Saturday 6 July 2024

How to seek refuge from all forms of Evil (Supplications of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ)

Evil, in a broad sense, refers to actions, thoughts, or events that cause harm, suffering, or moral corruption. In Islamic theology, evil can stem from both external and internal sources and is often associated with the influences of Satan (Shaytan) and one's own nafs (inner desires). The last two Surahs of Qur'an (Surah 113. Falaq, and Surah 114. An Nas) are specially revealed to caution the believers about the enticement of the evil forces that befall on them outwardly and inwardly. 

Likewise, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ always advised his companions to be cautious of the evil and make a special supplication to ward of the evil and its spell. 

One of such supplications is mentioned in Sunan Abi Dawud (Book # 8  Prayer (Kitab Al-Salat): Detailed Injunctions about Witr / كتاب   الوتر / Chapter # 518 Regarding Seeking Refuge / باب فِي الاِسْتِعَاذَةِ
as Hadith number # 1551, quoted herein under:

Narrated Shakl ibn Humayd: I said: Messenger of Allah, teach me a supplication. And he said:

"O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee from the evil of what I hear, from the evil of what I see, from the evil of what I speak, from the evil of what I think, and from the evil of my semen" (i.e. sexual passion).

Grade: Sahih (Al-Albani)

Arabic Text:
حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ حَنْبَلٍ، حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ الزُّبَيْرِ، ح وَحَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ، حَدَّثَنَا وَكِيعٌ، - الْمَعْنَى - عَنْ سَعْدِ بْنِ أَوْسٍ، عَنْ بِلاَلٍ الْعَبْسِيِّ، عَنْ شُتَيْرِ بْنِ شَكَلٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، فِي حَدِيثِ أَبِي أَحْمَدَ شَكَلِ بْنِ حُمَيْدٍ - قَالَ - قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ عَلِّمْنِي دُعَاءً قَالَ ‏ "‏ قُلِ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ سَمْعِي وَمِنْ شَرِّ بَصَرِي وَمِنْ شَرِّ لِسَانِي وَمِنْ شَرِّ قَلْبِي وَمِنْ شَرِّ مَنِيِّي ‏"‏ ‏.‏

There are similar Hadiths which have been quoted in other collection of hadiths about the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) seeking refuge from various forms of evil, including his own human weaknesses and impurities. A few are mentioned hereinunder: 

Narrated Aisha: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to say in his prayer: "O Allah, I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done and from the evil of what I have not done."

Another version has: "O Allah, I seek refuge in You from the evil of my soul and from the evil of my actions."

Implications of the Hadith

Humility and Awareness: The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) exemplifies humility by acknowledging his human limitations and seeking Allah's protection from potential wrongs.

Seeking Allah's Refuge: The hadith emphasizes the importance of seeking Allah's refuge from all forms of evil, both apparent and hidden, including those that stem from one's own nature.

Comprehensive Supplication: The supplication covers various aspects of life, indicating a holistic approach to seeking divine protection and guidance in all matters.

Recognition of Human Weaknesses: By mentioning his own human weaknesses, the Prophet (ﷺ) sets an example for believers to recognize their flaws and turn to Allah for support and purification.

Spiritual Vigilance: The hadith encourages Muslims to be vigilant about their actions and constantly seek spiritual purification, acknowledging that only Allah can provide true guidance and protection.

While the supplication addresses protection from all forms of evil, the special mention of "evil of my semen" sums up all forms of evil as the focus of evil / Satan is always to induce thinking of lewdness and sexual desires in a man, as well as woman, specially the developing youth who find it difficult to control their sexual desires and often fail in the test. A vast majority of youth in the Western world  succumb to their sexual desires even before reaching poetry. It is alarming to note that under the banner of liberalism, many a Muslim youth too are giving in to the Satanic enticement and indulging in acts of lewdness and Haram sex. It is for this reason that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ made a special mention of it to warn the believers to strictly control their emotions that lead to acts lewdness.

Thus the above quoted supplication specially mentions "the evil of my semen" highlighting the Prophet Muhammad’s (ﷺ) humility and his recognition of human vulnerabilities. It underscores the importance of seeking Allah’s refuge from all forms of evil, including those that arise from within oneself. This supplication serves as a reminder for believers to be conscious of their actions and continuously seek divine assistance in overcoming their weaknesses and striving for spiritual purity.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

For more prophetic supplications, please refer to our reference page: Supplications attributed to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

For more hadiths on varying subjects, refer to our reference page: Sunnah and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to know more about Hadiths and Sunnah of Prophet of Allah. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references as given above. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

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