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The Excellence of Quranic Remembrance

Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala) says

{Therefore remember Me, I will remember you and be grateful to Me, and never be ungrateful to me}, [Surah al-Baqarah, Aayah 152]

{O you who believe! Remember Allaah with much remembrance}, [Surah al-Ahzaab, Aayah 41]

Verily, the Muslims (those who submit to Allâh in Islâm) men and women, the believers men and women (who believe in Islâmic Monotheism), the men and the women who are obedient (to Allâh), the men and women who are truthful (in their speech and deeds), the men and the women who are patient (in performing all the duties which Allâh has ordered and in abstaining from all that Allâh has forbidden), the men and the women who are humble (before their Lord Allâh), the men and the women who give Sadaqât (i.e. Zakât, and alms, etc.), the men and the women who observe Saum (fast) (the obligatory fasting during the month of Ramadân, and the optional Nawâfil fasting), the men and the women who guard their chastity (from illegal sexual acts) and the men and the women who remember Allâh much with their hearts and tongues (while sitting, standing, lying, etc. for more than 300 times extra over the remembrance of Allâh during the five compulsory congregational prayers) or praying extra additional Nawâfil prayers of night in the last part of night, etc.) Allâh has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise). [Surah al-Ahzaab, Aayah 35

And remember your Lord by your tongue and within yourself, humbly and with fear without loudness in words in the mornings, and in the afternoons and be not of those who are neglectful. [Surah al-A'raaf, Aayah 205] The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said: «The comparison of the one who remembers Allaah and the one who does not remember Allaah, is like that of the living and the dead», [al-Bukhaaree with al-Fat.h 11/208 and Muslim 1/539] He (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) also said: «Should I not inform you of the best of deeds, and the most sanctifying of deeds before your Lord, which does more to raise your positions [with Him], and are better for you than the disbursement of gold and money or battle with the enemy?» They [the companions] said: "Indeed! Inform us." He (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) then said: «Remembrance of Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala)», [at-Tirmidhee 5/459 and Ibn Maajah 2/1245, see: Saheeh Ibn Maajah 2/316 and Saheeh at-Tirmidhee 3/139]

The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) also said: «Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala) says: "Indeed I am as My servant presumes Me to be, and I am with him when he remembers Me, so if he remembers Me to himself I remember him to Myself, and if he remembers Me amongst a company I remember him amongst a company greater than it, and if he draws near to Me the span of a hand I draw near to him the span of an arm, and if he draws near to Me the span of an arm I draw near to him the span of two outstretched arms, and if he takes a step towards Me I hastily step towards him"», [al-Bukhaaree 8/171 and Muslim 4/2061, this specific wording is related by al-Bukhaaree]

On the authority of 'Abdullaah Ibn Busr (radhi-yallaahu 'anhu): "A man said to the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam): "O Messenger of Allaah, the rites of Islaam are much for me, so tell me of something that I might hold fast to" He (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said: «Let not your tongue cease from the remembrance of Allaah», [at-Tirmidhee 5/458 and Ibn Maajah 2/1246, see: Saheeh at-Tirmidhee 3/139 and Saheeh Ibn Maajah 2/317] The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) also said: «Whoever recites a letter of Allaah's Book has for it, a merit and ten more like it, not to say that alif, laam, meem are one letter but rather alif is a letter, laam is a letter and meem is a letter», [at-Tirmidhee 5/175, see: Saheeh at-Tirmidhee 3/9 and Saheeh al-Jaami' as- Sagheer 5/340]

'Uqbah Ibn 'Aamir (radhi-yallaahu 'anhu) relates that Allaah's Messenger (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) came out when we were in as-Suffah and said: «Are there any of you who would wish to go every day to Buthaan or al-'Aeeq [i.e., the name of two ditches in al-Madeenah] in the early morning and return from it with two shecamels without incurring any sin or severing relations?» We [the companions] said: "We would indeed love that, O Messenger of Allaah" He (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said: «Then you should go to the mosque and acquire some knowledge, or recite two aayaat from the Book of Allaah, that would be better for you than two she-camels, and three aayaat are better than three shecamels, and four aayaat are better than four she-camels, and the same for a like number of male camels», [Muslim 1/553] The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) also said: «Whoever takes a seat and fails to remember Allaah, has incurred upon himself a loss from Allaah, and whoever lies down [relaxes] and fails to remember Allaah, has incurred upon himself a loss from Allaah», [Abu Daawood 4/264 and others, see: Saheeh al- Jaami' 5/342.]

Places and times where du'aa' is Answered

There are many times and places where du'aa' is answered. There follows a summary thereof:

1 – Laylat al-Qadar. It was narrated that 'Aa'ishah asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): "If I know what night is Laylat al-Qadar, what should I say during it?" He said: "Say: Allaahumma innaka 'afuwwan tuhibb ul-'afwa fa'fu 'anni (O Allaah, You are forgiving and love forgiveness, so forgive me)."

2 – Du'aa' in the depths/third of the night, the time before dawn, the time when Allaah descends to bestow His bounty upon His slaves, to meet their needs and to relieve their distress, when He says: "Who will call upon Me, that I may answer Him? Who will ask of Me, that I may give him? Who will seek My forgiveness, that I may forgive him?" narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1145

3 – Following the prescribed prayers. According to the hadeeth of Abu Umaamah, it was said: "O Messenger of Allaah, which du'aa' is heard?" He said: "In the last third of the night, and following the prescribed prayers." Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3499; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidh

There was some difference of scholarly opinion concerning the phrase dabr alsalawaat al-maktoobah ("following the prescribed prayers") – does it mean before the salaam or afterwards? Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah and his student Ibn al-Qayyim were of the view that it is before the salaam. Ibn Taymiyah said: "The word dabr refers to something that is part of a thing, like dabr al-haywaan (the hindquarters of an animal)." Zaad al-Ma'aad, 1.305. Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen said: "What has been narrated of du'aa' following the prayer is before the salaam and what has been narrated of dhikr following the prayer is after the salaam, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "When you have finished As-Salaah (the congregational prayer), remember Allaah standing, sitting down, and (lying down) on your sides" [al-Nisa' 4:103] See: Kitaab al-Du'aa' by Shaykh Muhammad al-Hamad, p. 54

4 – Between the adhaan and the iqaamah. It is narrated in a saheeh report that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "A du'aa' offered between the adhaan and iqaamah is not rejected." Narrated by Abu Dawood (521) and al- Tirmidhi (212). See also Saheeh al-Jaami', 2408.

5 – When the call for the prescribed prayers is given and when the ranks are drawn up for battle, as it says in the marfoo' hadeeth of Sahl ibn Sa'd: "There are two that will not be rejected, or will rarely be rejected: du'aa' at the time of the call for prayer and at the time of battle when the fighting begins." Narrated by Abu Dawood; it is a saheeh report. See Saheeh al-Jaami', 3079

6 – When rain falls, as it said in the hadeeth of Sahl ibn Sa'd that is attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): "There are two which will not be rejected: du'aa' at the time of the call (to prayer) and when it is raining." Narrated by Abu Dawood and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami' (3078).

7 – At a certain time of the night, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "During the night there is a time when the Muslim does not ask for the good of this world and the Hereafter but it will be given to him, and that happens every night." Narrated by Muslim, 757.

8 – A certain time on Friday. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) mentioned Friday and said: "During it there is a time when a Muslim slave does not stand and pray and ask Allaah for something, but He will give it to him," and he gestured with his hand to indicate how short that time is. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 935; Muslim, 852.

9 – When drinking Zamzam water. It was narrated from Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Zamzam water is for that for which it is drunk." Narrated by Ahmad and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami', 5502.

10 – When prostrating during prayer. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "The closest that a person is to his Lord is when he is prostrating, so say a great deal of du'aa' then." Narrated by Muslim, 482.

11 – When hearing the crowing of a rooster, because of the hadeeth: "When you hear the crowing of a rooster, ask Allaah of His bounty, for he has seen an angel." Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2304; Muslim, 2729.

12 – When saying the du'aa', "Laa ilaaha illa anta, subhaanaka, inni kuntu min al-zaalimeen ([none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allaah)], Glorified (and Exalted) be You [above all that (evil) they associate with You]! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers – cf al-Anbiya' 21:87])." It was narrated in a saheeh hadeeth that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "The prayer of Dhu'l-Noon (Yoonus) which he said when he was in the belly of the whale: 'Laa ilaaha illa anta, subhaanaka, inni kuntu min al-zaalimeen ([none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allaah)], Glorified (and Exalted) be You [above all that (evil) they associate with You]! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers.' No Muslim recites this du'aa' concerning any matter but Allaah will answer him." Narrated by al- Tirmidhi and classed as saheeh in Saheeh al-Jaami', 3383.

