Violations in Qunoot Supplication
Ramadan is the month of worship in which the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, as Allah the Almighty said: “The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the Criterion.” Thus, any worship that is purely directed to Allah is greatly rewarded, as long as it is in accordance with the Messenger’s Sunna. And one of the greatest acts of worship is supplication, as Allah said: “Call upon me; I will answer your prayer.”And He said: “When my servants question you concerning me, then surely I am near. I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he cries to me. So let them hear my call and let them trust in me, in order that they may be rightly guided.” Likewise, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Supplication is worship” and “Prayer is the best worship.”
Hence, the qunoot supplication in witr prayer is preferable, as Hasan bin Ali said: “The Messenger of Allah taught me some words to say in the witr during qunoot: ‘O Allah, guide me among those whom You have guided, pardon me among those You have pardoned, turn to me in friendship among those whom You have turned in friendship, and bless me in what You have bestowed, and save me from the evil of what You have decreed. For verily you decree and none can influence You; and he is not humiliated whom You have befriended. Blessed are You, O Lord, and Exalted.’” However, there are numerous violations, transgressions, and errors in the qunoot supplication, and some of these violations are:
1 – Screaming and raising the voice unnaturally during supplication.
Allah said: “Call upon your Lord in humility and privately; indeed, He does not like transgressors.” And in the hadith narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim, the Prophet said: “O people have mercy on yourselves for you are not calling one who is deaf or absent. Verily, you are calling one who is All-Hearing and near to you and is with you.”
2 – Exagerated and prolonging supplication.
This violates the Prophet’s Sunna, peace be upon him, since he always used brief and precise words in supplication – whereas prolonging supplication will make it more like a detailed sermon than a prayer that asks for Allah’s forgiveness.
3 – Wailing aloud.
Weeping from fear of Allah is a religiously preferable thing, but moaning or wailing is contrary to the teachings of the Prophet, peace be upon him.
4 – Using rhymed prose in supplication.
Prayer and supplication are one of the most honorable acts of worship, therefore when praying to Allah one should not use rhymed prose, nor recite supplications like he recites the Quran. Al-Bukhari narrated in his Saheeh that Ibn Abbas said while advising Ikrima: “Avoid the use of rhymed prose in supplication for I noticed that Allah’s Messenger and his companions always avoided it.”
5 – Asking what contradicts common sense in prayer and supplication, such as asking Allah to annihilate all non-Muslims, since it is acknowledged that this will never happen and immoral, but one may pray against aggressors instead, as Umar ibn al-Khattab used to say in qunoot: “O Allah curse those infidels who abuse your Prophet and assault the believers.”
6 – The overuse of detailed description.
The Prophet, peace be upon him, used precise and brief words in supplication, and one of the companions advised his son when he heard him say: “O Allah, I ask You for a white palace on the right of Paradise,” and told him: “It is enough to ask for Paradise and seek refuge from hell. I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, say, ‘There will be people in my nation who will transgress in purification and prayer.’”
7- This is a summary of violations in supplication:
• A supplication that contains heretical prayers.
• Wishing or praying for death.
• Asking to expedite punishment.
• Asking for an impossible or an absurd thing.
• Praying for an already answered matter.
• Praying for something that can never occur.
• Praying against one’s family, money and self.
• Praying to fall into sin.
• Praying for the cutting of family ties.
• Restricting Allah’s mercy, like saying: “O God, heal me alone.”
• An Imam praying for himself and leaving out the congregation.
• To use abusive language in prayer, such as: “Those dogs and monkeys.”
• Praying to challenge Allah, like saying; “I’ll pray and it might be answered, and if not it will never hurt.”
• Praying for a corrupt thing.
• Asking others to pray for him, and not praying for himself.
• Lack of certainty in the answer to prayer.
• A prayer based on will rather than certainty, such as saying: “O Allah, forgive me, if you will.”
We ask Allah the Almighty to accept all our prayers.