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Supplication Series: Seeking Refuge from Four Things



Link to all Ramadan 2011 posts


Alhamdulillah I’m very excited to be sharing another Ramadan supplication series this year! Each week we will be posting a new duaa, maybe two, that you can learn inshaAllah.

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In a hadith recorded in Saheeh Muslim, Zaid bin AlqamRadhi Allahu Anhunarrated that the Prophetﷺ used to supplicate:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عِلْمٍ لَا يَنْفَعُ وَمِنْ قَلْبٍ لَا يَخْشَعُ وَمِنْ نَفْسٍ ‏لَا تَشْبَعُ ‏ ‏وَمِنْ دَعْوَةٍ لَا يُسْتَجَابُ لَهَا‏

Allahumma inni a’udhu bika min ‘ilmin la yanfa’u wa min qalbin la yakhsha’u wa min nafsin la tashba’u wa min da’watin la yustajabu laha

“O Allah, I seek refuge in You from knowledge which does not benefit, from a heart that does not entertain the fear (of Allah), from a soul that is not satisfied and the supplication that is not answered.”


Listen to the duaa:


Download here.

Selected Word Analysis

yanfa’u: Nafa’a means to be beneficial and useful. With regards to knowledge, ilman naf’ian – beneficial knowledge – is knowledge that leads to action. We covered a whole supplication asking for beneficial knowledge.

yakhsha’u: Khushu’ is a fear that is manifested not only in your heart but it is shown on your face and limbs. Khushu’ literally means to bend down and to become still. Khushu’ is used for the submissiveness of the heart which is reflected on the limbs.

tashba’u: The root of this word means to be satisfied, to eat to one’s fill and to gratify. This word can apply to eating or fulfilling desires. From this root is ishbaa’ which means satisfaction and satiation.

da’watin: Da’wah literally means a call, request or invocation. When someone is involved in da’wah, it literally means they are calling others to Allah azza wa jal. From this root is the word du’aa, both words have the same meaning when referring to a supplication.

Points of Benefit

The Prophetﷺ  seeks refuge from four disastrous things in this supplication. Each one gives us a different lesson:

  • “Knowledge that does not benefit”: This can mean knowledge that is not acted upon, or knowledge that has no use – such as worldly matters that do not give any benefit. The first type can lead to punishment, Rasul Allah ﷺ said, “On the night that I was ascended up to the heavens, I came upon a people whose lips were being cut off by pliers made from Fire. Every time their lips were severed, they would be brought back and formed again. So I said: ‘O Jibreel, who are these people?’ He said: ‘They are speakers from your nation, who say words but do not do deeds, and who read the Book of Allah yet do not act (on it).”‘ [Al Bayhaqi, Hasan]
  • “A heart that is not fearful”: In the Qur’an, Allah (Subhanawata’la) describes the true believers as having khushu’ in their prayer – a humility that is seen on their limbs. If the heart has khushu’, the body will have khushu’. So khushu’ is not just a state of the heart, it is a state of the heart which is visible on a person’s actions, in their posture, and in their movements. In the hereafter, Allah says that the disbelievers: أَبْصَارُهَا خَاشِعَةٌ “Their eyes will be downcast.” (79:9) These eyes that did not humble themselves to Allah in the dunya, will have fear in the aakhirah. This fear will be apparent on their faces; faces that are full of shame, humiliation and abasement.
  • “A soul that is not satisfied”: The nature of humans is to always want more, which is why we train ourselves to be pleased with the minimum. When a person is not satisfied, it may bring about greed, jealousy, ungratefulness, and a lack of contentment. The believers are satisfied with whatever they are given in this life, and in the hereafter, Allah (Subhanawata’la) says: “And therein is whatever the souls desire and [what] delights the eyes.” (43:71) By refraining from indulgence in this worldly life, Allah blesses the believers with everything they desire in the hereafter.
  • When these three things exist in someone; a heart that is not fearful, a soul that is not satisfied and knowledge that is not beneficial, it leads to the four thing we seek refuge from: a supplication that is not answered. Why? For a duaa to be answered, the person has to be humble and showing their need to Allah. A person with a heart that is not fearful has a hard heart, and one that is not satisfied is greedy.
  • “A supplication that is not answered”: Not having supplications answered by Allah is a scary matter. Allah Subhanahu wa ta'ala tells us to call upon Him, to ask Him and that He will give us. For Allah (Subhanawata’la) to not answer a supplication, it means that the person in involved in something wrong. In a famous hadith, we learn that the man who eats, drinks and is clothed from what is haram will not have his duaa answered.
  • Also, we must remember that a duaa is answered in three ways: Allah will grant the person what they are asking for, or the person is protected from something harmful or Allah will respond to the person in the hereafter. So we seek refuge from Allah from it being not answered, but we still have to have faith that we may not completely understand the wisdom if we do not see the answer we expect, since Allah may answer it in one of these three ways.

