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CONCEPT OF DU'A AND 'JALABI' PRACTICE IN YORUBALAND







By

Ibn 'Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori

INTRODUCTION 

'Jalabi' in our contemporary society is commonly known but not limited to mean the act of offering dua' (prayer) services to people. The genesis of this concept is that many Muslims of this generation lack proper understanding of Islaam as practiced by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and the Companions رضي الله عنهم. This prevent them from understanding the concept of dua' as provided in the Qur'an and Sunnah. By this, it becomes very easy for them to be confused with the believe that they cannot offer dua' on their own. Some so called Alfas have made them to believe that their voice cannot reach Allaah. They make them believe that they are meant to serve as intermediary between them and Allaah. One of the jalabi Alfas once said this in one of his lectures:

"Enu tiyin ole de odo Olohun" (Your mouths cannot reach Allah), "iwo gbe N10m wa wo... (You bring N10m). Anyone who says you will not win, i will tell Allaah to deal with them".

This is totally against the provisions of the shari'ah. Apart from the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم and other Prophets of Allaah عليهم السلام, it is very wrong for anyone to think or purport that he has a special link between Allaah and His servants.

DU'A IN THE CONTEXT OF THE SHAR'IAH

Dua' in the context of the shari'ah is an act of worship and every Muslim must know how to supplicate Allaah for help and assistance in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. It is an obligation upon every believer to supplicate Allaah alone for all his or her needs always. It is a serious issue for a Muslim not to be steadfast upon dua'. And it is shirk for someone to direct his du'a to other than Allaah. It is individual responsibility upon every Muslim to seek the assistance of Allaah using His beautiful names and their good deeds. Allaah says:

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ

"And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided (Q2:186)

This verse shows that anyone can call on Allaah at any time by himself. The call should be direct and not through one professional jalabi Alfa or the other. 

Although it may not be wrong for a Muslim to urge his fellow Muslim to put him or her in his dua' as this is one of the permissible ways of doing tawassul. The Companions رضي الله عنهم used to approach the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم to pray for them. But this should not to be used as an opportunity to turn du'a into a business venture. No Alfa should professionalized du'a services in such a way that he makes money or any other material benefit through it. If he must offer du'a for his fellow Muslim, it must not be for the sake of money or anything, it must be for Allaah's sake alone. And the scholars have made us to believe that if you wish any good for your brother in Islaam; the goodness would automatically be for you too. So, the commercialization of du'a (something that is meant to be an act of 'ibaadah), in our society is ridiculous unislaamic. Allaah says in another verse:

وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِي سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِين

"And your Lord says, "Call upon Me; I will respond to you." Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell [rendered] contemptible." (Suratul Ghaafir: 60)َ

HOW SHOULD DU'A BE OFFERED?

Having explained the nature of du'a as provided in the above cited verses, the next question we should ask ourselves is, even if we are to offer du'a for ourselves or in favour of a fellow Muslim, how should we conduct it? Should it be done the way we like or in accordance with the Sunnah? The answer is clear; every form of du'a must be offered based on the provisions of the Qur'an and Sunnah because it is a form of 'ibaadah. And before an act of ibaadah could be valid under the shari'ah, it must be done in accordance with the Sunnah. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم is the best of those who offered du'a and we must emulate him as instructed by Allaah in many verses of the Qur'an. We must not offer du'a in ways that contradict the prophetic traditions of offering du'a.

Consequently, those who engage in 'Jalabi' (contractual prayer services) today are fond of so many bid'ah activities. The prevalent habit of chanting adhkaar in congregation is not proper because the Prophet صلىوالله عليه وسلم did not do dhikr in that manner. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم did not used to gather people to recite the Qur'an in congregation. It is even against the ethics of the Sunnah and adab of Qur'an recitation to be reciting different parts of the Qur'an together at the same time without composure. Many of those who recite the Qur'an in congregational du'a do not recite properly. They over speed and recite wrongly. This practice is unsunnatic. There is no justification from the Qur'an and Sunnah for it. 

Besides, the Qur'an was not revealed for business purpose whereby it will be recited for monetary compensation or as a whole for supplication. There is no evidence for this in the Sunnah. Some Alfas would go to homes of influential personalities in the society to recite Suratu Yasin, Suratul Waaqi'ah, Suratul Mulk etc. just to make money. This is ridiculous. The Qur'an is not to be used this manner. We must change this questionable attitude. Apart from this, in their du'a, they chant all kinds of innovated 'assalatus' (ways of seeking blessings upon the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم). Common among those assalatus are dalailul khairaat, solaatul faatih etc. These are also against the Sunnah because the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and his Companions رضي الله عنهم knew nothing about them.

The ideal thing is for every individual to offer his own dua' individually. The argument that it is permissible to recite the Qur'an in congregation since it is permissible to offer solaat in congregation is untenable. The act of performing solaat is different from the act of making du'a even though as-solat is a form of du'a on its own. We can only do in congregation what the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم did in congregation.

Several forms of innovated du'a gatherings emanated from the faulty belief that all acts of ibaadah can be done in congregation and in anyway we like, even without  any evidence from the Qur'an and Sunnah. Some of such bid'ah du'a gatherings are: 'Adua is'omol'oruko' (Naming prayer), 'Adua Fidau' (Death prayer), 'Adua Abode Manka' (Welcome prayer after Hajj), 'Adua ojo'bi' (Birthday prayer), 'Adua if'eyinti l'enu'se' (Prayer of retirement from service), 'Assalatu Sunday Sunday', 'Adua oru Arafah (Eve of Arafah prayer), 'Adua nisfu sha'ban' (Prayer of mkd of Sha'ban) 'Adua oru Aashurah' (Prayer of eve of 10th Muharram' and so on.

All these du'a gatherings have no basis in the Qur'an and Sunnah. They are innovations even if those who engage in them consider them good. Any Muslim upon the Qur'an and Sunnah and the understanding of the salaf will support them or give them a second thought, because they lack evidence in the shari'ah. Our evidence for this is the famous hadith of 'Aishah رضي الله عنها in which the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said,

من أحدث في أمرنا هذا ما ليس منه فهو رد

He who innovates something in this matter of ours [i.e., Islam] that is not of it will have it rejected [by Allah]." [Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim]

In the version of the same hadith as reported in Sahih Muslim, it is said that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said,

من عمل عملا ليس عليه أمرنا فهو رد

"He, who does an act which we have not commanded, will have it rejected [by Allah]."

To be continued in sha Allaah...

1 comment:

  1. Is solaat taraweeh (in congregation) not an innovation too because the Prophet did not engage in it? Why is it being conducted by the Ahlul sunna, the salafis and the Wahhabis?

    ReplyDelete


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