There are certain acts that one might presume are prohibited in du’a but in fact are allowed. Some of these are listed below:
1. To Pray for a Person Without Praying for One’s Self
We know this is permissible since the Prophet, peace be upon him, made du’a for a number of Companions without making du’a for himself.
2. To Wish For Death in Severe Circumstances
The proof for this is found in the following hadith:
“None of you should wish for death due to any calamity that has befallen him. Ig he has no choice but to wish for death, let him say, ‘O Allah! Grant me life as long as life is better for me, and take me away (in death) whenever death is better for me!'” (Recorded in al-Bukhari)
It is reported that Imam al-Bukhari, may Allah have mercy on him, due to the many difficulties he encountered in his life from people who were jealous of him, wished for death toward the end of his life, using this du’a, after which Allah granted him his desire.
3. To Pray For and Against Non-Muslims
Any prayer for a non-Muslim can only be made when they are alive. Allah, in His infinite wisdom, has prohibited us for praying for them after their death. He tells us in the Qur’an:
“It is not proper for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allah’s forgiveness for the pagans after it has become clear to them that they are the dwellers of the Hellfire.” (Surah at-Tawbah:113)
During their lifetime however, it is permissible to pray for Allah to guide them to Islam.
As for praying against them, this has been narrated many times in the Prophetic ahadith. Such du’as may be performed when they have arrogantly rejected the truth after it has been made clear to them, and when they continue to harm Muslims.
4. To Request a Pious Person to Perform a Du’a
It is permissible to ask a living pious person to make du’a for you. This topic will be discussed in greater detail in the coming posts on Tawassal inshaAllah.