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Amatullah is a student of the Qur'an and its language. She completed the 2007 Ta'leem program at Al-Huda Institute in Canada and studied Qur'an, Tajwid (science of recitation) and Arabic in Cairo. Through her writings, she hopes to share the practical guidance taught to us by Allah and His Messenger and how to make spirituality an active part of our lives. She has a Bachelors in Social Work and will be completing the Masters program in 2014 inshaAllah. Her experience includes working with immigrant seniors, refugee settlement and accessibility for people with disabilities.



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    August 4, 2011 at 4:40 AM

    Excellent initiative masha Allah- I was actually looking for this dua to memorise.

    Jazak Allah khair!

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    abu Abdullah

    August 4, 2011 at 7:57 AM

    mash Allah, very beneficial. Barak Allah feeki.

    Surah 59:10 is excellent reminder. wassalam

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    August 4, 2011 at 8:50 AM


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    August 4, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Im aware that their is a relationship between Kushu and Slaah. Is there any connection between the literay definition of the word — bend and still — and Salaah? Since we usually bow down in it, and are still in our sujoods. JKhair.

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      August 4, 2011 at 5:24 PM

      Yes, it relates to both the literal and technical meanings. Allah knows best.

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    Yasmin Raoufi

    August 4, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    Vey meanigful and beautiful dua! Thank you so much for not only listing the dua but for thoroughly explaining it.

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    August 4, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    I need your kind help in repect of my this request my dear brothers and sisters in Islam. Kindly remind me in your Dua/prayer may ALLAH blessed me with a wife to marry and may Him also make eazy among eazy for me…

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      June 26, 2016 at 7:14 AM

      Alhamdu Mullah Masha Allah
      Wonderful and meaningful to Mankind in gernaral.Aminu (Al-Amin).

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    August 4, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    this is the best way to share a supplication series that i have ever seen (with the word break-downs and detailed meaning, etc.)! Jazakallah Khair for this amazing series=) can’t wait for more! Are these du’as specifically for Ramadan?

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      August 4, 2011 at 5:28 PM

      wa iyyaki, Alhamdulillah I’m glad it’s beneficial.

      No, these duaas are not specific to Ramadan but since we make more duaa in Ramadan and we hope that they are all accepted, we can make these duaas from the authentic sunnah in prayer, while breaking our fast etc.

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        Aminnah ali

        April 2, 2016 at 6:05 PM

        What are the four things Muslims must know

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    August 4, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    This is great. I’m going to take it upon myself to memorize this over the next couple of days.
    Insha’allah you are rewarded for this post and for every person who memorizes this duaa after this post.

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    Abu Aaliyah

    August 4, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    JazakAllahu kair. I have been looking for dua’ to say in Ramadan and sometimes it is so hard to remember what to say. This really helps. Keep them coming inshaAllah.

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    Mariam E.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    Asalamu Alikum

    Beautiful series, may Allah reward you.

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    August 4, 2011 at 4:47 PM


    When I click on “link to all Ramadan post” above I land on a page with a “Error 404: Page Not Found” message

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      August 4, 2011 at 5:29 PM

      wa alaykum salam,

      I will let our site team know there is a problem with the link. jazak Allahu khayran.

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      August 4, 2011 at 9:11 PM

      Salam – it must have been fixed in the mean time as it’s working now, alhamdulillah.

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    August 4, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    Barak Allahu feekum for the comments! I hope you are all having a great start to Ramadan so far!

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    Rationalist Muslim

    August 4, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    What if the Muslim is dying from lung cancer and he prays to Allah to cure his cancer, but his cancer is not cured, does it mean his heart is hard or that he is being punished? What if the suffering from cancer has melted this Muslim’s heart and he now wishes Allah to remove cancer, Allah swt still will not cure the cancer. Its a fact. Most people who have lung cancer, will die of lung cancer. So what relationships is there between dua not being accepted and heart’s state?

    Regarding not being greedy, I yet have to meet a single Muslim in this world who is not greedy. Everyone is greedy to some extent. Lets say there is a very pious Muslimah, and she wants to marry the best Muslim man out there. Is not that being greedy?

    Lets say there is an amazing shaykh and scholar of Islam, and he wants best opportunities, such as Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree and high income, for his children, is not that greediness as well?

    walaikum assalam

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      August 5, 2011 at 9:58 AM

      Assalamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullah,

      The believer finds acceptance of Allah’s decree and pleasure therein. Being afflicted by disease may be a punishment if it causes the afflicted one to run from Allah or reject Him. Or it may be a source of blessings if through the affliction one’s sins are erased and through his/her patience reward is gained. I would remind myself that the ultimate vision in my life is gaining Allah’s Pleasure, seeking His Face in the Last Day and residing in Jannah in which there is no pain or sorrow but only pleasure.

