Ramadan:Supplication Amidst Global Sorrow

Heather Jone

March 19, 2024

As we eagerly anticipate the arrival of the sacred month of Ramadan, a period cherished for its spiritual introspection, communal gatherings, and fasting, we are confronted with a sobering reality that casts a shadow over our joyous preparations. Despite our anticipation, we are continually bombarded with distressing images and reports detailing the unfathomable suffering endured by our brethren in Gaza. The stark dichotomy between our own festivities and their plight leaves us feeling utterly powerless, burdened by the weight of our inability to alleviate their anguish. Yet, amid this sense of helplessness, there remains one steadfast recourse available to us – prayer. Through our heartfelt supplications, we offer solace, empathy, and unity to those enduring unimaginable hardship, beseeching divine intervention and mercy in their darkest hour.

While our avenues for direct assistance may be limited, we can still take meaningful action by boycotting Israeli products and extending our support to humanitarian causes where possible. One of the smallest acts of support is to offer prayers for our brothers and sisters in Gaza. Anas (may God be pleased with him) reported: the Messenger of God (ﷺ) said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or is oppressed”. A man enquired “O Messenger of God! I help him when he is oppressed, but how can I help him when he is an oppressor?” He (ﷺ) said, “You can keep him from committing oppression. That will be your help to him”[1]. However, above all else, it is imperative that we maintain a steadfast commitment to prayer, recognizing its profound significance in providing spiritual fortitude, and invoking positive change for our beleaguered brothers and sisters in Gaza. God said in Surah Ghafir (40:60): “Your Lord has proclaimed, “Call upon Me, I will respond to you. Surely those who are too proud to worship Me will enter Hell, fully humbled.”[2]

Significance and Worth of Supplication

Imam Abdessalam Yassine, may God have mercy on his soul, stated that “all forms of worship could be viewed as a type of supplication. Even if the sole benefit of supplication were to draw one closer to the Divine, it would suffice. However, the Messenger (God bless him and grant him peace) emphasized that “There is nothing that God holds in more esteem than His servant’s invocation.”[3]

The Miracles of Engaging in Supplication

One of the primary benefits of praying to God for our brothers and sisters is the confidence that such prayers will be answered, as explained in the Hadith. For instance, Abud-Darda’ (may God be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of God (ﷺ) said, “The supplication of a Muslim for his (Muslim) brother in his absence will certainly be answered. Every time he makes a supplication for good for his brother, the angel appointed for this particular task says: ‘Ameen! May it be for you, too’.”[4] This ancient tradition emphasizes the effectiveness and power of interceding on behalf of others. Through this act of supplication, believers receive comfort in knowing that their ardent prayers for their brethren’s well-being and success are not in vain. Thus, requesting heavenly blessings on others not only demonstrates the compassion and empathy inherent in Islamic teachings, but it also develops a sense of togetherness and solidarity among believers.

Second, supplicating God for your brothers and sisters in faith purifies the soul, strengthens faith, and enables the believer to receive divine blessings. In this regard, Al-Sha’rani, in “Al-‘Uhud Al-Muhammadiyya,” narrated the words of his esteemed mentor, Ali al-Khawas, may God have mercy on him. He advised that when one experiences spiritual closeness, they should not confine their supplications solely to personal needs, as this diminishes ambition. Instead, prioritize supplications for fellow Muslim brothers. I was blessed by God one night during Hajj in the year 749 AH. As I prayed in seclusion until dawn for my brothers, God, through the blessings of these supplications, granted me the equivalent of all I had prayed for them with ease. Had I prayed for the same for myself, it may not have been granted. Praise be to God, the Lord of all worlds.[5]

Supplicating God is our means of providing support to our brothers, especially during these blessed days when God’s mercy and blessings abundantly shower upon His worshippers. The efficacy of our supplications is heightened during this time, serving as a powerful expression of our devotion and solidarity with others. Particularly noteworthy in the last third of the night, a revered period when God, in His magnificence, draws closer to His creation, attentively listening to their supplications and bestowing His abundant mercy and blessings upon them. Abu Huraira reported God’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: When half of the night or two-third of it is over. God, the Blessed and the Exalted, descends to the lowest heaven and says: Is there any beggar, so that he be given? Is there any supplicator so that he be answered? Is there any beggar of forgiveness so that he be forgiven? (And God continues such saying) till it is daybreak.”[6]

[1] [Al-Bukhari], Introduction, Hadith 237.

[2] Surah Ghafir (40 :60), quran.com

[3] Abdessalam Yassine, The Day and Night – Schedule of the Believer

[4] Muslim, Book 16, Hadith 31

[5] Abdelkader Ezzahraoui, Du’ā’ Ar-Rābiṭa: https://www.aljamaa.net/posts/%D8%AF%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%B7%D8%A9-%D8%A3%D8%B5%D9%84%D9%87-%D9%88%D9%81%D8%B6%D9%84%D9%87

[6] Sahih Muslim 758c – Book 6, Hadith 203