In his commentary on the passage (interpretation of the meaning):

"And (remember) Dhun-Noon (Jonah), when he went off in anger, and imagined that We shall not punish him (i.e. the calamities which
had befallen him)! But he cried through the darkness (saying): Laa ilaaha illa Anta [none has the right to be worshipped but You (O
Allaah)], Glorified (and Exalted) be You [above all that (evil) they associate with You]! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers."

88. So We answered his call, and delivered him from the distress. And thus We do deliver the believers (who believe in the Oneness of Allaah, abstain from evil and work righteousness)" [al-Anbiya' 21:87-88] Al-Qurtubi said: In this verse, Allaah stipulates that whoever calls upon Him, He will answer him as He answered and saved Dhu'l-Noon (Yoonus). This is what is meant by the words "And thus We do deliver the believers". Al-Jaami' li Ahkaam il-Qur'aan, 11/334.

13 – If a calamity befalls him and he says, Inna Lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji'oon, Allaahumma ujurni fi museebati w'ukhluf li khayran minha (Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return; O Allaah, reward me in this calamity and compensate me with something better than it). It was narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh (918) that Umm Salamah said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: "There is no calamity that befalls one of the Muslims and he responds by saying 'Innaa Lillaahi wa innaa ilahi raaji'oon, Allaahumma ujurni fi museebati w'ukhluf li khayran minha (Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return; O Allaah, reward me in this calamity and compensate me with something better than it),' but Allaah will compensate him with something better than it."

14 – The prayer of people after the soul of the deceased has been taken. According to the hadeeth, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) entered upon Abu Salamah (after he had died) and his eyes were open. He closed them and said:"When the soul is taken, the gaze follows it." Some of his family got upset and he said: "Do not pray for anything but good for yourselves, for the angels say Ameen to whatever you say." Narrated by Muslim. 2732.

15 – Du'aa' for one who is sick. Muslim (919) narrated that Umm Salamah said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "When you visit a sick person, say good things, for the angels say Ameen to whatever you say…" When Abu Salamah died, I came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: "Abu Salamah has died." He said: "Say: O Allaah, forgive me and him, and compensate me well." She said: I said: And Allaah compensated me with one who was better for me than him: Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

16 – The prayer of the one who has been wronged. In the hadeeth it says: "Fear the prayer of the one who has been wronged, for there is no barrier between it and Allaah." Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 469; Muslim, 19. And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "The prayer of the one who has been wronged will be answered, even if he is an evildoer, for his evildoing is only against himself." Narrated by Ahmad. See Saheeh al-Jaami', 3382.

17 – The du'aa' of a father for his child – i.e., for his benefit – and the du'aa' of a fasting person during the day of his fast, and the prayer of the traveller. It was narrated in a saheeh report that our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "There are three prayers that are not rejected: the prayer of a father for his child, the prayer of the fasting person and the prayer of the traveller." Narrated by al- Bayhaqi; see Saheeh al-Jaami', 2032; al-Saheehah, 1797.

18 – The prayer of a father against his child – i.e., to harm him. According to a saheeh hadeeth: 'There are three prayers that will be answered: the prayer of one who has been wronged, the prayer of a traveller, and the prayer of a father against his child." Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1905. See Saheeh al-Adab al-Mufrad, 372.

19 – The du'aa' of a righteous person for his parents, as stated in the hadeeth narrated by Muslim (1631): "When the son of Adam dies, all his good deeds come to an end except three: ongoing charity, a righteous son who will pray for him, or beneficial knowledge."

20 – Du'aa' after the sun has passed its zenith and before Zuhr. It was narrated from 'Abd-Allaah ibn al-Saa'ib (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to pray four rak'ahs after the sun had passed its zenith and before Zuhr, and he said: "This is a time when the gates of heaven are opened and I want a good deed of mine to ascend during this time." Narrated by al-Tirmidhi and its isnaad is saheeh. See Takhreej al-Mishkaat, 1/337.