      As for how you have defined greed, I don’t agree with it. Greed is an inordinate desire, one that crosses the line from wanting the best that Allah can give you to obsessing about power and wealth. Allah knows best.

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        Rationalist Muslim

        August 5, 2011 at 5:07 PM

        walaikum assalam,

        JazakAllah for explaining the relationship between affliction and Allah’s pleasure. But I have some issues with accepting pain and suffering as decree of Allah swt. Being a psychiatry student for years have led me to realize that a human being evaluates his/her worth in two ways: 1- by evaluating if he/she has attained personal goals that he/she set for herself, 2- by comparing him/herself by peers and evaluating where one stands. This number 2 is very important, we usually tell each other that we should not compare ourself with others, but it is very important to gauge where one stands in relation to the dunya. Now lets say there is a very successful man, he is considered an authority, lets say, in orthopedic surgery. One day he is diagnosed with end-stage metastatic colon cancer and his time is near. He believes in God, yet now he is suffering when he compares himself with other peers. Others are enjoying life, earning money, publishing papers, and this Muslim continues into the downward spiral of destruction, annihilation and the inevitable death. What about this poor man’s ego that is unwilling to accept imperfectness in his health? Everyday he thinks why God chose him, why not someone else, and this keeps on depressing him. What is your Islamic solution to that?

        I understand that believing that affliction is from God and a means to erase sins can ease one’s suffering if he/she has cancer, if he/she has lost all the worldly authority in their area of academics, if he/she has lost all the respect, all the hard work. But it is very hard for the ego to do so. Put yourself in their shoes for one day, I’ve met only very few Islamic mystics who actually enjoy when Allah gives them trials, its not for the person with less than perfect eeman. What is the solution to that?

        I pardon for my verbosity but I had to ask this.

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          August 6, 2011 at 4:28 AM

          Walaykum as salaam Rationalist Muslim,

          The man has to re-orient himself so that a third option is internalized – that seeking Allah’s Pleasure is his highest priority over the two motivations you have observed.

          The prophets and messengers were sent as men to be examples for us – if it were not possible for us to earn Allah’s Mercy and re-orient ourselves with proper iman (not necessarily perfect iman), then our test in this world would be unfair, and Allah’s Justice is perfect.

          On a practical level, the person should submit to the decree of Allah. Their terminal condition may be a test of the person’s iman, a mercy to erase sins, or it may be that Allah tests someone because He loves them, and knows that they will pass the test and it will enable greater reward for them in the Hereafter. If they have ego problems, then it is their responsibility to, using their self-awareness, to evaluate and at least attempt to overcome their deficiencies, and Allah knows best the efforts we put in, and how hard we tried to better ourselves for His Sake, and will no doubt take that into account when He judges us.

          If our minds are only focused on this world as the be-all end-all, then much of this will seem unfair and pointless. However, if our focus is on the full picture, and we regard this life as a tiny piece of the pie, then we realize that all of this, like all burdens in life, will pass and something far more significant in time and scope awaits us.


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          August 8, 2011 at 1:26 AM

          Assalamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullah.

          Firstly, I pray that this brother deals with his affliction with patience.

          There are two perspectives I wish to share with you.

          The first perspective is intellectual. You cannot but accept that pain and suffering is from the decree of Allah just as we accept that blessings and happiness are also from the decree of Allah. Firstly, Allah is perfect in His attributes and thus He is All-Knowing, He is the Creator of everything and He has control over all affairs. Nothing escapes His knowledge or control. If painful experiences are not from His decree, then clearly He is not perfect in His knowledge or control. That said, Allah is also perfect in His Wisdom. Nothing is without purpose even the most mundane. And Allah is Just and Kind to the believers. So even in this brother’s affliction there is wisdom if we tune into that. Secondly, forget this brother. What about the thousands of innocent people who die every year in just about every circumstance. Murder, war, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.? Where is the justice? The only way to reconcile this reality is our belief in the Akhirah. In the Akhirah, we know that Allah recompenses all suffering by His will and will not enter into the Hellfire anyone until he/she is tested. Without belief in the Akhirah, then truly, there isn’t ultimate justice.

          The second perspective is to look at our role models, namely the Prophets of old, the Messenger of Allah (saws), the Companions and our pious scholars. Suffering was not alien to them. How did they handle it? Read the seerah and see the Messenger of Allah’s (saws) conduct when he was dying. Read the story of Ayyub (as) in the Quran and see how he dealt with his suffering.

