Imams’ violations in Qunoot Supplication
Praise is to Allah, and peace be upon his Messenger.
Some Imams lack awareness of errors that are practiced during the Qunoot supplication, and though our predecessors unanimously prohibited it, these violations have became quite common. They are as follows:
1 – The imam raising his voice, shouting, or screaming during supplication. Allah described that as transgression, Allah said: “Call upon your Lord in humility and privately; indeed, He does not like transgressors.” And Allah the Almighty said:” And do not recite [too] loudly in your prayer or [too] quietly but seek between that an [intermediate] way”. Also, raising the voice during supplication is contrary to devoutness and violates the Sunnah, as the prophet said in the Hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim: “O people, have mercy on yourselves for you are not calling one who is deaf or absent, you are calling one who is all-hearing, near to you and is with you.”
2 – Exaggeration in Weeping aloud.
The imam should weep quietly during supplication, since the Prophet, peace be upon him, never wept aloud, lamented, wailed during prayer like some imams do. But, he used to quench his urge to weep until his chest’s humming was heard. Ibn al-Qayyim, said: ” His weeping, peace be upon him, was serene just like his laughter”. Ibn Masood did not feel that the Prophet, peace be upon him, was crying while he recited verses from surah An-Nisaa unto him, until he looked at him and saw his eyes flowing with tears.
3 – Prolonging supplication.
Some imams prolong the Qunoot supplication making it more of a sermon than a prayer, preaching people about hell and its torment to evoke their tears. This is contrary to the prophet’s Sunnah, peace be upon him, as he used precise and concise words when supplicating. And, the only hadeeth that has been narrated describing the Qunoot supplication of the prophet is the hadeeth of Hasan ibn Ali in which the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:”O Allaah, guide me among those whom you have guided”.
4 – Using rhymed prose during supplication.
Some Imams refrain from using authentic supplications from the Sunnah, and prefer to use rhymed prose and odd prayers, such as: “The one never described by describers.” Also, some of them say: “I do not ask you to change fate, but ask you to be kind in it”, which contradicts what the prophet said: “Nothing changes fate except prayer.” And, Ibn Abbaas said:”avoid the use of rhymed prose in invocation for I noticed that Allah’s Messenger and his companions always avoided it”. Also, the overuse of detailed descriptions, as Abu Dawood narrated: Ibn Saad bin Abi Waqaas said: ” My father heard me say when I was praying:” Oh Allah, I ask thee heaven, and bliss, and joy, and such, and such, and I seek refuge from hell , and its chains, and bonds, and such, and such” He said: “O my son, I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, say: ” There will be people who transgress in supplication”, so beware, for if you enter paradise you’ll earn whatever there is in it, and if you seek refuge from hell you’ll seek refuge from all its evil”.
5 – The overuse of rhymed prose in prayers.
Some Imams recite Qunoot supplication in a pleasant melody as if they are reciting verses from the Holy Quran, sometimes even including verses from the Quran in their supplication, which makes it difficult for people to distinguish between verses and supplications; this all violates the Sunnah and resembles forms of supplications applied by other sects.
6 –Using the same supplication in every prayer.
Such as: initiating every prayer with: “O Allah guide us like whom you guided” and concluding it with:” O Allah! I seek protection against your wrath in your pleasure. I seek protection in your pardon against your chastisement “until people thought that this is one of the prophet’s prayers in Qunoot. The latter prayer was a prayer the prophet recited while prostrating and never recited it in the Qunoot prayer, as Aisha reported: One night I missed the Messenger of Allah from his bed, I searched for him, and then my hand fell over his feet while he was in prostration with his feet erect. He was supplicating:”O Allah! I seek protection against your wrath in your pleasure. I seek protection in your pardon against your chastisement; I am not capable of enumerating praise of you, you are as you have lauded yourself.” An-Nasai and others narrated: that he used to say this supplication after completing his prayer and going to bed. Thus, just like Muslims are not supposed to perform Qunoot every night so that people do not feel that it is a confirmed Sunnah. Imams also should not repeat the same supplication in every prayer so that people do not feel that it is a confirmed Sunnah.
7 – Allocating a certain supplication for the twenty-seventh or the twenty-ninth night of Ramadan, called “The Supplication for concluding the Quran”. This is a heretical supplication that was never heard of from the prophet, peace be upon him, or his companions. Though some senior scholars approved of it, this approval was never based on any evidence from the Sunnah, and as Muslims we must adhere to Sunnah.
In conclusion, Imams should adhere to the prophet’s Sunnah, peace be upon him, and avoid these violations in Qunoot supplication.
And Allah knows best.