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Beware the supplication of the oppressed

June 14, 2016

Beware supplication of oppressed hadith

By Abu Amina Elias

In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful

Islam was revealed to protect the natural rights of all human beings, their inalienable rights to life, property, and freedom. Violating these rights for any reason without a just cause is a major sin and it is a betrayal of Islam if Muslims claim such injustice is legislated by the Quran and Sunnah.

One reason we should be fearful of committing oppression is that Allah will always answer the supplication of an oppressed person.

Mu’adh ibn Jabal reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

وَاتَّقِ دَعْوَةَ الْمَظْلُومِ فَإِنَّهُ لَيْسَ بَيْنَهَا وَبَيْنَ اللَّهِ حِجَابٌ

Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, for there is no barrier between it and Allah.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 4090, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

ثَلَاثَةٌ لَا تُرَدُّ دَعْوَتُهُمْ الصَّائِمُ حَتَّى يُفْطِرَ وَالْإِمَامُ الْعَادِلُ وَدَعْوَةُ الْمَظْلُومِ يَرْفَعُهَا اللَّهُ فَوْقَ الْغَمَامِ وَيَفْتَحُ لَهَا أَبْوَابَ السَّمَاءِ وَيَقُولُ الرَّبُّ وَعِزَّتِي لَأَنْصُرَنَّكِ وَلَوْ بَعْدَ حِينٍ

The supplications of three persons are never turned away: a fasting person until he breaks his fast, a just ruler, and the supplication of the oppressed which is raised by Allah above the clouds, the gates of heaven are opened for it, and the Lord says: By my might, I will help you in due time.

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 3598, Grade: Sahih

Ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

اتَّقُوا دَعَوَاتِ الْمَظْلُومِ فَإِنَّهَا تَصْعَدُ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ كَأَنَّهَا شَرَارٌ

Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, for it ascends to Allah as if it were a flare.

Source: al-Mustadrak 118, Grade: Sahih

Umar ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

وَاتَّقِ دَعْوَةَ الْمَظْلُومِ فَإِنَّ دَعْوَةَ الْمَظْلُومِ مُجَابَةٌ

Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, for the supplication of the oppressed is answered.

Source: al-Muwaṭṭa 1890

If we commit an act of oppression against someone, that person has a free supplication they can use against us. Will they ask Allah to punish us? Will they supplicate for evil against us? When we oppress them, we are actually turning ourselves over to their mercy, and oppressed people are not often interested in compassion or forgiveness for their oppressors.

On the other hand, if we ourselves are the victims of injustice, we can take comfort in the fact that we have a supplication that is guaranteed to be answered. We should use it to supplicate for goodness, rather than wasting it on vengeance.

The supplication of an oppressed person is always answered even if that person is an unbeliever or a sinner. Justice and the fulfillment of human rights are to be enjoyed by all people regardless of their religion.

Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

اتَّقُوا دَعْوَةَ الْمَظْلُومِ وَإِنْ كَانَ كَافِرًا فَإِنَّهُ لَيْسَ دُونَهَا حِجَابٌ

Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, even if he is an unbeliever, for there is no barrier between it and Allah.

Source: Musnad Aḥmad 12140, Grade: Sahih

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

دَعْوَةُ الْمَظْلُومِ مُسْتَجَابَةٌ وَإِنْ كَانَ فَاجِرًا فَفُجُورُهُ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ

The supplication of the oppressed is answered, even if he is wicked for his wickedness is only against himself.

Source: Musnad Aḥmad 8577, Grade: Sahih

A person’s religion, then, is absolutely no excuse to harm them in any way. Islam exalts justice as a universal value through which human beings must relate to one another and forbids the oppression of all people.

Allah said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ

Verily, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and he forbids immorality and bad conduct and transgression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.

Surat An-Nahl 16:90

And Allah said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ لِلَّهِ شُهَدَاءَ بِالْقِسْطِ ۖ وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَىٰ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا اعْدِلُوا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ

O you who believe, be persistently standing firm for Allah as witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just, for that is nearer to righteousness. Fear Allah, for Allah is aware of what you do.

Surat Al-Ma’idah 5:8

Al-Qurtubi comments on this verse, saying:

وَدَلَّتِ الْآيَةُ أَيْضًا عَلَى أَنَّ كُفْرَ الْكَافِرِ لَا يَمْنَعُ مِنَ الْعَدْلِ عَلَيْهِ

This verse shows that the unbelief of the unbeliever does not prevent him from enjoying justice.

Source: Tafsīr al-Qurṭubī 5:8

Abu Dharr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

قال الله تبارك وتعالى يَا عِبَادِي إِنِّي حَرَّمْتُ الظُّلْمَ عَلَى نَفْسِي وَجَعَلْتُهُ بَيْنَكُمْ مُحَرَّمًا فَلَا تَظَالَمُوا

Allah the Exalted said: O my servants, I have forbidden oppression for myself and I have made it forbidden among you, so do not oppress one another.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2577, Grade: Sahih

Jabir ibn Abdullah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

اتَّقُوا الظُّلْمَ فَإِنَّ الظُّلْمَ ظُلُمَاتٌ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ

Beware of committing oppression, for oppression will be darkness on the Day of Resurrection.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2578, Grade: Sahih

The strength of the Muslim community is in its care for the natural rights of everyone including the weak, the wicked, and the hated. Justice is the true metric by which Allah supports or rejects a community. If our community is weak, then we must critically examine our failure to fulfill justice.

Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy on him, said:

اللَّهُ يَنْصُرُ الدَّوْلَةَ الْعَادِلَةَ وَإِنْ كَانَتْ كَافِرَةً وَلَا يَنْصُرُ الدَّوْلَةَ الظَّالِمَةَ وَإِنْ كَانَتْ مُؤْمِنَةً

Allah will support the just state even if it is led by unbelievers, but Allah will not support the oppressive state even if it is led by believers.

Source: Majmū’ Fatāwá 28/63

In sum, Allah will always answer the supplication of the oppressed even if the oppressed person is an unbeliever or sinner. Justice is a universal right for all people in Islam. People have the right to be protected in their lives, wealth, and freedom. If we fail to fulfill their rights, then we have surrendered our fate to their supplication.

Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.