اللهم إني أعوذ بك من علم لا ينفع ومن قلب لا يخشع ومن دعاء لا يسمع ومن نفس لا تشبع
‘Allahumma inni a'udhu bika min 'ilmin la yanfa’ wa min qalbin ya yakhsha’ wa min du'a'in la yusma’ wa min nafsin la tashba’
“O Allah! I seek refuge with You from knowledge that does not benefit, and from a heart that is not subdued and humble, and from a supplication that is not heard, and from a self that is not satisfied.”
Pantheists do not believe that there is a personal God who answers prayers. These types of prayers are called prayers of supplication. Take the Lord’s Prayer in Christianity. Do you notice that Jesus only asks for his daily bread and then moves on to forgiveness? This is a prayer of understanding. We do not ask God for anything other than understanding. It is an act of humility. One addresses the prayer to the universe and whatever power may be manifest within it. Prayer makes us humble. This is how pantheists pray:
I cast this prayer upon the stars and the power that there dwells may my heart fill with love so there is no room for fear may I speak the truth and act in compassion always may I freely give of the bounty which I have received may I give comfort to the sick and shelter to the homeless may I dry the crying child’s eye and ease the pain of the aged may I live my life so that when death overtakes me I will be ready I cast this prayer upon stars and the power that there dwells amen.
It can reasonably be said that our dear leader is now the most ridiculed man on the planet. In fact, he may well be the most ridiculed man in history. For a preening narcissist who takes himself terribly seriously, being the butt of the joke heard round the world has got to hurt.
The handpicked assortment of craven nitwits and supplicants that he has surrounded himself with have valiantly tried to insulate him from the derision. But they’re only human. Your heart has to go out to the ones doing the heavy lifting: banty Sean Spicer, the M. C. Escher of the English language, and Kellyanne Conway, the president’s temperament fluffer. (Look away from CNN, Mr. President.
There’s something shiny and bright over there!) Engaging as it is to watch these overworked mouthpieces, I fear their days must be numbered. Comments about microwaves that turn into spy cameras and what should be understood when the president puts words in quotation marks are having minimal effect in reducing the scorn heaped upon their boss.
Hats off to them for their tenacity, but no amount of spin is going to change the fact that the Trump White House, like the company its inhabitant has run for the past four decades, continues to be a shambolic mess.
Trump’s one brief moment of acting presidential—when he read off a teleprompter for 60 minutes and 10 seconds during his address to Congress—served only to show just how low the bar for presidential behavior has plummeted since January.
Watching TV commentators applaud him for containing himself for a little over an hour was like hearing a parent praise a difficult child for not pooping in his pants during a pre-school interview.
Besides, vintage Trump is not going anywhere anytime soon. A couple of weeks earlier, during a visit by the Japanese prime minister, Shinzō Abe, the president told an acquaintance that he was obsessed with the translator’s breasts—although he expressed this in his own, fragrant fashion.
Trump may be a joke, but the chaos and destructive forces around him are not. If he can cause this much havoc during his first few months in office, imagine what the country and the world will look like at the end of four years.
Watch him when he walks into a crowd of people. There is a slight grimace, a tightening of the mouth that to me indicates a hesitation, perhaps based on fear.
The thing is, if Trump has made any sort of arrangement with the Russians—Kremlin, oligarchs, F.S.B., Mob, or any combination of the four—to drop the Obama-era sanctions in return for past favors, the hoo-ha surrounding his Russian connections now makes that almost impossible to deliver. Whatever support he has received from the Russians over the years presumably came with promises of a payback. If Trump can’t follow through on this, he might be in serious trouble.
Whatever support he has received from the Russians over the years presumably came with promises of a payback. If Trump can’t follow through on this, he might be in serious trouble.
That Trump’s supporters continue to line up behind him remains a mystery. For the Republican leadership—the Vichy Republicans, as they have been labeled—their collaboration will bear a stiff price down the road. As for the president’s followers out in the country, their air, their water, their national parks, their pensions, and their health care are all in jeopardy from planned legislation and from regulatory rollbacks already in place.
I can understand the desire to effect dramatic change in Washington, but this is like being frustrated with your doctor and calling in the man who sold you aluminum siding to handle your physical. Steve Bannon, the Bugs Bunny to Trump’s Elmer Fudd, says that his own destructive tendencies came about in part after a good portion of his father’s nest egg of AT&T stock—built up over a half-century of working for the company—was wiped out following the banking crash of 2008.
Bannon isn’t alone in wanting blood. But what does he do? He helps stuff the Cabinet with people from the banking industries that brought Trump’s war with the press may have enjoyed favorable short-term results with his acolytes, but this is a skirmish he simply cannot win.
Sprawling, complex stories like Watergate—or Kremlingate, for that matter—are anything but straightforward affairs, and for the reporters trying to make sense of things, it is akin to assembling a jigsaw puzzle in the dark. It takes time, but eventually the puzzle comes together. And as it was more than four decades ago, you’ve got two great news organizations, The New York Times and The Washington Post, in a complete rut over who will get the goods first. The Post wants to reclaim the position it had after it toppled a president, in the wake of Watergate.
And the Times is out to make sure that the Post doesn’t have a repeat. When the dust settles, the real history will begin. There might be the occasional hack willing to trot out some semi-fictional hagiography on this administration. But, in the end, proper historians and serious journalists will descend in droves to mop up the lies, the half-truths, and the criminality. Trump’s legacy and that of his family could end up in tatters. The self-lauded Trump brand may well wind up as toxic as the once self-lauded brand of another New York-Palm Beach family: the Madoffs.
Al-Qurtubi reported: It was said to Ibrâhïm ibn Adham, “What is wrong with us that we supplicate and we receive no answer?” Ibrâhïm said, “It is because you know Allâh and you do not obey Him, and you know the Messenger and you do not follow him or his tradition (Sunnah), and you know the Qur'ân and you do not act according to it, and you eat from the blessings of Allâh and you are not thankful for it, and you know Paradise and you do not seek it, and you know Hellfire and you do not flee from it, and you know Shaytân and you do not fight him but rather you agree with him, and you know death and you do not prepare for it, and you bury the dead and you do not learn from it, and you ignore your own faults and you are concerned with the faults of others.”
[Tafsïr Al-Qurtubi, 2:186]
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Whoever increases his prayers for forgiveness, then Allah will give him relief from every worry, a way out from every hardship, and provide for him in ways he cannot imagine.”
[(Musnad Aḥmad 2234) (Narrator: Ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنه)]
Istikhara is a means of seeking guidance from Allah when faced with making a decision that one may be unsure about. “Should I, or shouldn’t I.. Will I regret making this decision?”. Who better to ask than Allah? You will definitely know that you have made the right decision when the direction has come from Allah Almighty as a result of your supplications.
The description of Salaat al-Istikhaarah was reported by Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah al-Salami (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said:
“The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to teach his companions to make istikhaarah in all things, just as he used to teach them soorahs from the Qur’aan.
He said: ‘If any one of you is concerned about a decision he has to make, then let him pray two rak’ahs of non-obligatory prayer, then say:
Allaahumma inni astakheeruka bi ‘ilmika wa astaqdiruka bi qudratika wa as’aluka min fadlika, fa innaka taqdiru wa laa aqdir, wa ta’lamu wa laa a’lam, wa anta ‘allaam al-ghuyoob. Allaahumma fa in kunta ta’lamu haadha’l-amra (then the matter should be mentioned by name) khayran li fi ‘aajil amri wa aajilihi (or: fi deeni wa ma’aashi wa ‘aaqibati amri) faqdurhu li wa yassirhu li thumma baarik li fihi. Allaahumma wa in kunta ta’lamu annahu sharrun li fi deeni wa ma’aashi wa ‘aaqibati amri (or: fi ‘aajili amri wa aajilihi) fasrifni ‘anhu [wasrafhu ‘anni] waqdur li al-khayr haythu kaana thumma radini bihi
(O Allaah, I seek Your guidance [in making a choice] by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power, I have none. And You know, I know not. You are the Knower of hidden things. O Allaah, if in Your knowledge, this matter (then it should be mentioned by name) is good for me both in this world and in the Hereafter (or: in my religion, my livelihood and my affairs), then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. And if in Your knowledge it is bad for me and for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs (or: for me both in this world and the next), then turn me away from it, [and turn it away from me], and ordain for me the good wherever it may be and make me pleased with it.”
(Reported by al-Bukhaari, 6841; similar reports are also recorded by al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisaa’i, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah and Ahmad).
1 – Al-Hafidh Ibn Hajr al-Assqalani (d.852 A.H.) -Rahimullaah- said:
‘Regarding the statement: ‘The saying of Allaah Azza wa Jal:
وَقُل رَّبِّ زِدۡنِي عِلۡمٗا
‘Rabbi Zidni Ilma’
<<O my Lord increase me in knowledge>>
This is a clear proof of the Excellence of knowledge. This is because Allaah Ta’ala did not order the Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- with request for increase in anything except for an increase in knowledge.’
[From: ‘Fath al-Bari’ 1/141]
2 – Umm Salma –Radhi Allaahu anha– said, the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- used to say in the supplication in the morning prayer:
<< O our Lord give us good in this Dunyaa, and good in the Hereafter and save us from the punishment of the fire >> [2:201]
Al-Hasan said: ‘al-Hasana (good) in the Dunyaa is knowledge and worship, and in the Hereafter it is Paradise.’
Sufyan said: ‘al-Hasana (good) in the Dunyaa is knowledge and good provision, and in the Hereafter Paradise.’
[From: ‘Lattaif al-Ma’arif p.302]
5 – Abu Bakr Muhammad bin Jafar said: ‘I heard Ibn Khuzaimah while he was asked: ‘Where did you get this knowledge from?’
He answered: ‘The Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said:
ماء زمزم لما شرب له
‘Zam Zam water is what it is drank for.’
