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Do not misuse Qunut supplications: Scholars
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 11 - 07 - 2014

Saudi Gazette report
The word Qunut is generally used in reference to special supplications made in the standing position after getting up from ruku in the last rakat of the voluntary witr prayer. Some of these supplications that are offered by imams during the holy month of Ramadan deal with political issues that not at all concerned with worshippers and scholars have urged worshippers to avoid political issues and follow the Qur'an and Hadith while worshipping, Al-Riyadh daily reported.
Some imams unnecessarily prolong their supplications by bringing up irrelevant matters that only fatigue worshippers. In this context, a number of scholars and academics have warned against misusing Qunut prayers for political purposes or for anything that does not conform to the spiritual nature of the holy month. They emphasized that imams should focus mainly on prayers mentioned in the Holy Qur'an or in the Tradition (Hadith) of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Noted preacher and professor at Al-Qassim University Ibrahim Al-Ghasn said that supplications are the marrow of worship and hence they are of paramount importance in the life of every Muslim. Therefore, imams of mosques should choose supplications that help achieve salvation, foster Muslim unity and not foment division among them.
“There should be moderation in the language and tone of supplications. An imam should not indulge in supplications that are biased against a certain group of people or section of society. The focus of supplications should be to address Allah Almighty to bestow Muslims with guidance and salvation as well as protect their self-respect, prestige and honor,” he said.
Al-Ghasn said that it is high time for Muslims to supplicate for strengthening the unity, cohesion and compassion among members of the Muslim Ummah. He suggested imams collect a combination of supplications that have been revealed in the Qur'an and Hadith and use them in their prayers.
Waleed Al-Hussain, dean of the Islamic studies and Shariah faculty at Al-Qassim University, said supplications in Qunut must contain only supplications taken from Qur'an and Hadith. The supplications should also include matters that are of significance to worshippers' religious and worldly affairs. He warned imams against using aggressive or hostile language in their supplications and avoid sectarian issues.
Abdul Aziz Al-Moshaiqeh, a lecturer at Al-Qassim University, said dozens of judges and university professors who specialize in Shariah subjects, have abandoned their jobs of leading prayers at mosques, and these scholars have been replaced by unqualified imams.
“Most of these imams do not have higher academic qualifications. Some of them have a defective mindset and therefore their viewpoints might be harmful not only to their religion but also to their nation. These people most often deal with controversial political and partisan topics that irk many worshippers,” he said.
Al-Moshaiqeh emphasized that imams should only focus on those supplications that seek guidance to the right path, achieve unity of the Muslim Ummah and do not offend any country or people, especially the government and people of Saudi Arabia, which is a staunch advocate and supporter of Islamic unity, including its leading role in establishing and hosting world Islamic bodies such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Muslim World League. He called on judges, university professors and academics, who are specialized in Islamic subjects, to come forward to lead prayers and deliver sermons to guide people in the proper manner.
Abdul Aziz Al-Hammad, a preacher, said that the Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited prolonging supplications in Qunut. He said that the best supplications are those, which are taken from the Qur'an. “Imams must avoid supplications pertaining to political issues as well as issues of dispute. They should also not curse or pray for harm to befall certain people or societies,” he said.
According to Al-Hammad, Qunut must include supplications for bestowing Islam and Muslims with prestige and honor as well as for the well-being of the rulers and the people. They should also seek the security and stability of the nation and safeguard it from sedition and turmoil.
“There should be supplications for improving the condition of Muslims in general and youths in particular,” he said while urging the Ministry of Islamic Affairs to take a head count of mosque imams and evaluate their qualifications and knowledge in Islamic Shariah and jurisprudence.

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