          I guess that’s why Islam is so important in our lives. By growing ourselves spiritually, and depending on Allah in all of our affairs, we will see that suffering and death are just natural parts of our lives. It’s easier to say that than to practice it. May Allah help us.

          Allah knows best…

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            Rationalist Muslim

            August 8, 2011 at 9:54 AM

            Siraj and Shahzad, jazakAllah for your responses. Ill contemplate on them.

            may Allah protect me (and you) from a trial that will break our back and patience and lead us to the Naar.

            I am so scared right now that I’ve stepped into irrationality and continually ask Allah to not give me an trials in this life in dunya ….

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            August 13, 2011 at 10:51 AM

            Salam, Rationalist Muslim.

            You can read this excellent Book Called “Don’t be sad” by Ibn Abdullah Al-Qarni.
            Basically this book is about what calamities and anxieties mean for us as Muslims and their purpose and how we cope with them.


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    August 5, 2011 at 9:49 AM

    Jazakum Allah kheir

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    August 5, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    Mashallah. inshallah i will also be learning this dua. May Allah swt reward u ameen. love u for the sake of Allah swt.

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    August 5, 2011 at 6:02 PM


    i always love the Selected Word Analysis I wish somoene could do that with the whole quran, it would be soo much better than just reading the english translation

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      August 5, 2011 at 9:16 PM

      Dr. Farhat Hashmi has done something similar to that for the entire Quran.

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    January 9, 2015 at 2:37 PM

    SubhaanAllah, such a beautiful supplication. We should all memorize this !
    JazakaAllah for sharing!

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Podcast: Prayer is a Work in Progress | Shaykh Abdullah Ayaaz Mullanee

Zeba Khan


Many of us have been Muslim for our entire lives, and despite praying regularly for years, can still never feel like we’re never doing it right. Why is it so hard to focus in salah? And what should someone do if they feel like they are AWFUL at it?

Join Zeba Khan as she asks Shaykh Abdullah Ayaz Mullanee, who not only struggles with his prayers too, but is also the dean of Mishkah Institute, and author of the books “A Ramadan With the Prophet ” and “The Poetic Words of Sayyiduna Ali رضي الله عنه.” To take a free short course on the meaning of Salah, visit this link.

Support MuslimMatters for Just $2 a Month

MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.




Support Our Dawah for Just $2 a Month

MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Continue Reading


Undisputed And Undefeated: 13 Ways Khabib Nurmagomedov Inspired Us To Win With Faith



Many fans anxiously watched UFC 254 with bated breath as Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov went head-to-head with Justin “The human highlight reel” Gaethje. The latter had just come off a spectacular TKO win against a formidable and feared fighter in the form of Tony Ferguson, beating him over 5 nerve-wracking rounds by outstriking him with a combination damaging head shots and crippling low kicks.

We all knew what both would do – Khabib would go for the takedown, and Gaethje would try to keep the fight on the feet and opt for stand-up striking – which fighter’s strategy would prevail? Alhamdulillah, it was Khabib, in a mere 2 rounds.  We weren’t in the fight, but we are all nervous and supplicating, making du’a to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to give him another victory.

And so it was that after the win, he collapsed in the middle of the ring to cry, as this was his first fight after the loss of his father due to complications with Covid-19. He cried, and many a man cried with him, feeling his pain. Gaethje revived from his triangle choked slumber and consoled his former foe, telling Khabib his father was proud of him.

Support MuslimMatters for Just $2 a Month

MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

We were all sure when “The Eagle” got on the mic, he would say he wanted to fight GSP, George St Pierre, and then retire 30-0, as he had said in previous press conferences leading up to the fight.  Instead, he surprised us all by announcing his retirement at 29-0, and I couldn’t help but marvel that not only was he turning away from a lucrative final fight, but the way in which he announced his retirement reminded us of our faith, our deen, our religion, Islam.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in the Qur’an

“And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers.”

Throughout his MMA career, Khabib has proudly worn his faith on his sleeve. As he has risen to become the current pound-for-pound #1 fighter in the world and arguably the GOAT, the greatest of all time, his unwavering example as a practicing Muslim transformed him into a global phenomenon and role model for many of us by reminding us to be better worshippers, to be closer to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

Let’s look at a few of the ways he did this:

1. Beginning with Alhamdulillah

The announcer at UFC 254 began by congratulating Khabib on a job well-done yet again by praising him, stating, “The world is in awe of your greatness once again…your thoughts on an epic championship performance, congratulations.” Khabib didn’t immediately begin talking about himself. Instead, he said:

“Alhamdulillah, SubhanAllah, God give me everything…”

After stating this, he went on to announce his retirement, his reasons for retiring, and thanked everyone who supported his professional MMA journey.

The Reminder

Alhamdulillah is literally translated into “All Praise Belongs to God”. Khabib begins by thanking Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), pointing out that his talents and abilities are a gift, a blessing from the Most High. When we have any blessing from Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), we must remember that whatever our own effort, our abilities, our support, and our achieved outcomes ultimately tie back to support from our Rabb, our Lord, who controls all.

Khabib pointing to Allah

It’s not from me, it’s from Him

If you’ve ever seen Khabib point at himself, shake his finger back and forth as if to say, “No” and then point up to the sky, this is a nonverbal way of him saying, don’t think all these great things you see are from me – they’re from Allah above.

2. The Prostration of Thankfulness – Sajdat al-Shukr

You may have noticed at the end of Khabib’s victory, when the announcer states that he’s the winner of the bout, he falls into a prostration known as Sajdat al-Shukr – the Prostration of Thankfulness (to Allah).

Khabib and his sons prostrating

The Reminder

Performing this is recommended when someone receives something beneficial (eg good news, wealth, etc) or if they avoided something potentially harmful (e.g. job loss, healing from a disease, etc). The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) would do this when he received good news. The believer should remember to be thankful to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) as much as they can.

See also:

3. Establishing the 5 Daily Prayers

Khabib and me, don’t be jelly

Years ago (early 2018), Khabib visited my local masjid in Santa Clara, California (not far from where he was training in San Jose at the AKA gym). Many at the masjid didn’t know who he was, but we heard he was the #1 contender for the UFC Lightweight championship belt, at that time held by Tony Ferguson.

He did a Q & A with the community, and someone asked him a general question about what he would recommend for the youth.  He said, and I’m paraphrasing:

Take care of your prayers, if you come to Day of Judgment not take care of your prayers, on that day you will be smashed.

The Reminder

The second pillar of Islam that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has commanded us to follow is to pray to Him 5 times daily. Khabib was no doubt referencing the following statement of the Prophet (saw):

“The first action for which a servant of Allah will be held accountable on the Day of Resurrection will be his prayers. If they are in order, he will have prospered and succeeded. If they are lacking, he will have failed and lost…”



Shaykh AbdulNasir Jangda notes that when the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) first began his mission of da’wah and faced devastating rejection from family and community, Allah told the Prophet to stand and pray. The reason for this is because when we are weak and suffering, the place to turn to for strength is back to Allah in prayer. There is no doubt Khabib’s strength came from his connection to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) which in turn came from his 5 daily prayers.

Praying multiple times daily, consistently, can be challenging; when it was legislated by Allah to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) kept telling him to go back and ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for a reduction, saying, “Your people will not be able to handle it.”

Khabib is a great reminder that no matter how high you climb in life and career, no matter how busy you think you are, worshipping Allah is the most important deed one can do, and this discipline is the most important habit to build.

4. Strong Wrestling Game

Some say Khabib is already 30-0 for wrestling a bear

In a sport that sees far more striking and kicking than it does wrestling, Khabib came to dominate the lightweight division of the UFC with a strong grappling style that is a combination of sambo (a Soviet martial art), judo, and wrestling. Famously, he outwrestled a bear when he was much younger.

During his fights, he doesn’t close out his bouts by pummeling his opponents and causing them damage as most strikers would. Most of his hits open up his opponents to being forced to tap out via submission. Even his last opponent, Justin Gaethje, noted that he was much happier to be choked out in a submission, as all he would get is a pleasant nap, as opposed to striking, which could have long-term health consequences.

The Reminder

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was not only able to wrestle, he took down the strongest wrestler in Makkah. Rukanah, the famed Makkan wrestler, challenged RasulAllah because of his hatred for the da’wah. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) accepted his challenge and took him down multiple times, body slamming him again and again. It was said that after the conquest of Makkah, Rukanah accepted Islam.

5. Fighting / Training through Sickness and Injury

During the post-fight press conference with UFC President Dana White, it was revealed that Khabib had broken one of his toes 3 weeks before the fight. Prior to that, he had taken two weeks off upon arriving at Fight Island having contracted mumps, according to AKA trainer and coach Javier Mendez. Khabib is quoted as having told Mendez, “My toe may be broken, but my mind is not.” In addition to this, his father had just passed away months earlier, and this would be his first fight without his father present.

Mumps, broken toes, and the emotional turmoil of family tragedy

The Reminder

In addition, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) has told us, “A strong believer is better and is more beloved to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone…” This strength includes strength of body, mind, and spirit; not just when conditions are perfect, but when trials surround you from every conceivable direction.

6. Relationship With His Father

After defeating Justin Gaethje, Khabib went to the center of the ring and cried, and everyone cried with him. We all knew his father’s death weighed heavily on his mind and his heart, and this was his first fight without him. His father was his mentor and trainer, whom everyone could obviously see he both loved and greatly respected.

In the post-fight question and answer with Dustin Poirier, Khabib was asked, “What’s your message for your young fans out there who look up to you so much?” he responded:

“Respect your parents, be close with your parents, this is very important. Parents everything, you know, your mother, your father, and that’s it, and everything in your life is going to be good, if you’re going to listen to your parents, mother, father, be very close with them, and other things come because your parents gonna teach what to do.”

The Reminder

There isn’t enough space in this article to go over how much emphasis our faith places on respecting our parents. Allah says in the Qur’an:

Your Lord has commanded that you should worship none but Him, and that you be kind to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say no word that shows impatience with them, and do not be harsh with them, but speak to them respectfully. [17:23]

7. Relationship With His Mother

Our parents ultimately want us to succeed, but also want us to maintain our well-being. Without his father’s presence, it was clear that Khabib’s mother didn’t want him continuing in the Octagon (the UFC ring). After 3 days of discussion, Khabib gave his word to her that this would be his final fight. After beating Justin Gaethje in UFC 254, Nurmagomedov announced he was retiring because he promised his mother that he would retire and that he’s a man of his word.

The Reminder

This hearkens back to a statement of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) about how much respect mothers deserve. A man asked the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, “Who is most deserving of my good company?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man asked, “Then who?” He (saw) said “Your mother.” The man asked again, “Then who?” The Prophet again said, “Your mother.” The man asked again, “Then who?” The Prophet finally said, “Your father.”

Khabib easily had millions more to make on a journey to hit 30-0 in his professional fighting career and decided to hang it all up to make his mother happy. This is true respect and obedience, and for that matter, the love of a mother for her son and his well-being over monetary gains.

8. Respect for Muhammad Ali

When asked about the comparisons between himself and Muhammad Ali, Khabib stated that it was an inappropriate comparison. He noted that Muhammad Ali didn’t just face challenges in the ring, but challenges outside of it due to racism, and that he was an agent of change with respect to bringing about greater civil rights for African Americans.

The Reminder

In his final sermon, Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “There is no superiority of an Arab over a non-Arab, or of a non-Arab over an Arab, and no superiority of a white person over a black person or of a black person over a white person, except on the basis of personal piety and righteousness.”

From the 7th century until today, our faith recognizes that people are not judged by their race, but by their actions and the intentions behind those actions. In the video above, Khabib recognized both the wrongness of racism, and the challenge it posed along the way of Muhammad Ali’s own journey, and that his contributions to social justice transcended his involvement in sport.

9. His Conduct with Other Fighters

With the exception of the fight with Conor McGregor, Khabib always dealt with his opponents with respect. He hugs them, shakes their hand, and says good things about their accomplishments and strengths both before and after fights. In a sport known for heavy trash talking and showboating to build hype, Khabib kept his cool and his manners.

Champion vs Champion, the respect is mutual

The Reminder

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

“The only reason I have been sent is to perfect good manners.”

Maintaining good character and conduct during press-conferences was Khabib’s calling card; even when trash talkers like Tony Ferguson tried to go after him, he would still recount Ferguson’s formidable stature as a fighter.

When reporters tried throwing him a softball opening to insult Ferguson’s mental health, Khabib responded that he didn’t want to talk about Tony Ferguson’s problems if he they were real; if Ferguson truly has a problem, then we should help him, as we all have problems.

10. Fighting Those Who Dishonor Faith and Family

As mentioned above, Khabib is known for being very respectful of his opponents during press conferences. He speaks well of their strengths, shakes their hands, hugs them; he even runs up to his opponent after a fight and hugs them, consoling them and wishing them well. After his win against Poirier, he traded shirts with him and donated $100k to Poirier’s charity.

Khabib vs Dana’s boy, the chicken

The exception was the infamous UFC 229 which Muslim fans watched holding years, maybe decades of pent up anger at the type of crass secular arrogance represented by Conor. We desperately wanted Khabib to maul the mouthy McGregor. The latter had gone after his family, his faith, his nationality, anything and everything to hype up the fight and try to get under the champ’s skin. Some people lose their calm, and others, well, they eat you alive.

Khabib made it clear he wasn’t having any of that. He took the fight to Conor and choked him out with a neck crank. We then learned why he was called “The Eagle” as he hopped the cage and jumped into the audience to go after other members of Conor’s team who had spoken ill of him, giving birth to “Air Khabib”.

