send down rain upon it, it begins to stir ˹to life˺ and swell. Indeed, the One Who revives it can easily revive the dead. He is certainly Most Capable of everything.” (Fussilat: 39)

• One of the interpretations – it means the hearts of people as well as their bodies.

and the light of my breast,

• Breast – sadr – one of the principles of tafsir is that when the word sadr is used, it refers to the lower, sinful side of a person: another reminder of humility before God.

• Light is a metaphor for guidance, because things can only be seen with light.

• A subtle indication – we might read the Qur’an but it might not light up our hearts because of our sinfulness – we have to ask God to make that happen.

and the removal of my sorrow, and the departure of my worry.

• Sorrow (ghamm) – sadness in relation to the past.

• Worry (hamm) – sadness in relation to the future.

• A reminder that the cure for these things can be found in the Qur’an. Both in the recitation of it and in the understanding of its meanings.

• The Qur’an explains to us who God is, which makes us trust Him; it tells us stories of the Prophets, which comfort us; it tells us the rules of right and wrong, which give us direction; and it tells us about the Afterlife, which gives us perspective.

Listen to the class here:

Prophetic Prayers No 1: Fear, Obedience and Certainty

In this series, Hamza Ahmed offers reflections on some of the prayers of our beloved Prophet ﷺ .

O God! Give us such fear of You that will come between us and disobedience to You;

• Fear (khashiya) – a type of fear that is a result of knowledge, not an irrational fear, so we are asking for knowledge as well as fear: “Among His servants, only the knowledgeable fear God” [Quran, 35:28]

• “Give us” – apportion or distribute (qism) – khashya is a gift from God, because knowledge is a gift from God.

“When God wants good for someone, He gives him understanding of religion. God is the Giver, and I am the distributer (Qasim)” [Bukhari]

and certainty, that will make the calamities of this world easy for us to bear

Museeba (calamity) – literally means an arrow hitting its target •It hurts, but who fired the arrow?

• Calamities are easier to bear if we have certainty in God’s Existence, Wisdom, and Mercy •The Prophets endured the greatest calamities, but they also had the most certainty

Give us fear…and obedience…and certainty

• The Prophet linked these concepts together

• Obedience to God comes mostly from having fear (khashya)

• Certainty comes from being fully obedient to God [Imam al-Haddad, Book of Assistance] : “And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our Way” [Quran 29:69]

O God! let us enjoy our hearing, our sight and our power as long as You keep us alive and make them continuous until the end of our lives,

• Hearing and sight are the means through which we learn about God and thus develop khashya

• Power (quwwa) is the means through which we perform acts of obedience, which lead to certainty

and restrict our revenge to those who oppress us, and support us against those who are hostile to us,

• Constantly seeking revenge was the defining characteristic of the pre-Islamic Arabs, it leads to a never ending cycle of violence

• That is why it is not in the Muhammadan nature to seek revenge, but where it is sought, it is sought from God

• God is ‘the Avenger’ (Muntaqim) – His vengeance is always just and purifying – it doesn’t lead to escalation

and do not let our calamities be religious calamities,

• Calamities are inevitable •“We will surely test you with fear, and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and fruits; but give good news to the patient” [Quran; al-Baqarah]

• It is better to have calamities that affect our worldly affairs, because all worldly affairs are temporary: “My community is blessed, for its calamities are given to it in this world”

• Worldly calamities should strengthen the soul and increase longing for Heaven

and do not let this world be our principal concern, or the ultimate limit of our knowledge,

• Principle concern (hamm) – literally means ‘worry’ or ‘anxiety’. To be worried and anxious about temporary worldly affairs is a sign of lack of certainty in God

• If we do not have knowledge, we will not have khashya, and we will not have certainty

and do not let those who show no mercy to us rule over us.

• Reminds us that worldly power is in God’s hands

• A just ruler is incredibly rare in this world, the Prophet upon him be peace foretold that just rule would only last in his community for thirty years

• Shows us that it is important ask for good leaders

Summary of Reflections

• Knowledge of God is important in developing fear of Him and obedience to Him

• Our obedience to God is a gift that He gives us

• Calamities are inevitable, but certainty in God is the best way to deal with them, and certainty is developed through knowledge and obedience

• Those who have certainty do not seek to escalate violence and seek revenge for themselves, they know that everything is in God’s Hands

• Those who have certainty would rather have their calamities befall them in this world rather than the Hereafter

• Certainty removes anxiety and fear

• God controls those who rule over us, so He is the one to turn to

Listen to the class here: