The Accepted Whispers Munajat-e-Maqbul
By Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanvi (r.a)
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Translation and Commentary KHALID BaAIG
OVER 200 DU‘AS FROM THE QURAN AND HADITH FOR DAILY READING
Once Prophet Muhammad passed by a people who were suffering from some affliction. “Why don’t they make dw ‘@’ (supplication) to Allah for protection,” he said. With all the suffering and disasters Muslims are facing in various parts of the world, the question can be directed to all of us today.
It is not that we have forgotten du‘a’ completely; we refer to it regularly. But our ideas and practice regarding du‘a’ have become distorted. Often it is reduced to the level of a ritual. Generally it is considered when all our efforts have failed—an act of last resort. It is belittled through actions and sometimes even with words. Is it any wonder that today mostly a mention of du‘a’ is meant to indicate the hopelessness of a situation.
What a tragedy, for du‘a’ is the most potent weapon of a believer. It can change fate, while no action of ours ever can. It is the essence of ‘ibadah (worship). With it we can never fail; without it we can never succeed. In the proper scheme of things, du’a’ should be the first and the last resort of the believer, with all his plans and actions coming in between. In every difficulty we ask Allah “Y¢ to show us the way to handle that difficulty; we seek His help in in following the path He shows to us; we seek His aid in making our efforts successful. When we fall sick, we know that we cannot find the right doctor without His Will; that the best doctor may not be able to diagnose our condition without His Command; that the best treatment plan will not succeed without His Permission. We make du‘a’ for all of these. We make du‘a’ before we seek medical help, while we are receiving it and after it has been delivered. The same is true of all other difficulties we may encounter.
Du‘a’ is conversation with Allah “4, our Creator, our Lord and Master, the All Knowing, the All Powerful. This act in itself is of extraordinary significance. It is the most uplifting, liberating, empowering, and transforming conversation a person can ever have. We turn to Him because we know that He alone can lift our sufferings and solve our problems. We feel relieved after describing our difficulties to our Creator. We feel empowered after having communicated with the All Mighty. We sense His mercy all around us after talking to the Most Merciful.
‘Ne gave us life and everything that we possess, without our having any right to it. It is His design and it is with a purpose. Our conditions of health and sickness, our afuence and pover-
ty, our joys and sorrows, our apparent successes and failures, our gains and losses—all of them are just a test. “He created death and life that He may test you which of you is best in deed” (A/-Mulk, 67:2).
Our ultimate success or failure—in the Hereafter—will depend solely on how we acted in the different circumstances that He chose for us. Did we seek His help when we needed help or were we too arrogant to ask? Did we accept His Will when things did not turn out our way? Did we show gratitude for His favors or were we proud of our own achievements?
We pray to Him because only He can give. He is not answerable to any authority and everyone is answerable to Him. He has power over everything and none can overpower Him. His knowledge is infinite while ours is infinitesimal compared to His. He is the Lord; we are His slaves. He may grant our du‘a’s here; or He may reward us for them in the Hereafter; or He may give us something better than what we asked for.
We should make du‘a’ for all things big and small. It is the beginning of wisdom to realize that “big” and “small” are arbitrary labels that are totally irrelevant in this context. Nothing is too big for the One we are asking from; nothing is too small for the one who is asking. That is why we have been taught to ask Allah alle: even when we need something as small as shoelaces. We should ask as a beggar, as a destitute person, for that is what we in reality are
in relationship to Allah “4. At the same time we should ask with great hope and conviction that we shall be granted our du‘a’s, for a du‘a’ lacking concentration and conviction is no du‘a’ at all.
A praying person can never lose, for du‘a’ is the highest form of submission to Him. “Prophet Muhammad #¢ was the best of mankind because he was the best in submission to Allah,” says Mawlana Manzir Nu‘mani. “Anyone who studies his supplications cannot but be awestruck by the perfect understanding of our relationship to the Creator reflected by them.” For this ummah, his du‘a’s are one of his greatest spiritual gifts.
Quite naturally many scholars have collected them into separate books. Among these was A/-Hisn al-Hasin (The Impregnable Fortress) by Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Jazari (75 1- 833 AH), a well-known authority on Quranic recitation, Hadith, and Figh. The book was written in Dhul-Hijjah 791 aH when an invading army had sieged Damascus. After a few days of reciting these du‘a’s by the compiler, the army suddenly left the helpless and frightened city. The event gave the book its popularity as a collection of du‘a’s to be read for protection against calamities. It was divided into seven parts, one for each day of the week, to facilitate that reading.
Subsequently, Al-Hizb al-A ‘gam (The Great Prayer Book) was organized for a daily reading by its compiler Mulla “Ali al-Qari (d. 1014 AH). This has the advantage that these du‘a’s can become a part of our daily schedule. One may find that the best part of his day is the one dedicated to these du‘a’s. Additionally after some time one may find that he has memorized a large number of these du‘a’s without any special effort. He may then find himself saying these du‘a’s at other occasions also, for which they are particularly suited.
The Accepted Whispers is a translation of Munajat-e-Magqbul, which was patterned after and drew from A/-Hizb. It was compiled by Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi as Qurubat ‘IndAllahi wa Salawéat ar-Rasul (Prayers that Bring One Close to Allah and the Invocations of the Messenger) and translated into Urdu poetry and prose by his associates. The translation was given the title “Munajat-e-Maqbil.” Like his Bihishti Zewar (Heavenly Ornaments), Mundjat-e-Magqbil has been very popular in the countries of the Indian subcontinent, where it has become a household name.