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Supplication or Dua Arafa

Supplication or Dua Arafa

The Spiritual Life: Prayer and Supplication

For the Muslim, the necessary personal concomitant of professing God"s Unity is devotion to Him. The outward dimension of this devotion is shaped by the Shari"ite injunctions concerning worship: the canonical prayer, whether mandatory or recommended, fasting, pilgrimage, almsgiving, etc. But the inward dimension of Muslim devotions is much more difficult to grasp. Unlike the outward dimension,

it cannot be defined in so many sentences. It can only be perceived through studying the lives and spiritual radiance of holy men and saints. Some of the most intimate glimpses of the pious Muslim soul are to be found in supplicatios.

Types of Prayers in Islam :

Prayer in Islam can be divided into four basic forms: canonical prayer (salat), supplication (dua'), litany (wird) and invocation (dhikr). One can say that the first, especially in its mandatory form, corresponds to what is implied in Christianity by mass or holy communion. The second is equivalent to "personal prayer", or simply to what the Christian often understands by the term "prayer" as such. The mandatory canonical prayer must be performed at specific times every day and according to strictly defined rules, while the recommended form also follows the same strict pattern (standing, bowing, prostrating, sitting, etc.). But one may "supplicate" God at any time and in any circumstance, without any set pattern or formulae. Supplications are strictly voluntary and "free". As for litanies and invocations i.e., the recitation of Quranic formulae or one or more of the Names of God, like supplication these are voluntary, although they are not so "free" since they follow set patterns, and like the canonical prayer, must be in Arabic. Litanies may be performed by any pious Muslim, whereas invocations are recited almost exclusively by the Sufis.

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