The Etiquette of Supplication at the onset of a Calamity

The Etiquette of Supplication at the onset of a Calamity

Shaykh Habib Abu Bakr al-Adani bin Ali al-Masshur


1- To have conviction when asking for the calamity to be repelled. Al-Tirmidhi narrates a report of Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه  that Prophet ﷺ said:

“supplicate to Allah while you are certain that He will answer and know that He does not answer the one who supplicates to Him with a heedless heart.”

And in the hadith of Thawban   رضي الله عنه

“nothing increases one’s lifespan other than acts of good deeds, and nothing turns away that which has been decreed, other than dua (supplication). A person may be severed from his provision due to a wrongdoing he is committing”.

2- A servant must be persistent in his supplication so Allah will lift whatever has afflicted him and that which has yet to. A supplication and a calamity will resist one another until one will overcome the other. As it was narrated by Al-Hakim in the Hadith of  Aisha رضي الله عنها that the Envoy of Allah ﷺ said:

“No precaution can protect against the divine decree. Supplication can be of benefit in the face of a divine decree that has already taken place as well as that which has yet to take place. The supplication meets the calamity as it is about to descend and wrestles with it until the Day of Resurrection.”

On lifting calamity through supplication, Ibn al-Qayyim said:

“du‘a is the most beneficial medicine, is the enemy of calamity. It repels it, will cure it, will prevent it from descending, will lift it, or relieve its effect if it does eventually descend, it is a weapon of a believer”  (Ibn al-Qayyim, al-jawab al-kafi li man sa’ala ‘an al-dawa’ al-shafi)

3- One should not rush and be impatient in expecting an answer, as the Prophet ﷺ said:

“Your [supplication] will be answered, so long as one is not impatient, saying: ‘I supplicated, and I was not responded to.’” (Bukhari and Muslim).

4- Abundantly seeking forgiveness (istighfar), for it is a shield against calamity even if its causes have occurred. Bukhari narrated:

“hasten to His remembrance, supplicating to Him and asking for His forgiveness.”

5- Hasten and turn to salaah (prayer) with every adversity and discomfort, as it was narrated about the Prophet ﷺ that he recommended believers, when there was a solar or lunar eclipse. In a report narrated by Bukhari, the Prophet ﷺ said:

“Hasten to the ritual prayer.”

In another report he said:

“Pray until Allah relieves you of your distress.”

6- Giving sadaqa (charity) is one of the most important and effective things through which Allah lift calamities.

7- Purify the self from hate, grudges and return anything obtained unlawfully to its rightful owners.

8- One should take all means of protection, at the same time as expending one’s effort in to supplication.

9- Asking those who are righteous and on the straight path to supplicate to Allah that He may lift the calamity, plagues, trials and tribulations, wars and adversities.

10- Invoke blessing and prayers upon the Prophet ﷺ abundantly, as when it was said to the Prophet ﷺ

” ‘shall I devote all my time to invoke blessings upon you? The Prophet s replied, ‘In that case, all your worries will be removed, and your wrongdoings will be forgiven.’ ”

11- Enjoining righteousness and forbidding evil. The Prophet ﷺ said:

“By the one who has my soul in His hands, you must enjoin righteousness and forbid evil, otherwise Allah will soon send a punishment upon you. Then, even if you supplicate to Allah, He will not accept it.” (Tirmidhi)


About the author Shaykh Habib Abu Bakr al-Adani bin Ali al-Masshur

The scholar and dā‘ī (caller to Allah), Shaykh Habib Abu Bakr al-Adani bin Ali al-Masshur. He was born in 1366 AH in the Yemeni city of Ahwar, where he was raised in a household of piety and scholarship. From a young age, he memorized the Qur’an under the instruction of his father, the scholar and dā‘ī, Sayyid ‘Ali b. Abi Bakr ibn ‘AlawÏ al Masshur. Sayyid ‘Ali had an immense impact in spreading sacred knowledge and da‘wa to Allah in the region of Ahwar. He always called people to adhere to the Sunna of the Prophet s, repudiated all types of religious innovations (bida‘), superstitions, and false beliefs which some of the locals had propagated. Habib Abu Bakr continued his studies under the tutelage of his father, learning the fundamental sciences of sacred knowledge and studying Arabic grammar. His father encouraged him from a very young age to master the Arabic language and its ancillary disciplines and would ask him to practise and use old Arabic phrases and to compose poetry. Indeed, Habib Abu Bakr command of the language is clear to anyone who reads his books, poems, or articles.

He continued to study sacred knowledge with numerous Shaykhs of Aden, Ahwar, and Hadramawt, combining direct learning and oral transmission from Shaykhs with academic education. He graduated from the Faculty of Education of the University of Aden with a focus on the Arabic language (and indeed he has been engaged in teaching since his youth). Next, because of the political situation in South Yemen, ¤abÏb Abu Bakr travelled to the Hijaz. There he continued his Islamic studies under numerous scholars, foremost among them being the virtuous teacher and knower of Allah Habib ‘Abd al-Qadir b. Ahmad b. ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Saqqaf, whom he kept constant in association.

HabÏb Abu Bakr went on to serve as an imam in a mosque in Jeddah, remaining there for nearly fifteen years. There he initiated teaching circles in various Islamic sciences, in which numerous students of knowledge learned from him. Also a prolific author, Habib Abu Bakr has written over 140 books on a variety of subjects; a skilled poet and man of letters, he has published several collections of poems.

Habib Abu Bakr established no fewer than sixteen Ribats (school of sacred knowledge) and eighty-three educational centres in Aden, Abyan, Ta‘izz, Hudayda, Shabwa, Lahj, Ibb, and Dhimar. The Ribats which he established are rare and unique in that they holistically combine classical and modern academic studies, as well as Prophetic and Ancestral (Abawi) spiritual instruction. Habi Abu Bakr also founded a centre for cultural studies, which has organized numerous conferences and seminars and workshops.

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