The Reminder

When our faith and family is spoken of in an ill fashion, it’s not appropriate that we sit there and take it. Khabib never cared when it was criticism against him, but once it went to others around him, he took flight. We as Muslims should never give anybody who tries to attack and dehumanize us a chance to rest on their laurels. We should strive ourselves to take the fight back to them by whatever legal means necessary, as Khabib did, whether it is cartoons of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) or political pundits and satirists who monetize hatred against Muslims.

11. Shaking Hands and Training with Women

In numerous public instances, Khabib reminded us that our faith demands we don’t shake with the opposite gender. As one of my teachers taught us, the Qur’an instructs us to “lower our gaze” when dealing with women. If we shouldn’t even look at them out of respect for Allah’s command, how can we take it to the next level and touch them?

Extended to this is even more serious physical contact like training at the gym. Cynthia Calvillo, one of Khabib’s teammates at AKA gym, said the following about Khabib and his unit:

“It’s a little bit weird because of their religion and stuff…They don’t talk to women you know. I mean we say ‘hi’ to each other but we can’t train with them. They won’t train with women…I don’t think any other woman does.

The Reminder

Our faith places stricter physical and social interaction boundaries between men and women. Keeping matters professional and respectful with the opposite gender need not include physical contact. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was said to have never touched non-mahram women. It was narrated that he said,

“It is better for you to be stabbed in the head with an iron needle than to touch the hand of a woman who is impermissible to you.”

For this reason, the majority of scholars prohibited physical contact between men and women with some exceptions (e.g. old age). Watching Khabib maintain this practice, even in public where it could potentially embarrass him and cause undue negative attention, gives us all inspiration to deal with this issue in the workplace better. He encourages us to strive for better tolerance and awareness of our faith rather than forcing us to conform.

12. Not Making a Display of The “Trophy” Wife

If you follow Khabib’s Instagram, you won’t find lewd pics of him and a significant other. In fact, you won’t find any pictures at all of him and his wife. Who she is is a mystery to all. In an age and a sport where many post photos with their romantic partners, Khabib again is a standout with his gheerah, his honorable protectiveness for his significant other.

Khabib and his wife

The Reminder

We are again reminded that a part of manhood is to have protective ghayrah, jealousy over one’s spouse. Ibn al-Qayyim also said, bringing in the concept of chivalry,

“The dayyuth / cuckold is the vilest of Allah’s creation, and Paradise is forbidden for him [because of his lack of ghayrah]. A man should be ‘jealous’ with regards to his wife’s honor and standing. He should defend her whenever she is slandered or spoken ill of behind her back. Actually, this is a right of every Muslim in general, but a right of the spouse specifically. He should also be jealous in not allowing other men to look at his wife or speak with her in a manner which is not appropriate.”

13. Owning His Mistakes, Looking to Be Forgiven

Finally, it should be noted there is no real scholarly disagreement on prohibiting striking the face. Recognizing this, Khabib stated when asked if “he thinks the AlMighty will be satisfied with him for taking part in haram fights for money,” he replied, “I don’t think so.”

In an interview with the LA Times, he said:

“You go to mosque because nobody’s perfect. Everybody makes mistakes, and we have to ask Allah to forgive us. This is very important mentally, to be clear with Allah. This is not about the UFC. There is nothing else more important to me than being clear with Allah. And being clear with Allah is the No. 1 most hard thing in life.”

The Reminder

We as human beings aren’t perfect – perfection is only for Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). We all make mistakes, sometimes small, sometimes large, but in the end, He subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is ready to forgive us if we’re willing to recognize our failings and ask to be forgiven.  Allah says in the Qur’an in 2:222:

“Allah loves those who always turn to Him in repentance and those who purify themselves.”

There are no sins so great that redemption is beyond any of us. Whatever Khabib’s flaws, his value as a positive change maker and faith-based role model globally outweighs his negatives.

Part of seeking forgiveness is the process, and the first part of that process is acknowledging the mistake. This means not being in denial about it or not justifying it, just owning it. As Khabib has owned his mistake publicly, there is no need for us to try and justify it either.

We can own that there are problems with MMA and the industry, in participating as well as watching and supporting. At the same time, we can do as Dr Hatem al-Hajj said about Muhammad Ali:

Concluding Thoughts

While UFC pundits will forever debate over the greatest of all time, there is in doubt that Khabib Nurmogomedov, the first Muslim UFC champion, will always be our GOAT.

I ask that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) accepts the good from what Khabib has done, rewards him tremendously for the inspiration he’s given us all to better focused on the akhirah, the next life, and continues to make him a powerful sports icon who uses his platform as Muhammad Ali did to teach Islam and exemplify it in the best way for all of us to benefit and follow.


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Does A Muslim Have To Wish Well For An Oppressor Who Is Struck With Disease?

Imam Imran Salha


First, we should differentiate between those who want to curse at the oppressor because it’s a fad, and those who do so because they either experienced oppression directly from said oppressor, or they genuinely empathize with those who have been directly oppressed.

To those who are doing it as a fad, I say what my teachers always said to me:

“Islam is not for blowing off steam.”

You cannot use Islam as an outlet for immaturity. Imam Shafi’i said if you are stuck between two options, choose the one that goes against your desires for there is a higher likelihood that the truth lies in that option.

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Second, we also have to be careful not to restrict the Islamic position on something just because it sounds like the moral high road. This may be personal preference for some to hold back from cursing the oppressor, but that doesn’t mean Islam specifically asks this of us.

What is the standard?

The Qur’an – “Tell my servants to say the best word.”

“I was not sent as one who always curses.” -Hadith

“The Muslim is not one who always curses.” -Hadith

Scholars noticed that the Prophet ﷺ used the word اللعّان (la’aan) instead of لاعن (laa’in). The former is صيغة المبالغة which means that one is always cursing, where the latter is a description for one who curses once. If the Prophet ﷺ meant to say that the Muslim NEVER curses he would have said “A Muslim is not one who curses even once.”

Instead, what He ﷺ actually said is it is not part of the character of a Muslim that they frequently curse, which is why he used the word لعّان.

Also, the Prophet ﷺ could not have meant that he never cursed, because he himself cursed at an entire tribe. In an authentic hadith in Saheeh Muslim, Khifaaf ibn Imaa’ al-Ghifaari narrates that the Prophet ﷺ made the following dua during salah:

اللَّهُمَّ العَنْ بَنِي لِحْيَانَ، وَالْعَنْ رِعْلًا، وَذَكْوَانَ، ثُمَّ وَقَعَ سَاجِدًا.

“Oh Allah, send your curse upon Bani Lihyaan, and curse Ri’l, and Thakwaan – and then the Prophet ﷺ fell in prostration.”

There is no way that the Prophet ﷺ would command us never to curse and then in certain instances invoke the curse of Allah on others. This proves that cursing is in fact necessary sometimes.

Abu Bakr [ramhu] told Urwah bin Masood to lick the genitalia of Al-laat, which was an idol that was worshipped at the time. This was after Urwah disrespected the Prophet ﷺ. This is a hadith in Bukhari and the Prophet ﷺ did not scold AbuBakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) for his reaction and all the narrations that say the Prophet ﷺ scolded him are weakened if not fabricated. We know the rulings on the Prophet ﷺ’s silence. His silence is legislation. If there was something wrong with Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him)‘ s words the Prophet ﷺ would have HAD to say something about it. His ﷺ silence means he agreed with what Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) did.

Even if you do not want to curse, why should you wish well on any oppressor when Allah cursed all oppressors in the Qur’an? You can be clever. Look at the following example.

When Jamal Abdel-Nasser died, Imam Mohammed al-Ghazzali (ra) said: “Oh Allah have mercy on him in the same way he had mercy on your Ummah.”

لما مات جمال عبد الناصر قال الشيخ الغزالي: اللهم ارحمه بقدر ما رحم الامة

So I can say, (and again this is in the case of wanting to avoid cursing): Oh Allah! Have mercy on Trump to the same degree that Trump had mercy on the immigrant mothers who had to be separated from their children as a result of his ruthless policies.

For Tarbiyah purposes, it is beneficial to teach your children and students of knowledge never to curse. This was the methodology of Imam AbdelQadir Jilani (ra) who would force his students never to curse even against oppressors. However, this is in the context of Tarbiyah and preparing students for scholarship and leadership, not the context of Fiqh. This is so that the students lean more towards the Prophetic reality and is also more in line with the hadith we mentioned in the beginning! A student of knowledge and future leader should not be in the habit of constantly cursing.

Many spiritual paths force their students into a certain “extreme” to discipline them and make their default setting leaning towards what is more spiritually beneficial, so that only when it is absolutely necessary will they use these “licenses” that allow them to express their anger. When it comes to the general masses though, we should not make it seem like this is absolutely not allowed, or that it is even spiritually superior to wish well on an oppressor.

We should not be in the business of telling people that Islam forces you to wish well on forces of evil.

The Prophet ﷺ passed by a janazah and said: “Relieved and one who others are relieved from.” Upon being asked, the Prophet ﷺ explained: “The Believer is relieved at the moment of their death from the toil of life. As for the wicked, the people, land, trees and animals are relieved from their presence as soon as they die.”

May the eyes of the oppressors never find rest. Ameen.

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