So, when I would drink Zam Zam water I would ask Allaah for beneficial knowledge.’
[From: ‘Tadhkiratul Huffadh’ 2/721]
Al-Hakim said: ‘I drank Zam Zam water and I asked Allaah that he grant me the ability to compile works of books in a good way.’
[From: ‘Tadhkiratul Huffadh’ 3/1044]
Al-Hafidh Ibn Hajr said: ‘Once I drank Zam Zam, and I supplicated to Allaah, at that time I was at the beginning of studying Hadeeth, I asked Allaah to grant me the status of Dhahabi in memorising Hadeeth. Twenty years later I went to perform Hajj, and I found in myself the ability to surpass that rank, so I asked Allaah for a higher rank than before, and I hope that Allaah grants me that rank.’
6 – Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah (d.728 A.H.) -Rahimullaah- said:
‘The reality of the issue is that a slave of Allaah is in dire need of asking someone for knowledge and guidance, seeking and asking, then he remembers Allaah and of his dire need of Allaah, then Allaah guides and shows him. Just as Allaah said:
يا عبادي كلكم ضال إلا من هديته فاستهدوني أهدكم
‘O My worshippers! All of you are astray except the one whom I have guided, so seek guidance from Me and I will guide you.’ [Collected by Muslim]
And just as the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- used to say:
Allaahumma Rabba Jibreela wa Mikaa’eela wa Israafeel, faatir al-samawaati wa’l-ard, ‘aalim al-ghaybi wa’l-shahaadah, anta tahkumu bayna ‘ibaadika fima kaanu fihi yukhtalifoon, ihdini lima’khtulifa fihi min al-haqq bi idhnika, innaka tahdi man tasha’ ila siraatin mustaqeem
‘O Allaah, Lord of Jibraeel, Mikael and Israfeel, You are the Originator of the heavens and the earth, the One who has all knowledge of the unseen and what is visible. You judge between Your worshippers in what they differ, guide me to the truth by Your permission in what they differ, indeed You are the One who guides whom You want to the straight path.’ [Collected by Muslim]
[Majmoo’ Fatawa 4/39]
[Taken from: ‘an-Nubdha fee Adab Talab al-Ilm’ by Muhammad Uthman p.179-181]
Above Post slightly updated by AbdurRahman. Org – added transliteration of the dua’a
Allahumma-ghfir li-hayyina wa mayyitina, wa shahidina wa gha'ibina, wa sagheerina wa kabeerina, wa thakarina wa unthana. Allahumma man ahyaytahu minna fa-ahyihi ‘ala-l-islami. Wa man tawaffaytahu minna fa-tawaffahu ‘ala-l-imani. Allahumma la tahrimna ajrahu wa la taftinna ba’adahu.
O Allah, forgive our living and our dead, those present and those absent, our young and our old, our males and our females. O Allah, whom amongst us You keep alive, then let such a life be upon Islam, and whom amongst us You take unto Yourself, then let such a death be upon faith. O Allah, do not deprive us of his reward and do not let us stray after him.
Sayyid al-Istighfar | The Most Superior Way of Asking for Forgiveness
Shaddad ibn Aws رضي الله عنه narrated that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “The master of all forgiveness (سيد الاستغفار) is to say: “ َاللَّهُمَ أَنْتَ رَبِّي لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ خَلَقْتَنِي وَأَنَا عَبْدُك وَأَنَا عَلَى عَهْدِكَ وَوَعْدِكَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا صَنَعْتُ أَبُوءُ لَكَ بِنِعْمَتِكَ عَلَيَّ وَأَبُوءُ لَكَ بِذَنْبِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي فَإِنَّهُ لاَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلاَّ أَنْت” [Sahih al-Bukhari 6306]
“O Allah, You are my Lord. You created me and I am Your servant, and I abide to Your covenant and promise [to honor it] as best I can, I seek refuge in You from the evil which I have committed, I acknowledge Your favor upon me and I acknowledge my sin, so forgive me, for verily none can forgive sins except You.”
Allahumma anta rabbi la ilaha illa anta, anta khalaqtani wa ana ‘abduka, wa ana ‘ala ‘ahdika wa wa’dika ma-staṭa’tu, a’udhu bika min sharri ma ṣana’tu abu’u laka bini’matika ‘alayya , wa abu’u laka bidhanbi faghfir lee fa innahu la yaghfiru adh-dhunuba illa anta.
In this same hadith, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم added: “If somebody recites it during the day with firm faith in it, and dies on the same day before evening, he will be from the people of Paradise; and if somebody recites it at night with firm faith in it, and dies before the morning, he will be from the people of Paradise.”
Whoever says in the morning and in the evening Hasbi Allaah laa illaha illa huwa ‘alayhi tawwakaltu wa huwa rabb al-‘arsh il-‘azeem (Sufficient for me is Allaah, there is no god besides Him; in Him have I put my trust and He is the Lord of the mighty Throne), seven times, Allah, may He be exalted, will suffice him for what concerns him.