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Supplications at the Times of Distress

summer heat
Q. What does a person say when he is in times of distress?

Praise be to Allah

Imam Ahmad reported from ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘oud radhiAllahu ‘anhu, the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “There is no slave who, when he is stricken by anxiety and sorrow, says:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي عَبْدُكَ ابْنُ عَبْدِكَ ابْنُ أَمَتِكَ نَاصِيَتِي بِيَدِكَ ، مَاضٍ فِيَّ حُكْمُكَ ، عَدْلٌ فِيَّ قَضَاءُكَ أَسْأَلُكَ بِكُلِّ اسْمٍ هُوَ لَكَ سَمَّيْتَ بِهِ نَفْسَكَ أَوْ أَنْزَلْتَهُ فِي كِتَابِكَ ، أَوْ عَلَّمْتَهُ أَحَدًا مِنْ خَلْقِكَ أَوِ اسْتَأْثَرْتَ بِهِ فِي عِلْمِ الْغَيْبِ عِنْدَكَ ، أَنْ تَجْعَلَ الْقُرْآنَ رَبِيعَ قَلْبِي ، وَنُورَ صَدْرِي ، وَجَلاءَ حُزْنِي ، وذَهَابَ هَمِّي

‘O Allah, I am Your slave and the son of Your male slave and female slave. My forelock is in Your hand (i.e., You have complete mastery over me), Your command over me is forever executed, and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every name belonging to You which You named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the Unseen with You, that You make the Qur’an the life of my heart and the light of my chest, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety’

 – but Allah will remove his sorrow and replace his grief with joy.” The people said, “O Messenger of Allah, we should learn these words.” He said, “The one hears them should learn them.”

[When in Distress or Desperation]

Ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhu reported that at times of distress, the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to say,

لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ الْعَظِيمُ الْحَلِيمُ ، لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ ، لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ رَبُّ السَّمَوَاتِ وَرَبُّ الأَرْضِ ورَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْكَرِيمِ

“There is no god but Allah, the All-Great, the Patient; there is no god but Allah, Lord of the Mighty Throne; there is no god but Allah, the Lord of heaven, the Lord of earth, and the Lord of the Noble Throne.” [al-Bukhari, no. 5870]

The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “The prayer for one stricken by distress is:

يَا حَيُّ يَا قَـيُّومُ بِرَحْمَتِكَ أَسْتَغِيثُ أَصْلِحْ لِي شَأْنِي كُلَّهُ ، وَلَا تَكِلْنِي إِلَى نَفْسِي طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ

‘O Allah, it is Your mercy that I hope for, so do not leave me in charge of my affairs even for a blink of an eye, and rectify for me all of my affairs. None has the right to be worshiped except You.’” [Imam Ahmad, Abu Daw’oud, Saheeh al-Jaami’]

[Du’a ul Karb – the Supplication of Distress]

Asma’ bint ‘Umays radhiAllahu ‘anha said the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to me, “Shall I not teach you some words to say at times of distress?”

O Allah, You are my Lord and I do not associate anything with You. [Abu Daw’oud, Saheeh al-Jaami’]

The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to his companions, “Shall I not tell you some words which, if distress or grief befalls any of you and he offers this prayer (supplication), it will bring him joy? It is the du’a of Dhu’l-Noon [ Prophet Yunus/Jonah]:

لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنْتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ

‘There is no god but You, Glory to You; verily I was one of the wrongdoers.’” [Saheeh al-Jaami‘, no. 2605]

[Supplication: Distress, Sadness and Anxiety]

Anas ibn Maalik said, “Whenever something distressed him, the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to say:

يَا حَيُّ يَا قَيُّومُ بِرَحْمَتِكَ أَسْتَغِيثُ

‘O Ever-Living, O Self-Sustaining, by Your mercy I seek Your help.’” [at-Tirmidhi]

You must recite these du’a, may Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala benefit you thereby and replace your sorrow with joy. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

—Sheikh Muhammad Al-Munajjid

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