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Etiquettes of the Qunoot

In the name of Allah, The most Beneficent, The most Merciful.

All praise is due to Allah, the One who hears the secret and whispered speech, and provides relief from calamity and misfortune. Peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, his family and all of his Companions. The tremendous suffering that our Muslim brothers in Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan and in many countries around the world are facing makes it an obligation on all the Muslims to support them in any way they can. Amongst the most important obligations in this regard that the Muslims must do to support their brothers is to make Du'a; this being one of the most potent means of repressing calamity. One of the forms of Du'a is 'Qunoot', of whose rules and mannerisms the following is a brief explanation.

1) What is meant here by Qunoot is supplication to Allah, Mighty and Magnificent, to relieve a calamity that has afflicted a group of Muslims.

2) The main evidence for this Qunoot is the Qunoot of the Prophet Muhammad (May Allah's Peace be Upon Him) for one full month, when he supplicated against some Arab tribes who had betrayed and killed the Qur'an reciters that the Prophet (May Allah's Peace be Upon Him) had sent to them. Similarly he (may Allah's Peace be Upon Him) supplicated that Allah save some of his Companions from the plots of the Quraysh. Both these narrations are found in the two famous authentic books (Bukhari and Muslims). Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that whenever the Prophet (may Allah's Peace be Upon Him) wanted to supplicate against someone, or for someone, after he (May Allah's Peace be Upon Him) would stand up from ruku, he would say, "Allah hears him who praises Him, to you is the praise",

he would then say:

"Oh Allah, save Al-Walid ibn Al-Walid, Salamah ibn Hashim, Iyash ibn Abi Rab'iah, and the oppressed believers. Oh Allah, put hardship and pressure on the tribe of Mudar and give them years of famine like those during the time of Yusuf." He would say this aloud. In some of his (May Allah's Peace be Upon Him) prayers, the fajr prayer, he would say: "Oh Allah, curse so and so", cursing some tribes of Arabs until Allah revealed: "Not for you is the decision whether He turns in mercy to (pardon) them or punish them; they are the evildoers."

3) Qunoot takes place after ruku in the last rak'ah of all the obligatory prayers, whether the prayer is silent or loud prayer when performed in Jama'ah. There is no harm if it be confined only to the loud prayers since there is no specific evidence concerning this, as such the matter is flexible.

4) Qunoot can commence with supplicating against the oppressors without mentioning the praises of Allah and there is no harm in this, indeed it seems to be closer to the literal understanding of the practice of the Prophet (May Allah's Peace be Upon Him) in the ahadith previously mentioned. Were one to commence with praising Allah, there is no harm in this due to the generality of his (May Allah's Peace be Upon Him) saying, "If anyone makes du'a, let him start with praising Allah, then invoking salah on the Prophet, then supplicating for what he wishes."

The same applies to invoking salah upon the Prophet (may Allah's Peace be Upon Him): the matter is flexible.

5) We should not start this Qunoot by using the Qunoot of Witr which is: "Allahumma ihdina fiman hadayt.", because this, assuming that it is authentically reported for the Qunoot of Witr, is mentioned in a specific context and not a general way. The Qunoot for calamity is a completely different situation and different mannerisms are reported for it.

6) It is recommended to limit the du'a to the calamity and not to prolong it by mentioning other things, this in compliance to the practice of the Prophet (May Allah's Peace be Upon Him).

7) Du'a should be pronounced loudly by the Imam, and those who follow him should respond by saying “aamin” after those statements that contain request.

8) When the Imam praises or glorifies Allah, Mighty and Magnificent, those who follow him should keep quiet, not saying aamin, Ya Allah, Subhanaka, or the likes. More than one of the follower (Tabi'in) and Legal jurists have textually stated this.

9) If the specific calamity passes, the Imam should stop performing this Qunoot in the prayers.

10) You must follow the Imam whom you pray behind when he makes Qunoot, even if you don't agree with this opinion. This is because following the Imam in that which does invalidate the prayer is obligatory. Qunoot in the view of those who do not allow it does not invalidate the prayer; the
difference is whether it is a Sunnah or not.

11) We advise the Muslims to leave off going to extremities in the Qunoot by beautifying it with poetic words. We should try to employ the supplications of the Messenger (may Allah's Peace be Upon Him) which were concise and comprehensive.

12) We must make supplication sincerely and reflect on its meaning in our heart. This is the means for it to be answered by Allah. The Prophet (may Allah's Peace be Upon Him) said: "Know that Allah will not answer a supplication arising from negligent and heedless heart."
We ask Allah (alone) by His Beautiful Names and Lofty Attributes to remove the Muslim calamity in every place. He is the One able to do so, the All-Capable. This is what comes to mind here. Peace and Blessings be upon our Prophet, Muhammad, upon his family and all his Companions.
By Shaykh Haitham Al-Haddad

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