Assalamualaikum ustaz, I want to ask is it permissible for a person to recite qunut nazilah in his prayers due to the COVID-19 pandemic that’s happening today?
Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Qunut nazilah is an act tsabit in syarak. It is recited every time there is certain incidents or specifically a calamity that befall the Muslim ummah. The Prophet PBUH himself recited qunut nazilah in his prayer when a betrayal happened which led to the murder of the companions of the Prophet PBUH. This is according to a hadith narrated by Anas bin Malik RA, he said:
أَنَّ رِعْلاً، وَذَكْوَانَ وَعُصَيَّةَ وَبَنِي لَحْيَانَ اسْتَمَدُّوا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَلَى عَدُوٍّ، فَأَمَدَّهُمْ بِسَبْعِينَ مِنَ الأَنْصَارِ، كُنَّا نُسَمِّيهِمُ الْقُرَّاءَ فِي زَمَانِهِمْ، كَانُوا يَحْتَطِبُونَ بِالنَّهَارِ وَيُصَلُّونَ بِاللَّيْلِ، حَتَّى كَانُوا بِبِئْرِ مَعُونَةَ قَتَلُوهُمْ، وَغَدَرُوا بِهِمْ، فَبَلَغَ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم، فَقَنَتَ شَهْرًا يَدْعُو فِي الصُّبْحِ عَلَى أَحْيَاءٍ مِنْ أَحْيَاءِ الْعَرَبِ، عَلَى رِعْلٍ وَذَكْوَانَ وَعُصَيَّةَ وَبَنِي لَحْيَانَ
(The tribes of) Ril, Dhakwan, 'Usaiya and Bani Lihyan asked Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) to provide them with some men to support them against their enemy. He, therefore, provided them with seventy men from the Ansar whom we used to call Al-Qurra' in their lifetime. They used to collect wood by daytime and pray at night. When they were at the well of Ma'una, the infidels killed them by betraying them. When this news reached the Prophet (ﷺ) , he said Al-Qunut for one month In the morning prayer, invoking evil upon some of the 'Arab tribes, upon Ril, Dhakwan, 'Usaiya and Bani Libyan.
Sahih al-Bukhari (4090)
Furthermore, in another narration that mentions qunut nazilah by Abu Hurairah RA, he said:
بَيْنَا النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُصَلِّي الْعِشَاءَ إِذْ قَالَ سَمِعَ اللَّهُ لِمَنْ حَمِدَهُ ثُمَّ قَالَ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَسْجُدَ اللَّهُمَّ نَجِّ عَيَّاشَ بْنَ أَبِي رَبِيعَةَ، اللَّهُمَّ نَجِّ سَلَمَةَ بْنَ هِشَامٍ، اللَّهُمَّ نَجِّ الْوَلِيدَ بْنَ الْوَلِيدِ، اللَّهُمَّ نَجِّ الْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ، اللَّهُمَّ اشْدُدْ وَطْأَتَكَ عَلَى مُضَرَ، اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْهَا سِنِينَ كَسِنِي يُوسُفَ
While the Prophet (ﷺ) was offering the `Isha' prayer, he said, "Allah hears him who sends his praises to Him," and then said before falling in prostration, "O Allah, save `Aiyash bin Rabi`a. O Allah, save Salama bin Hisham. O Allah, save Al-Walid bin Al-Wahd. O Allah, save the weak ones among the believers. O Allah, let Your punishment be severe on the tribe of Mudar. O Allah, inflict upon them years (of famine) like the years of Joseph."
Sahih al-Bukhari (122)
Thus, the above hadiths clearly state that qunut nazilah is recited during I’tidal of the last rakaat of prayer. Other than supplicating for the destruction of the enemies of Islam who did evil and treacherous acts on Muslims, qunut nazilah is also sanctioned to be recited during epidemics or disasters that befall the Muslim ummah. Imam al-Nawawi said: “Qunut is sanctioned for every obligatory prayer due to nazilah (an incident that happens) not an absolution (means without any reason).” Refer Minhaj Al-Thalibin, Al-Nawawi (1/222).
While Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haitami when commenting on the words of Imam al-Nawawi said: “Whether the nazilah (the incident that happens) is general or specific which involves the general public where it also harms the Muslim ummah such as epidemics and cholera as well as heavy rain that is harmful.” Refer Tuhfah al-Muhtaj, Ibn Hajar al-Haitami (2/68).
Thus, referring to our current situation in our country especially and the world in general with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, we state that it is sanctioned for the Muslim ummah to recite qunut nazilah in their prayers.
The following we briefly state several rulings regarding qunut nazilah:
- It is sunnah to be recited in a loud voice regardless whether it is in al-sirriyyah (such as Zohor and Asar) or al-jahriyyah (such as Subuh, Maghrib and Isya’) prayers.
- Qunut nazilah is only sanctioned in obligatory prayers and not sunnah prayers.
- It can be recited when a person is praying in congregation or alone. If it is recited in congregational prayer, the imam will recite it loudly and the makmum will recite amin. If it is recited when a person is praying alone, then it is recited in a low voice.
- It is recited in the last rakaat of prayer, during I’tidal when a person is getting up from ruku’ (bowing in prayer).
- It is unnecessary to perform sahwi prostration if a person forgets to recite qunut nazilah for it is not included in ab’aadh
- It is sunnah to raise both hands during supplication
- It is unnecessary to wipe both hands on one’s face after supplication
The following are our suggestions for the recitation of qunut nazilah:
اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِنا فِيمَنْ هَدَيْتَ وَعَافِنا فِيمَنْ عَافَيْتَ وَتَوَلَّنا فِيمَنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ وَبَارِكْ لنا فِيمَا أَعْطَيْتَ وقِنَا شَرَّ مَا قَضَيْتَ إِنَّكَ تَقْضِي وَلاَ يُقْضَى عَلَيْكَ وَإِنَّهُ لاَ يَذِلُّ مَنْ وَالَيْتَ تَبَارَكْتَ رَبَّنَا وَتَعَالَيْتَ
اللهم إلَيكَ نَشْكُو وَإيَّاكَ نَرْجُو أَنْ تَدْفَعَ عَنَّا الْبَلَاء والوَبَاء والفِتَنَ والمِحَنَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بطَن يا أرحم الراحمين ويا مُجِيبَ السَّائلِين
اللهم إِنَّا نَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ البَرَصِ وَالجُنُونِ والْجُزَامِ وَمِنْ سَيِّءِ الأَسْقَام
وصَلَّى اللهُ وسلَّم علَى نَبيِّنا محمَّدٍ وعَلى آله وصَحْبِهِ أجمعين
As a conclusion, we would like to state that it is sanctioned to recite qunut nazilah during a disaster or calamity on the Muslim ummah and it is mustahab (sunnah). This is a great effort by all parties in supplicating for the welfare of the Muslim ummah as well as asking for protection from any epidemic or contagious diseases.
Lastly, we pray to Allah SWT that all of us are given the correct understanding in religion. Amin.