Qunuut is the special supplication that is offered during prayer while in the standing position. Like all other acts of ibaadah, performance of qunuut is not left to the whims of the worshipper but it is guided by the sunnah. Thus, when to do qunut, in what situation and at what posture of the prayer are clearly specified in the sunnah. There are two basic types of Qunuut. Qunuut in obligatory salaat and Qunuut in nawaafil.
Qunuut in Obligatory Salaat (Qunuut of Events & Disasters)
This is done in the event of great disasters such as wars, earthquakes, floods, famines as well as others that affect the lives of Muslims. It is either done to seek Allaah's punishment on those who caused harm to the Muslims or to seek Allaah's succour for the Muslim in times of dire need. This type of qunuut should be done during obligatory prayers. For instance, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) made duaa (qunuut) for a full month during the Salaatus-Subh (morning prayer) cursing those who killed seventy of his companions who were Qurrah (reciters of the Qur'an). Anas (RA) said regarding this incident:
"This is how qunuut started, because we did not do it prior to that." (Bukhari)
Qunuut in Nawaafil
This is done during the witr prayer after recitations before going to ruku'. Ubayyibn Ka'b (RA) reported that:
"Allaah's Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) used to perform qunuut in witr before ruku'" (Nasa'l)
In addition, Alqamah also reported,
"Ibn Mas'ud and other companions used to perform qunuut in witr before ruku'" (lbn Abi Shaybah)
In this qunuut, it is permissible to ask Allaah's favours for oneself.
When to perform the Qunuut: It is established in the sunnah that the qunuut of the obligatory salaat is done after rising from the ruku' before going into prostration. Ibn Abbas (RA) said:
"Allaah's Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) performed qunut consecutively for one month, during zuhr, 'asr, maghrib, ishaa' and fajr. He did it at the end of the prayer, on the last rakah, after saying sami'allahu liman hamidah ... and those praying behind him said amin." (Abu Dawud)
However, it is authentically reported that some companions performed qunuut in fajrbefore ruku' The Qunuut of witr is to be done as mentioned above.
Should the qunut be said aloud or silently?:
What is consistent with the sunnah is that the qunuut be recited aloud as is deduced from the various reports from the Companions. Ibn Hajar (RAH) also reported an ijma (consensus of scholars) that qunuut should be said aloud. (Fath Baari)
Saying Amin behind the Imaam: It is recommended for those praying behind the imam to say amin during the qunuut supplication according to the report of lbn Abbas (RA) in Abu Dawud cited above.
Raising the hands: It is also recommended for the imam and the followers to raise their hands during the qunuut supplication. In one of the reports of Anas about the massacre of the seventy (70) reciters, he said:
"I never saw Allaah's Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) as sorrowful. So during the morning prayer, he raised his hands and cursed them (murderers)" (Ahmad)
It is however not correct to wipe the face with the hands.
Supplications: Several supplications of qunuut have been reported from the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and one them is as follows:
Allaahumma'hdini fiman hadayta wa aafinee feeman aafayta wa tawalanee feeman tawallayta, wa baarik lee feema a'tayta, waqinee sharra ma qadhayta fa innaka taqdhi wa. laa yuqdha alayka, innahu loa yadhillu man waalayta, walaa yaizzu man aadayta, tabarakta rabbana wata'alata.
(0 Allaah, guide me along with those whom You have guided, pardon me along with those whom You have pardoned, be an ally to me along with those whom You are an ally to and bless for me that which You have decreed for verily You decree and none can decree over You. For surety, he whom you show allegiance to is never abased and he whom You take as an enemy is never honoured and mighty O our Lord, Blessed and Exalted are You) (Abu Dawud).
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited