What is commonly sought from life is to live with purpose. Our objectives in life are part of shaping our individual definitions of purpose. It guides and pulls us towards our respective destinations. This is why setting good intentions is of utmost importance in our Islamic tradition.
As our wishes are not commonly granted on a silver platter, we have to work hard and strive to achieve these objectives. Amongst our efforts is to pray Solat Hajat.
Solat Hajat is a sunnah prayer of two raka’at, performed with the intention to seek help from Allah s.w.t. that what is prayed or sought for will be accepted and realised.
Hajat is the Arabic word for need, desire or necessity. When we have a need or want our prayers to be answered, we can perform the Solat Hajat prayer. There have been several hadiths that mention this prayer. One such narration is that it is a sunnah of the Prophet that has rewards for performing it by itself. The Prophet s.a.w. taught us in a hadith:
مَنْ كَانَتْ لَهُ حَاجَةٌ إِلَى اللَّهِ أَوْ إِلَى أَحَدٍ مِنْ خَلْقِهِ فَلْيَتَوَضَّأْ وَلْيُصَلِّ رَكْعَتَيْنِ
Whoever has a Hajat (need) from Allah or from any of His creation, let him perform wudhu’ (ablution) and pray two raka’at (of prayer).
(Sunan Ibn Majah)
Just like other sunnah prayers, it is performed in two raka’at. Although that being said, we may perform more than one set of prayers.
1. The Solat Hajat prayer begins by establishing the Niat (intention):
أُصَلِّي سُنَّةَ الحَاجَةِ رَكعَتَينِ لِلَّهِ تَعَالَى
Usolli sunnatal-hajati rak'ataini lillah ta'ala
I intend to pray the Sunnah Hajat prayer, two raka'at, for Allah s.w.t.
2. Give the Takbir (Takbiratul-Ihram) and perform a two raka’at prayer
3. End the prayer with Salam
The Solat Hajat prayer is best performed individually as other voluntary Sunnah prayers, but you may also perform them in congregation especially when there is a dire cause for communal effort.
Unlike the 5 obligatory prayers, which have their own times to perform it, there is no specifically allocated time to perform Solat Hajat. You may perform it at any point of the day. This is with the exception of the forbidden hours to pray Solat Hajat, which are:
1. After the Subuh prayer until sunrise
2. When the sun is at its meridian until it goes past it (which is about 5 minutes before Zuhur)
3. After the Asar prayer until sunset
This prohibition is based on the hadith of the Prophet s.a.w:
حين تطلُعُ الشمسُ بازغةً حتى ترتفعَ، وحين يقومُ قائمُ الظهيرةِ حتى تميلَ الشمس، وحين تَضيَّفُ الشمسُ للغروبِ حتى تغرُبَ
“When the sun rises until it goes high in the horizon, when the sun is at its meridian until it goes past the meridian, and when the sun sets until it is totally down."
In addition to that, there are also blessed times that we can look forward to in performing Solat Hajat. This is particularly during the last third of every night. The Prophet s.a.w. said:
يَنْزِلُ رَبُّنَا تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا حِينَ يَبْقَى ثُلُثُ اللَّيْلِ الآخِرُ يَقُولُ مَنْ يَدْعُونِي فَأَسْتَجِيبَ لَهُ مَنْ يَسْأَلُنِي فَأُعْطِيَهُ مَنْ يَسْتَغْفِرُنِي فَأَغْفِرَ لَهُ
Our Lord, The Blessed, The Superior, descends to the lowest Heaven when the last third of the night remains, saying: “Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to the invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his requests? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?”
In fact, there are also other blessed days and nights, which contain bountiful rewards, that we are recommended to perform Solat Hajat such as Friday of every week, the day of Arafah, the month of Ramadan and many more.
For Solat Hajat, it actually goes back to the hajat/need that you want to ask from Allah s.w.t. and this definitely differs from person to person. There is no specific Dua to pray after Solat Hajat. You may pray your heart out for your needs and wishes. Nevertheless, there are some prayers and invocations that are recommended to be included in our prayer.
A Zikir that you may recite abundantly is the invocation of Prophet Yunus a.s. as recorded in the Quran:
لَّآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّآ أَنتَ سُبْحَـٰنَكَ إِنِّى كُنتُ مِنَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
There is no god (worthy of worship) except You. Glory be to You! I have certainly done wrong.
(Surah Al-Anbiya, 21:87)
After this verse, Allah s.w.t. mentions in the Quran:
فَٱسْتَجَبْنَا لَهُۥ وَنَجَّيْنَـٰهُ مِنَ ٱلْغَمِّ ۚ وَكَذَٰلِكَ نُـۨجِى ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
So We answered his prayer and rescued him from anguish. And so do We save the believers.
(Surah Al-Anbiya, 21:88)
The Dua that is taught by the Prophet s.a.w. in the first hadith mentioned earlier which talks about the Sunnah Hajat prayer. Towards the end of the hadith, the Prophet s.a.w. taught us to recite:
"لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ الْحَلِيمُ الْكَرِيمُ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مُوجِبَاتِ رَحْمَتِكَ وَعَزَائِمَ مَغْفِرَتِكَ وَالْغَنِيمَةَ مِنْ كُلِّ بِرٍّ وَالسَّلاَمَةَ مِنْ كُلِّ إِثْمٍ
أَسْأَلُكَ أَلاَّ تَدَعَ لِي ذَنْبًا إِلاَّ غَفَرْتَهُ وَلاَ هَمًّا إِلاَّ فَرَّجْتَهُ وَلاَ حَاجَةً هِيَ لَكَ رِضًا إِلاَّ قَضَيْتَهَا لِي"
ثُمَّ يَسْأَلُ اللَّهَ مِنْ أَمْرِ الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ مَا شَاءَ فَإِنَّهُ يُقَدَّرُ
"None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, the Forbearing, the Most Generous. Glory is to Allah, the Lord of the Mighty Throne. Praise is to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.
O Allah, I ask You for the means of Your mercy and forgiveness, the benefit of every good deed and safety from all sins. I ask You not to leave any sin of mine but You forgive it, or any distress but You relieve it, or any need that is pleasing to You but You grant it."
Then he should ask Allah for whatever he wants in this world and in the Hereafter, for it is decreed.
(Sunan Ibn Majah)
We may also make our Dua of Hajat (personal needs) while performing the Sujud. However, it is vitally important that we do not utter our Hajat other than the Dua of Sujud itself. Mentioning or uttering other words that are considered extrinsic to the prayer can invalidate it. Thus, what we can do is to make Dua of Hajat in our hearts without actually uttering the words. The Prophet s.a.w. encouraged us to make lots of prayers during Sujud:
أَقْرَبُ ما يَكونُ العَبْدُ مِن رَبِّهِ، وهو ساجِدٌ، فأكْثِرُوا الدُّعاءَ
The closest that a person can be to his Lord, is when he is prostrating, so increase in supplication then.
On another note, it's essential that we also include the adab (ethical conduct) in making a Dua. Just as you would naturally know that there are conducts to being an audience with a king or people in power, what more when we are supplicating to The Creator all of creation.
Amongst many, we should start our Dua by praising Allah s.w.t. and sending our selawat upon the Prophet s.a.w. When we pray, we acknowledge that our Dua is not a command but a prayer to ask from The Lord of all the worlds. In reality, we do not own anything at all. Allah s.w.t. reminds us in the Quran:
ٱدْعُوا۟ رَبَّكُمْ تَضَرُّعًا وَخُفْيَةً ۚ إِنَّهُۥ لَا يُحِبُّ ٱلْمُعْتَدِينَ
Call upon your Lord humbly and secretly. Surely He does not like the transgressors.
(Surah Al-A’raf, 7:55)
Bear in mind that we must not pray for something that is forbidden religiously. There are times when we may even persist in asking for something in desperation without considering its consequences or whether it is good or bad. We can learn much from the humility of Prophet Nuh a.s. Let us reflect on his invocation in the following verse:
رَبِّ إِنِّىٓ أَعُوذُ بِكَ أَنْ أَسْـَٔلَكَ مَا لَيْسَ لِى بِهِۦ عِلْمٌ ۖ وَإِلَّا تَغْفِرْ لِى وَتَرْحَمْنِىٓ أَكُن مِّنَ ٱلْخَـٰسِرِينَ
My Lord, I take refuge with You from asking for things I know nothing about. If You do not forgive me and have mercy on me, I shall be one of the losers.
(Surah Hud, 11:47)
It calms us to know that Allah s.w.t. is All-Knowing and All-Merciful. He knows what is best for us and showers us with His Mercy. He reminds us in the Quran:
وَعَسَىٰٓ أَن تَكْرَهُوا۟ شَيْـًٔا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ وَعَسَىٰٓ أَن تُحِبُّوا۟ شَيْـًٔا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَّكُمْ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
“Though you dislike it, and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.”
(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:216)
A scholar, Ibn ‘Ata-illah As-Sakandari, explains to us profoundly in one of his beautiful aphorisms (Book of Wisdom):
If in spite of intense supplication,
there is a delay in the timing of the Gift,
let that not be the cause for your despair.
For He has guaranteed you a response
in what He chooses for you,
not in what you choose for yourself,
and at the time He desires, not the time you desire.
(Hikam Ibn ‘Ata-illah)
Watch this video on how to perform Solat Hajat: